One of the highlights of 2021 for me was the album from Minnesotan Irish-American Folk-Rockers The Wild Colonial Bhoys. My delight at hearing they were crossing the ‘broad Atlantic’ soon dissipated when I read it was to back to Ireland they would be going and not this side of the Irish sea. For those not lucky enough to have witnessed their (7th!) Irish tour Wild Bhoy Adam writes of the trip and the experience and the journey ‘home’.

Thursday, March 10

First pints of the tour!

Packed up all the gear and left for the tour, connected through Boston. Had an expensive dinner and drinks in the Boston airport before boarding the flight for Dublin, and it was brilliant to hang out with the band, since we’ve really not seen much of each other over the last couple of years!

Friday, March 11 | Dublin, Ireland

Arrived in the morning and stayed in an airport hotel, to rest and get right, before all the tour participants were due in the next day. We all got a taxi and went into the city, and had some nice lunch. We hit up Ohana Dublin, a new tiki bar. Enjoyed that, taught them a lot about tiki. Went back to the hotel, hung out in the hotel bar, watched rugby with a guy from Fermanagh, enjoyed some pints and had an early night.

Saturday, March 12

Met up with our tour group (35 participants) at the airport, and boarded the bus for the drive to Donegal, through Westmeath and Sligo. Had lunch at Feericks in Rathowen, Westmeath where the kitchen door had nothing preventing it from slamming and making a big banging noise every time it closed, which was often. It elicited huge laughs every time. BANG! BANG! Perhaps jet lag played a part… Took the N4 into Sligo town. Picked up the N15 through Bundoran and along coast through to Donegal town. Had an awesome welcome dinner for the tour at Loch Eske–the menus had our band logo on them and everything! We played an acoustic gig in the hotel bar, and I ended up chatting with a couple lads from Belfast until they kicked us out at like 2am. My room featured the best shower I’ve ever showered in. Here’s a video from the gig.

Sunday, March 13 | Slieve League Sea Cliffs Donegal

After breakfast the group headed out on the bus for Slieve League, to see the highest and finest sea cliffs in Europe, rising 1,955 feet over the Atlantic Ocean. It was really awesome, albeit very rainy. After that we traveled to Ardara, the home of Donegal Tweed, where we saw a demonstration on the art of hand looming tweed, which was pretty cool; it was amazing to see what skilled and talented people can produce! Had a nice lunch at the Nesbitt Arms Boutique Hotel. Played an awesome gig that night at McCafferty’s in Donegal town, which was well attended by lots of locals and people who had to be no more than 15-16. Stayed overnight at the castle one final time. This is our gig from McCafferty’s.

Monday, March 14 | Donegal to Sligo and Westport

After breakfast in the hotel, we traveled south through Sligo. Stopped a cairn with strewn rubble and tied rag wishes at Creevykeel Court Tomb. Stopped at Mullaghmore for a nice sea view and some Lucozade and candy from Paddy’s Place convenience store. Stopped at the grave of W.B. Yeats and then traveled into Sligo town; had lunch at the Harp Tavern right near the river, where I had my first curry of the trip. After that it was on to Castlebar and Westport for the night. Took the N4 to the N17 (sang the song) to Charlestown, picked up the N5 there to Swinford, through to Castlebar, and then on to Westport. I really enjoyed the dinner at Wyatt Hotel on the Octagon, and then afterwards got set to play a gig at the famous Matt Malloy’s–it was a GREAT night, the place was packed, and there were lots of locals in attendance, as well as other holidaymakers too. Everyone seemed to enjoy the show, so I was happy! Our awesome show at Matt Malloy’s can be seen here!

Tuesday, March 15 | Achill Island

We took a day tour out along Achill Island (well, I did anyway, as I was the only band member who made the bus that morning!) with stunning sea views on the Atlantic Drive. Stopped at Alice’s for an Irish coffee and tea just before going on the Island. Saw Gráinne Ní Mháille’s castle briefly (the famous “pirate queen”). Toured around the island. Traveled out to Keem Beach, and then had lunch at Gielty’s for a nice curry (again haha). Returned to Westport and spent the evening at leisure. After a couple of pints in the hotel bar, I went and had dinner at Apache Pizza. Then it was back for a few more pints in the hotel bar and a sing-song with a drunk guy from south Belfast who didn’t know Tell Me Ma, and went to bed early. I bought two bottles of Havana Club Cuban rum at Super Valu, as you can’t get that here in the states. I’ll bet I was the only guy traveling to Ireland who brought home rum and not whiskey! Don’t worry, I have plenty of Powers here at home.

Wednesday 16 | Westport to Waterford via Kilkenny

Following breakfast we departed Westport and journeyed south toward Galway, where we took the R330 south out of Westport, to Partry and the N84, through Ballinrobe to the R332 to Tuam, and a short jaunt on the N17 to the M17 south to the interchange with the M6 outside Athenry, to Knockadolla and the N65, all the way to Portumna, to the R489 to Birr, then south on the N62 to Roscrea, continuing east on the R445 through Sentry Hill to the R434 to Durrow to pick up the N77 south, skirting around
Kilkenny town and picked up the N10 south to the R713 into Stonyford. (I paid attention to the route!)
On the bus I hosted a pub quiz I had put together for our travelers; people seemed to have a good time and it made this long 2.5 hour leg seem like it took no time at all. In Stonyford village in Co. Kilkenny we had an absolutely fantastic experience at Malzard’s Pub and Hurling Experience. We pucked some balls around and played some hurling, got to pull our own pints, listened to an awesome seanachie and a ballad band, met an awesome Irish dancer who was in Riverdance with a friend of mine from back home. Had an awesome lunch of a chicken pot pie too; Malzard’s is highly recommended. Continued on to Waterford City from there (after a short 30 minute drive down the M9), where we checked into the Tower Hotel. Once we were all refreshed and checked into our rooms, the entire group went down to Revolution (the site of the gig the next night) for a beer tasting. They had a huge whiskey selection, with tons of expensive bottles. Met Flash Gordon the owner, a total character. Had drinks in the hotel bar until late, with Andy our bass player and his wife. Tons of fun and a massive day!

Thursday, March 17 | St. Patrick’s Day in Waterford

I enjoyed the St. Patrick’s Day parade right on the street (“The Mall”, which becomes Parnell St) outside our hotel. Wandered around the town, explored the Apple Market and a walking/shopping district just up from Revolution where we were to play later that night. The gig was AWESOME, we played our first ever gig on a lit-up disco dance floor. The locals loved us, played tons of rebel songs and really slayed it. Flash was happy, we left with some nice whiskey samplers he handed us. To see the show, join our Patreon community, we videoed the whole thing, and we have lots of other exclusive content there as well!

Friday, March 18 | Waterford to Dublin

Left Waterford in the morning and traveled north toward Dublin on the M9 into Kildare. Picked up the M7 northeast outside Newbridge, bypassing Naas and hitting the N7 into Rathcoole and the Dublin suburbs. Stopped at a huge travel plaza for bathroom and refreshment at some point, but I have no idea where we were. After a panoramic tour of the city, including sights downtown like the GPO, O’Connell Street, the Four Courts, the National Museum, etc, we toured through Phoenix Park, and then the bus dropped us off on Dame Street for a leisurely exploration of the Temple Bar area, Grafton Street, Trinity College, etc. I had lunch with Cole and band manager Macy at Fitzgeralds on Aston Quay just outside Temple Bar. After that, it was time to go to the Ashling Hotel for check-in at 4pm. Did the farewell dinner and performance at Nancy Hand’s Pub, which is always fun but a bittersweet time. Irish musical legend (one of my all-time favorites) Damien Dempsey was playing at some nearby venue (possibly the zoo?), because you could hear him outside. Backed a pair of excellent Irish dancers during the show. Had a few pints at Nancy Hands after the dinner, then went back to the hotel for a nightcap and bed. Here’s some footage of the show.

Saturday, March 19

The tour is officially over and most people headed to the airport early in the morning, but the band stayed an extra day. Enjoyed hanging out and roving around the city. Got our Covid tests, and ate at Kennedy’s, where people were getting set to watch the rugby. Headed back to the hotel and watched the game in the hotel bar. At night had an awesome doner kebab with Cole our guitarist, up the street from the hotel at Romayo’s.

Sunday, March 20

Up early for a cab to the airport and the absolute chaos of the airport. Delayed flight to Amsterdam for a five-hour layover. Hung out in the KLM lounge, and then boarded the flight for home.
What a trip!

(Check out the following video for the perfect chance to meet the Wild Colonial Bhoys and find out more about this great band)

Huge thanks to Adam for this fascinating insight into something we rarely hear about. Events like this far too often disappear down the Facebook feed but deserve a much wider audience. The Wild Colonial Bhoys certainly deserve a much wider audience so go check out their social media and sign up for further information on the Bhoys!

Wild Colonial Bhoys  WebSite  Facebook  YouTube  Twitter

Join the Wild Colonial Bhoys mailing list and / or their Patreon 

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