Shane Filan – a night for Donal

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Last night I went along to the Knocknarea Arena at the IT Sligo for the final night of Shane Filan’s You and Me tour. The night was in aid of the Donal Parsons Trust.

Donal Parsons is a little boy who lives in Strandhill, Co. Sligo. In October 2013 Donal was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma, a very rare Children’s cancer. Donal is currently receiving 18 months of intensive treatment at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, Dublin.

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I was there to take photos of the night including the ‘Meet and Greets’. I was the only photographer allowed in to take the meet and greet pics…so no pressure there! It was fine though, everyone was very nice including Shane. I’ve met him a couple of times before but not in an official capacity.

Volunteers

It was great to see all the volunteers and everyone really joined together to make the night the huge success it was. The highlight of the night for me was a little girl in a wheelchair who was so overjoyed to see Shane that she phoned her friend to tell her she’d met him. She was in hysterics laughing, bless her!

Hugh O'Neill

Hugh O’Neill was the first support act. He was really good and got the crowd singing along with him.

Glenn Cal and friends

Glenn Cal was up next and after a couple of songs he was joined by Padraig O’Reilly and Dean Mahon. They were brilliant and got the crowd singing along.

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After a short break Shane and his band took to the stage. I’d been listening to the band before the concert started and they were singing Christmas songs and it sounded like they were having a great time.

Shane Filan

We were only allowed to take photos during the first three songs and I see that later in the show one fan got to go on stage which would have been good to photograph.

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A big round of applause to all involved for a wonderful night. I hope it raised loads of money for the charity. You can see the rest of the photos on the Donal Parsons Trust page.

Shane in Sligo

Magnum in Wolverhampton

Somewhere over BirminghamI had a very short visit to the UK over the weekend to see Magnum playing at the Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton. For those of you who don’t know I’m called Magnumlady after a rock band…and I’m still a groupie after 30 odd years of being a fan! The photo above was taken somewhere over Birmingham as I flew from Ireland West airport in Knock to Birmingham. I know people complain about the €10 fee to leave the airport but I rather drive 35 minutes down the road than have to go on a 3 hour train trip to Dublin.

MonorailAfter arriving at Birmingham airport I got the monorail (which I love) to the railway station and there was a train just about to leave for Wolverhampton so I was there in about 40 minutes. I had to head to the Wulfrun Hall first to pick up my ticket because they wouldn’t post it out to me as I don’t live in the UK…so that was a bit of a pain, anyway I found the place and got the ticket. As I was walking away I turned around a corner and there was Bob, Mark and Harry from Magnum. I was so excited I started babbling and fan girling! I do embarrass myself sometimes. After yapping for a bit I went on my way to find the hotel but I got lost and ended up walking for over an hour in circles. I went back to the hall so I listened to a bit of the Magnum sound check and tried to get directions from the security guard.

WolverhamptonThe security guard, bless him, spent quite a lot of time telling me where I should have stayed! In the end he did tell me where my hotel was and after a bit of walking I found the place. I stayed in the Novotel Hotel which was handy for the train station but a bit of a trek from the concert venue. I quickly left my bag and went back to the hall to meet the ‘Magnum family’. I met these guys through the internet years ago and some I’d met in real life at another gig, others I’d never met. They are a fantastic bunch of people :)

NeonflyWhen we went into the venue our bags were checked by security. They spotted my camera and said I couldn’t use it during the gig. I’ve got a terrible memory so forgot that they told me that….well that’s my excuse anyway! I didn’t take too many pics as I wanted to enjoy myself but I did take some. Luckily I’m a shortarse and no one saw me taking them. The pic above is of the support band NeonFly who are the best new rock band I’ve heard in a long time.

MagnumAfter a brilliant set by NeonFly it was time for Magnum to take to the stage. What a brilliant gig, I almost lost my voice from singing, most of the people were really enjoying themselves apart from the occasional ‘dry shites’ who stand at the front and do nothing! I always wonder why those type of people bother going. The only downsides were the heat in the place, I reckon I lost about half a stone it was that hot and someone near us had a dreadful wind problem!!  Apart from that it was all brilliant. One of the funniest things was Magnum have a new song called Too Many Clowns and Clare, who I was with, had got us all red noses to wear during the song, the look on the bands face when they saw us was priceless!

Me, Rodney and ClareAnother highlight was having Rodney Matthews, a wonderful artist and a real gentleman, hanging around with us. Rodney has done the artwork for many of the Magnum albums. I also got to meet some of Magnum and all of NeonFly. We didn’t leave the venue until midnight…I was starving because I hadn’t eaten since I left Ireland so we all went off looking for a kebab shop. It was all going well until one of the lads walked into a lamp-post! He was fine but it was funny (I have a warped sense of humour). Rodney also ended up with a road cone on his head! After all that we went back to the hotel and sat in Rodney’s room drinking, I only had a small Bailey’s because I had an early start to get the plane back to Ireland and because I don’t really drink. It was great chatting to the others though, they are such a nice bunch of people.

Somewhere over Mayo

All in all it was a fantastic weekend, I had a ball….it’s great being a groupie ;) The rest of my pics are here.

Rock’n the Green 2014 Launch

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Last night was the launch of the 2014 Rock’n the Green Festival. I was taking photos at last years festival, it was a brilliant event, you can read about it here.

IMG_3789Last years festival raised a massive €30,135 which was split between Cystic Fibrosis Ireland and North West Hospice Sligo.

10175062_620195811405899_1501190860_nThis years festival proves to be even bigger and better. Above is the poster and there have been even more acts announced. To keep up with all the news check out their Facebook page.

IMG_3947I really enjoyed the launch last night especially the fire juggler, I thought he was brilliant! So well done to all involved and best of luck with the festival.

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The X Factor Live Show Dublin 2014

IMG_3441It was my birthday on Monday and I’d won two tickets for the X Factor Live show at the O2 Dublin from RTE. We were staying in The Gibson Hotel (which I loved and will tell you all about in another post). It turned out the X Factor contestants were also staying at The Gibson so there were a lot of fans waiting outside for most of the day.

IMG_3806We enjoyed the show. Luke was excellent and he was a highlight for us. There was a 25 minute interval which was quite a long time but I suppose the O2 wanted to sell as much of the €5 buckets of candyfloss as they could! Sam Bailey didn’t come out until the second half of the show. They were all great singers and along with the lights and pyrotechnics it was a great show.

IMG_4390All was good until we got back to the hotel. We got to meet Abi and she had her photo taken with Lucy and Jono, the others just walked by and most of them didn’t look at the fans. Although they were surrounded by security. Luke came out of the lift and I asked him if I could take a photo of him with Lucy, he said yes but by the time he got to the area where they were having their aftershow party he was pushed in by the security men and one of them grabbed my arm and told me off! Madness! I tried to explain that Luke had said he would pose for a photo but they weren’t having any of it. I think it was well out-of-order that this person grabbed me and he bruised my arm. There was no need for it whatsoever. It did take the fun out of the night for us.

We’ve often met celebrities in The Gibson but have never had to deal with security like that. There will be other posts about our trip to Dublin later. The rest of my X Factor show photos are here. The rest of my photos from the show are here there aren’t many as we were too far away.

 

If you only see one show this year…..

 

DSCF7388Make it the wonderful Jesus Christ Superstar performed by the Fun Company Sligo. Due to popular demand, following sell out shows in August it returns to the Hawk’s Theatre, Sligo on Tuesday 4th and runs until Saturday 8th.

IMG_3243I can’t wait to go back again and see it. You can book tickets here.