Cobblestone Joe's Nancys Our lives

Fathers’ Day relaxation

There’s something very rejuvenating about Fathers’ Day — an affirmation that we old lads aren’t completely bad after all, not entirely without our decent points.  And truthfully, you wouldn’t have it any other way.  We raise our children and we set them free.  We don’t place obligations on them to observe ritual or custom.  We just hope they get it, and when they do, it makes us that much richer: so much the better if they come back of their own volition and say, right, Dad, let’s go for a couple of pints.

Gold couldn’t buy you that.

And so it came about that, after a long hard day slogging away at the garden, chopping down bushes and power-hosing patios, I found myself in Nancy Blake’s wonderful establishment, enjoying music played by good friends including one I haven’t seen in quite a while since he moved to Dubai.  Thank God for Ramadan, that time of year when Irish people flee the gulf en masse to visit and entertain their friends back home.  I hope we’ll catch up again before he goes back, though I expect to be travelling myself fairly soon, so who knows?

Of course, these days no trip to town would be complete without a visit to Cobblestone Joe’s where they now serve the best pizza this side of New York City, thanks to their snappy new pizza bar and even snappier new chef.

What precisely could be wrong with this? A pint, a delicious thin-base pizza and a live shit-kickin’ band in the company of those you love most in the world?

Well, two things, I suppose.

Firstly, we were thoroughly hockeyed by Tipperary in the Munster semi-final, with the result that the town was full of people in Limerick and Tipp shirts.  Never a good look.  The men of Tipperary proved me right when I said having six fingers is an advantage and the tinfoil industry got a huge boost.

Secondly, being without a camera and taking a truly bad picture on a phone, of people jiving in terrible hurling shirts and worse.

cobblestone joes limerick

For this, I apologise sincerely and promise it won’t happen again.

For all the rest, let us celebrate Fathers’ Day and give thanks to the universe for our good fortune.

Bourkes Cobblestone Joe's Dolans Music The Blind Pig

Indie Week Ireland 2014 to be Hosted in Limerick

What time is this thing kicking off? I asked.

Four o’clock, in Dr John’s.   Leading Armies are playing for about an hour.

Fine, I thought.   That’ll be half-past four then.

But it wasn’t.  When I arrived at the Pig and tried to get upstairs I found a throng, a mob, a crowd, even, crammed into the good Doctor’s little grotto of uber-coolness, enjoying the show and generally being positive about this latest initiative.

Leading Armies at launch of Indie Week Ireland 2014


What thing? you’re probably wondering.

This thing: the launch of Indie Week Ireland 2014 with a call-out to artists who’d like to perform at the Indie Week festival in Limerick between the 23rd and the 26th April.

Four nights.  Thirty acts.  Four venues.

One act will get a headline slot at Indie Week Canada 2014.

Here’s the schedule.  Follow the thing on Facebook and Twitter and watch this space for more updates.

Cobblestone Joe's Dolans

Holiday Music in Limerick

We’re spoilt for choice this holiday season, but I’ll do my best to attend everything on offer — not that it’s possible, but I’ll try.

This evening, you could drop in to Cobblestone Joe’s and catch Parliament Square.  Always a good choice.

Tomorrow, you could start with the absurd, wonderful, hilarious, ridiculously talented and completely drunk O Malleys in Nancy Blakes.  The band whose proudest boast is that they never once rehearsed a song.  And it shows, but we love them all the same.

You could follow that up with a visit to O’Dwyers to take in the Cha Haran band, featuring the legendary Johnny Fean on guitar and an assortment of former Grannies.

cha haran band

If you’re of a mind to do so, you could drop into Dolans after that and catch a bit of Brian O Connor, fresh in from Sweden and gigging with Dave Keary, Danny Byrt and Mike Quinn.  There’s no point going there for Damien Dempsey because he’s sold out, so forget that.

Tomorrow night in Bourkes, a venue taht hosts so many huge acts in such a small space, you could also catch Moscow Metro.

Where would you get it?

On Monday, the 30th you could do worse than head back to Dolans to catch Eamonn Hehir’s new band, the Flag Listeners.

eamonn hehir

On New Years Eve, you could sample Trees Fall Down at Cobbles followed by Mrs Henry from 10:30 till very late indeed.  Or else you could horse on up to Dolans again and catch the O Malleys’ ludicrous annual party.

Spoilt for choice?  For sure.  Keep it going.

Cobblestone Joe's Limerick

Jukebox Gypsy Live at Cobblestone Joe’s

Remember fun?  Of course you do: it never went away, and that’s why you can wander into a great bar like Cobblestone Joe’s and stumble across a bunch of talented motherfuckers like Jukebox Gypsy.

I don’t know what to call them.  An  acid-folk, skiffle-driven Dutch-Irish-Newcastle close-harmony fusion combo fronted by the young Jack Nicholson reincarnated as a Geordie.  Lindisfarne meets meets Easy Rider, complete with tiny bald patch for added authenticity.

Jukebox Gypsy


I don’t know what these guys are, but I can tell you, they do fun with a capital N.

They’re tight as fuck, I remarked to the Coolest Man in Ireland, who happened to be standing beside me, and no mean bass player himself.

Tight? he replied.  Only beaten by a point.  He says  that kind of thing.  He’s a bass player.

Tight isn’t the word for it.  These guys hit every bang right on the button. Their harmonies are closer than a priest chasing an altar-boy but less sweaty, and they have the power to make a place jump.  Make no mistake, my friends.  This could be the wedding band of the 21st century as long as they only play at the weddings of demented, drug-addled drunkards but that’s fine.  No shortage of clients there.

They do their own stuff.  They do covers.  They even put up with ill-mannered drunks talking loudly while they play beautiful quiet songs, thus proving what a bunch of decent lads they are.  It surprised me, I must confess, given the presence of two Geordies in the band.  I think it’s fair to say that the people of north-eastern England are not noted for putting up with shit.  The Dutch guy, maybe not so much.  While the Geordies are beating the shit out of talking audience members, he’ll be starting a commune, while the Irish guy will run a symposium on the holistic, vegan management of dreadlocks.


I couldn’t record any of their gig tonight since I didn’t have a real camera with me, so I’ll have to rely on other people’s videos.

Here’s a clip from a gig at the Long Dog in Kilkee.  Have a listen.

Let me repeat: these guys are great fun, with a capital U.  Next time you see a poster for them, just go.  You won’t regret it.

And here’s another one.  From Cavan.

Cobblestone Joe's

Rent-a-Crowd Wanted for Music Video

This just in from the Tumbledown lads.


Local band, Tumbledown, will be shooting a music video in Limerick on Sunday May 19th and they’re looking for extras.

The video is for their forthcoming single, Chink in my Armour, which will be available for download in early June.  There will also be a limited hard copy release of a four track EP.  If you’re around on Sunday and you’re stuck for something to do, why not get involved?  You don’t need to dress in any particular way.  In fact the only thing you’ll need to bring with you is yourself and a mobile phone.  The phone will not leave your possession or be used for anything untoward.  You will merely be asked to pretend to film the two stars of the video on your phone.

The shoot starts in The Blind Pig on Thomas Steet at 1pm and will then move to Cobblestone Joes. The shoot will finish with a gig in Cobblestone Joes by the lads also so it should be a great day out. If 1pm is too early for you, you’re more than welcome to come along at any point before 9pm to Cobblestone Joe’s, where the shoot finishes.


Cobblestone Joe's

Acoustra at Cobblestone’s

I bumped into these guys at Cobblestone Joe’s the other night.