Monday, 16 April 2012


The Red House pub is the sort of place where anything can happen. Visiting ‘luminaries’ from Lismore Castle occasionally intermingle with the regulars from the town and divulge in all manner of conversation from Tolstoy to turkey rearing. In the creation of The Medicine Sessions, we’ve tried to reflect the nature of the venue and last Thursday remained perfectly true to form. The full responsibility of being the organiser is sinking in now though, I had a tense few moments waiting for the public to arrive from the empty streets of Lismore, which they did eventually, only delaying the start by a few minutes. The Irish public seem to be notoriously bad at adhering to punctuality when it comes to gigs, so from now on posters will state a start time of 9pm. Yet again all the performers were absolutely brilliant, sorting out their sound in good time and being all round nice guys, which makes doing all this well worth the effort, as does seeing the Medicine Room fill up with good heads!

Cormac O’Caoimh began the night, gently weaving a hush over the room with his beautifully rendered tunes. There is something magical about watching a lone artist lose himself in his performance and the ability to do so is the magic ingredient that arrests an audience. Excellent finger picking on his electric nylon string guitar, combined with the occasional use of a ‘stomp’ box and loop pedal, created a sound perfectly complimented by his mellow vocals, which themselves, contained an emotive nuance in their delivery. Cormac performed songs from his new album ‘A New Season For Love’ an object well worth hunting out on itunes when it is released on April 26th.

Our Spoken Word section quite frankly, took everyone by surprise, not only because only two of the Poetrio could make it, but, because the two who did turn up managed to invoke all the Gods of old gloomy beat clubs with wonderfully spun phrases and extra sensory imagery. Using their voices, a guitar and a saxophone, Gary Baus and Bren O’Ruaidh built an entire universe of lonely, wandering characters, old legends and rainy monochrome streets with the distant sound of trains. I have a theory that it helps to have a strong accent when it comes to performing spoken word and with Gary’s light tripping American tongue and Bren’s deep rooted Irish turn of phrase, the pair made the room into an international oasis of words.

The 'Open Floor' section of the night was graced by our local regulars, Matthew and Nicola Tull, who displayed guts and talent as they recited their poems. It really does take balls to lay bare your soul this way!

Dimitry Datus ended the night with an up-beat, ska-seated, bass-ripping, head-shaking set of original songs. Their tunes contained some gems of lyrical wit, which were delivered with a sure hand and a rhythm as sharp as a Spiv’s suit! Steve, the drummer, also did an excellent job playing a drum kit at a suitable audio level for the cosy Medicine Room, a feat which is almost unheard of in such band members. Their whole set added perfectly to that ‘end of the night’ feeling, giving the audience an injection of energy to add to the soothed hearts and electrified brains, administered earlier in the night by Cormac Gary and Bren.

Next month we have another excellent line up, so if you are any way curious, please feel free to call in and see what happens when you mix a room hung with oddments, three acts of completely different genres, an open fire and an audience from every viewpoint.

Thanks again to all the Medicine makers and takers who came along this month. Cheers!


  1. glad to see you going strong with this - one day i hope to be able to visit

  2. Cheers Pixie! It's a lot of work, but well worth the effort to see it all come together. Don't like the waiting for the punters part though, please god I never have to cope with an empty room! :) Lismore is well worth visiting, it really is a well kept secret on the Irish tourism map.