Irish Roots

LIve at the Ottakringer Braurei – St Patrick’s Day Festival in Vienna

“Do you have any Irish in ye?”,  is how the great Phil Lynott from Thin Lizzy once addressed thousands of Australians at a live concert on the steps of the Sydney Opera House back in the 70’s.  For the week that was in it (St Patricks’s week – Seachtain na Gaeilge), it seemed that the world had turned green. And rightly so, the ancestor of the Gael are everywhere. On the 17th of March however that number easily trebled.

As an Irish man and musician traveling the world over with my music, it’s always great to receive the reception that being Irish affords. I am sure it has opened many’s a door… with my songs managing to keep that door open long enough for the music to linger and take root. And taking root it is… Just like the Faerie Tree. A song that was written in Austria about the love affair between the Faerie Princess Niamh and the Irish warrior Oisín of the Fíanna. The song tells the story of a romance and a journey – to a mystical land where your dreams can come through. An ancient tale that has been carried by the Irish wherever they have traveled and in some way mirrors Irish migration. The Faerie Tree Video from my new album ‘They Might See Dolphins’ was also released on the 17th March.

The Faeirie Tree Video – Shot in Ireland 2016

For me, to play music and follow in the footsteps of the Gael around Europe, is very cool and that the songs are thought of highly enough to represent Irish culture abroad is, on such a week, a massive honour for which I am grateful.


Over five days, six concerts were played. Each concert was very cool and all very different. There were new faces and old. Old enough to be in a bar or venue anyway (wink wink), and each room had it’s own story to tell. First was the lovely Noel’s Food Pharmacy in Vienna on the 16th March with Claudia Heidegger. An intimate affair in lovely surroundings. I was then joined on St Patrick’s Day at WUK Beisel courtesy of Jameson, with a full band compliment (Dave Loimer on Bass, Dave Buschek on Drums and Angelika Hudler on Violin). Needless to say the place heaved and bounced as we punched our way to a fiery three and a half hour set that would have made Bruce Springsteen proud.

The Following day we folked out at the Ottakringer Braurei – hosted by the legend that is Stuart Freeman from FM4 – courtesy of Charlie P’s, The Irish Embassy and Ottakringer. Huge show and massive event. Stuart made sure we were fed and as we talked turkey around foreign cars – it was settled.. Cars are the best place to listen to music.  The engineer and staff  at the gig were legendary in their output… making us look and sound like we belonged there… in a beautiful brewery (he smiles).

Then, with Claudia Heidegger in tow  it was on to the Waldviertel and Café Bar Martins for another foot-stomping romp through original material laced lovingly with Irish traditional tunes. It was an Irish event and evening… and yours truly had no problem at all with tha –  it felt like home. We were fit to drop but marched on until midnight with Vienna once again being in our sights. The Highlander Hootenanny was a lovely Sunday afternoon with friends and musicians in a circle – old school and simple. Songs as they should be.

Platoo – Graz. Photo by Katrin Schmirler

The last gig was a wonderful way to wrap up an amazing week and where else but Platoo, in Graz at Die Scherbe. One of my favourite rooms to play and the crowd did not disappoint. I have played Platoo three times now and every concert is different and always leaves the best of souvenirs. Like all the venues we played in fact – From the early shows on the 11th at Molly Darcy’s (another big night), the staff, the people, the venues where great (wundersuper!) and as musicians we couldn’t do what we do without your support, the love and all the inclusion you provide for original music. You take us into your rooms and your memories… Here’s hoping we can for those few moments, create some lasting magic and sure who knows…leave some roots of our own. Thanks a million and see you all next year. Ar mbuíochas faoin gach rud. Tabhair aire – Shane x

To read the beautiful blog from from Platoo by Katrin Schmirler – Click here

Thanks a million to the Sad Opera Entertainment crew, management, Fair Play Concerts and Fusion bags for all your support. It goes a long long way!

Click here to view dates for the Spring Flowers German Tour 2017