Craobh Rua have been touring Germany again and Marcus Metz got Brian Connolly for a wee chat...
Marcus: Do you enjoy it playing in Germany?
Brian: Yes!!! Do you want me to say a bit more than "yes" (laughs). No, we do enjoy playing in Germany. We usually have a tour every year. We try to tour every year and in fact we've been touring Germany since autumn 1990, that's when we first met Peter from Peter Braun Concerts, he puts the concerts on for us at the Lorient Festival. And he invited us, he said he would put a tour together in Germany. That was back in 1990. And we've coming here every year since.
Marcus: I know Craobh Rua playing with different members in the band last year. So could you explain what changed, the personal changes?
Brian: Yes, we two changes in the group this year. The first one....Marc our old piper left and we got Diarmuid in and Diarmuid is from Cork. And we played with Diarmuid before, in fact we played with Diarmuid at the Lorient Festival years ago. And the change after that was Jim. He decided to leave for various reasons and Alan Jones from Scotland joined. And again we played with Alan a few years ago in Scotland. So...that was the line up change.
Marcus: Could you name the countries you toured recently?
Brian: Certainly I can (laughs). Where do want me to take it from....from this year (laughs)?
Marcus:Yes, from this year perhaps.
Brian: I think I just can remember the summer this minute (laughs). June and July we were touring Slovenia - which we never did before - Austria and Italy and we came home from that, took about a couple of days off and went to tour England and Wales. Back from that and another few days off and we went to the west coast of America and Canada and that was through the month of September. Back from that and then over to England and Wales for a three week tour. Back from that and we were here over in Germany for the start of a three week tour, which will take again Germany, Austria, Holland and then we go down to Italy to finish off our touring for this year '97.
Marcus: So how long have you been touring in 1997 now - this year altogether?
Brian: All year (laughs)! Well, we exactly started...the first gig we played was up there in...in...it was Germany, too...we did a radio thing. Where was it? Up in....I can't remember...
Marcus: On the radio...?
Marcus: In Duisburg?
Brian: Is that where it was...no...Harald Jüngst...
Marcus: Yes, that's Duisburg, where he is!
Brian: Well, I can't remember...we flew in...I think it was Hamburg and we did the radio show. And it was great because of the timing. It said a concert, it said "soundcheck: 7.30" and "concert: 11.00". So...normally that is 7.30 in the evening and it was 7.30 in the morning (everybody laughs)! The German time and the Irish time are just ever so slightly different.
Marcus: It just the "a.m." and the "p.m."?!
Brian: Yes! So we didn't look at the "a.m." and the "p.m.". Because even 7.30 p.m. would be early for an Irish band. So we didn't get up too well, got down and did the soundcheck. And it was great, there was a couple of hundred people there. But you only would get that in Germany, you would'nt get that at that time of the morning in Ireland (laughs), they'd be all to drunk from the night before (laughs) and then the other half of them would be at mass. So that was the story about it. And we did trips to England. We were out in the States. And back over to England and Scotland.
Marcus: Where do you get your material?
Brian: Again....whereever you here the music. When you're travelling about, you're alway meeting up with other musicians and having a session here and there. You could pick up tunes there. And there's a great tradition in the families listening to the tunes and the songs. Collectors would have them. And of course then we would write our own songs. And in fact on our last album Micheal wrote - I think - three other tracks.
Photo credits and comments: Photo by The Mollis
Latest published CD: Soh it is!; KRL/Lochshore Records
German agent: Peter Braun
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