Some great craic was had at last night’s Shamrock Cabaret at the Old Primary School in Salem! The Emerald Community Singers came out in colorful costumes and entertained with some Irish favorites such as “When Irish Eyes are Smiling,” “I’ll Tell Me Ma,” and “Wild Rover,” but they also sang some African-themed songs such as “Mama Africa,” and a number of Montserratian tunes such as “Beloved Montserrat” and “Fire Up a Mountain.” As always, they provided a combination of solemn hymns alongside raucously funny ditties, with hips swaying and flags waving. (Is anyone else as mesmerized by the charismatic stage presence of Elizabeth Piper-Wide and Herman “Cupid” Francis as I am?)
The Martin Healy Band from Dublin also provided some tunes, airs, and ballads from their wide repertoire of Irish music. Niall Brosnan (accordion) and Thomas Phelan (banjo, whistles, and vocals) joined Martin (guitar and vocals) and began their segment with a rousing set of polkas called the “Salem Set” that made me wish we had prepared a polka set dance for the show! Next year, for sure.
The Blended Rhythms dancers made me proud! The eight ladies, dressed in black and green, performed the Siege of Carrick to a set of jigs played by the band. They made the best of the tight space on stage, smiling all the way through. We even got the audience clapping along! I also danced a hard shoe hornpipe followed by a treble reel. Thanks to Niall for the wonderful accordion music!
Congratulations to all involved, and thanks to Richard Aspin for organizing the event and inviting Blended Rhythms to participate!