Brideswell Session

Brideswell traditional Irish Session near Athlone

Sometimes it’s good to get out. With all the disheartening talk about rural pubs closing, I was even more appreciative of my evening yesterday in Brideswell.

Ze germanz and I headed out through the backroads. It feels almost epic, breezing past the hedgerows in the dark, setting dogs to barking in our wake – the drive out to Brideswell. The unassuming pub, the friendly buzz of conversation inside and the magical knot of musicians in the back.

You can feel the stress melt away as the outside world recedes and the warm atmosphere of the pub draws you gently in. Soon there’s a chilled pint or a hot cup of tea in your hand. The music of pipe, flute, guitar, bouzouki weaving through each other surrounds you.

Lost in their playing, the musicians rarely look at each other except for the occasional meaningful glance or musical cue. It’s almost as if the object of their attention is better appreciated sightless – surely the magnitude of what they’re building is a blind labour on something that eludes one’s sense of scale.

Sometimes the gathering leans into a particularly vigorous tune, feet gently tapping, bodies braced against the momentum. Other times, it’s a quiet, articulate celebration like this piece on bouzouki and guitar.