Theatre at the Savoy/Seoda Shows

Although there has been some bad news in terms of the arts scene here in Limerick, there is still a lot of good news. Venues like Dolan’s, The Lime Tree, the University Concert Hall, The Loft, Cobbelstone Joes, The Blind Pig/Dr John’s, The Library (both the municipal and the bar), the Limerick City Art Gallery, Ormston House, Raggle Taggle and the Hunt Museum to name just keep on truckin’ and hosting events.  Here are two more great examples…

Theatre at the Savoy

Fred+and+AliceAfter starting last year, the monthly event, Theatre at the Savoy, is still getting stronger. On the last week of the month, there are two lunchtime performances on Thursday and Friday as well as a teatime performance on the Thursday evening. Performances consistently sell out (and at €10 for a play and lunch, it’s not hard to see why).

I went to see Let Me Be by Fregoli Theatre Company, in the lunchtime slot last month. The young ensemble from the Galway-based company did an excellent job on the original drama by Maria Tivnan (who also starred in the play with Kate Murray). The emotional drama, focusing on two young sisters, was deeply affecting and seemed to really resonate with the audience.

The good people at Limerick Local Heroes and the Savoy Hotel deserve some praise for organising such a popular monthly event. Next month, the play is Fred and Alice, written and directed by John Sheehy. The play by Limerick’s CallBack Theatre Company is billed as “a quirky love story played at a blistering pace” and stars Cora Fenton and Ciaran Bermingham. More information here.

Seoda Shows

387435_117583415092375_713653962_nAfter the great success of Thursday Nights @ Bourke’s, Seoda Shows is picking up where those events left off—showcasing the best in new and established Irish/international musical talent. Having enjoyed many a good band in Bourke’s myself, I reckon if these gigs continue in the same vein, they’ll do well.

“Seoda is the Irish for treasures. Seoda Shows hosts various concerts, shows, shindigs and shenanigans for the party faithful.” The venue is the same and while the events are no longer free, the tickets are very reasonably priced, with an even cheaper advance price i.e. €1/2 off a regular price of €6-8 = bargain.

On April 9, Fang Island is playing with special guests, No Spill Blood. Fang Island is a rock outfit from the USA and No Spill Blood is “a fun new musical group featuring members of Elk, Adebisi Shank, Hands up who wants to die, Magic Pockets”. On April 11, electronic pop twosome, Young Wonder, are launching an EP with support from supercool fiddle player, Dáithí Ó Drónaí. On April 18, the musical stylings of John Smith will be on display with special guest—local gal, Emma Langford.

This new venture is a brave move—one of those Jim Morrison and a bare-assed Indian in the desert but as they say “If you build it, they will come”. More information here.

Review: David Kitt at Bourke’s Bar on May 3

Leading Irish artist, David Kitt, played Bourke’s Bar last Thursday night. It’s amazing to see a musician of Kitt’s calibre in a small venue. In the pre-set banter, he said that the last time he played in Limerick a heckler shouted threats of rape throughout. The rapt audience this time around must have made a difference because he seemed genuinely chuffed to be there.

My first introduction to David Kitt was his second album, The Big Romance. It was played on repeat in the shop where I worked for my first summer job. At first, I wasn’t sure about it but I came to really like his brand of quirky, low-fi electronica. His music is peppered with intricate guitar sounds and loops. He has a distinctive, breathy type of voice too. It serves him well in his songs, which are so often heartfelt.

He played a long set, varying between low-key numbers and more forceful rock/dance influenced tunes. His songs tend to have onion-like layers as standard and I think watching him peel them back live with such intensity was pretty cool. He also did a rockin’ encore, even playing guitar while kneeling down to fiddle with the pedals.

He did lovely versions of ‘Step Outside In The Morning Light’ (which is on his debut, Small Moments and The Big Romance) and ‘Strange Light In The Evening’. I also really liked ‘Say no more’ from Not Fade Away.

As far as I could tell, there were a good few tracks from his latest album, The Nightsaver, which I actually bought on the strength of the gig. I was really taken with ‘A real fire’ (which he performed) but it’s a cracking album all round.

He also did a few covers including a version of Thin Lizzy’s ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’ from a covers album he made a while back. It was a gentle take on a classic. Although he broke down in the middle, he charmed his way out of it and recovered.

He admitted he was rusty but once he hits his stride, he’s seasoned and it shows. Although he’s a low-key performer, he has a great energy about him. I thought there was some new material thrown in there but since I’m not too familiar with the albums after Square 1, I can’t state it categorically! I hope there is for purely selfish reasons. If there’s a new album in the works, he’ll tour and I’d happily go to see him again.

The Thursday Nights @ Bourke’s gigs are approaching their six month birthday. I’ve grown quite fond of them (as have many others). This pub in little old Limerick attracts some big names—The Ambience Affair, Elaine Mai and RSAG to name but a few this year. And the gigs are great value because they’re free. Let’s be honest; you wouldn’t even get a kick in the h**e in this Godforsaken country for free anymore!

Next Thursday, May 10, Bourke’s will host two time Choice Music Award winners, Jape with support by Moscow Metro.