Africa Day at Dublin Castle, and other music news

Anita is leading a BBB&B tour of Corca Dhuibhne. She is showing Dingle how to have a good time, the Bugle way. (Rule 1: Food first, then fun.) As I tended to the maintenance of the B&B today, I heard far-away music reflected from the tall walls of my neighbourhood.

“Oh yes,” I thought, “today there’s a festival at Dublin Castle. That’s a long way for the sound to travel on such a windy day, though.” I finished my work in the afternoon and headed west to see the sights.

I arrived to find Africa Day in full swing; there was even a short line to enter the festival grounds near the Chester Beatty Library. The exhibits and bazaar-tents were swamped by the crowd of people watching the bands on the Main Stage. Despite the blustery and cloudy conditions, the place was hopping.

Africa Day crowd

Within minutes after my arrival, Millionaire Boyz took the stage. They are one of the leaders of the burgeoning hip-hop scene in Dublin. Now that I’ve heard them live, I’m going to buy their new record at Tower Records next week.

Millionaire Boyz at Africa Day

After Millionaire Boyz came Kila, a wildly popular band that fuses Irish music with other traditions. I opted not to stay for Sinéad O’Connor and the Republic of Loose. I was just too hungry, and despite the fairly warm weather, the gusts of wind were cutting through my light jacket.

I walked through Merrion Square on my way home and discovered the actual source of the music I heard earlier: The Dublin City Soul Picnic. More music! But fewer people, to be sure. I listened for a while and resumed my search for food.

On Baggot Street, everything was closed but the pubs. A pint of Beamish sounded good, but it wasn’t likely to provide the nourishment I needed. During my hunt, I found one more thing of music interest: the hotel where Bruce Springsteen stayed after playing two nights at the huge RDS venue. He’s playing once more tonight, and dozens of fans waited for him to appear from the front door, across from the Taoiseach’s office. In the alley behind the hotel — my usual path home — a few fans and two Garda motorcyclists stood guard.

Waiting on Bruce

I’m not one to wait on celebrities, so I finished my musical tour of south Dublin and I came home to write this!

In the world of sport: Saturday, I watched (on TV alas) Giovanni Trapattoni’s first match as the manager of the Republic of Ireland’s national football (soccer) team. The team needs some tuning before the real competition hots up, but the draw with Serbia looked good to me. Meanwhile, most of Ireland watched Munster win the Heineken Cup, one of the most prestigious championships in international rugby. Also, before leaving for Africa Day on Sunday, I watched (sporadically) RTE’s broadcast of Offaly’s thrashing of Laois in hurling.