Leading the Parade at the Hazel Grove Carnival Fianna Phadraig Pipe Band proud to support local charity fundraiser
Falcarragh 2014 - Day Two (part two)

In reality, our "Piper's Progress" was in fact what one might loosely refer to as a "pub crawl".

Falcarragh's main street is home to five pubs. The challenge laid down to us by the Festifal organisers was to march into each pub unannounced to the sound of the pipes and drums, interrupting if necessary the live acts already in full swing, and play a 20-minute set.

Needless to say, the boys in the Band were up for the challenge.

We began at The Corner Bar, where we crammed into a small space between the stage and the bar, receiving a rapturous welcome from the somewhat surprised patrons.

It was then straight on to The Loft, where we marched through a series of narrow guinnels, ducking beneath the low ceilings and narrow doorways to finally get through to a beer garden where the resident group graciously put down their guitars in mid-song when they heard the hoard of intruding pipers and drummers! A twenty-minute set in front of an audience who, once again, applauded enthusiastically - and not only when Mike's jacket and pipe cords started to catch fire after he stood too close to one of the oil lamps dotted around the stage area. After the set, thankfully, we took a short break to catch a drink (and our breath!) before heading off to Flynn's bar where the welcome was second to none.

Our next port of call was the Gweedore Bar, where our rendition of "A Nation Once Again" was echoed with passion by a vibrant public, who refused to let us leave without an encore of "Garryowen" and "The Rakes of Mallow". A quick couple of tunes in the festival marquee located behind the Gweedore, then it was time for another drink and a short break before returning to our home from home, The Shamrock Lodge.

When we arrived outside the Shamrock, only to see a number of patrons leaving the establishment, a voice was heard from the ranks of the Band: "They must have heard we were coming!". But, in truth, the bar was teaming with enthusiastic festival-goers who followed us through to the cosy, Mediterranean style beer garden, hopping and stepping to our jigs and reels, raising their voices in song to our own version of their favourite Irish songs and not least of all the Band's signature selection, "The Wearing of the Green" and "God Save Ireland".

After a couple of encores, the pub crawl was over, but we put down our pipes and drums with beaming smiles on our faces in the knowledge - by general consensus - that this day had been a defining moment in the revival of the Fianna Phadraig Pipe Band, in no small way thanks to the wonderful people of Falcarragh.

Indeed, the warmth of the welcome we received from the audiences in all the bars and from the people of Falcarragh in general is only rivalled by the extent of the appreciation and affection of each and every Fianna Phadraig Pipe Band member for the friends we have made in this beautiful town during our short stay in County Donegal.

But the night was still young and in no time at all the guitars and flutes where out, as well as Colin's magic bag of quite surprising percussion instruments and accessories. The session, led as always by Barry, Brendan and Mike, with Carl, John and Colin went on through the night, to the delight of all present.

A few photos to be going on with...



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