Entertainment: Traditional music (cont.)

While the capital is not the best place for traditional music performances (or sessions as they are known), there are a number of pubs which feature authentic traditional music. I'm extremely grateful for some expert recommendations from a friend of mine, Elaine Brennan, a classical musician and sister to one of Ireland's top trad professionals, Joe Brennan. She has supplied some invalueable quality tourist trad info (rather than the usual rubbish served up to visitors and known by locals as 'skiddely-shite') and some hardcore trad:

  • "I heartily recommends the Musical Pub Crawl which operates every night during the summer, and costs 6 [5 students, seniors]. A most entertaining way to hear good trad from authentic trad musicians."
  • "Gogarties itself offers about 2 quality sessions downstairs per day (one around 1.30 and one at 5, I think) and at weekends additionally offers later, non-acoustic gigs upstairs that usually attract a more unsavoury crowd. Not recommended if you want to bring Auntie Barbara from California. But the afternoon sessions (and lunchtime sessions on weekends) are quality , intimate, acoustic jobs. All Go-go's seshes are free. Bonus. And there's a restaurant too."
  • "Other touristy sesh places , all in the area, include The Quays, The Temple Bar, and Fitzimons (big style there, with Irish dancers and the works - Yuuuuuuch!  Quality sessions often take place in the Norseman pub (see board outside for details.)"
  • "For a quality, intimate sesh, Devitts on Camden Street (upstairs) [see map section N-54] on Sundays can't be beat. From about 8pm. As with all the other sessions, its free, but often a hat will be passed around. And the musicians like it when pints are offered to them."
  • "Hardcore sessions take place all week in the Cobblestone bar in Smithfield. Not for the faint hearted by any means. This is golden territory for the creme de la creme players. Major gigs are advertised. Next door, there's a purpose built tourist trap called Chief O Neills that offers sessions on the hour or something. Hmmm.Been there and its got the bar and the restaurant and the hotel and all. But touristy tourists only please. Round the corner, the bars of Stonybatter also offer quality sessions and many surprise performers. But can be a wee bit rough."
  • "Hardcore midnight sessions also secretly take place in the Harcourt. But I think you need to know a password or something. Normal gigs there nightly are advertised all over the town."


Many thanks for all those recommendations, Elaine. More map details soon

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