Sunday, May 28, 2006

Dad was here again!!!

Well, the best thing ever happened. Dad came to visit again. He's in Hamburg for work for a couple of weeks so he and his friend/colleague Alex popped over to Dublin for Friday and Saturday night!

They arrived in Dublin at about 4pm and met Luke and I at Pearse Tavern for a drink at about 6pm. We had a Guinness or two and then made our way to Grafton Street for dinner. I had made reservations for the four of us at Cafe Bar Deli in the Bewley's cafe for 7:30. Dad had brought some salmon for Alex and Caroline (The couple that had Dad and Luke over for a big fry-up breakfast last time Dad was here) so he and Luke went across the street to give it to them. Unfortunately they were not home at the time but Luke popped in later and gave it to them.

Dinner was great. We shared a couple bottles of wine and enjoyed the food and a good chat. After dinner we were all pooped and a little tipsy so we opted to go our separate ways and meet up again the following day.

Dad and Alex got up early on Saturday and took the DART out to Howth to have a poke around. They climbed up to the summit to view the harbour and the island and enjoyed breakfast out there. The day was lovely. Quite sunny and warm. Luke and I opted to stay in town and get some errands done while they were out there. We met with them at the pub again at about 4:00 for a Guinness and then we all took a taxi to the hotel to drop their things off and then to Jervis Street to do some shopping. Alex had to find a white peasant skirt for one of his daughters and the stores close at half 5 or 6 so we were on a MISSION. The mission was accomplished with time to spare so my Dad, Luke and I split from Alex and we poked around the shops, agreeing to meet up with Alex for a pint at Mojo's whenever he was finished. After a pint there we started walking to the Grafton Street area to make our 8pm dinner reservation at Turtinos Italian restaurant where Dad, Luke and myself ate the last time Dad was here. We all enjoyed our meals IMMENSELY. This place is fantastic! From there we walked up to Porterhouse Bar to meet Sarah, Tom, and a friend of theirs visiting from Edinburgh where we had a few drinks and some great craic. After a while we decided to head out of there (Dad, Alex, Luke and I) and make our way to Pearse (again) as we were meeting up with Alex and Caroline. We had a BALL. The pub was packed with the regulars who were ALL intereseted and thrilled to meet Dad and/or see Dad again. Alex (Dad's Alex) sang karaoke, we laughed and played the raffle (Dad won a bottle of rum which he kindly gave to us), sang, and generally had a fantastic time. It was Irish craic at its best.

Friday, May 26, 2006

The Kenney's!!!

Cathy and Jim got married in Scotland and popped into Dublin while they were all the way out here. We got together with the gang of them at a pub for some drinks. It was great to see a familiar face. Enjoy the photos!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Studio - May 19th-22nd

Friday 19th, 9am

I got up and went to work. By noon I was unemployed (still trying to figure out why I was let go... with pay and the promise of a glowing reference. I've never been let go before for doing a good job ("good job, very professional, smart and hard working" were the exact words from my boss' mouth))...hmmmm odd.
From 1pm until about 5pm I sat at the internet cafe applying for jobs on line. I figure if I can find a job by next Tuesday, June 2nd we are still in the same normal situation.

At 5:44pm I hopped on the train to Gorey and by 8:00pm I was sitting in the studio with the boys discussing what changes we should make to what songs, etc.

No major changes will be made, we just came up with extra little things to make the songs better (we hope it will make them better).

Slev finished recording his bass parts by about 9:30pm and had to head back to Dublin. Myself, Darragh, Mark and Ciaran (the producer/engineer) sat and listened to the bass and drums to make sure it was all good. It was great. Fantastic sound. Ciaran then asked us to leave so that he could start mixing the drums and bass together so it would be ready for the morning when we were going to start recording guitars. The 3 of us went to the local down the street for a pint and once Ciaran was done he met us there and then we headed off to Darragh’s house and to bed as we didn’t want to waste any time the next day.

All day Saturday and Sunday we recorded guitars. I finished my parts by Sunday noon, and then decided to head back to Dublin. I missed my wife! Darragh then finished off his guitar parts and the then he and Mark started to work on the extra keyboard/organ/piano/whatever they could lay their hands on parts.

That’s my little update. It's sounding good, VERY good. I have worked on some albums in my time, with some good producers, but this is, well, as pro as it gets. I mean this guy worked with U2. I don’t think you can get any more pro than that.

Oh ya... that picture of me holding the wha pedal - That’s the Edge's (from U2) pedal. How did I get here?

Cheers everyone!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

In The Mean Time...

May 16, 2006

Well, not much new with us, since the last blog post we got broken into, AGAIN. This time thru the back kitchen window, where they had to scale another wall and walk over barbwire - all they took was the IPOD. It sucks cause my WHOLE CD collection was on that thing,but at least my CD’s are safe back in Ottawa. This means that we welcome anyone sending burned CD's to us to help bring us back to the world of music!

So we are in the process of finding a new apartment and I think we found one. It's right downtown, 4th floor, right on the Liffey. It's pretty much across the road from Temple Bar and at the corner of O’Connell bridge. - Location, Location, Location.

And its still only about 10 minute walk from our area now, which means I can still go to the butcher and ,well, lets not kid around - PEARSE TAVERN.

So this week has been all about getting the moving out stuff sorted with the landlord. Looks like it all might go smooth and we might be in a new apartment by the end of May.

What else? Oh ya Senators blew it AGAIN! In Over Time AGAIN. Yes I take it pretty seriously. I wanted to start a riot but couldnt find any Canadians around.

This weekend Friday to Tuesday the band is working on our EP. I am looking forward to that. We have been writing more songs since the Cork show and working on a new set, just in case we get into the "Best Of" showcase on June 3rd. Things are looking good!

So thats that! Nothing too interesting, passing time till we go to Croatia!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

May 6th - 7th Cork - First Show

This weekend went by pretty fast. Friday after work we hit the gym and stayed in as the Senators game was on at midnight. What a game - 13 goals. Too bad the Sens fell asleep in the last 20 seconds of the 3rd. Oh well, it's only game 1. We tried to stay up and watch the whole game but fell asleep near the end of the 2nd period and woke up just after the 3rd started. We went to bed at about 3:30am and had to get up at 10am to get ready to go to Cork as the bands 1st show was that night.

The band has been working pretty hard towards this show, as it is the biggest showcase in Ireland, so we wanted to look like we knew what we were doing. We were also the only band from Dublin so we really had to put on a good show and steal some of the crowd. We actually managed to bring about 35 people with us, which was great.

Anyway, Jess and I woke up, packed our stuff and headed to the bus station where we were met by a hung-over Sarah. The bus ride was about 4 and 1/2 hours which got us into Cork at about 4:25pm. We walked to our hostel, dropped our bags off and headed out for a pint.

We sat on a patio and had some pints and around 6pm started to head back to the hostel as I had to get ready for soundcheck... but really I just needed extra time to do my hair. On the way to the hostel I was getting hungry but not hungry enough to eat a meal and as we walked by a Russian grocery store I went in and bought a dried sausage on a rope... Yes I did say sausage on a rope! Jess thought this was SICK. Whatelse is new? But she did try it. Sarah actually enjoyed it more then I expected. It was a nice snack, walking to the hostel passing a sausage on a rope around, taking bites. Ahhh its like being in Poland.

I was meeting the lads at the venue around 7pm, soundcheck was at 7:30pm. I found my way there and as I walked the street everyone was pulling up. Good timing. Soundcheck is soundcheck. We waited, went up, told the soundman what we want to hear on stage, played 1/2 a song, then told him what to fix, then played another 1/2 song and once we were happy with it we got off the stage and put our stuff away and went for a pint.

We were on at 9:40pm (2nd band) so we sat out across the street having a pint 'til about 9pm and met everyone who came to see us in the dowstrairs part of the venue.
At 9:40 we hit the stage and did our set which by the response from the crowed went over well. So the 1st show is over and done with and it's time to move on. Its always good to get the 1st one out of the way as soon as possible. But we didn't expect the 1st one to be as important as it was.

Now it's my turn... (Jessica)....

The show was fantastic. Luke rocked the house and wowed everyone with his on-stage presence. You know how it is. He makes the show interesting to watch. All night people were coming up to me to tell me how talented they thought he was. I was proud of him! The songs sounded great, much heavier than they do on the EP so it was exciting to listen to. They were, by far, the best band that I heard that night. You guys should have seen it. It was as if he was never off the stage. You would have loved it!

We got home on Sunday at about 4:00pm. Luke and I hit the grocery store for dinner items and a walk as the sun was shining and it was beautiful out (much warmer than it was in Cork). We went home, had a yummy dinner, I did the laundry and we relaxed as we were VERY tired from the bus rides. We're definitely not doing anything of any significance this coming weekend. It's been a whirlwind lately - between Ty's visit, Easter up north, having my Dad here (YAY!) and going to Cork this past weekend, we haven't really had a chance to just veg on the weekends. It'll be nice to do NOTHING.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Dad's Visit!

Well, this was the best weekend I've had. DAD WAS HERE!

My Dad is currently in Hamburg for work so he popped over to Dublin to stay with Luke and I this past Saturday until Monday. Originally during last week Dad had mentioned that he may be able to pop in from Friday to Sunday but he did not confirm this by the end of my work day on Friday so I assumed he was not going to be able to make it. To my surprise I woke up to my mobile ringing on Saturday morning and Dad told me that he was flying in that night at 6:15! Unfortunately I was signed up to work on Sunday and Monday at a Marine Show (It was a long weekend in Europe) but I managed to get them to shorten my day on Sunday to 10-2 instead of 10-6. I was THRILLED!

So... Luke and I took a taxi to the airport to meet Dad. He said that he would meet us at the flat but there was no way I was going to miss seeing him come through the doors at arrivals. I was SO EXCITED to see him. We got to the airport about 45 minutes before his flight was due to arrive (We couldn't stand waiting around at home). When the doors opened and Dad came out, I almost burst! It was fantastic! Hugs and kisses all around. Originally Dad said he wanted to rent a car but I talked him out of it as we'd be in the city and we could either walk or take a taxi anywhere we wanted to go. There's no point in having a car when, let's face it, we'll be spending most of our time in the pubs.... We hopped into a taxi outside of the airport and started catching up.

When we arrived home (and this sucked) we noticed that the bedroom window was open all the way. We had left it open a crack for the last few days as we like the air movement but we hadn't left it open that much! Uh-oh. We all went inside and we found that our apartment door was unlocked. Double uh-oh. We walked in and saw that Luke's backpack was pulled from the closet, the cushions on the couch were out of place, and my wallet was dumped on the couch. Triple uh-oh. We had a closer look around, dug through the mess of my wallet and discovered that nothing was missing. All of my credit cards and my bank card were still there. The cash and passports we had hidden were still there. Our TV, DVD player, Playstation 2, Ipod, all still there. It seemed nothing was missing. I was relieved to know that everything was in-tact and Dad was, of course, cool as a cucumber but Luke, he was freaking out. Dad suggested that to calm down we all go to Pearse Tavern for a pint. So we did. We all walked down the street and we sat down at the bar and ordered three pints of Guinness. Ask Dad what he thought of the pints there. He thought they were dynamite. So.... we had about 3 or 4 pints and then decided to head out downtown to grab a bite to eat.

We walked around for about an hour trying to find something that wasn't jam packed. (It was Saturday night at about 9pm). We budded in the front of lines, lied and said that we had reservations, but to no avail. Finally we found somewhere off Grafton that said they could seat us in 10 minutes and offered to call my mobile at that time. We said sure and then continued the hunt. Ten minutes later we got the call, went back to the restaurant and had a great Italian meal and a bottle of red wine. Fabulous. From there we headed to the Molly Malone statue to meet Tom and Sarah. Figured they'd be interested in meeting Dad (which they were) and we all went to a pub for some pints. We had originally agreed (Tom and I) that this wouldn't be too late a night as he and I had to work the next day but that didn't work and we ended up leaving the pub at about 12:30 - 1:00. Dad, Luke and I walked home and stopped at Pearse Tavern to say hello to a few people and tried to have a pint but the pub was past serving time (which usually means nothing since we are locals) but cause the Garda were outside checking up there would be no lock in tonight (though, truthfully, none of us needed another pint by this time).
Oh! Many of the patrons at Pearse Tavern are local footballers that play in a local league and Luke and I are friends with the sponsor of the team (He even gave Luke his OWN team jacket, cause Luke wanted one, but you can't buy them. Mind you, you could fit 2 Lukes in it, but as Alex said "you'll grow into it")so Luke was invited for breakfast at his house and then invited to go out and watch the match on Sunday. The main reason for stopping at Pearse was to let them know that Dad was here. Of course they (Alex and Caroline) were pleased to have Dad join them. I figured this was a great idea as I had to work in the morning anyway so this would entertain the two of them. Anyway, we got home at about 2:00am, made Dad's bed, Dad lay down and fell asleep in an instant, Luke stayed up to watch the Sens game, and I went to bed. It was a great night.

Sunday morning I left the house at 8:30 to catch a bus to Malahide Marina where the boat show was being held. Unfortunately I couldn't find the bus stop so I ended up taking a cab. (Paid for by the company - not me). Luke and Dad were up at that time and headed to Alex and Caroline's where they had a fantastic fry-up (I wish I had been there for that) and then headed off to the match. When I was off work at 2pm I headed to Pearse to meet the two of them (Back for more pints after the match)for a pint and then we all headed home, changed and went to catch the DART to go out to Greystones to see Paddy and Joyce who were very pleased to know that Dad was in Dublin.

Oh... On the way we stopped in Bray to meet with Luke's uncle. He had just moved to Dublin 4 days beforehand and he and Luke had not seen eachother for about 23 years or something (So long ago that Luke didn't recognize him or have any memories of him). He met us at the DART station in Bray and we went out for, yet another, pint of Guinness. After a fun meeting (Luke's uncle doesn't speak a word of english so Dad and I mainly chatted to eachother and Luke and his uncle chatted amongst themselves) we were met at the DART station by Paddy. He took us all back to his place where we had some beers, wine and a fantastic dinner (c/o Joyce, of course!), desert and some very good craic. What a great evening. Joyce was in a particularily good mood (The wine helped to put her there...the wine, and more wine and then the whiskey came she a Breslin or what?!) so there was some inventive and hilarious slagging going on betweeen everyone. It was great.

Next morning (Monday) I caught a taxi at 9:30 to head back to the boat show and Dad caught a taxi at 9:45 to the airport to go back to Hamburg. That was awful. We had such a great weekend together - one of the best I've had here - but I was very sad to see him go.

Ahhhhhh hell, I miss him too. Just in a manly way... (Luke)