What a busy week this has been! St Patrick’s Day in Canberra Australia (17 March) saw Full Circle playing at PJ O’Reilly’s Irish pub in Civic.

St Patrick's Day 2009

We set up and played our first set then an Irish dance school came in and performed, and we took it in turns – whenever we took a break, the dancers were on, and the crowd loved it.

St Patrick's Day 2009

When we finished the three brackets we had only a few minutes to pack the sound gear away and head off to Kingston where we played at Filthy McFadden’s Irish pub – if PJ’s was good, Filthy’s rocked.

St Patrick's Day 2009

We introduced a few new tune sets, including Paddy Fahy’s #14 and Dinky Dorrian’s which I’ve wanted to play for ages. And for Dinky’s reel I made full use of the new long lead to head for the dance floor out among the audience – and they loved it. Suddenly I was surrounded by mobile phones! All frantically taking photos!

St Patrick's Day 2009

We met some great people and had two great shows – although the voice was a bit hoarse and the fingers a bit tender after six hours of playing and jumping around. Music sure keeps you fit!

There was anticipation as I packed my fiddle and loaded the van. St Paddy’s Day on a Monday. At least the set-up would be easy – no pushing through the crowds… Okay, so how wrong can you be?

The set-up for the first show was amidst a lunchtime crowd who were in no mood for going back to work. And they were even less inclined to go back to work once we started playing – the Guinness had nothing to do with it!

St Patricks day - Full Circle at PJ O'Reilly's

The Irish dancers provided a great middle set with some great dances to some not altogether traditional Irish tunes!

St Patricks day - Full Circle at PJ O'Reilly's

After two short sets we were packing up ready for the next show – at Filthy McFadden’s in Kingston. We had the other sound system pre-set up so I just needed to set up the lights and mic stands and we were ready for another three and a half hours.

St Patricks day - Full Circle at PJ O'Reilly's

Filthy McFadden’s was a good high energy show and the time fairly flew by.

St Patricks day - Full Circle at Filthy McFadden's

We certainly had a great time and made loads of new friends :-)

See you all at the National Folk Festival!

Cheers
Jerry

Today is a great day for Full Circle Band – we’re performing at PJ O’Reilly’s in Civic from 1.00pm – 4.00pm and then at Filthy McFadden’s 5.00pm-8.00pm in Kingston. These are always lively shows  – so if you’re in Canberra, come and join us and help celebrate Australia’s Irish heritage :-)

Cheers
Jerry

And what a glorious St Pat’s it was too! Both shows were packed out and the energy was high :-)

At PJ O’Reilly’s in Civic (Canberra, Australia) we started at 1.pm sharp with a set of reels – Paddy Fahey’s Number 1 and Gravel Walk (well… sprint actually!) and that set the tone for the session.

At one point a troupe of Irish dancers invaded and called for a couple or reels – the dance schools usually use CDs so they welcome the opportunity to dance to live musicians – and we were quick to oblige.

We did a bunch of old favourites, like Black Velvet Band and New York Girls, threw in a few slip jigs and double jigs and generally had a great time. Then it was time for a quick pack up (ie hurl everything into Jerry’s van) and drive to Kingston to set up at Filthy McFadden’s where we played from 5.00pm-8.30pm.
Full Circle live at PJ O’Reilly’s

Full Circle at PJ OReilly's

Full Circle at PJ OReilly's
…not bad bowing technique!

Full Circle at PJ OReilly's
Hmm – those mic stand drink holders are handy!

Full Circle live at Filthy McFadden’s

There was little time for a sound check, but the sound was quickly sorted – and it got better by the end of the first bracket. The audience were great calling out requests, getting up and dancing and having a great time. At the end of the evening we were called back for several encores and throughout the show there were queues outside waiting to get in – the place was at capacity crowd. Our energy was high and the pace quite blistering :-)

Full Circle at Filthy McFadden's

Full Circle at Filthy McFadden's

Some said Jerry played fiddle like the Devil himself! This photo was taken mid-leap!
Full Circle at Filthy McFadden's

The Ashokan Farewell went over in classic style – an Army bloke came up after and said he had tears in his eyes…

At the end we were exhausted but bouyed up by the energy – and relaxed with our first pint of Guinness at the end of the night – with two shows we have to be disciplined and stick to low-alcohol beer otherwise our fingers fall off and that gets messy ;-)

Happy St Patrick’s Day to you all – may the road rise up to meet you and the wind be ever at your back!

Cheers
Jerry

It’s St Patrick’s Eve and the first of three shows was at the Hyatt hotel in Canberra. The audience was excellent and clearly had a great time – I know we did :-)

We were using new speakers for the first time, and my newly repaired fiddle was awesome. We hope to get some video footage at tomorrow’s shows at PJ Oreilly’s (Civic) from 1.00pm-4.00pm and then Filthy McFadden’s in Kingston from 5.30-8.30. Watch this space for some YouTube footage in a couple of weeks!

Here’s some pix from tonight’s show

Full Circle at the Hyatt

Full Circle at the Hyatt

Full Circle at the Hyatt

Full Circle at the Hyatt

See you tomorrow!

Cheers
Jerry

Happy St Patrick’s Day! We will be busy today – the band Full Circle is playing two shows today – from 1.30pm-430pm at PJ O’Reilly’s in Civic and 5.30pm-8.30pm at Filthy McFadden’s in Kingston – so if you are in Canberra, Austraalia today, why not drop by and say hello! (I’ll be the one with the fiddle – and the guinness )

Blinded by reggae
The sculpture beneath the hat is called “Blinded by Reggae” and was made and cast by Swaziland-born Western Australian artist Terry Thomas in 1981. I have taken to calling it “The Procrastinator!”

St Patrick is of course the patron saint of Ireland – it appears St Patrick was a real historical figure who lived in the 5th century (Christian Era). Interestingly, while he is said to have used the three-leafed clover, or shamrock to explain the Trinity, the shamrock had long been held as the symbol for Brigit – a pagan goddeess of healing, she was later appropriated by the church as St Brigit!

Yes I know it was on Wednesday 17th, but it’s about time I blogged it isn’t it? Now, you may recall that I play Irish music on a hardingfele (Hardanger fiddle – eight strings). We (the band Full Circle) played two shows at different Irish pubs in Canberra – 2.00pm-5.00pm at PJ O’Reilly’s and then 6.00pm-9.00pm at Filthy McFadden’s – both great Irish venues and each with a different appeciative audience.

PJ’s was a great place to warm-up because they also had Irish dancers and and got into the spirit of St Pat’s Day in a flamboyant way – green beer, green hats, green gas balloons – yeah I wound up with green hair too! Everyone was ready to party – even at 2.00pm on a weekday :-) So it was easy for us to get in the mood and party along with the crowd

And Liz Gregory’s Irish dancers (described as Canberra’s answer to Riverdance) were a treat – two of the dancers are currently first and second place holders in the Australian Irish Dancing Championships. We have played music for them before, and they got us playing jigs and reels for them to dance to – great fun all round!

Then there was Filthy’s! The set-up was a bit of a rush – but the pub has a great atmosphere with lots of dark timber and a good range of Irish beers – including my favourite Guinness! and, like PJ O’Reilly’s was well crowded. With the lights up and a quick sound check we grabbed a quick round of light beers (hey with six hours of playing, you don’t think we’d be drinking full strength stuff do you?) As soon as we launched into the first set the crowd were right into it, singing along and dancing wherever they could find a space. We debuted a couple of new (for us) songs – “New York Girls” and, after 20 years of requests, I finally did “Devil Went down to Georgia” – that great song about a fiddler who meets the devil in a small country to the south of Russia… It went down a treat fully justifying the work we’ve been putting into it for the last couple of months.

It was hot – musically and physically – and I was glad to have eaten a large lunch, because there was no time to eat from the start of the first show until after we’d packed down the gear at the end of the second show! – hence it was light beer the whole time aside from a soothing pint of guinness at the end :-p
I certainly won’t need to see a gym after a workout like that!

Full Circle Band in concert
(Full Circle in concert)

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