Venues are still running on limited capacities but through the fog the green shoots are starting to emerge.

I was at 2 gigs last weekend, my first night out was aptly Paranoid Visions in the Opium Rooms. It was nearly 40 years ago when I first saw Paranoid Visions. I stood there, a terrified teen, as the tension in the Ivy Rooms exploded throughout the room. I was hooked. The Nilz started proceedings and tried their best to rock the crowd out of their designated seats. The Visions are still haunting but after 2 years of inaction it is strange to be sitting down the back as songs from each decade are payed. Ireland is emerging form a pandemic but as a country we still have a lot to emerge from.

I went into the Demonstration on Saturday as word filtered around that the Cobblestone was being modernised, along with Merchants Arch in temple Bar. Symbols of Dublin are being replaced by soulless concrete and double glazing, as we cling on to a past slowly eroding. As the ad hoc demo headed towards Dublin City Council buildings on Wood Quay i was reminded of those days in the 80’s when we marched to save a site of Viking heritage. Wood Quay was the home of ruins from centuries gone, full of history to Irelands past but wasn’t ready to play a part in its immediate future. We carried coffins to those marches too as the coffin declaring the death of culture made it’s way along Dublin’s quays.

2 nights later I was in the same venue stuck to my seat and completely absorbed in the beauty that was the acoustic version of A Lazarous Soul. Nrian and Joe from the band stripped down the songs bare and the intense beauty and emotion from them shone through. A Lazarous Soul sing of a Dublin that is changing. they wonder is it best for people to be moved from homes to make way for temporary way more expensive accommodation. They sing of lost communities, dispersed and vanished. I looked around and realised that the people here tonight, yesterday on the demo and at last Fridays gig were my comrades 2 years ago. we were part of something, a belief that things would be ok. The pandemic took that away, we crawled into our homes and looked after our much loved ones. And now we are back, greyer and with slightly less energy than before. What is ahead we do not know but for tonight the songs are perfect.

*photo courtesy of @sineadok on Instagram

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