After a particularly long and frustrating wait at (definitely not in London) Luton airport courtesy of Ryan Air we finally arrived in Kerry well into the night to be greeted by this incredibly Irish looking chap brandishing a sign that said 'Smoke Ferrys'. It was most amusing.
The drive from Kerry airport to Dingle took about an hour across small winding roads and we only passed a couple of vehicles the whole journey. Our driver is a tour guide for eight months of the year and he treated us to a few bits of trivia about the surrounding area:
"to the left of you is a beautiful peninsula... glorious mountains all around us... of course you can't see this because it's pitch black outside"
...which was a shame but the stars shone bright so at least we saw something lovely.
Luckily we weren't too late for a few beverages at the local pub, Guinness naturally. After a conversation with one of the regulars about the Other Voices festival and how many acclaimed acts have played there like Elbow, Seasick Steve, Richard Hawley, Jarvis Cocker, The National, *cough* Snow Patrol *splutter* James Blunt, we decide that drinking copious amounts into the wee small hours is probably not the best preparation for an important show that's being filmed in HD in a church. Surprisingly sensible.
We arrived at this little church for soundcheck the following morning at 10am to be met with yet another technical problem, Kaf's guitar not working mainly because it's old, or in other words; vintage and well cool and stuff, ok? so what if it constantly goes out of tune, just listen to that tone maaaaaaaaaaaan. The techies dismantled the guitar and fixed it in a flash.
I found myself lingering around afterwards to catch some of Everything Everything's soundcheck. I do find their frenetic indie pop pretty nifty. I felt like a bit of a saddo fan boy though.
After that we wandered around the lovely little place that is Dingle, had some tasty vegetarian Goulash then sat for a few hours in nervous anticipation... what to wear?... let's have a whisky... oh, it's the most expensive whisky on the earth? ... right then.
The big moment came and after a spot of makeup we headed to the church and in through a side window at which point I smashed my head hard on the window pane and briefly thought I'd pass out before cursing myself for being such a lumbering idiot. The show itself was going fine until half way through Summer Fades when Kaf forgot the lyrics which caused momentary panic before realising it's TV and we can start again! which we did, twice. We played six songs in total, three of which will appear on the TV show at some point in the new year. I'll post it here after it's broadcast. It should look fantastic as they had these wonderfully vibrant blue and violet lights shining brightly on stage, like this:
The following day we set of at ludicrous o'clock in the morning to head to snowy Dublin for a show that had initially been moved to a different venue, as support act to Laura Marling, but then Laura became too sick to play so the show was cancelled leaving us in a bit of a pickle. Many flustered phone calls later and the show is back on at the original venue The Working Man's Club and free entry to boot. There was no support band booked so Kris and Rob valiantly stepped in to do a stripped down version of their band Story Books but they were infected by the Smoke Fairies' something-will-stop-working-on-stage-any-time-now virus and sadly had to cut their set short. More on those tune mongers soon. The Smoke Fairies' set naturally had a technical blip or two but it was a good show and well attended; a few crazies were in tow but you're bound to get that with a free show. And with that you have the last show of 2010 for Smoke Fairies. Bring on 2011.