The Bluffer prefers his gigs small-scale and imtimate

The Who's Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend who headlined Glastonbury last night
Robert McMillen

Go mbeannaí Dia daoibh agus hello arís chuig an Bluffer's Guide to Irish.

The Bluffer was asked if he wanted to go to Glastonbury this year. Bhí sé idir dhá chomhairle - he was in two minds but sense prevailed in the end. The days of coirmeacha ollmhóra - enormous concerts and féilte ceoil - music festivals are no longer part of the Bluffer's bucket list despite being to a few of them.

The first one he attended was as with his schoolfriend Frank Martin, the Bath Festival of Blues and Progressive music way back i mbroinn chian cheoch na haimsire - in the far-off misty womb of time and boy, what a line-up - The Byrds, Canned Heat, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Santana and Frank Zappa amongst others. I was probably too young to realise what a mind-blowing experience it was to have these legendary buíonta - bands on stage before me but the memories linger on.

Another highlight was in Lios Dún Bhearna - Lisdoon, Lisdoon, Lisdoon, Lisdoonvarna, perfectly summed up in the eponymous Christy Moore song and yes he witnessed Jackson Browne as well as Christy himself and The Chieftains and Emmylou Harris and was mesmerised by a Swedish girl singing Ar Éirinn, ní nEosfainn Cé hÍ - For Ireland, I'll not Tell Her Name. However, the magic dissipated somewhat in a puball - a tent filled with a group of 20-somethings, made loquacious by the devil's buttermilk and farty by Beelzebub's own burgers.

The Bluffer has been to big gigs since, Robbie Williams in Páirc an Fhionnuisce - Phoenix Park for example, but need to don buataisí - welly boots never bothered him much.

The best gig he was ever at was the first Celtic Fusion festival in Caisleán Uidhlín - Castlewellan where everything just gelled - the music, the food, the setting, even the weather, the company.

Nowadays, the music festivals the Bluffer attends are indoors, intimate and more enjoyable in his humble opinion.

Marked down in his google calendar for the summer are the Soma festival - back to Castlewellan for that one - which will features Duke Special, Beoga and Moxie, the cast of A Stór Mo Chroí featuring stunning musicians and singers and Rónán Mac Aodh Bhúi's Cabaret Creaiceáilte (

Then there the McCracken Summer School on north Belfast which has a great line-up including Skara Brae, Líadan and Scotland's Kathleen McInnes and Sineag McIntyre. (

Féile an Droichead is bringing Micheál Ó Súilleabháin, Liam Ó Floinn, Paddy Glackin and Neil Martin to Belfast as well as Ensemble Eriu.

This weekend has seen some astonishing music in Belfast, from Lúnasa at the Duncairn to Tradivarious at An Droichead and Aon Teanga - One language at the Cultúrlann.

I know the list is a bit Béal Fascist, so do let me know what is happening outside the city.

Bhí sé idir dhá chomhairle (vee shay idir ga khorelya) - he was in two minds

coirmeacha ollmhóra (kirimakha olworea) - enormous concerts féilte ceoil (fayltcha kyoil) - music festivals

i mbroinn chian cheoch na haimsire (i mbrin keean kyawakh ne hiymshira) - in the far-off misty womb of time

buíonta (bweenta) - bands

Lios Dún Bhearna (liss doon varna) - Lisdoonvarna

Ar Éirinn, ní nEosfainn Cé hÍ (er erin ni nyoss-heen kay hee) - For Ireland, I'll not Tell Her Name

puball (pubble) - a tent

Páirc an Fhionnuisce (paark un inishka) - Phoenix Park

buataisí (booatishee) - welly boots

Caisleán Uidhlín (caashlaan ileen) - Castlewellan

Aon Teanga (ayn changa) - One language


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