Glen Hansard’s ‘Pluck of the Irish’.

The Glen Hansard documentary entitled ‘Pluck of the Irish’ aired on CBS on Saint Patrick’s Day and was very warmly received.

‘Pluck of the Irish’ is an intimate, moving look at Glen’s life and career and a must-see for Frames fans and anyone with an interest in Irish music. We’re delighted to share the documentary above and we say well done to the crew at CBS for putting together such a lovely account of Glen and his work to date. Enjoy.

Glen Hansard will play this year’s Festival Big Top on July 25th. To secure your tickets, click here.


She’s the One: Lisa Hannigan Plays the Big Top

Lisa Hannigan plays the festival Big Top on Thursday, July 26th with James Vincent McMorrow and Elaine Mai.

Lisa Hannigan has come a long way from the shy, beguiling girl who lent her stunning vocals to the Damien Rice’s juggernaut album, O. Lisa took her time before stepping into the spotlight solo, quietly honing her craft away from the media glare. A few years later, her caution paid off in spectacular fashion. Her debut album Sea Sew was a critical and commercial success, turning Lisa into one of the biggest artists in Irish contemporary music. Similar success followed with her second album Passenger, which spawned the feel good hits What’ll I Do? and Knots.

Lisa has been nominated for the Choice and Mercury music awards and has played to rapturous reviews everywhere from the UK to the US. We are very proud of her. Lisa recently supported the Frames in LA and will be touring with former Pulp member Richard Hawley, who she memorably sang with during RTÉ’s Other Voices series, covering Hushabye Mountain to spine-tingling effect. Lisa is known for playing intimate gigs but as her fan base has grown, so has her confidence as a performer so seeing her take to Big Top stage after her incredible successes to date will be something very, very special indeed.

Lisa will play the Big Top on July 26th, along with James Vincent McMorrow, another Irish musician creating major waves plus up-and-coming Galway girl Elaine Mai, who is hotly tipped for great things. This is a powerhouse of a line-up and tickets, unsurprising, are selling fast. To get yours and for more info on all things GAF related, check out right now.

We’ll leave you with a few of Lisa’s best bits, of which there are so many it made choosing three almost impossible…

Where to Begin? Highlights of GAF 2012’s Week One…

Writing in the Irish Times on Thursday, Laurence Mackin said of this year’s festival offerings, ‘An embarrassment of riches, but what else did you expect from the GAF?’ What else indeed. This year’s incredible line up keeps rolling on – check lest you miss out – but here on the GAF blog, we’re going to take a moment to appreciate what has been a magnificent opening week for GAF 2012. In no particular order, here are a few of the many highlights…


Oh, what a night it was in the Big Top on Thursday, when Nile Rodgers and Chic turned the Galway into a 21st century Studio 54. Rapturous cries of recognition from the crowd filled the starry night air as the hits kept coming from David Bowie to Madonna to glorious days of disco. You had to ask yourself, ‘is there anything Nile Rodgers hasn’t produced/written?!’ Even the sun showed up for proceedings. Before the gig, the legendary Mr. Rodgers tweeted to say, ‘Galway is FANTASTIC.’ It’s fair to surmise that the admiration was very much reciprocated, with many revelers declaring Chic to have been the gig of the year.

John Mahoney and Rondi Reed give an acting tour de force in the deeply moving The Outgoing Tide.

The Outgoing Tide

Bruce Graham’s The Outgoing Tide opened in the Town Hall Theatre to rave reviews and standing ovations. Starring John Mahoney and Rondi Reed, stage veterans and actors of immense talent and skill, the play moved audiences to tears. If art is an expression of what it is to be human, then The Outgoing Tide invites us to consider what we would want for ourselves and our loved ones as we and they move ever closer to the twilight of our lives. Powerful, deeply affecting stuff.

David Mach’s Precious Light

The crowds thronging the opening of this year’s Absolut Festival Gallery put paid to the notion that ‘most people don’t visit art galleries’. Simply put, when galleries are easily accessible, beautifully constructed and packed with incredible work as the Absolut Festival Gallery is (and will be through out the festival), people will come in their droves. The centerpiece, David Mach’s Precious Light, invites us to look at how the bible has impacted on our every day lives  and also the entire course of human existence. The Irish Times described Precious Light as ‘epic’, which also applies to the experience of seeing it. Not to be missed.

Artistic Director Paul Fahy with artist David Mach, creator of Precious Light at the Absolut Festival Gallery during its transformation from one time furniture shop to world class gallery.

Christy Moore with Declan Sinnott

After Chic, it was going to take something really special to raise the roof off the Big Top. Thankfully, an Irish man of legendary standing took to the stage on Friday night: the one, the only Christy Moore and what ensued had Twitter alight with praise and joyous outpourings. With support from Four Men and a Dog, Christy played a blinder and the crowd gobbled it up. In the words of a showband man, ‘send them home sweating!’ That’s exactly what the man from Clare did. A triumph.

The Great Goat Bubble

Economics can be hard to grasp. Nevertheless, after the financial turmoil of the past few years, more and more people are attempting to wrap their heads around the complexities of the financial markets. The Great Goat Bubble looks to continue that education in economics and reminds us of the dangerous forces at play when we invest everything we have in the pursuit of unlikely riches. Playwright, novelist and one time Galway resident, Julian Gough comes up with a novel device to explain the intricacies of the market: goats, which you can trade, sell and of course, buy far too much of at exaggerated, unsustainable prices. A cautionary tale if there ever was one, packed with wit and insight, The Great Goat Bubble (playing at the Druid Theatre) was a winner with audiences  and critics this week.

What do goats have to do with our economic collapse? All will be revealed in the Great Goat Bubble by Julian Gough.

We could, as Mrs Doyle might say, go on and on and on – but we won’t. Plenty of time to blow our own trumpet before the festival is out. In the meantime, thank you to everyone who has enjoyed the festival so far. We hope you continue to do so. For those of you who haven’t managed to sample the delights, there’s only one question to ask: what are you waiting for? GAF 2012 won’t be around forever! Check out and enjoy yourself.

A Moveable Feast: James Vincent McMorrow

The star of Dublin’s James Vincent McMorrow continues to climb and we’re delighted to be welcoming him to this year’s festival Big Top on July 26th. After the critical and commercial success of his debut album Early in the Morning, James has toured the world and played support to the likes of Al Green, Bon Iver and Iron and Wine. Not too shabby for a young fella who used to make his living pushing trolleys around Dublin airport.

James recently featured in the Guardian due to his participation in Bands in Transit, a web series looking at the role of humble transit van in the life of musicians, who use them to traverse the globe. Sure how else could you cart around all that gear? Like other artists featured in the series, including the chart topping Rizzle Kicks and the hotly tipped Ben Howard and Kyla La Grange, James performed in the back of a transit van, which you can watch below for a beautiful rendition of his hit, Follow You Down to the Red Oak Tree.

Thanks to GAF and the Róisín Dubh, James plays the festival Big Top along with Lisa Hannigan and Elaine Mai on July 26th. Tickets are flying out the door for what will be an incredible evening so to secure yours, check out

The Countdown Is On!

Galway Arts Festival 2012 gets underway in a matter of days and we are getting ridiculously excited for what is sure to be an incredible few weeks. For your viewing pleasure, GAF TV have put together a lovely piece on the legendary CHIC and Nile Rodgers who are set to disco the roof off the Big Top on July 19th, so why not grab a cuppa, stick the headphones on and have yourself a little desk boogie. The clip is below and don’t forget: for all things CHIC related including those all important tickets, check out

How to Do Disco: A GAF Guide

With the legendary Nile Rodgers and Chic playing this year’s festival (along support from France’s much-loved Nouvelle Vague) to celebrate our Chic Week here on the GAF blog  we’ve come up with some style inspiration for what promises to be one of the best nights of 2012. So dust off those platforms, drape yourself in satin and sequins, not forgetting the all essential huge hair and sparkly blue eye shadow. Got it? Good. Now, set your phasers to ‘boogie wonderland’ and take a look at the disco royalty below (some of whom might look strangely familiar…):

We Are Family: GAF’s Artistic Director Paul Fahy really is the greatest dancer – and why wouldn’t he be in his fabulous John Travolta inspired white suit? Slap on the Bee Gees and start practicing your dance floor strut and remember lads, disco is not just for the ladies! Looking fabulous on the left is Box Office Manager Frances Burke who rocks the all important Donna Summer-esque slinky body suit, while on the right, Digital Media Manager Tracey Ferguson is a real disco inferno with the gravity defying big hair and loud prints the Seventies are so famous for. Freak out ? Don’t mind if we do.

As Paul illustrates so well here, a disco ball is an essential accessory for any Chic outfit. Glittery and magical, just like the heady days of disco. Shazam!

Chic is one of the most hotly anticipated gigs of the year. To avoid disappointment, book your tickets (and reserve your disco ball) now. For full booking information plus more of Reg Gordon’s brilliant Chic Week pictures check out And whatever you do, don’t leave it too late to start practicing your dance moves.

Big Top Big 3: The Kanyu Tree

Every year, Galway Arts Festival prides itself on bringing the world’s best, most creative acts and artists to the West of Ireland so it is really special to be welcoming local lads the Kanyu Tree to the Big Top on July 27th where they’ll perform with the Coronas and Bressie, a testament to how far the Kanyu Tree have come in the past twelve months. With sunny songs just built for the radio and an ever-growing fan base, these Salthill brothers are definitely ones to watch and to wet your appetite, here are the lads doing what they do best:

It isn’t often that you get some of the biggest, most popular Irish acts of the moment playing on the same bill so tickets for July 27th are hot-hot-hot. For more info and purchasing details, check out

Big Top Big Announcement!

The word ‘legend’ is bandied about a lot these days but there are some individuals who are truly deserving of the title. Here at GAF we are honoured and delighted to be bringing a true Irish legend to our beautiful city this summer on July 20th. Christy Moore, the man, the artist, needs no introduction. He has written and performed songs that have defined generations, songs that Irish people of all ages, at home and abroad hold deep within their hearts.

Tickets for this Big Top event are sure to be among the hottest in town and to make sure you don’t miss out on what will be a fantastic evening, check out as soon as you can.

As a little taster of the treat that lies ahead, here’s the great man in action at Oxygen with Coldplay, of all people…

GAF Big Top Big 3: Lisa Hannigan

With her pure voice and lush, intricate songs Lisa Hannigan has had huge success in Ireland and internationally. We’re delighted to be welcoming her to the Big Top along with James Vincent McMorrow on on July 26th. Lisa is the queen of understated loveliness whose songs work as beautifully in a live setting as they do lighting up your radio. No wonder then that her albums Sea Sew (her debut) and Passenger have found such a wide audience. For Lisa’s Big 3 we’re taking a looking at 3 of her videos, which are always quirky gems. Enjoy.

For booking information, check out

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