The Librarian’s Cellar: On Music: When Barrytown met Musictown…

So where would you get it? Imelda May, Camille O’ Sullivan, Glen Hansard, Damien Dempsey, Peter Coonan (Yes, that guy can sing!) Nelli Conroy,Tina Kellegher, Ger Ryan and many more – all gathered on one stage, doing their bit on a version of Candi Staton’s Young Hearts, Run Free?

Barrytown Meets Musictown – a Tribute to Roddy Doyle, that’s where!

This year, The One City, One Book is actually three, The Barrytown Trilogy. And as part of the inaugural Musictown Festival, Dublin’s Vicar Street was buzzing with a gang of amazingly talented individuals for a musical and literary celebration of Roddy’s novels, The Commitments, The Snapper and The Van, plus other readings as well as songs that inspired Roddy along the way.

Recitation and music from all of the above mentioned, plus Colm Mac Con Iomaire, Colm Meaney, Aiden Gillen, Paul Mercier, Richard Hawley, Cait O’Riordan and the Radiators from Space [yes, you heard that right – still rockin’ as the Troubled Pilgrims!] and of course, the man himself, Mister Doyle!

Laughter rocked the house, but there were also some ‘welling-up’ moments. Damien Dempsey, that storytelling tower of emotion, included in his set the very moving Chris and Stevie while Ger Ryan was breath-taking as she reprised her character, Paula Spencer [The Woman Who Walked Into Doors]. Camille O’Sullivan sang a mesmerizing acapella version of Aslan’s This Is, while Richard Hawley’s rendition of his own, Tonight, The Streets Are Ours, in tribute to the late, great Tony Fenton, was simply gorgeous.

Door profits for the gig are going to Fighting Words, the charity organisation that provides free tutoring and mentoring in creative writing and related arts to children, young adults and adults with special needs. Co-founded by Roddy, all of the programmes and workshops offered through the organisation are delivered mainly by volunteers. Eoin Moore, who participated in the creative writing programme some years back, read his Dublin Unesco City of Literature 2013 prize-winning short story – a story so short in fact [at 224 words] that it could fit on a regular-sized stamp! And it did, capturing the ‘essence’ of Dublin; as indeed did almost four hours of music and literature delivered by an eclectic and enthusiastic band of bards, musicians and vocalists.

Musictown knows how to throw a party!

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