“Showcasing the best of what this island really has to offer”
Last night, the Grand Social welcomed Aindrias de Staic and his one man show, The Man from Moogaga, followed by a set from his band The Latchikos in the city centre venue.
The Man from Moogaga tells the story of a fiddle player from a small island on lough Corrib in the West of Ireland who embarks on a voyage of discovery that takes him to Australia, through Thailand, and back again for his friend’s wedding.
De Staic uses his fiddle and a loop pedal to introduce characters such as the Gypsy woman, the Modh Coinniolach and the apply named Fungus O’Brien. The fiddle is adeptly used by its master to serve the story and paints vivid pictures of unfolding events. The fiddle’s bow is sometimes used as a fishing rod and is sometimes the whirling wind blowing in Connemara.
The comedy does tackle heavy topics such as the aftermath of a dying Celtic Tiger. Immigration, masculinity, suicide and… the abundance of decking are topics that are navigated with aplomb and verve by a talented raconteur.
De Staic, who has the appearance of a gypsy fortune teller with a mischievous glint in his eyes, brings the spellbound audience into his magical and wonderfully weird world, brandishing his fiddle not only to play trad music but also to conduct the eager crowd to his every call and response.
After the interval, de Staic’s band The Latchico’s – Electric Picnic regulars – performed a set of what they amusingly describe as “Gyp-Hop”: Gaelic gypsy hip-hop. This fresh, bewitching sound blends the styles of recognizable traditional Gaelic music with Yiddish and Romani music.
With every catchy song , feet were stamping and a jubilant audience were sent home buzzing at what they had just witnessed.
After a weekend where paddywackery was inescapable in Dublin, it was refreshing to escape and end the weekend with some genuine Irish artistry; storytelling, poetry, comedy and music that blends the old and the new, the native and the curious, showcasing the best of what this island really has to offer.