Arts Column with Conor Malone

Arts Column with Conor Malone

This Week's Highlights

The week starts off with a laugh as BBC Blame Game and MC at Belfast Empire’s Comedy Club Micky Bartlett headlines Comedy at The Green Room in Voodoo, Letterkenny.

The third of three Letterkenny Trad Week gigs takes place tomorrow, Friday, January 15 in the Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny featuring Liam O Maonlaoi, Kevin Burke and Tim Edey. Also on Friday, country singer Jimmy Hendry and his band present The Golden Years of Country Music at The Alley in Strabane.

There’s more country music with Derek Ryan who’s at The Millennium Forum in Derry on Saturday and at The Abbey Centre, Ballyshannon on Sunday. Pprolific songwriter and longtime Willie Nelson collaborator Kimmie Rhodes is at The Balor, Ballybofey next Tuesday night.

Letterkenny Pantomime Society’s Aladdin is on in An Grianan, Letterkenny from this Saturday January 16 to Saturday January 23d. Shows are at 8pm nightly except Sunday 17th when there’s a 5pm matinée instead. There are also matinées on the two Saturdays at 2.30pm.

The Mulligan Brothers

We have a trio of quality North American music acts coming to The Balor in January. Long time Willie Nelson collaborator Kimmie Rhodes is with us next Tuesday January 19th and songwriter/storyteller extraordinaire Gordie Tentrees comes to town on Wednesday January 27th. The gig I want to draw your attention to this week is one I’ve been looking forward to for some time now – The Mulligan Brothers (picturred) from Mobile Alabama who play The Balor on Monday week January 25th.

The Mulligan Brothers are Ross Newell (lead vocals, guitar, and songwriting); Gram Rea (fiddle, mandolin, viola, harmonica and vocals); Ben Leininger (bass and vocals) and Greg DeLuca (drums and vocals). They’re not, in fact, brothers but four musicians who met playing in music venues in Mobile.

Andy Peters from Frontier Promotions who has supplied us the likes of Drew Holcombe & the Neighbors, Red Molly and Viper Central recommended The Mulligan Brothers. He told me, “These guys are possibly the finest act I’ve ever brought over from America” and their album delivered.

“These guys are seriously good. In fact I’d go so far as to say that The Mulligan Brothers are one of the best pure songwriters I’ve heard in ages. I’m happy to predict that date at the Balor will be one of the gigs of the year.”

The Mulligan Brothers play The Balor Arts Centre Ballybofey on Monday January 25 at 8pm. Tickets €15 from 0749131840 or www.balorartscentre.com

Play On

Also on its way to The Balor is our first theatre show of the year as Borderline Players from Pettigo bring the Rick Abbot comedy Play On to Ballybofey.

This is a play within a play comedy farce following the antics of an amateur dramatic society as they prepare for their annual show – a thriller entitled Murder Most Foul.

Play On is a lively farce featuring a well-known cast which has been going down a storm with local audiences on it’s mini Donegal tour. For anyone who has ever been involved in amateur dramatics, it is sure to open a mixed bag of emotions. To paraphrase the old saying about groups of friends – if you think that your amateur drama group doesn’t have a diva…well it’s probably you!

Borderline Players present Play On by Rick Abbot at The Balor Arts Centre, Ballybofey on Saturday January 23 at 8pm. Tickets €10 from 0749131840 or www.balorartscentre.com

Homegrown

Homegrown is s a showcase for the very best of local Derry music on arguably the Maiden City’s most prestigious stage.

This years line-up features as Paul Casey & his band, Ports (formerly known as Little Bear) and Paddy Nash & The Happy Enchiladas. There will also be a slew of special guests including Eilidh Patterson, Eamon Friel and the Prima String Quartet.

Homegrown 2016 takes place at The Millennium Forum, Derry tomorrow, Friday January 15 at 8pm. Tickets £12.50 - £19.50 from the Forum on 048 7126 4455 or online at www.millenniumforum.co.uk.