New Year In Galway

While I’m not a fan for Christmas, I can get firmly behind New Year. Why? Sure, it’s only a moment in time, but it’s also an unadulterated party, one of the few nights of the year when you can guarantee nobody will be sneaking off early or taking it easy because of lack of cash and it’s invariably one of the best evenings there is all year. Much like the traditional Christmas Eve drinking session with my brother, but with everyone in on the act. Oddly, it’s also his birthday…

With Christmas having been a bit shambolic, we retired to Dublin for a few days, and then headed back to Galway to spend New Year with a few friends, and at one of the best venues in the country. I have a deep love for Roisin Dubh. I don’t know what it is about the place – in many ways it’s just a standard pub with a bit of live music – but the place has a real buzz about it, the feeling that you might catch something genuinely special. It’s also incredibly friendly, which is also a general feature of Galway, but easy to forget when you’re in the big bad capital. The drinks are pretty reasonably priced, too. Bearing in mind the amount of Jaegermeister we managed to throw down out necks on the New Year, perhaps that’s not such a good thing.

The main attraction tonight, though, was the array of bands. We warmed up with a few beers across the road and a huge pizza (New Year’s weight loss pre-eating!), and then headed over to watch a gig headlined by a band who are without doubt the best breakthrough act in Dublin this year for me, The Cast Of Cheers. Stupid name, phenomenal band. They weren’t the only good band on the bill, though – I was really impressed by Le Galaxie, too, who I’ve been aware of for at least a year, but somehow contrived to never see before the New Year. Quite a party band.

After all that (and a few other bands I was less impressed with), things took a predictably hazy direction. Galway’s the kind of place where parties can easily drift on all night – it’s nicknamed “the graveyard of ambition”, in part because of its tendency to induce partying and not a whole lot else. I think there were some curried chips and another pub or two in there… Sometimes I miss living in the place, but I think it’s the kind of town best enjoyed occasionally and otherwise admired from a distance. But if there’s one time to enjoy Galway, it has to be New Year…

J x

Check out probably my favorite Irish band of the moment, The Cast Of Cheers, here:

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