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Sean’s Bar Sunday session

musicians gathered around the table at a traditional Irish session in Sean's Bar, Athlone

It was the session that wouldn’t end.

The Ambering Moonees played their normal set filled with lovely little trad numbers like this one and only the obligatory amount of messing about. Yours truly was, of course, very well-behaved throughout and never rose to inventing purile songs about the effects of hangovers.

As the session finished up a generous patron purchased your favourite blogger a pint of porter.

Well, what was I to do?

It seemed uncharitable to leave a full drink on the table, even though the other musicians had left. I bagged the goatskin and guitar and headed to the back room where I watched a bit of the gaelic football match between Dublin and Kerry as I finished my pint.

My drink finished, I got up to leave when the sheriff flagged me down from inside. He asked whether the session was happening today. I explained it had ended. He shrugged to his left where the deputy and a friend were seated.

“I was hoping to bring them out for the session,” he explained. Just then I noticed the electrician was sitting at the next table. He caught my eye and nodded at me. As if on cue, TomBanjo arrived.

Within short order I was unzipping my bags up at front of the pub and two banjos, two guitars and a bodhran were setting up around a table. For the second time, I was playing guitar at a trad session. I’ll tell ya, this is becoming a habit of sorts.

At the second half of the Sunday session, the electrician played an a capella version of The Well Below the Valley-O which ripped into a lively little banjo number at the end.