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March 1, 2010
Whenever there’s a recession or a feeling of doom around, due to the incompetence of people who convinced you to hire them because they said they could do the job, part of the human condition is to crave entertainment. There’s a need to suspend all thoughts of bills and mortgages and job security, if only for a little while. It’s kind of like societies idea of a group hug. There is a need for quality live music and comedy and, all too often, the people whose responsibility it is to provide such entertainment believe that they know best. This is normally an incorrect assumption and is based on how they can get people into their premises without spending too much money.
There are some exceptions to this rule but they are normally the exceptions that prove the rule. So how do you fix something like this? You listen to your punters and you talk with musicians about what is possible. The reason this so rarely happens is because a lot of proprietors believe they know best.
The absolute exception to this rule is Foley’s Bar on lower Shannon Street in Limerick. If you decide that you don’t want to read any further, just go in there on any night and you’ll see quality live music being played in an unbelievable atmosphere. There is, however, a problem. The problem doesn’t reside in the venue but in the complete lack of support that is given to it in terms of funding. Drinks companies would prefer to go for the quick buck that is provided by sponsoring events in so called super pubs rather than take a look at a pub that slavishly supports good live music.
I’m not talking about some crusty fucker in a corner, triggering midi files and backing tracks while strumming an instrument that has become, to all intents and purposes, a prop. I’m talking about great live music, performed by top musicians who play because they love to play. When you play because you love playing, you entertain because there is an infectious energy in the performance.
I must point out that I am affiliated with Foley’s bar only because I love the place as a punter. I don’t work for the pub. Sure, I’ve been known to puck out the odd sea chanty to the merriment of the assembled bunch, but I’m writing this post because I am an avid fan of the place. This is the only pub running live music 6 nights a week and, on the night that music doesn’t run, it’s common for a group of musicians to just show up and start an impromtu session.
If you love music and you find yourself in Limerick City, head to Foley’s and I guarantee that, as long as you actually like music, you won’t regret it. Venues like Foley’s Bar should not only be supported but applauded for what they’re doing. What would be wonderful is if we could get the big beer companies to lend their support by sponsoring some of the many events going on there, including Foley’s House of Blues - which takes place on the first Tuesday of every month, Foley’s Honky Tonk - the inaugural night happens on the 16th of March with Limerick legend Joe Browne and The Dirty Dawgs, The Beatles Tribute Night - taking place on the 30th of March and planned events like Leonard Cohen Night, Johnny Cash Night, the Night of Guitars and many many more that I’ve heard of.
If you want your brand associated with something real, then support Foley’s