New collaboration with The Sligo Champion…

8 weeks (and 2 days) to go until Theme Night #26 in Vicar St. And the kind people in The Sligo Champion have asked me to write an article in their wonderful newspaper each week for the next 8 weeks with some behind the scenes information, a big competition, and maybe even some sneak peeks at the setlist,

The newspaper comes out on a Tuesday, but for anyone out there in Sligo who don’t buy it, or for anyone reading from afar, I will publish each article as a blog on a Tuesday evening for the next while.

So here’s what I wrote in today’s paper…

Hello everyone.

I’m delighted to say that I’ll be writing about the preparation for Theme Night #26 each week for the next 8 weeks exclusively for The Sligo Champion.

This time we’re heading back to Vicar St, where many of you joined us on what was an amazing night for Theme Night #22 last February.

And so in these countdown articles I’ll take you all behind the scenes, give you some input into the setlist, and there will also be a fantastic prize up for grabs one particular week.

The theme this time is Ireland in Song, and it’s actually the first time in the history of the theme nights that we have repeated a theme.

Theme Night #11 took place in what was then called The Velvet Rooms in October 2014 and was entitled ‘The Best of Irish’.

Given the history of the Vicar St venue however, and the important role it played in the careers of many Irish artists, we felt it would be appropriate to honour our own musical culture in this iconic venue in our own unique Theme Night way.

I remember Theme Night #11 well. Tabby Callaghan on only his second Theme Night blew us all away with his rendition of Joe Dolan’s Good Lookin’ Woman; Joe Hunt brought the house down with a haunting version of U2’s Running to Standstill, and Rackhouse Pilfer surprised us all by covering Elvis ‘n’ Spiders – a hit that Joe’s band Indian had in the 1990s.

And it gives me great pleasure to announce that Leon Mooney, the lead singer from the aforementioned Rackhouse Pilfer, will make his Theme Night comeback in Vicar St in April. And he has picked a belter of a song!

More next week…