A Little Solidarity…

Old man, Ballyknow Quay, River Corrib, Galway,...Image via WikipediaI was fortunate to find myself in the beautiful city of Galway this evening – surrounded by the wild mystery that is the Connemara Gaeltacht, the Atlantic ocean and the rushing river Corrib, this city more than any other I’ve been to reminds me the most of San Francisco.

I was down to have a chat with the fabulous Vertigo Smyth and he was kind enough to introduce me to the guys who run Stress!!, a club night in Galway that’s gone from strength to strength hosting such acts as Daedalus and Scroobius Pip over the past 6 months.

By complete coincidence, Stress!! was hosting the David Lyttle Three. For those of you unfamiliar, David Lyttle is a Belfast-based jazz drummer with one of the most astounding work ethics I’ve ever seen from a musician. The man is EVERYWHERE, converting fans, spreading his music, touring relentlessly (look at the man’s tour history – and he’s only 25!)

But not only is David notable for the work he puts in, but the amazing artists he attracts to these shores. Tonight’s show saw Herbie Hancock’s bass player, Derek Nievergelt, joining David and fellow Belfast native Mark McKnight (Guitar) on stage. Jazz legends such as Jean Touissant, Greg Osby and Michael Janisch, have been convinced to play Ireland by David in the last year.

I’d go so far to say that David IS jazz in Ireland. (feel free to correct me in the comments, of course!)

It’s funny in this far flung place I could yet again be reminded of what Belfast has, what Belfast is doing and how what we’re doing here is special – important, even. The energy I saw, the effusive togetherness of Belfast music I witnessed at A Little Solidarity… this past weekend was utterly mind-blowing, utterly captivating and incredibly inspiring.

And tonight reminded me that this effusiveness is seeping out, beyond our little Northern Irish borders, beyond the borders of genre, thanks to people like David Lyttle, thanks to David Holmes, thanks to everyone who has had enough of hiding all these years.

And watch out – it’s only just begun.

And So I Watch You From Afar play Stress!! @ DeBurgo’s in Galway this Friday, 11/21.

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