Séamus Begley joins O’Keefffe Festival Concert Line-Up

Muiris Ó Rócáin Funeral Miltown Malbay 20-10-2011
Conor Byrne (left) pictured with Philip King, Séamus Begley and Séamus Walsh after the funeral mass for the late Muiris Ó Rócháin at St. Joseph’s Church, Miltown Malbay in October 2011. ©Photograph: John Reidy 20-10-2011

Wonderful West Kerry warbler and outstanding musician, Séamus Begley is coming to Castleisland and has put his name down on the Sunday night concert line-up for the Patrick O’Keeffe Traditional Music Festival weekend.
He’s a massive draw and a coup for the concert.
I was going to go on and tell you more about one of the most obliging of Castleisland’s festival time visitors. However, I found and saved a ‘Four Minute Interview’ he did with The Sunday Independent last year. And it’s far more revealing than anything I could hope to bring to this page about the 2013 recipient of the TG4 Amhránaí na Bliana / Gradam Ceoil.

It went as follows:

Seamus Begley reveals his best decade, worst moment, secret skills, regrets and pleasures.

What’s been the best decade of your life so far and why?
I got rid of the cows in the last ten years and am playing a lot more music so it’s been good. I’m 65 today, it’s my birthday.
What was the worst moment of your life?
Running a farm is a lot of hard work but I can’t think of any one moment I would nominate as the worst one.
What secret skill or talent do you have?
When I’m touring Japan, I can’t wait to get home and get into my digger and do someone’s garden. I’m good at digging.
If there was one song you associated with your youth, what would it be?
Shores of America. As a young person I fancied the idea of going to America and making a few dollars.
What was the last lie you told?
I tell lies all the time. Little white ones. When I don’t want to do a gig, I’ll tell people I’m elsewhere.
What do you consider the greatest work of art?
The Sliabh Luachra fiddler Paddy Cronin died last year and is greatly missed. His playing was unique and magic.
Which local star in any field should the world outside of Britain and Ireland know about?
Dingle singer Laurence Courtney is an unsung hero.
What is your greatest regret?
Working the land can be a burden. I know farmers working 34 hours a day and who still feel it’s not enough.
What is your ultimate guilty pleasure?
Downing a few pints of Guinness in Curran’s Bar in Dingle when I’m back from touring.
Who is/was the love of your life?
My family.
What is your present state of mind?
A little bit forgetful as I’m jetlagged. I was in Milan celebrating my birthday.
What are the consolations of getting older?
Getting to do more of the things you love.
What living heroes or heroines do you have?
Joe Burke, an accordion player from Galway. His accordion playing is unmatchable.
What is your best chat up line?
I wouldn’t throw you out of bed for eating crisps.
What is the best lesson life has taught you?
To be nice to people on the way up because you’ll meet them on the way down.

Pure Dogs for an Audience

Now watch Séamus playing to an audience that would remind you of the ‘Pure Animals’ remark by the late Páidí Ó Sé.

In this case his audience grunted and growled at Séamus during his performance and were, to make no bones about it, pure dogs.
His Castleisland audience will be far less animal and much more responsive in an most appreciative kind of way. Just click on the link below to see the carry-on of them as he played.
Tickets for the concert can be booked on: 066 71 42555.