Preview | The Duncairn’s Weekend Of Music, Words, Crafts, Controversy and Comedy

Preview | The Duncairn Big Birthday Weekend Fri 11th – Sun 13th May

John Connors, David Keenan, Ye vagabonds and much more, plus workshops for all ages and a Big Breakfast Super Sunday Session

By Cara Gibney

There are those who would call this a festival. But true to form, The Duncairn has just worked hard at curating an unforgettable weekend of music, words, crafts, controversy and comedy to celebrate its 4th birthday. And there’s a certain air to this collection of events. It tastes fresh. There are ideas, names, talents and crafts that need to be shared, and this is the perfect weekend to start.

The Duncairn is well known for its focus on community and this has been factored into the agenda, ensuring that people of various interests and all ages are catered for. An Audience with Award Winning Irish Actor John Connors will open up proceedings on Friday 11th May. An intriguing selection of craft workshops for adults and children will be taking place throughout the next two days. David Keenan and his band will be breathing fresh air into the whole idea of singer-songwriter on Saturday night, along with a bevvy of young Irish upstarts including LemonCello, Junior Brother, Harry Hoban and the Brothers Kane. Then Sunday offers the chance to soak up the coolest of daytime chills at the Super Sunday event, followed by the finest of closures to the celebrations on Sunday night with the rich folk harmonies of Irish duo Ye Vagabonds.

Delve deeper below and check out what you’d like to spend your pennies on. (They do all they can to keep prices open for everyone).

Fri 11th May

An Audience with John Connors at The Duncairn
Doors 7.30pm. Tickets £11.00 BYOB
Hosted by Lynette Fay. Followed by Q&A session.

Warning: There is a 0.0001% possibility that this event will not be comedic and controversial.#

“It saved my life, it really did… It was like walking on a cloud… this world I never knew existed, called creativity.”
We are delighted to welcome the Award Winning Irish Actor to the Duncairn for what will be the premier of, “An Audience with John Connors.” John is famous for roles in TV’s Love/Hate and the smash hit crime film Cardboard Gangsters.

Cardboard Gangsters, of which John is both the Lead Actor and Co-Writer, is the undeniable Irish hit of the last 12 months. The film has won numerous awards including the Manchester International Film Festival’s Film of the Festival award and a Best Actor IFTA for Connors himself.

John most recently made headlines in in February of 2018 with his acceptance speech for Best Actor at the IFTA’s. He used this platform to frankly address the social issues facing modern Irish society. These included the mental health epidemic and John’s own experiences of adversity as an Irish Traveler.
As well as being an award-winning actor, John could be described as a spokesperson for the marginalised in Irish society with honest and forthright opinions on the failings of our government and institutions.

In these days of many high profiled personalities shying away from controversial and important topics, John Connors is a breath of fresh air and is quickly becoming a role model, spokesperson and source of inspiration for many

Simply put, this evening will be mind-blowing!


Saturday 12th May

David Keenan Band with Harry Hoban and the Brothers Kane, LemonCello, and Junior Brother.
Doors 8pm. Tickets £15.

David Keenan is not just another young lad with an acoustic guitar, Keenan is the sound of Tim Buckley and Brendan Behan arguing ove a few jars, while Kavanagh deals Dylan a suspicious hand of cards, and Anthony Cronin and Jack Kerouac furiously try to scribble it all down. (Hotpress Magazine). He is a twenty-four-year-old Irish songwriter whose words seem to walk a fine line between poetry and prose with a voice that grabs you by the scruff and takes you by the hand into his world of imagination.

Inspired by escapism and lyrical greats such as Yeats, Kavanagh, Dylan and Cohen he embodied the role of a down and outs young apprentice and scoured the streets of Liverpool and London for experience before taking his notes and embryonic ideas back home to dissect. In Keenan, the Irish storytelling tradition is alive and well and his live performances are both spiritual and intense in equal measure.

Harry Hoban and the Brothers Kane are a 4 piece 100% originals band. They formed in 2013. They consist of Harry Hoban, Gar Kane and Gerry Kane from Dublin and session musician David Bellew from Dundalk. Their music is an eclectic mix of everything from acoustic folk to storytelling ballads with a punk edge. They have played to packed houses in Whelan’s, The Spirit Store and The Sugar Club recently to name a few. They are launching their debut single ‘Tyrannosaur’ this Spring and will follow up with an EP this Summer as they attack festival season, spilling their guts through story and song.

LemonCello is Laura Quirke (guitar, vocals) and Claire Kinsella (cello, vocals). They started performing together while studying music and languages in Maynooth University. Their thoughtfully crafted lyrics sung in harmony, combined with cello and guitar instrumentation create a rooted original sound. LemonCello draw from a wide range of influences including traditional and alternative folk music, jazz, pop, blues and classical music. The result is music described by Remy’s Music Blog as “soothing for the soul, and impeccably performed on their respective instruments”.

Their musical adventure so far has consisted of, notably, playing a sold out show at the beautiful Musée de La Piscine in Roubaix, France, support slots for the likes of Damien Dempsey, and appearances at several Irish music festivals including Electric Picnic and the Borris House Festival of Writing and Ideas. In September 2015, LemonCello helped to start the Common Grounds Collective, a group dedicated to building a network of artists of all mediums and giving them a platform to share their original work. The pair spent much of 2016 writing in both France and Ireland and are now preparing for the release of their debut EP, set to be launched in 2017.

Junior Brother is an experimental folk singer/ songwriter from Co. Kerry, Ireland, playing slightly unhinged, sometimes heady tunes. His music has been described as unique, experimental and distinctly Irish, being heavily influenced by his upbringing in rural Ireland. Currently based in Dublin, Junior Brother’s played the annual Whelan’s Ones to Watch festival the last two years, and has played support for acts such as the Hot House Flowers, R.S.A.G. and Mark Geary. “Fuck Off I Love You” is the second EP Junior Brother has released, after his previous “Sleeping at the Bottom of the Sea” received airplay on shows such as Lyric FM’s Blue of the Night, and among several acoustic instruments all played by himself, features his live set-up of acoustic guitar and tambourine. The EP’s title represents the theme at the heart of the music; music tied to the earth, attempting to reach up beyond the clouds – songs filled with grounded humour, and songs filled with ambition to romanticize and reach beyond.


Sunday 13th May

10.30am – 2pm:
The Chill Session. A Big Breakfast with a difference.
Inspiring music to get your Sunday off to a perfect start.

Ye Vagabonds and from NYC The Murphy Beds:
Doors 7pm Special Birthday Ticket Offer £12.50

Bringing the celebrations to an end in style are The Super Fantastic YE VAGABONDS. Buoyed by the success of their debut EP Rose & Briar in 2015, and continuing support from respected musicians like Lisa Hannigan, Roy Harper and Glen Hansard; brothers Brían and Diarmuid Mac Gloinn, who form Ye Vagabonds, released their highly anticipated debut album to great critical acclaim. When Ye Vagabonds are in town you can expect harmony rich folk music, influenced by Irish traditional music, Appalachian singing, and the 1960’s folk revival. Ye Vagabonds’ music is comprised of mellow melodies weaved with thoughtful lyrics, thickly layered with strings and droning harmonium.

The Murphy Beds – Traditional and Original Beds, Made on NYC’s Lower East Side. The Murphy Beds (Jefferson Hamer and Eamon O’Leary) present traditional and original folk songs with close harmonies and deft instrumental arrangements on bouzouki, guitar, and mandolin. They have performed and collaborated with artists across the folk spectrum including Beth Orton, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Anais Mitchell, and Sam Amidon. “Their great feat turns out to be taking what’s best of the classic Irish folk revival without falling into any of its clichés. The resulting album bears repeated listening from start to finish, with ten beautiful, crystalline songs.” –Huffington Post


Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th May 2018

A packed weekend of work-shopping on offer to celebrate The Duncairn’s 4th Birthday

For The Kids: 

Please Note: The 2 w/shops deal is for sessions booked on the same day i.e. Saturday only or Sunday only.

Little People Crafts with Patricia Campbell and Emma Hawthorne

£6 per workshop or 2 for £10
Age range 5-10 year olds

10.30am – 11.30am
12.30pm – 1.30pm
2.30pm – 3.30pm
3.45pm – 4.45pm

Spring into fun with our colourful crafts workshop creating little birds, bunnies and lambs with all sorts of bits and glittery bobs to stick and sparkle!!

For The Grown Ups: Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th May 2018

Please Note: The 2 w/shops deal is for sessions booked on the same day i.e. Saturday only or Sunday only.

1 workshop £15 or 2 for £25
(2 for £25 includes a yummy bowl of soup at lunchtime)

Introduction to Felt Making with Debbie Young.
11am – 1pm
Working with merino wool in its raw form, you will layer and roll multiple coloured fleece to develop your own felted creation which can then be embellished and framed to hang on your wall for all to admire.

Dabble in Decoupage with Debbie Young
2pm to 4pm
It’s amazing what you can do with some brightly coloured papers, shiny glue and a little skill. Transform and upgrade glassware, little wooden items, picture frames… in fact most things can be be given a new lease of life with this on trend crafty activity.

An introduction to sewing and textiles with Chloe Dougan.
11am – 1pm
Chloe will demonstrate basic sewing machine skills, working with participants on the design and applique of your own hand made cushion.

Sewing and textiles
2pm – 4pm
For the intermediate sewer, this session will cover a demonstration on pattern cutting, technical and sewing terminology and the construction of an easy fitting take home garment.

Basic machines are provided, but please feel free to bring your own machine.

Ceramics with Eimear O’Caoilte and Niamh Conlan:
11am – 1pm
In this two-hour session you will design and create your very own ceramic wall hanging. Using slabs of clay with stencils and imprinted textures you can create unique pieces such as ceramic birds to hang, or even personalised decorative tiles. Here, there are no limits to what you can create.

Ceramics 2 with Eimear O’Caoilte and Niamh Conlan
2pm – 4pm
This session will teach participants the skill of coil building and allow you to take away you very own hand built pot! We will also cover some decorating techniques to help achieve a truly personal and unique piece of work.

Both sessions are aimed at beginners, everyone welcome to come get their hands dirty!!


Fri 11th May – An Audience with John Connors
Sat 12th May – David Keenan Band – Harry Hoban & The Brothers Kane
Sun 13th May – Ye Vagabonds & The Murphy Beds

Click here for a full look at what is happening at The Duncairn




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