Tryfi made a quick trip to co. Leitrim last night for the Ballinamore Free Fringe Festival. We borrowed Sir Dooley’s caravan for the occasion. Bids, Kev, Ganter, Brona, Simon, and myself piled in around 5 pm and headed north. It was an uneventful trip, filled mostly with gummy worms and conversation. Brona busied herself with a quilt she’d found in her attic recently. Gorgeous thing. Anyway, we arrived in Ballinamore around 7- just enough time for da boys to set up and dress up.
There weren’t many people about. It was a fringe festival after all- the closing weekend of a week long town party. Even so- it was a nice gig. I’ve never seen them tighter. I’ve loved the band since first meeting Simon, and I’ve been to every gig since arriving in Ireland. They’ve had many great sessions, but last night was one of the best.
After the gig we had a meal provided by the organizers, then mosied back to the camper for a bit of drink. We sang some songs (Wind
screen shield Wiper Blues- folk rendition), drank some cans, told stories, then went back out for a wander.
Ballinamore is a cosy town, filled with good vibes and friendly people. We walked the length of it, popping in to pubs here and there. There were loads of other festival goers about (well- mostly musicians from the other bands), and we made a friend or two. They told us to come back to Mcgirls for a German band’s set where apparently juice would be made onstage. We obliged, and ended up walking up an alleyway, through the back part of the pub, and finally to an old shed.
This ‘shed’ was by far the coolest thing I’ve seen in Ireland. No. Really. The absolute cat’s meow. I was beyond pleased when we walked in. A low ceiling, fairy lights strung about, random bits of art here and there. Not to mention the crowd- everything from hipsters to old men in tweed suits. I took a few photos, but I was more interested in living it than documenting it.
We caught the last few songs of a metal band- can’t recall the name. We danced, shook, shimmied, all that. I got to know our new friends a bit better. They were a band as well- Mandoll. We chatted, they flirted, I took the bait, and it was all around a grand ol’ time.
Finally the juice makers (Qwqwi) took the stage. Or rather, they wheeled out a huge contraption into the middle of the floor. I had left the camera back at the camper van, so you’ll just have to use your imagination. It was a rectangular table on wheels, about the size of a door. The entire surface was covered in wires, pedals, a chaos pad, and the like. They spent several minutes plugging things in, switching switches, pushing buttons, etc. When this was complete the pretty blond girl blew a whistle to get our attention. Each of the four members started chopping fruit, and tossing it into a bowl. Then the music began. We didn’t stay for too long- it was 2 am and we’re ancient. I’d also had a bit of wine and plenty of cider by then. We left Kev and Bids to the hipsters and headed off to bed. We missed the juice. Sigh.
This morning we all woke up a bit sore, but happy. We found a pub where we could get a fry, indulged in the 10,000 calories of an Irish breakfast, then headed back to the van. On the way we passed my hipster boyfriends from the night before. Kev chatted them up, and teased Simon over it. Finally, we all piled right back into the caravan and rolled south. Biddy brought out the guitar, and regaled us with tune after tune. He is our jukebox. We all sang along happily until we pulled into the farm yard.
Right, so. The end!