Pub Music and U2 is probably what you think of when you think of Irish music. You wouldn’t be entirely wrong, because I certainly ran into a lot of that during my spring break vacation on the Emerald Isle.
But with not much to do on a Wednesday night in Galway, on the West Coast of Ireland, my boyfriend and I decided to check out some local acts at a bar called The Cellar.
With no expectations besides relaxing with €3 pints of Tuborg (think PBR) we settled into the basement venue and were pleasantly blown away.
The show is a weekly even called Citóg, which according to their Facebook, “is an old Irish term denoting a left-handed person. Sinistrality being considered a sign of the devil, the term Citóg was often ascribed, in a derogatory manner, to those considered ‘a bit special’.
Citóg is also a weekly musical celebration of bands and artists we consider to be a bit special. In a good way.”
We walked in halfway through the opening band Canaries. Self described as a “five piece surf mariachi band” on the Facebook event, we were wary. From experience, the more wacky your band description is, the more jumbled your sound ends up being. But Canaries did not disappoint. When listening I couldn’t help feel like they sounded like someone. Showing the below video to a friend later she said “Bon Iver, but like pop-ier?” I could sort of see it and somehow the surf mariachi band descriptor seemed to fit perfectly. Their lilting chords and soothing lyrics are almost hypnotic. The kind of music that you can really listen to as you sway because you’re into it, not because you don’t know what to do with your body.
Willow Sea, (pictured) a large man with a flaming orange beard and a gentle voice, simply dominates behind his massive setup of keyboard, laptop, and electric guitar. Willow Sean’s sound hits you from all around, each element reaching you at different rates and volumes. It’s almost a bit like watching a mad scientist at work as his alternates between instruments to create a unique sound that is constantly changing.
We had to duck out before the final act Boy Fights, but I’ve included a video of their performance below.
So for all you castle kids and anyone going abroad I urge you to check out the local music scene, because you never know who you may see.