It had been a while since we came down to Rye for the weekend to spend some time with friends and to visit some of our favourite spots in this charming town, so it was lovely to visit on such a gloriously sunny weekend and during the Rye Arts Festival too.
After a day of walking in the sun, we visited Rye Community Centre to enjoy some live music from Daoirí Farrell. We had seen posters around town during the day and were looking forward to hearing what he was like, but we had no idea just how talented Daoiri would be.
In such an intimate venue, all eyes were on Daoirí as he took to the stage. It was clear from the start that Daoirí’s quick wit would be an endearing feature of his set as he had us all laughing from the get-go.
Daoirí’s set began with a slightly uncomfortable few minutes where he spent several minutes tuning his bouzouki, but as soon as he began to play everyone in the room was silent. Daoirí’s mastery of his instrument was admirable, and his voice was incredibly strong. With each song that he performed, Daoirí told a story and, coupled with his interactions with the audience, he came across as incredibly personable.
Perhaps most impressive were the songs that Daoirí sang a cappella. As he sang, you could have heard a pin drop – everyone was entranced by his performance. When he took a break for an interval, everyone in the room could be heard complimenting his voice and his playing – we were all the more impressed because Daoirí was clearly suffering from a terrible cold, which was clear when he was talking, but absolutely undetectable when he sang.
After spending some time chatting with those who had come to see him, Daoirí returned to the stage and had us spellbound once more. My partner who is heavily involved in the Irish community and a huge fan of Irish music, said Daoirí’s rendition of Paddy’s Green Shamrock Shore was the best he’s ever heard – and I have to say that as someone who wouldn’t consider themselves a fan of Irish music in particular, after Daoirí Farrell’s performance, I am a convert.
We had never visited Rye Arts Festival before but having seen such amazing talent, we hope to return to see more incredible acts, like Daoirí, next year.
Image Credits: James Farrell.