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Workman Mondays

A couple of months back we realised that we were having a rather enviable problem: too many bands were emailing us looking for slots at the festival. By this stage we had already pretty much completed our line up and had even expanded the amount of slots on the Sunday just to fit some more of the great folk acts Ireland has to offer in. Regardless of the quality of the acts we simply didn’t have the room for all of them and the constant stream of emails meant that we couldn’t even  give them the consideration they deserved. Fortunately a solution presented itself.

Karen over at the Workman’s got talking to Caroline (in a bar, because that’s where things seem to get done in this country) about the possibility of hosting a weekly, battle of the bands style competition to take over the Monday night slot for the months leading up to the Spirit of Folk in September. What better way to truly see what bands have to offer than seeing them live? No more myspace profiles,  the fates were aligning to bring an epic folk-style battle  royale to our much maligned Mondays nights!

And so it is that we at the office find ourselves at the What the Folk? competition for our third sessiún. The standard so far has been excellent with the likes of Eric McGrath and Miriam Donoghue kicking off our week with wholehearted performances. Despite the fact that anyone who was half wise stayed indoors during the miserable, damp Monday night, a good sized crowd had assembled ready to wring the rain out of their hair in anticipation of another night of folking tunes. This week was no different with three top quality acts filling the atmospheric Workman’s Club with their unique sound. We had great variety on the night, starting with Marianne Lee with her own brand of melodic, piano driven solo music. Miss Paula Flynn’s duo’s performance was a charming combination of soft spoken vocals and understated guitar sounds and the show finished out with a more raucous folk rock influenced band, The Travelloes.

Unfortunately now we’re left with the difficult choice of only sending one of these acts through to the next stage each week. Didn’t I say this competition supposed to make it easier to find the perfect act for our festival?