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Archive for November, 2016

GloamingNCH6

This photograph was taken during the 2014 run of gigs by The Gloaming at the NCH in Dublin. It was the second time I had photographed them using the long exposure technique (the first time was in Vicar Street a year or two previously). They always put on a mesmerising show, and each one of them makes a unique contribution, but for me the real star is fiddler Martin Hayes. Which is why I was puzzled when, as we were leaving the NCH that night, my wife said: “Martin Hayes has no soul”. I initially took this as a criticism, meaning that his playing was lacking in some sort of emotional core. But then I realised she meant that the only way he could have achieved such instrumental virtuosity, such dazzling and seemingly effortless brilliance, was by trading his soul. Like Robert Johnson and many others before him, he must have set out some damp night and headed for a God-forsaken crossroads, probably somewhere in the middle of Clare, where he met the devil and did the deed. On the outside he’s a warm witty human being, blessed with a rare musical gift. On the inside he’s a cold dead husk of a man. It’s the only plausible explanation.

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