The extremely gifted Sharon Shannon – once described by Gay Byrne on the Late Late Show as one who doesn’t talk very much – spoke freely to her intimate audience at Ó Riada’s in Ballymacelligott on Friday night.
“Mary Jones and myself have been talking about doing this for a long time and we thought it’s about time we did it,” said the Co. Clare born world famous musician at the outset of her concert with fellow musical wizzard, Alan Connor.
The packed house was treated to all the magic of their musical arsenal – and that’s considerable and over a range of instruments and on a home designed and constructed stage.
Mary and Sharon have built up a bond of genuine friendship over the past few years and they did indeed talk about Sharon doing a concert in Ballymac – at some point.
Sharon had played in the bar before and shared a few tunes with proprietor, John Reidy – who knows his way around the accordion and became Sharon’s stage builder on this occasion.
Friday night became the point and Ó Riada’s the venue and what it has launched is being spoken of in terms of positivity and potential.
“I’m delighted and relieved that it went so well and Sharon and Alan enjoyed playing here and the crowd appreciated the fantastic show they put on,” said Mary.
“I’m aware that there were many people here on the night who came to hear the music and didn’t open their mouths during the performance and I know too that others were simply here for a social night out and they talked their way through it and tuned in here and there. But that’s the mix you get with the pub and the music. And I’d like to thank all the people who came from all over the area to support us on the night” said the host.
“We learned a lot from the experience and thank God it was all good. We’re looking at having four or five big events like this in the course of the year. Sharon would love to play here again as soon as her schedule will allow her. The event has attracted the attention of promoters and they’re looking at the place with a fresh eye after the success of Friday night and we’ll listen to what they have to say and take it from there. But you can take it that Ó Riada’s and Ballymacelligott will stage events like this again soon. As ye say: Watch this Space,’ Mary concluded.
In conclusion, I suppose we can say that Friday night’s Shannon development has launched Ó Riada’s as a top music venue in the area.