Summer has finally arrived with temperature’s hitting over the mid 20s in Kilkenny, music fans headed for one of Kilkenny’s hidden gems and Irelands, that being BallyKeeffe Amphitheatre.
Nestled at the foot of the old Ballykeeffe Quarry, Ballykeeffe Amphitheatre brings the authentic atmosphere of an open-air Italian theatre to the quaint Kilkenny countryside. The once-bustling slate quarry had lain abandoned and in disarray for many years, with most indifferent to its very existence.
However, in the late 1990s, a team of dedicated volunteers recognised a unique potential which was brought to fruition through hard work and perseverance, and in the year 2000 the amphitheatre proudly played host to the first of many performances.
This is the second in a series of shows that run through out July and Augusts every year.
Opening the show was local multi-instrumentalist Ali Comerford who played a half hours set of songs from here debut album that was released back in July 2021 called Knots and the odd cover.
Her original songs are folk-based with Ali using guitar / violin and voice all at the same time.
You can check her out here https://alicomerford.bandcamp.com/album/knots
Not My Way
Folsom Prison Blues (Johnny Cash)
Dancing in the Monnlight (Thin Lizzy)
Brothers Harry and Alfie Hudson-Taylor took the stage just slightly before 9pm and the cheers of delight could be heard rolling through the surrounding fields, this venue is at its best when the sun shines and its packed out! as it was tonight.
Opening with Care / Run With Me & Favourite Song it wasn’t long before the crowd were singing along. Alfie at one point announcing that it was back in 2018 that they were last in Ballykeeffe and that they are going to play a mix of old and new.
Hold out Hope / What Do You Mean / World Without You / Searching for the Answers all got an airing, one of the great things about Balleykeeffe is the stage, basically on ground level and no barriers means the bands that play can interact with the crowds and during the last few songs Harry took advantage of this by step off the stage and moving closer to the crowd and then back on stage for Old Soul.
Throughout their shows the brothers will take turn on the keyboard as well as playing guitars, so for the next two songs Alfie took up position behind the Keys for Golden / Honest (Harry had done the keys on some of the earlier songs)
It was then a trip way back to one of their oldest songs Chasing Rubies followed by Butterflies after which Alfie jokingly starting briefly into Dolly Parton’s Jolene but only briefly. I think this might have disappointed the crowd who had let out a loud cheers when they heard it start .
The next song and final song of the main set was Battles and this got the whole Amphitheatre on their feet.
The usual short encore break after which only the two brothers came back out for a new song Setting Sun, then joined by the rest of the band it was on with Don’t Know Why / You Me Myself / Feel It Again and then on to the last song of the night and it was here were the crowd left their seats and filled the area in front of the stage to dance the end of the show in.
Roll on my next trip out to Ballykeeffe Amphitheatre!