|Tuesday October 16 2007|
2. Stuck in Drunkineely
| Ode to Declan, Martin, Emmet, Seamus, Steve and Danny. Ah…Dunkineely…McIntyre's Bar! |
It was a bit like coming home after a long time away…really thirsty…In we walked and before long we found ourselves behind a pint of good old Dunkineely Guinness and the key to the upstairs apartment in our hands. We had tried to ask if there was a B&B anywhere, but the McIntyre family insisted we stay with them and no "buts"! To our great surprise and enjoyment we found that our friend Danny was staying up in the apartment as well. He'd been doing some gigs in the surrounding area and was using McIntyre's as a base to get to gigs.
Danny introduced us to his lovely friend and colleague Steve whom he was doing the gigs with. And sure enough the both of them then introduced us to "a few" more pints as well, as we went in for the famous Wednesday session. Everyone was there. Dear Emmet who had been keeping in touch with us all that time. Seamus who proved once again that age or the amount of teeth you own, have nothing to do with being a lovely singer and generally being able to have a great time. Martin Wilson, legendary box player, laughing away and never being stuck for a tune or something nice to say.
Steven and Danny both shared some lovely songs that struck our hearts. And Declan…well Declan is the only man I know who can be behind the bar taking care of everyone, keeping an eye on us and somehow manage to come and sit next to us and have a chat all night long, seemingly without getting as knackered as anyone else would. It got late… it got even later… and by the time it got early we remembered to maybe have a look upstairs and see if there was anything we should be doing concerning sheets and pillows. We found the beds and some sleep eventually. We decided to get up around 12 to start the work we would probably be too smashed to do…photo's…fil...ming…must find..a good..location…to…zzzzzzzzzzzzzz….
Having skipped the morning altogether we set out the next afternoon to find a good spot to collect some of the sights of Donegal. We needed to shoot some film to use for a clip to fit "Where Eternity Lies" and some pictures to use for our theater gigs. Donegal is beautiful…when you can see it. Not so romantic mist and rain greeted our bloodshot eyes and as Evertjan called it the whole country was shrouded in 2D views. No dashing shadows, not a ray of sun managed to find the earth….at least not where we were. It seemed our mission was cursed. Whenever we decided to get out of the car to capture the sun bouncing off a mountaintop or a shadow freckling the countryside, clouds closed in on us and took away all the hope we had of even getting one decent picture.
This misery continued for 4 days and it would be too depressing to describe our wanderings in search of a job to do. Instead I'll tell you what happened on the third day… And on the third day…the Lord saw fit yet again to dress the sky in grey array so that all despaired and went for a drink in McIntyre's…and then they rejoiced for there was much music and singing. It wasn't Wednesday, there was no session scheduled but Danny and was there, Seamus was there, we were there and, thank the afore mentioned Lord, Declan was there. Only our new friend Steve was missing. Danny told us he was still at a pub in a neighboring village where they had done a gig earlier. Suddenly Danny looked at us and started laughing. He held up some keys and said: "Ah f*** I've got Steve's car keys!" "Steve's key's??" we exclaimed, "But how will he get back here?" Danny just laughed: "I don't know, he gave them to me for safe-keeping because he was too drunk to drive!" and turned back to his pint.
Apparently Steve would get here with or without his car and when he did we just smiled, shrugged and acquitted his appearance to the Dunkineely magic social life… Well, no reason to sit around staring miserably down your pint wishing for the sun when you can grab 3 guitars, a set of pipes and have a session on the fly! By 5 o'clock in the morning many pints had gone down the pipes (the other ones) and we'd forgotten all about rain, wind and storms.
That is…until our friends Steve and Danny started a storm of their own…I'd just done my somewhat drunk rendition of Tommy Sands' beautiful song "There were Roses" using my last strength in an effort to remain coherent and we opted going upstairs to give Declan a break. For the next bit of the story it may be useful to know that song by T. Sands speaks of the ancient struggle between Catholics and Protestants in the North of Ireland….. Danny, Steve, Evertjan and me settled on the sofa's upstairs and had gotten some beers from the car.
Being a bit fuzzy in the head we hadn't noticed how suddenly our two amazing friends seemed to have jumped into a heated discussion concerning the song by Tommy Sands. You see, Danny had just mentioned how much he loved that song and Steve had concurred. To which Danny had retorted in so many f*** words that he knew for a fact that Steve hated the song. Steve then replied, apparently utterly surprised, that he did like the song and just hated the fact that a lot of people don't sing it properly. Danny on the other hand was stuck on the matter and didn't hear him out and to our eyes it seemed that there were two befriended bombs sat on the sofa, about to go off in the worst way!
We tried to get a word in to keep the situation from escalating (as we thought it was). Mark you, us Dutch people, we are extremely good at negotiating…but you see we were not actually in Holland…and this was ancient fire spouting from the hearts of our friends, this was Donegal…veeeery very close to the Northern Irish Border…ah…oh dear… Unknown to us this was merely a typical example of a mild discussion between the two passionate northerners. After a while they agreed to disagree and shook hands on it. When they finally looked up they found us trying to hide behind our beers looking like two startled, extremely tipsy cats. They laughed and hugged to show us that all our worries had been for naught. "We do this all the time! We're the best of friends don't worry now.."
Soooo...they do this all the time do they? Pffffff……