June 09, Sunday
This was our second visit to Galway. We left Galway three days ago and visited Sligo and Belfast. We had a good time in Belfast. Now we had to drive all the way back from Belfast to Galway to see the Irish show “Trad on the Prom”. In Ireland, we have tasted Irish food, seen and appreciated the natural beauty of their national parks and beaches, visited some of their famous castles. We have also experienced Irish hospitality and the warm welcome and friendship they offer to tourists who visit their country. We did not want to go back without having a taste of their culture and music.
“Trad on the Prom” has become one of the highly rated Irish cultural shows in Ireland. Unlike the Celtic Woman, this show is a mixture of Irish music and Irish dance. The show is available only in Galway at the Galway Bay hotel. It runs from 9:00 PM to 11:00PM. To make sure we could attend the show without any problems, we booked a room in the Galway Bay hotel for the night.
We came to the hotel in the afternoon and found the hotel to be in an exclusive area. The hotel is on the other side of the road facing the beach or the promenade. This could be the best hotel in Galway. We would have missed it if we did not come back for this show. We checked into our room and then came out to inquire about the show. There was a separate reception to handle inquiries about the show. Mala talked to the girl at the reception. She advised us to come early around 8:30 PM to make sure we get good seats. The seats were not numbered and you can sit anywhere in the area designated for your tickets.
Mala said we wanted to have dinner before the show. It appeared the restaurant was fully booked for the night. The girl went through the books and managed to book a table for two at 6:15PM. That was the best she could do. We went back to our room, got dressed up for the occasion and came out at 6:15 PM to have dinner. The restaurant was full, but we were given a table in a far corner. It was a set dinner with a limited selection and they served a free wine. When I asked to see the wine list and the prices, the girl who was serving us said there was no price list. The dinner was included as part of the show and you get a free glass of wine with the dinner. We have only bought tickets for the show, and the tickets did not include a dinner. While I was waiting to be served, Mala got up and went back to the reception where they issued tickets and told them she wanted to pay for our dinner. She wanted to make sure we pay for our dinner. The girl at the reception thought we bought tickets for the show including dinner and booked a table for us. There was no way of checking whether we paid or not. She was thankful Mala came to her and volunteered to pay for it.
The show was definitely the best show we have seen for a long time. I was thinking that it would be like any other cultural show where you are bombarded with monotonous tunes. I was willing to put up with it for the sake of Irish culture. What we experienced was something totally different. To say the least, it was a brilliant and electrifying performance from the beginning to the end. Unfortunately, the audience was requested not to use cameras. We do not have any photos to add to this blog. We found the people have come from all corners of the world to see this show. There were people from France, UK, Australia and many other countries.
The main person in the show was Mairin Fahy. She and her sister both take part in most of the items. The show started with an introduction about the show by her husband Chris Kelly. He is the producer of the show and also the person who made announcements and explained things about the show. He is a great guitarist. He said their show has been rated as the best Irish show of the year for the last five years. The group of musicians and dancers who take part in the show have acted in the films like River Dance,The Chieftains and Lord of the Dance. Their members have collectively won a total of seventeen world championships. One girl, Claire Greaney, in particular has won the world championship for the sixth time and is the reigning world champion. She is one terrific dancer and glides smoothly on the floor as if she is floating in air. There were four girls including the champion dancer in the dancing unit. They all performed in the River Dance that toured all the countries including Australia. I was watching their foot movements and their amazing ability to glide along the floor in quick steps. The two young boys who performed the Irish tap dance are the world champions for the fifth time.
Gerard Fahy is well known among Irish musicians He was the music director of the film Lord of the Dance. He proved his versatility by performing solo and playing an Irish Instrument made out of pipes. The only accompanying instrument was the drum played by Mairin’s sister Yvonne Fahy. For some of the group performances, Gerard played the flute. Mairin’s sister Yvonne gave a solo performance in drums. She also could play several instruments including the Accordion. The show was so good that we wanted to buy some of their CDs which were on sale at a counter.
After the show, we went to congratulate the performers. We shook hands with them and told them how wonderful the show was. They wanted to know where we came from. We said Australia, but originally from Sri Lanka. We further added that we were in Galway three days ago, but had to go to Sligo and Belfast. Today we came back from Belfast specially for this show. It was the truth and the whole cast were thrilled to hear about it. Mairin and the Gerard autographed our CDs for us.
It was a fabulous night and we did not have to travel far to sleep. We went back to our room in the hotel just one floor away.
Tomorrow we would be driving to Dublin. We wouold be meeting our friends David and Marlene who were doing a group tour and coming to Dublin for two days.