Friday, August 10, 2012

The Merry Ploughboy

The Merry Ploughboy was a lot of fun. It's shaped like a traditional Irish pub - long tables, with 20 or so people seated on each side of the table. There's a stage in the front of the room, and a bar in the back of the room. The meal, for us, was off of a fixed menu: one appetizer, one entree, one dessert. Water comes with the meal, soft drinks or adult beverages not included. I had the lamb last night, so I'm pretty confident that I've sampled the major exports of Ireland: beef, lamb, fish.



The show is a really neat show. The house band is named after the pub, or the pub is named after the band. One of those. It's a guy on a guitar who sings, a guy on a mandolin who sings, a guy on a banjo, and a guy on the bass. Those two. Do a little bit of singing, but I'm honestly not sure their microphones were on. They performed a mixture of "traditional Irish" tunes and pop tunes, and they were quite good. The mandolin was a little hot on the sound system and sometimes overwhelmed the voices, but that's a minor quibble. There was a lot of singing along and clapping and such.

The middle part of the show had a troupe of five Irish dancers. They were also pretty good. Two of them were extraordinary - one of the guys and one of the gals - and absolutely overshadowed the others.

I do enjoy watching dancers, but I freely admit to entirely ignoring dancers who don't interest me. When those two dancers were on the stage, the other ones didn't even exist. That's not to say that the others weren't talented; they knew what they were doing. But, those two... they just Got It. The motions were clean, fluid, and always rhythmic; one set of moves flowed naturally into the next with a smooth evolution. It's beautiful to see, mostly because it's rare. The others were obviously thinking about the choreography, counting, following a set of moves rather than just... dancing.

It's a lesson we all need to learn, no? The dancing is a fluid outgrowth of the music. It's not just "moves."

The show ended around 10:30, and we were back in the hotel at 11. This morning, we're headed over to Trinity College to look at the Book of Kells, the over to Temple Bar to sing.



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Location:Callan Rd,Kilkenny,Ireland

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