What’s up Ireland family, I’ve got some good vibes to be sharing with ya today. Summer is nearly over, so let me take you back to the other side of it once more. This one takes place in May, and was actually during the very week that I decided to take up the idea of blogging and was setting everything up to begin posting. I was still living in Skibbereen of West Cork at this point, and it was a Saturday night. I was without a plan for the evening, when I received a message from my good friends Sonia & David inviting me out to the village of Leap for the night. The evening’s entertainment was to be taking place in the renowned venue Connolly’s of Leap, and was set to be a night of Reggae provided by Irish artist Cian Finn with support from The Uplifter coming from the UK. I didn’t really know what to expect, I didn’t know of either artist nor was I typically one to listen to Reggae on the regular, but in usual fashion I was down to give it a try. Thus, off I went, and also discovered that my friend David is a massive fan of Cian Finn, speaking highly of him so I was looking forward to what was in store.
I showed up early enough and met up with my friends, and the evening was underway. First up on the agenda was The Uplifter, a fellow by the name of Tom Earwaker hailing from Southampton. I mean, that right there has got to be an indication of what was to come. Even his ordinary name is suggestive of what’s in store, as I personally feel like my ears were woken to something new that evening (Yes, I just did that. Carry on.). With that out of the way, let’s get to his performance on the night to open things up. An electrifyingly energetic and enthusiastic character on the stage, he was an absolute joy to watch as his personality swept through the venue infecting (In a good way!) everyone present. Take away the music, and he seemed like he could still convince a room to dance. We didn’t have to test that theory however, as fortunately he was indeed providing music. From his DJ set-up he sent forth waves of good vibes and beats to warm the souls and soles of the many inspired dancing feet with humans attached in attendance. However that is only part of what The Uplifter was doing on stage. The main thing about his performance, and what is great fun to see unfold, is his incorporation of live-percussion to compliment the DJ element of his set. To one side of him, DJ set-up, to the other, complete array of percussion instruments with which to drum away at. The overall result is an art form in itself, as he dances around on stage with a care-free manner and a love of life and what he’s doing evident in every aspect. Just a genuine character through and through, having absolute fun whilst providing the means for those around him to experience an equally great time.
Next up it was the turn of Cian Finn to carry on the evening. Like Tom before him, Cian is an artist with an incredible presence on stage that embodies his passion for what he does. His music is deeply infused with a Celtic energy and rich culture, combined with a solid foundation built on the solidarity of love and happiness. Also an exceptional vocalist, Cian Finn’s songs spread great messages about life, freedom and kindness. Cian had the floor rolling as everyone in the venue let loose and moved to the music, dancing and having a brilliant time. There was no space for negativity or sadness in this atmosphere, only purely good vibes and emotions. I personally recommend checking out his music video for his song ‘So Nice’ on YouTube here, and you can also listen to a bunch of his music on the home page of his website here, they’re all really good but the song ‘Ireland’ is one I particularly really like.
The end of the night rolled around and I was just about ready to depart the venue and be on my way, when I spotted Tom hanging about, with a bunch of Vinyl’s for sale. Well inevitably, I made my approach. My wallet screamed at me that I said before I came out that I couldn’t afford any merch tonight if there happened to be any. I ignored it’s pleas, and greeted Tom when I got the opportunity. True to everything that he came across as before, Tom is about as down to earth as they come, and was an absolute pleasure to meet and converse with. I purchased his vinyl, and he took the opportunity to give one of the more unique signings of Merch I’ve ever had, and nabbed a selfie with him for good measure. Eventually we parted, and I left the venue, where I happened upon Cian outside, where he was very friendly and also posed for a picture with me. As it so happened, Cian had intended to bring merch and forgot to bring it, but then my wallet was as barren as anything by that point so it probably wouldn’t have mattered much. Cian does have an album out called ‘This Applies’ and I’ll probably pick that up for myself at some point down the line when I can.
The Vinyl I collected on the evening contains 2 tracks with 3 variations each. On the first side is his song ‘Flag So High’, with variants ‘Brass So High’ and ‘Dub So High’. On the other side is ‘Freedom Chant’, with ‘Freedom Melodica’ and ‘Freedom Dub’ accompanying. I’ve had a whole lot of fun listening to the vinyl the last couple months as the songs are really good, and also feature vocals from Tom aswell! I’ve been following The Uplifter’s social media since that evening, and evidently West Cork had as much of an impression on him as he had on us, as he wasted no time in planning an immediate return and has a permanent pin now embedded into his locations to reach as he goes about performing. He put together a fantastic short video about his trip here and the time he had which I highly recommend as it’s a great recap of the events that happened. You can check that out on his Facebook here. He made his return to West Cork in De Barra’s in Clonakilty about 2 weeks ago, though unfortunately for reasons out of my control I was unable to make the journey to attend, much to my dismay. However I at least got a small taste of it from this video he threw up from the night and it looked like great fun. I believe I read somewhere that Tom is currently working on putting out an album which should be really awesome when that gets launched, and I’m sure on that occasion I’ll be returning with more to show y’all. Tom is also half of a DJ Duo called “Still-Moving DJ’s” which you can check out on their website here. That’s about it for now, so as always remember, keep on Merchin’!
Oh I almost forgot. Tom is a massive fan of Dinosaurs, so here, obligatory Dinosaur pic.