September 24, 2008

Musical Pub Crawl

The evening of our first full day in Dublin, Rocket Man and I attended a Musical Pub Crawl. This was the first time that we had ever paid for and attended a tour/event for tourists, and I must say that it was money and time well spent. I am sure that we had a good time in part because we were in a relaxed atmosphere amongst a group of people looking to have a good time in a couple of pubs. You never know when trying new things, especially when you leave your entertainment up to complete strangers who are asking for money, but we were pleasantly surprised and would go on the same tour again if we ever return.

We met up at the Oliver St. John Gogarty's pub in Temple Bar. There was a football (soccer) match that night, and the pub was full and loud. Our group left via the back stairs and made its way over to the Ha'penny Bridge pub for our first stop. This place is located, you guessed it, at the famous Ha'penny Bridge in Dublin.

Our crawl guides were Des and Dermot, shown below from right to left. Des was the outspoken leader and did most of the talking and explaining. He isn't Irish. He came over to live in Ireland in order to study the music and the Irish langauge. His partner, Dermot is a very shy man, but was a fabulous performer and even took a turn telling us the story behind one of the songs.

Des mostly played guitar, but also took a few turns with the Irish drum, called a bodhran. What does a bodhran look like? What does it sound like? See for yourselves:

We walked as a group from the Ha'penny Bridge Inn across the river to another pub. This way we got to see both sides of town. We only "crawled" from one place to another this once, but it was best as we got to hear more music. We also spent more time relaxing and enjoying ourselves rather than attempting to figure out where we were since we only had to remember one route.

One cannot possibly attend a Musical Pub Crawl in Dublin without having a taste of the local favorite. Rich, creamy, thick, and tasty stuff. One sip is akin to eating a combo meal from your local fast food place as far as calories are concerned, but tasty indeed. Also, pretty frosty glasses:

The music ranged from instrumental to a cappella as well as singing with accompaniment. We also enjoyed a few songs that were call-and-answer where we, the audience, performed the answer. At the end of the evening, in the spirit of the evening, Des and Dermot opened the floor to all of us. We were encouraged to come up and sing a song from our heritage that would allow for some audience participation; this was good fun as most people knew most but not all of the words to the songs they chose and the audience had to jump in to assist anyway.

Overall a very fun evening and as I said, we'd do it again if we got the chance!

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