Swinford, Mayo, Ireland, was hive of activity over Paddy’s Day weekend and locals were treated to music and comedy that showcased Irish talent whilst supporting On The Rocky Road Again, a fundraiser devised by Stephen Kelly, aka “Cowboy” of Netflix series Hardy Bucks.
St Patrick’s Day is always a tricky date to schedule evening events in Ireland, especially with revamped anti-drink driving laws, so turnout for this cornucopia of talent afforded fans an intimate but lively gig – their follow up Dublin gig in Fibber Magees on March 23 will be even livelier.
The Paddy’s Day gig at Swinford’s Gateway Hotel had a mellow start with local musician Vincent Murtagh entertaining before comedy trio Three Bucks Left (Cowboy, French Toast & Salmon of Hardy Bucks fame) took to the stage to welcome supporters & thank musicians for volunteering their talent and time to support a worthy cause.
French Toast (aka Peter Cassidy) could charm birds out of the trees (or possibly kid you up a tree before cutting it down on you, he has the twinkling Irish eyes of a lovable rogue, one look into them and I found myself grateful not to be walking away with a lighter wallet plus a cob pony) and had the crowd up and dancing in no time to the fiddle, flute, guitars & lusty vocals of 4degrees West who performed the compulsory cannon of Irish songs required for Paddy’s Day, eg Whiskey In The Jar.
Michael Salmon’s developing comic talent is Andy Kaufman-like in its blend of self-conscious stream of consciousness replete with tentative pauses and a handy dandy notebook….whether Salmon is a wistful Don Marquis or a William McGonnegal is entirely open to question, as his straight faced delivery is matched by a (one assumes) shy aloofness that deters approach by fans such as I.
Not so aloof were Cowboy and French Toast, their comedic entrance was old timey music hall banter…perhaps aided by few pints of “the black stuff” (never mind Lenten promises, it was Paddy’s Day, after all.)
The much anticipated Mystery Guest was (probably to no-one’s surprise and guaranteed to no-one’s disappointment) Owen Colgan aka “Buzz”, Hardy Bucks star, actor, writer, comedian and social media butterfly whose Instagram posts are surrealism at its most sincere & self aware.
Colgan made his stage entrance to strains of “eye of the tiger” in fighting fit form and promptly put the biggest chap in the room in a headlock. As the biggest chap was my husband, I did get to enjoy a seemingly endless moment trapped like a moth overdosing on lamp in the glow of Colgan’s periwinkle orbs (poised above those of my likewise blue-eyed hubby) before the lads bounced with enthusiasm onto the stage. A minor tussle with the mic stand and some good natured banter was the extent of Colgan’s official appearance….his stand up act will be much anticipated at the Dublin gig.
Hardy Bucks spotters (yeah, alright, me) noted Big Mick “check for an Adam’s apple” from the TV series amongst the crowd as the night charged on with performances by sweet & soulful Sean Joyce, a phat set from Con Murphy and a tight Seattle grunge-influenced closing act from The Kerbs.
The musical talent on display was truly impressive and the upcoming Irish summer will be a great one for live music sessions if the Swinford gig was a taster.
On The Rocky Road Again raises funds for Beaumont Hospital, a karmic payback by a grateful Stephen “Cowboy” Kelly, whose life was saved by emergency surgery at Beaumont after suffering a brain aneurysm in 2016.
The Mayo and Dublin gigs (tickets at eventbrite.com) are a lead up to the main event this Easter weekend. An endurance relay by Kelly and Cassidy (plus any friend with cardio fitness) running 240kmsish from Dublin to Castlebar. Good Friday will see the lads set off from Dublin and it’s hoped Easter Sunday will see them arrive victorious into Castlebar to cheering supporters.
Donations can be made to the worthy cause by donating https://give.everydayhero.com/ie/on-the-rocky-road-again?fbclid=IwAR0R7ADCrNe-2ucoDCpF0UhGO-pTqrpSMIa-_3cnVukYIJcxbXvcBlYhVBM.
Follow @3bucksleft on Instagram and Facebook for further details of their comedy, their fundraising and for the craic, like.