How To Be Irish in Philly This Week
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It’s Irish Fall Weekend in N. Wildwood. You know what that means. Music, food, parades, vendors, and fun by the sea.
On Friday night, catch Belfast Connection, Celtic Connection, the Bogside Rogues, Sean Fleming Band, and Secret Service in the Tent at the Point at Moore’s. On the free live entertainment stage, you’ll hear Brimingham 6, Celtic Pride, Ballina, Moira Maestro McKinney, First Highland Watch, all of whom will be playing the following day as well.
On Saturday, you can hear the Highland Rovers Band, Derek Warfield and the Young Wolfetones, and Celtic Connection at the music tent. That’s after you’ve participated in the 5K run and 1 Mile Walk or taken your free Irish dance lessons at the Anglesea Volunteer Fire House at 2nd and Olde New Jersey Avenues. Don’t forget the Brian Riley Pipe Exhibition at 10 AM with six of the best pipe bands on the east coast. And on the free stage, the Broken Shillelaghs close out the evening.
On Sunday, there’s a parade that starts at 12:30 PM at 24th and Surf Avenues. That follows a Catholic Mass at St. Anne’s Church, 2900 Atlantic Avenue in Wildwood at 10:30 AM.
But that’s not all. This is a big weekend for Irish musicians in New Jersey, as it always is. On Friday night, No Irish Need Apply is performing at Owen’s Pub in North Wildwood, followed by the Birmingham 6. You can hear Clancy’s Pistol at the Anglesea Pub along with the Willie Lynch Band, the Paul Moore Band at Westy’s Pub Deck, Irish Slamm Band at Flip Flopz and the Broken Shillelaghs at Tucker’s in nearby Wildwood.
On Saturday, Slainte (an offshoot of Jamison) is at Keenan’s Irish Pub in North Wildwood, while the Broken Shillelaghs will be at Tucker’s in Wildwood. Don’t miss the Hooligans (with the wild and crazy Luke Jardel) at Westy’s Pub Deck, the Barley Boys at Westy’s Downstairs, the Shantys at the Anglesea Pub tent, the Irish Slamm Band still at Flip Flopz, Seamus Kelleher at Owen’s Pub, the First Highland Watch at the Shamrock Pub, the Malarkey Trio at Westy’s Downstairs, the Paul Moore Band encoring at Westy’s Pub Deck, and Galway Guild at the Anglesea pub tent. We know we’re missing some, but hey, that’s a lot of Irish bands to account for.
On Sunday, the music plays on with some of the same bands. A few changes: the Essex Pipes and Drums will be playing at Owen’s at 3-4 and Barley Juice will be at Flip Flopz from 7 to 11.
Blackthorn will be performing in Sea Isle City this weekend at various times at La Costa, along with West of Galway and Cletus McBride.
And Jamison has six gigs over the weekend, sometimes one right after the other. See them at Casey’s on Third in N. Wildwood on Friday, at Keenans from 4-8 PM, then Casey’s from 9:30 till who knows when on Saturday. They’re back at Caseys on Sunday at noon. They’ve just released a new CD and you’ll get it first if you hook up with them at the shore.
You might think that with all that going on in Jersey, things would be quiet elsewhere, but no! The “Irish Superbowl”—the Sam Maguire Cup match between Donegal and Mayo Gaelic footballers—is on in Croke Park in Dublin. There’s a big pep rally at the Irish Center on Friday night in the ballroom with live music, food, and drink specials (though, alas, we haven’t heard that the Donegal and Mayo societies are sending cheerleaders). Then you can watch the game on TV over a home-cooked Irish breakfast at the center on Sunday at 10 AM for only $20 for the game and $10 for the breakfast.
The Irish Center is also hosting Donegal fiddlers Peter Campbell and Caoimhin Mac Aoidh on Friday night in the Fireside Room. The two will also be appearing on Sunday at the West Chester University Phillips Autograph Library in West Chester.
Oh, but that’s not all. If you can’t go to the shore for the weekend, how about the river? Maggie’s Waterfront Café is holding its own Irish Fall Weekend on Saturday featuring drink specials and The John Byrne Band.
Byrne has started a new regular Sunday session at Maloney’s of Ardmore which will be having two sessions every week. The second, on Tuesday, is the heretofore itinerant session from the Shanachie Restaurant in Ambler, which closed several months ago, led by Fintan Malone. The Shanachie session moved down the street to Finn McCool’s, but when the pub closed after a rear wall collapsed, the session musicians wound up playing in private homes. Now they have a pub to call their own.
How about a blast from the past? The Tannahill Weavers will weave their Scottish musical magic at the Sellersville Theatre on Sunday night. Members get in for half price.
On Tuesday, William Desmond, Irish philosopher and professor at the Higher Institute of Philosophy at the Katholicke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium and at Villanova, will be leading a discussion at Villanova’s Driscoll Auditorium on the complexities connected with the philosophical thinking development in the Irish tradition. We Irish love to philosophize.
Then on Wednesday, Irish brothers and musicians Cillian (“Lunasa”) and Niall Vallely will perform at a house concert in Voorhees, NJ. They’re back the following Sunday for a concert at the Coatesville Cultural Center.
Fresh from her triumphant appearance at the Democratic National Convention, one of the “nuns on the bus,” Sister Simone Campbell, will be speaking at Chestnut Hill College on Thursday. Not only is she a religious leader, she’s an attorney and poet who lobbies on issues of peace building, health care, comprehensive immigration reform, and economic justice.
Also on Thursday, the Irish group, BUA, will be performing at a house concert in Ambler. In 2009, they won the Irish Music Awards’ “Top Traditional Group” prize.
Next weekend: Bethlehem’s Celtic Classic, definitely worth a trip north; the Philo Ball at the Doubletree by Hilton, which is raising money for St. Malachy’s School in North Philadelphia; and plenty more. Check our calendar for all the details.