Our daytime activity on Ireland’s national day was heavily relaxation-based. I hung the Irish flag out on the terrace, not that there are many neighbours here to see it, but I guess it was the thought that counted. I fine-tuned my set list ahead of the evening gig and rehearsed the songs to be sung.<1–more–>
After lunch we headed down to the local beach for a wee lie down and enjoy the sound of the ocean and the last rays of the sun on what had been a warm day. There were more clouds now than blue sky so it wasn’t quite as warm as hoped. I had gone prepared for my first dip in the mediterrean, but I had to make do with a quick paddle up to my knees. All the same, it was our first real encounter with the sea water and, although cold, it wasn’t quite as freezing as we expected.
Come six o’clock it was time to make our way to Mataró. I had promised to be there at 7.30pm at the latest but wanted to be earlier so that Al and a few friends could get a good table. We arrived just after 7 o’clock and the bar was already quite busy. By eight o’clock it was heaving, standing room only and quite daunting for the lonely singer without a microphone.
Connecting the guitar was more challenging that the sound check a few days ago promised as there were people standing in every space by the bar and the bar staff needed to cross the cable to get back and forth to the kitchen, so it was far from ideal. My guitar also wasn’t playing nice to begin with as the jack socket needed some attention.
Soon all was ready and it was time to start singing. I introduced myself and appealed to the audience for their help in singing along as we would be without microphone and I’d need all the help I could get. The plan was roughly to sing two sets of 30 minutes echo, which amounts to about a dozen songs in total. My guitar strings had other ideas though and over the course of the performance I managed to break strings on two occasions, so the singing was punctuated by a couple of enforced breaks.
The audience was very supportive though and they really got into the spirit of singing along to the songs they need, which was a great help. The highlights for me were the Fields of Athenry, I’m A Believer and Losing My Religion.
A short clip giving the flavour of the evening
I was well and truly hoarse by the end, but a very positive experience. Both the bar owner and I were in agreement that the gig in hindsight did require a microphone. This was the set of songs performed:
- Molly Malone
- Friday I’m In Love
- Perfect Day
- I’m A Believer
- Brown Eyed Girl
- Fields of Athenry
- Hey Jude
- Only Our Rivers Run Free
- The Wild Rover
- Losing My Religion
- Can’t Help Falling In Love