Friday, 2 December 2011

I could have been someone . . . and so could anyone!

Well that didn't take long. I made it my task today to find out how to do one of those links where you just click on a word to go to the site . . . I know, hardly a stretch is it? I must set my sights a bit higher.
Anyway what better link could I do than this one?

On replying to a comment from Jeannie on the previous post I mentioned that many, many moons ago I used to play bodhran and sing in a folk band called "No strings attached". We played mostly pubs, some barn dances and even made the local radio station!  I was often told that I looked serious (see terrified). . . I  had zilch self-confidence, even though I was pretty damn good on the bodhran, and was painfully shy. I know its hard to imagine given my record since then but I was 17 and hadn't yet discovered alcohol. Spliff, mushrooms and acid yes . . . alchohol No. No wonder I was terrified. Paranoid more like. Once I had discovered alcohol I found plenty of confidence and a much stronger singing voice ;-)

Since re-discovering the world out there via my laptop I have looked up the former members of the band. The "Main man" of the band was Chris Haigh who wrote some of the music, lyrics, played several instruments (mainly fiddle), sang, entertained, directed us, drove us around in moggy minor van (!) and was obviously destined to go on to greater things . . . Indeed he has. I wanted to post some of his music here but there is just loads to choose from. I have problems with decisions, among other things, which is why I didn't get as far as Mr Cohen last night. Ok I chose this as he singing too. He makes that fiddle look so damned easy . . . Bless you Chris. Amen indeed!

He wrote a great take on "Whiskey in the jar" called "Nein Danke Atomkraft". The chorus where it usually goes . . . "Whack for your Daddio . . ." (or similar) was . . . "Nein Danke Atomkraft, No more you must be daft, Use Guiness power instead!" The rest of the group had discovered alcohol. I'm such a freak.

The title of this post is my favourite line of the Pogues "Fairy tale of  New York". So keen am I on this line, that one night after I was well acquainted with alcohol my Brother and I spent a whole evening singing it (yes just the one line.) going from bar to bar . . . I know you had to be there . . . or maybe NOT!


  1. This is too funny. I've got a bodhran! I took some lessons but never played with anyone. I love the sound of it - like a heartbeat. (My teacher couldn't believe how quickly I caught on and wanted me to learn to play the whole kit) My husband's favourite pub used to have a lot of Irish folk music - I was happy enough - I just really enjoy live music of almost any stripe (except bluegrass & country). I suppose I was never meant to play in a band because I've never had anyone to play with. Sang in the church choir for many years though.

  2. Hi Di
    good to hear from you. Your mentions of No Strings Attached certainly takes me back. Difficult to imagine you as being shy and lacking confidence.
    Thanks for posting my youtube clip. Paul and I have just got back from playing on a two week cruise to the Canary Islands, playing with a country band. Just trying to make you jealous!
    all the best

  3. Indeed I've been there... more than once in the past... there is a sense of something hugely funny in the utterly banal and pointless to the drinker once a certain point on certain nights is reached... I've a small bodhran at home, bought in Dublin a month or so before I gave up the booze - never got the hang of it, I think my wrist isn't flexible enough

  4. Jeannie,
    I didn't know lessons existed for the bodhran - apart from how to hold the "stick" the rest is pretty much down to whether one has rhythm or not and relaxing the wrist. You were obviously a natural. When I lived in France I used to play along to records or even just play on my own. Can you sing when you play the piano? I find that almost impossible.
    I hope you are feeling less pain and less sick. Holiday soon.

  5. Chris,
    Yeah it took me back some too . . . some 30 years!! How come you haven't aged? must be clean easy living ;-) cruising around playing music. Hard life. Certainly am jealous. Good for you Chris. Great to hear from you. Take care

  6. Furtheron,
    I love how you put that . . . So true. It makes me laugh just to think how much we laughed at . . . nothing!?
    Just a matter of relaxing the wrist and barely holding the stick . . . I've had one fly out of my hand on more than one occasion.
    I got my "wrist action" from playing tambourine in the Sally Army "Timbrels". Chris enjoyed telling the audience this . . . Ha Ha I cringed.

  7. I had to Google Bodhran to see what it was! It looks like a very cool instrument to play. I wish you had some footage of you back then, would love to see that!

  8. Hi & thankyou for the welcome. I usually have disturbed & interrupted sleep when I'm stoned, but I also can't sleep if it's burning a hole in my pocket. Can't win either way.

  9. Barbara, Yes I wish I had some footage too. I have a photo of me & bodhran at 17 .I'll ask Geekster to get the scanner out tomorrow and see if I can find the photo. I kept the only exisiting audiotape of the session at Radio station for 14 years, despite moving around loads and keeping nothing. Then roughly 16 yrs ago I bumped into the bass guitarist and he begged that I let him borrow it for one night to record it at his house. I was so pissed off (still am a bit, come to think of it) that I never saw the tape again.
    Love your Christmas photo with your dog. I'm always dressing my brother's dog when he has a sleepover here. He's so tolerant bless him but with a look in his eye of "Do you really need to do this every time?"

  10. Karl, O you're right there . . . It's a no win situation. But we keep on kidding ourselves ;-)