Hit and Miss at Guinness Amplify

There's a new gig in town.  Guinness has replaced Arthur's Day with a multi-day music extravaganza dubbed Guinness Amplify featuring more than 500 gigs across Ireland.  We were excited to see what was in store although in the end, the overall experience was a bit hit or miss.



Our first miss happened when we reviewed the schedule and headed down to Smyth's of Haddington Road to see a bluegrass band on a Friday night.  Oopsy...  our bad.  Turns out the gig was at Smyth's of Ranelagh.  No problem, we hopped into a taxi and were there with time to spare.  The band was still setting up when we arrived about 15 minutes after the advertised showtime.  The next miss happened soon after.  The original band, Paul Creane and the Changing Band couldn't make it because the lead singer had a throat infection.  Instead, we were treated to our first 'hit' of the night when the Byrne Brothers (accompanied by Oregon-man Norman) took the stage.  The lads played their hearts out despite the mostly disinterested audience.  At one point, I think we were the only ones paying attention.  The band deserved better than that.

Next up, we walked to Paddy Cullen's in Ballsbridge to see Emerald Folk.  They were a lively and cheeky twosome featuring energetic Irish Trad favorites.  
We really enjoyed the performance although I'm not sure they fit with what Guinness Amplify was advertising:  fantastic new Irish bands and artists across Leinster (including North and South Dublin Counties), Munster, Ulster, Connacht and Dublin City Centre.  I know I've seen these guys play before somewhere.  They may not have been new but at least they were entertaining.  Great craic.

We walked over to our 'local' Scruffy Murphy's to catch another gig on Saturday evening.  We sat down for a pint and strangely, the band never appeared.  We asked at the bar and apparently, Ryan McMullan just simply never showed up.  They tried to call him but to no avail.  That was certainly the biggest miss of the weekend but the house DJ made a valiant save by whipping out the karaoke machine.  Our biggest consolation though was the 4 EUR pints of Guinness thanks to the festival.  I like the concept of Guinness Amplify, I just hope it runs a little more smoothly if they do it again next year.

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Sidewalk Safari: Hit and Miss at Guinness Amplify
Hit and Miss at Guinness Amplify
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Sidewalk Safari
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