Funny Smells

Back in the day there was a pub that I fequented that played live music on a thurs or friday night. A tiny place but boy did a lot of bands go through the place. A small stage with enough for 10-20 people to stomp around the place. At the time the place was called De Burcas but it changed names so many times since…what difference does it make really …only that I had many a stompin’ night in the place. This was the bar where David Gray played before he hit the big time….an intimate venue if you wanted it to be and just big enough to have it packed out with all sorts of hippies and heads from all over. All people were interested in was the live experience and this brought out the most interesting kind of crowds.  I ended up working there for a brief spell later on under a different management who didn’t make the most of the venue. But, in those early days there definitely was a fair cross section of music going through the place. One of the bands that played there a few times was “Big Bag of Sticks”…these were a pretty far out crowd of musicians who played a blend that of music that just made you feel good about life. It has to be said that you would not be sitting down when they started to play….you just had to get up and dance. The place was always hoppin’ when they took to the stage.

They always had a funny mix of people who followed them around with lots of funny smells. And one of the singers always seemed to be with child or surrounded by a few babies outside in the tour bus. They were obviously not going to let the odd tour get in the way of baby makin’. But, we had such good times listening to their tapes that they released and trying to see them whenever they played in Cork!! You could tell that they were just trying to scrape a living by doing what they knew best. These were gifted musicians who knew ho to entertain and there was always that bit of an anti establishment message that they tried to get across in their songs.

They had a unique kind of sound for the time which not everyone would have embraced due to their outward appearance but they were always a nice bunch of people and we must have dragged loads of people to see them back then. It’s not as if we were dressed in 3 piece suits ourselves. We must have looked a right state back in those days. The fiddles, didgeridoo, bongos, jews harp, bodhrans…all sorts of instruments that combined in a weird and wonderful way to pull you up off your seat and onto the dance floor…… pure magic….


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