TOGETHER AGAIN Mundy with Clew Bay Pipers Des Cafferkey (Pipe Major) and Peter Carney (Pipe Sergeant). Pic: Conor McKeown Clew Bay Pipe Band and Mundy reunite Neill O’Neill Tickets for Pipe-Versity have just gone on sale, and they have been flying out the door – with over 200 sold already. It’s not surprising, as the November 22 concert in the Castlecourt Hotel, Westport, will see much-loved singer/songwriter Mundy reunite with the Clew Bay Pipe Band after their legendary appearance together at the Westport Festival of Music and Food last June. Adding even more sparkle to the reunion will be talented local band Edison, who are also on the bill. Many got their first taste of Pipe Versity last summer, when the band played at the festival in Westport House. The show was full of energy and enthusiasm and kept audiences of all ages captivated from start to finish, as it blended traditional Irish pipe music and ballads with modern contemporary rock. It was an incredible, unique and entertaining show, that fused both old style and contemporary music with strength and passion. What made this event so spectacular, so special is the fact that the Clew Bay Pipe Band (Banna Píob Chuan Modh) is comprised mainly of school-going children and teenagers between the ages of ten and 18 years. The roars of the crowd were proof that the long hours in rehearsal, all of the button shining and uniform ironing, all of the anticipation and dedication, had produced something truly remarkable.
The massive marquee festival tent was packed when the pipers went on stage; by the end of the Pipe-Versity show, as many people again were crowded around outside, drawn by the pipes, the singing and the cheers. Since then, the band’s meteoric rise has continued, and they have recorded a special-guest appearance on Matt Molloy’s upcoming solo album and travelled to France to perform.
But the band was well on it way before that fabled Westport Festival appearance: In 2012, they played on the Aviva Stadium pitch in Dublin before Ireland’s crucial World Cup qualifying match against Germany. There, they wowed a capacity crowd in excess of 50,000 as well as a worldwide television audience. They had also performed for An Taoiseach Enda Kenny and then Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni and other dignitaries at Croagh Patrick, and played alongside the Chieftains at the first Westport Festival of Music and Food in 2012.
Their musical director and Pipe Major Des Cafferkey will once again be leading the charge at Pipe-Versity in November. Alongside him, as always, will be Peter Carney, Pipe Sergeant and Principal of Carrowholly NS, the band’s spiritual home. Expect a very special night. Pipe-Versity, with The Clew Bay Pipe Band, Mundy and Edison will take place in the Castlecourt Hotel, Westport, on Friday, November 22, at 8pm. Tickets (adults €10/children, OAPs €5) are available from the hotel and from Market 57, Bridge Street, Westport; Carrowholly NS and Knockroosky NS, as well as from the box office: 087 3965137.‑