WESTPORT BOUND Singer Mundy will perform a special set with The Clew Bay Pipe Band at the Westport Festival of Music and Food.
Mundy and Clew Bay Pipe Band join forces
THE Clew Bay Pipe Band will continue their rise to prominence when they welcome Mundy as a guest singer at next month’s Westport Festival of Music and Food (June 29-30).
The festival will be the pinnacle of a very busy month for the band: After first taking up an invitation to Plougastel in France, the twin town of Westport, they also will perform with special guests Laoise Kelly, Edison and Coda at Hotel Westport on June 14.
The Clew Bay Pipe Band was founded by Achill natives Peter Carney (principal of Carrowholly NS) and Des Cafferkey (musician) and it was officially launched on St Patrick’s Day 2012. The group is made up of adults and national school students. The youngest member in the band is just nine years old.
Now, this group of talented locals will be brushing shoulders with the likes of Damien Dempsey, Ryan Sheidan and of course, Mundy on Sunday, June 30.
“We’ve always played ‘Galway Girl’ as part of our set, and Peter and myself were speaking one day about how it would be great to get Mundy to sing the song with us,” says Des.
“We got in touch with him a couple of months ago by sending a few of our songs to his email. We didn’t know what his reaction would be but he was certainly taken by [the version of ‘Galway Girl’] – he had never heard it played on the pipes before,” adds Peter.
Mundy subsequently got in touch with Peter, inviting him and Des up to Dublin to record some music. Peter and Des were delighted at the opportunity, and it proved to be a memorable day.
“We went up to Dublin last weekend where we spent three-and-a-half hours in the studios having great craic and playing music … and we came up with a few songs he’s going to play with us.”
Although Peter and Des didn’t want to give away too many hints as to what songs will feature, we can expect Mundy’s hit ‘July’ to feature at some point.
“We’re looking at a few classics to play, a few well-known covers that he likes, and that we like ourselves, songs that suit his voice and the piping arrangements.”
The members of the band were sent a text message to let them know they would be playing with Mundy – much to their disbelief.
“It was late in the evening when we sent the message, so we had to send a second text to reassure them it wasn’t a wind-up,” explained Peter. “They had to check the date on their calendars to make sure it wasn’t April 1,” he joked.
Over the past couple of years the band has significantly increased in size, starting out with 25 members and growing to 41. To cope with the increased interest in joining the band, Peter and Des have created a junior programme for new members. The current crop of junior members are said to be progressing very well and will be capable of joining the senior band soon.
Last year, the band played the Irish and German national anthems before the World Cup Qualifier at the Aviva Stadium. To add to their impressive resumé they have also played with The Chieftains, Matt Molloy and Jean Butler.
After the festival, they plan to take a well-earned break for the summer before launching into their autumn programme.
The Clew Bay Pipe Band will take to the Marquee Stage of the Westport Festival of Music and Food on June 30. Tickets for the festival are available at www.westportfestival.com.
Since this article was completed, news broke that Damien Dempsey will now join Mundy and The Clew Bay Pipe Band on the Westport festival stage.