Danny Kyle was a Scottish folk singer who campaigned for the revival of traditional Scottish music. He passed away in 1998 and there is now a stage dedicated to him at Celtic Connections. Celtic Connections is one of the biggest trad festivals in the world. The Danny Kyle Open Stage invites applications from emerging acts. Luckily, TRÚ was accepted to play a slot at the festival.
After our gig, we met a film-maker called Michael working as MANNA Visuals. He told us a story. He said a few years ago, he died. He went to two places. One place you'd want to go; the other, you'd never want to go there. He asked us if he could film a few us playing on the streets of Glasgow. So we met him the morning after and he came up with this beautifully shot video of "The County Down".
We had sailed over on the Stena Line and arrived to Glasgow by coach. The first thing we did was to make our way into the Royal Glasgow Concert Hall just in time for an interview on Celtic Music Radio. You can listen here from 53mins.
Then we headed downstairs to the Danny Kyle Open Stage for a soundcheck. Thanks to a few lads from Tyrone now living in Glasgow, we managed to muster up a guitar amp and a floor tom, to complete our bare ensemble. We don’t need much of a set-up anyway...
On our way back to the venue after a coffee in a local pub, Zach got a phonecall from the MC, Liz Clark:
“Where are yis?” in her thick Glaswegian accent.
“Two minutes away,” came the calm reply of a man who knows he still has plenty of time before we’re due to be onstage.
“Oh good,” says she, “cuz you’re on next!”
Right enough, when we walked into the hall, the stage was empty and we were up. A hasty costume change later (replacing the ferry t-shirt with a crumpled rucksack t-shirt), we were standing in front of a full house getting stuck into our first tune – Newry Boat Song.
After that, we played Dúlamán, an original called Cailín Bán, Ay Waukin O, and finished with The County Down by Tommy Sands. The audience was great and we got loads of feedback. You can hear our set at this link:
What a city. What a festival. Here’s hoping we’ll be back again soon!
When we returned, Tommy Sands told me that Danny Kyle visited County Down a few times. He came especially for the Fiddlers Green International Folk Festival in Rostrevor. Tommy mentioned that Danny Kyle’s ashes are scattered in the meadow of Kilbroney Park. Hard to believe, but that spot is particularly beautiful; the view out on Carlingford Lough, with the Mournes behind and the Fairy Glen at the foot of the meadow.
A peaceful place to rest.