Tuesday May 1st in the Sugar Club was a late night and we all started our jobs again early on Wednesday, busing out to Tallaght or back on schemes, or placements, or with Dublin Culture Connects, so the general story is we’re all a little tired, a little frazzled.
The music ringing in our ears is just about subsiding. We’ve showered off our dance moves. But somethings different something changed.
It seems we all woke up singing, singing all the tunes we’d heard, and all day we’ve been wrapped in a blanket of what we saw. Of what we made.
There have been messages. There was the one o’clock in the morning text,
“That was one of those nights that iron a little of the cynicism out of my withered blackened little heart”
“Congratulations on last night, it was brilliant fun”
“I am still singing, last night was remarkable and a very moving evening. I am so glad to have been there.”
We haven’t looked again at the pictures that were flying around last night’s social media, it will be weeks until videos appear, and it will be next week before we get together again. So it’s all about what we remember, what we remember changed.
Here’s what we remember. Five months of Tuesday night rehearsals with musicians Sinead and Cian in the room at the back of the Green Café in Walkinstown. Shy uncertain people blossoming over time. Every Tuesday. Raining and dark and cold. 123 bus. Longmile Road bus stop. Every Tuesday. Picking tunes, changing tunes, trying to sing the tune. Laughing. Becoming more together than we could imagine alone. A trip into town to choose a club that was as accessible as we could find. A camera crew tagging along with us. A promo video. With just our voices. Seeing Le Galaxie play at their album launch. Stepping up. Stepping up to the mic. Speaking for ourselves. Every week a small miracle. Arriving in with a song we wrote. Finding a voice.
And through it all Dublin’s Culture Connects doing their best to say yes to everything. And Walk doing keeping an eye. Shall we do this? Yes. Sugar Club? Yes. You want Le Galaxie? Yes. As a support band???!!!!!????? Yes.
Saying yes is how adventure’s start.
Then almost as if it suddenly happened all the talk is of the gigs. The one in Trinity, the one in The Sugar Club. A surprise visit to rehearsals by Le Galaxie. The Trinity gig in the Hogwarts Room. Then the big gig. Showtime.
It whizzed by in a blur, in snatches of colour, in pictures burnt on the heart.
A bus into town and a burger in Captain Americas. A load in of musical kit, and mic stands and cable and noise and wondering how we’d all fit on stage and rapid sound checks.
A queue. A queue for us. Doors opening and people coming in and still coming in and seats filing and then the MC and the first band and Connor and The Activists playing really lovely jangly pop tunes. Everyone dealing with pre-performance nerves and getting focused, totally focused, really, really focused and more nervous and gathering back stage for a warm up and a calm breathing and then it’s us and we are on and;
Road hardened musicians bright eyed with wonder.
Cameramen struggling not to shake their lenses laughing with joy at magic unfolding.
The light the lights.
Hands raising in the audience, people standing, people dancing, parents fist bumping once we’d got through our song, and phone cameras and cheering.
Silence for the quiet songs and people willing it all to work willing it in wonderment.
Parents and family grinning from ear to ear grinning to burst.
And then it was not us it was Le Galaxie and there were impromptu drummers giving it socks as they set up and so much energy from the dance floor you could run the national grid and a gradual blurring of stage and audience and Le Galaxie (the legends!) dancing amongst the audience and coming off stage bot and sweaty and convinced they’d gained more than they gave.
Through it all gentle Orange T shirted minders keeping a calm eye on it all, so joy could burst out, and heaven it seems, is backstage.
Then it was over and afterwards me and my friend walking up the road soaked in the rain saying if you don’t really mean it you shouldn’t be making it.
Some people make things, make stuff, let’s call it art, because they can.
Others, other people, we make to live.
It’s a lot to take in and it feels like the start not the end and we’re not there yet but maybe Kathryn said it best,
“Joyful Noise means me a lot to me. The songs are great and as a band we have a lot of fun. It helps you make friends and builds your confidence up. When I started I was very shy but now I’m different and feel good talking a lot more. I was nervous at first but now I can sing.”
With the National Neighbourhood, we want every neighbourhood to know and “own” their city’s cultural resources so we build cultural projects in community settings. We connect artists, groups and villages with libraries, museums and creative places to deepen their understanding of each other and themselves.
The National Neighbourhood spans the Dublin City Council region, and brings together Dublin City Council’s City Library & Archive, the area offices, the City Arts Office and Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, in partnership with National Cultural Institutions (The Abbey Theatre, The National Museum of Ireland, The National Library of Ireland, The National Gallery of Ireland, The National Concert Hall, The Chester Beatty Library, The National Archives and The Irish Museum of Modern Art).