Last night I saw the Blue Raincoat Theatre’s production of The Schooldays of Thaddeus K.
It was up to their usual high standards, and toyed with my emotions like you always hope good art will do.
It was underpinned by a detailed, focused and at times breathtaking sound score, put together and executed on the night by Joe Hunt. Joe has previously been nominated for this category in the most prestigious theatre awards in the land, and is one of the best at what he does in the country.
But that’s just his day job.
On the side he is one of the most noteworthy singers and performers that Sligo has produced in the last 40 years. He has fronted many rock bands, all playing original music, most notably Indian – in some people’s eyes the best band ever to come out of this neck of the woods. He sings Bowie better than anyone else I have heard, and has stolen the show on many a theme night.
He and his bandmates have inspired a whole new generation of musicians in Sligo, and deserve a good deal of credit for the very healthy state of the music scene here at the moment.
I wanted to write about Joe today though because for many years he stopped singing. I can’t claim to know the reasons why, all I know is that a show we put on in 2010 about the Sgt. Pepper album was his first time back singing in many years. And he hasn’t stopped since. Indeed partly as a result of this Indian have since reformed, released a new album last year, and have played a series of sold-out shows in Sligo over the last few years.
There are many people who played an instrument or sang at previous stages in their lives and don’t any more for different reasons. I spoke to a ‘lapsed’ pianist only yesterday.
And I have yet to meet one who took it back up and regretted it. Just ask Joe.
PS Indian play the Hawk’s Well Theatre this coming Nov 23. I think there might even be a few tickets left.