Monday, August 23, 2010

At the Fleadh in Cavan

Street mobs at the Fleadh in Cavan
Saturday night and we drove into town around six. Looked like nowhere to park, but on the road out near the pub we were going to was a lovely long stretch of empty kerbside with No Parking cones along it. At the end were two cars. If you just move that cone back a foot, said Joe, we'll fit in nicely.

Grabbed some street food, then into the Abbey Bar in the hope that we would finally be on time for a good session. The front bar had been the best place the night before. This night we found roaring sessions in the back bar and in the beer garden. Some sweet music in the front bar that looked like it was just ending. In we went and got seats. A change of personnel. Had a couple of hours of great tunes. There was a young woman in there on the whistle and flute. Very well dressed in beautiful clothes, very made up. Black Cleopatra hair. One glass of white wine after another. And another. In and out she went as we all grabbed our drinks to stop her tipping them over.

The bank with burning windows. Amazing business with a projector.
Fish in the window.
Another fiddle player came in and worked his way into the corner. Let's call him J_. Started a few selections of tunes that only he and S_, another fiddle player knew, but then back into more common stuff. His friend on the flute was sat next to us. He was eyeing up Ms Tipsy's seat as she was increasingly not in it. She would put away her whistle and he'd get fidgety. Then out it would come,  she was playing again and he'd sit back in despair. Amazing she was still getting the tunes. Then up she'd get to go for another drink. And back to the seat.

When we first arrived there was a fellow in there called T_ who we've often seen at sessions. He went off to get something to eat, so there was this empty seat with his fiddle case underneath it. Eventually a flute player came in and grabbed it. Ignored J_ telling him that belonged to someone. Who'd been gone now for a couple of hours. Then an influx of another fiddle and two more flutes. They started playing a rake of tunes Joe and I didn't know at all. From the Dublin sessions, we thought.

So then Ms Tipsy decides she wants to be sitting on the other side of the room (it's a very small room so just across from where she was). She squeezes past Brian on the fiddle who's stuck in the middle. There is nowhere to sit in the place she's aiming for. J_ stands up and looks bemused, then annoyed. Ms Tipsy is also annoyed. She is asking J_ to swap places with her because she'd like to sit where he is. She abuses him mildly then staggers back to her seat.

Peter starts playing a reel and looking at S_. It's a tune nobody else but she knows. He follows it with another. Some Donegal stuff. And another. Ok. So that's what's going on. He doesn't want these Dublin fellows in here so he's getting rid. Time for us to leave. Can't be bothered with that sort of thing, and it's getting unbearably hot. We need air. There's fellows in high viz vests on the door. If you go out you won't be let back in, they said. They were working a queue system. One person out, and another could come in. Why don't you go to the beer garden, they said. So we did. Joe had a beer and we cooled down, then said we'd go back to Belturbet. I could have a drink then. Passing the small front bar there was J_ and S_ playing away, with the flute player in between who'd been there from the start. Fucked off everyone else.

Walked back to the car to see a cluster of cones in the middle of the long empty stretch of kerbside. Cars parked all along it.

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