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.
Posts Tagged ‘The Gloaming’
This is Thomas Bartlett, Iarla Ó Lionaird, Martin Hayes, Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh and Dennis Cahill, otherwise known as The Gloaming, playing in Vicar Street a few weeks ago. An amazing gig and an amazing experience to be watching it all while photographing from the side of the stage. It was set up for me by Paul O’Connor at The Journal Of Music, who published the photo and also a short article I wrote to accompany it. Big thanks to Paul, and also to Leagues O’Toole, Dennis Herlihy, Gary Sheehan and Iarla Ó Lionaird for helping make this happen.
The photograph above is also one of the prints that are in my current exhibition which is on view in Plugd at the Triskel Arts Centre in Cork. I went down last Thursday to set it all up and thanks are also due to Albert and Jim of Plugd for being so incredibly helpful and supportive. It’s going to be on until the beginning of July so do pop in and have a look if you find yourself in Cork city centre over the next few weeks.