I picked up Suzanne Hughes Owen and Danielle Lewis at midnight from Llandysul and we headed off to Fishguard to check in with Stenna Line.
The boat left at 2.45am. We were so excited and couldn't understand why everyone was finding ways to immediately bed down and sleep for the night! We went off exploring and chatting about our professional development trip for the festival. We were spolit on board having tickets to Stena Premiere ... travelling in comfort.
We arrived at the hotel at 7am having had no sleep we were starting to struggle a bit and I reckon the receptionist took pity on us because we weren't supposed to check in til 4pm! She very kindly moved rooms around and we headed up. Again we were spoilt! Whites Hotel is 4 stars! They had a beautiful Christmas tree up ...
Even the loo's were posh!
This is the view from my hotel room. We grabbed a couple of hours sleep missing breakfast and then heading off into town to start the networking
We went over to Wexford Arts Centre where we would be performing that night ...
as part of the Dinner Cabaret
Then we went on a mission to put out our fliers around town
We found The Opera House ... and the Business Manager very kindly had a meeting with us
After a quick rehearsal in the hotel we popped over for our sound check at the Arts Centre. The Manager had asked for us to perform a 10 - 15 minute piece called a Child's Christmas in Wales so I wrote a piece originally for myself and The Passmores. Sadly they weren't able to come and Suzanne and Danielle who both performed at CW12, kindly stepped in literally last minute. I adjusted the set to fit their style and creative gifts ...
But just before we left for Ireland I had emailed Alex Caulfield asking if there would be any chance that Danielle could showcase some of her own songs as that was one of her own aims. LAst minute I pinged over 3 or 4 video clips and Mp3's that Danielle had sent me so that Alex could see what she sounded like.
As luck would have it, there was a gap in the line up and because she has the voice of an angel, Alex and Helena kindly slotted her in an extra set of her own songs. I was so chuffed to see her coming into her light up there. She is now planning to go back to teh venue with a full set of her own.
We all had lots of really positive feedback which was lovely, and then we enjoyed watching the local Irish acts who were outstanding!
There were a few performance firsts for us ...
Having been a written poet throughout her life, Suzanne first became a spoken word poet via the Celtic Women Project and on this trip she sang live on stage for the first time ever!
And even though I have played Djembe solo for my own work and recordings or in groups with other drummers, I have never accompanied a solo artist live on stage before ...
It was Danielle's first trip to Ireland
We rolled into bed late and set the alarm early for our Breakfast meeting the following morning ...
What happened next?
See the next blog!