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  • Writer's pictureMartin Bullard

The pleasure of being in Ireland

Nowhere in Smokie’s history has been more important to us than Ireland. The disco trend of the late eighties led to a change in the way people enjoyed music and it meant that many venues were not hosting so much live music and indeed some were closing their doors for good. But something happened in Ireland that made it possible for Smokie to continue working here while other countries struggled to adapt to the new fashion. The Irish people never stopped supporting Smokie and that’s what makes Ireland such a special place for us. We could still get plenty of work over here and that’s what matters most to a band. Of course there was also the matter of what happened when the Irish added a favourite four letter word to “Alice” and the rest, as they say, is history. At the same time as adapting to the change it also feels that Ireland has stayed in a self inflicted and happy time warp that means that their taste for music and their reaction to it hasn’t changed a bit. Along the way we have picked up new generations and the band has been through many changes but the total experience is just the same and is likely to stay that way. That leads me to the subject of this last very sunny and very warm weekend in Ireland where we played three shows, The Clanree in Letterkenny, Belfast Waterfront and Hillgrove Hotel in Monaghan. It was like overdosing on pleasure with three nights of complete enjoyment and euphoria. Sometimes we just don’t want things to end and this weekend was one of those occasions. I am so happy that the Irish stayed with us because they have paved the way for a very secure touring circuit on this Emerald Isle. We will be back later in the year for some more of that unbridled wildness and I look forward to it very much.

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