Friday, March 06, 2015

Jim McCann, the Kilcullen memories

The passing of the great balladeer Jim McCann has prompted some local memories over the past few hours.

Ray Kelly posted a recollection on this Facebook page of when the ex-Dubliner was touring gigs, he came down on the bus for a night in Berneys in the 80s, guitar in hand.

"He also had a dress suit, and said on the night that he wasn't sure what the dress code was for the venue.

"Anyhow, as he got off the bus at the Hideout, he felt the dress suit was a good move as he thought he was playing in the Hideout. In he went and ordered a coffee and asked where he was to set up ... alas the barman explained, "Jim, yer in the wrong bar.

"Off he went then down to Berney's, a little embarrassed, and played a great gig to a small crowd. Played some great songs, Grace, Copper Kettle, Blow the Candle Out and a fantastic version of Clare to Here.

"Great memories ... oh, and the dress suit hung on the side of the stage for the whole gig.

Knox Brennan recalled that the singer also played O'Connells Lounge, with Jimmy Aspell playing support.

"We had some good craic together," Jimmy himself remembers. "Another gentleman gone."

Aged 70 at his death, Jim McCann was member of The Dubliners from 1974 to 1979. He returned to the group for their 2002 reunion tour, but has lately been ill with throat cancer.