Spraoi

SPRAOI – Source to Sea

SPRAOI 2017

As always, the three-days long festival culminates in a spectacular creative parade Sunday night. Every parade has a theme. Source To Sea is the theme for this year’s 25th anniversary Parade. It is all about River Suir.

SPRAOI 2017

I have written about River Suir on many occasions, and I know I will write again :).

River Suir is 185 km ( 115 mi) long with the average flow rate of 76.9 cubic metres per second –  and we love every drop of it! River Suir begins on the slopes of Devil’s Bit Mountain in County Tipperary and flows south to Waterford Harbour where she enters the Atlantic Ocean.

River Suir flows past many castles, and she has witnessed many bloody battles.

Snaking through the countryside, River Suir grows in size and beauty. She is a home to many creatures, real and mystical, and her secrets are well kept, some of them hidden in the thick of her islands.

Here is everything you need to know about River Suir – animals, fowl, fairies and humans living here since the world began.

SPRAOI 2017

SPRAOI 2017

SPRAOI 2017

SPRAOI 2017

It is literally raining on our parade, but the rain is not going to bring our spirit down.

SPRAOI 2017

Heron is one of my Suir favorites. These birds are perfect for slow shutter speed shots since they can stay motionless for hours. This one has caught a rainbow trout and now is trying to swallow it whole.

heron

Some walking exercises after a great lunch.

heron

They have a heron here too. No fish eating demonstrations though.

SPRAOI 2017

They even have an otter! I don’t have any picture of a live otter…

SPRAOI 2017

Many floats represent fishing.

SPRAOI 2017

SPRAOI 2017

SPRAOI 2017

SPRAOI 2017

And of course there is a fish. A gigantic Rainbow trout.

SPRAOI 2017

This mechanical swan looks very real.

SPRAOI 2017

swan

An army of dragonflies and their Queen.

SPRAOI 2017

SPRAOI 2017

And of course nothing of this would have happened without 200 artists and volunteers.

SPRAOI 2017

SPRAOI 2017

The Parade ended at a quarter to 11 pm concluded with firework finale which I never take pictures of. Fireworks are for watching.

river suir

Thank you for visiting SPRAOI and River Suir!

www.inesemjphotography.comHave a wonderful weekend!

SPRAOI – 25 years in the streets

SPRAOI 2017

Two years ago I wrote about Musical Nun Ruth antics, last year I was impressed with The Morbid and Sons undertakers street theatre. This summer SPRAOI presented a whole constellation of street performers who demonstrated many talents and successfully had the audience in stitches.

Niamh McGrath and Keith Singleton, the Oh Dears, gave me a tea bag so that I could enjoy a cuppa after all that hard work taking pictures. They were asked for an autograph and no wonder – many people are familiar with the duo and their comedy Looking Deadly.

SPRAOI 2017

Mr. Culbuto, a human tumble toy, was rolling around O’Connel street waiting for someone to play with him. Two nuns (real nuns!) happened to walk by and one of them agreed to hold his hand.

SPRAOI

Naturally, Mr. Culbuto started falling face down.

SPRAOI

The nun was terrified. The audience were amused.

SPRAOI

Mr. Culbuto’s delivery man said it was OK 🙂

SPRAOI

“Ireland’s most lovable idiots”, brothers Seamus and Sean, are always amazing. I watched this show in Clonmel last year, but didn’t mind to watch it again.

Lords of Strut

Lords of Strut

The Lords of Strut Cormac Mohally and Cian Kinsella launched their first gig in 2008. Since then they have traveled around the worlds and even become Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalists. They charmed the judges with all that lycra, neon and sparkles, no doubt on that, but also with their dazzling acrobatics and contortion.

As always, Sean gets stuck in contortion ring, but with the help of Seamus he will eventually squeeze his body through.

Lords of Strut

Stellar acrobatic performance on the ladder.

Lords of Strut

“Happy reunion” with the long lost “daddy” Sean found in the audience. It is my favorite part of the show 🙂 As you can see, some spectators laugh to tears.

Lords of Strut

Between the shows, SPRAOI visitors are having a great time this weekend with all the nice weather.

The performers are moving to a different location. Most of them have 2-3 shows every day.

SPRAOI

The Silent Brass Band from The Netherlands marching by.

SPRAOI 2017

True fans gathered around the Georges Court stage.

I see a familiar face. Morbid and Sons undertaker !

SPRAOI

Yet I am told that it is a new comedy show directed by Nicholas Kavanagh – The Foolhardy Three. Lots of music, dance and slapstick, as expected from a good old vaudeville.

SPRAOI

Gareth Jones & Matt Barnard are absolutely brilliant. The Variety Spectacular is a truly spectacular show, a comedy classic full of song, dance, and charm. I loved the use of volunteers – my favorite part of any act 🙂

SPRAOI 2017

And last but not least – Robotic Drum Show. Performer Ulrich Kahlert, Germany.

SPRAOI

SPRAOI

I will write about SPRAOI Grand Parade some other day.

www.inesemjphotography.comHave a wonderful week!

SPRAOI – quarter of a century party

Scotch

August Bank holiday weekend in Waterford is better known as The SPRAOI weekend. In 1993, twelve events took place over three days of the festival; this time, 25 years later, the number of events is over 200. I have counted 28 performers, and I will tell about some of them in my next blog, but today I want to write about one of the favorites – a party folk band from Holland, the Scotch. During the three days, they gave eight performances in different venues in Waterford as a part of their Ireland tour that also includes Cork and Ardara, Donegal.

I went to see them in the Palace Square Friday, after dark. I can tell you – these guys know how to put on a show 🙂 Young and old, no one could stay still listening to the lively and infectious rhythms.

Scotch

Scotch

I have questions, and the drummer looks like the right person to start a chat 🙂

Scotch

After an hour the show is over. I enjoyed every minute of it – watching the audience was a bonus 🙂

Scotch

The guys are putting their instruments away, but it is not the end.

Scotch

Their fans want pictures. I take advantage 🙂

Scotch

I guess they will go to their car, eventually, and yes – here comes the drummer 🙂

Scotch

His name is Wouter and he is willing to answer my questions.

Scotch

Scotch is a party folk band, formed in 2003. At that time their shows were more theatrical.

Wouter:  We started out as a punk band with a lot of glam rock inspirations. Went to a more symphonic style wearing all kind of costumes and doing some heavy makeup. The folk style evolved during touring in Germany and Czech as busking became an important part of our travels.

Wouter is doing drums, percussion and vocals.

Sam is the lead vocalist of Scotch, and also the violinist who is responsible for all the dance craze tonight 🙂

Scotch

Wouter and Sam founded Scotch, and Nathan, the guitarist and vocalist, is with the band from the very beginning…

Scotch

… as is the bass guitarist and singer Sjoerd. A lifelong friendship.

Scotch

Jochem joined Scotch in 2007, and he is doing guitar, banjo, melodica and vocals.

Scotch

And Juno is taking videos 🙂

Scotch

The band is known and loved in their native city, Dordrecht which is as old as Waterford. Well, they are loved in Waterford too, and also in Scotland, and many other countries they have toured over the years. They performed at various national art festivals, the Calais refugee camp, and successfully auditioned for Holland’s got Talent.

I hope you can listen to their music here. Just scroll down:

Jean Luc is their third album.

What holds you together for so many years?

Wouter: Friendship is the most important thing in the band. We’ve been playing together for such a long time now. It would be super strange to split up. We enjoy traveling together and meeting people with the music as a kind of super glue.

Scotch

Do you make a living as a band?

Wouter: Nope…

Which is a shame, because they are wonderful and they make a difference. They bring a party to people.

Scotch

I watch all of their performances as it is close to where I live.

Scotch

Sometimes I spot them watching other performers, or taking selfies 🙂

Scotch

Their fans are waiting at the George’s Court stage.

It is a huge crowd here around the main stage of the festival decorated with Waterford colors.

Scotch

From where I stand I can only see a glimpse of Wouter 🙂

Scotch

The following day it is raining heavily, but it doesn’t scare their loyal fans.

Scotch

The ‘orange minions’, the members of the huge group of SPRAOI volunteers, are doing a great job creating a protective shield for the musicians.

Scotch

Scotch

Bring in the party!

Scotch

This is Scotch’s Facebook page   and you can book a party at booking@scotchtheband.com, or let your friends know about them.

Thank you for celebrating SPRAOI milestone! More in my next post.

www.inesemjphotography.com Have a wonderful week!

Meanwhile in the streets

Gottfried Helnwein

Visiting Saltee Island was a pleasure, but it is the time to return and check out what we have missed while we were away. There are some street scenes and the events that took place in Clonmel and Waterford.

Clonmel Junction festival is the most eventful week in July, filled with live music, street performance, theatre and visual art. Installations of the works A Child for sale by a world renowned artist and Kilsheelan resident Gottfried Helnwein could be seen in various places in the streets of Clonmel.

In my blog post Cry for the Last Child, I wrote about Gottfried and his beautiful castle. His granddaughters Croí and Éala are regular models for his paintings.

Gottfried Helnwein

Lords of Strut  – very talented and very positive comedians from Cork gave a brilliant performance in Clonmel.

clonmel junction 052

clonmel junction 028

‘Over styled and under dressed’, silly but charming  characters Strut brothers Sean and Seamus,  won the hearts of young and old with their hilarious show, acrobatics, satire and dance.

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The streets of Waterford were not always as deserted as you might think after looking at this picture.

minimalist

Historical reenactment of 1916 Easter Rising gathered quite a crowd and took us a hundred years back.

reenactment

minimalist

reenactment

reenactment

There is a video of the Reenactment I found on Youtube – I even caught a glimpse of myself in it 🙂

 

All sorts of transportation in The Quay, side by side. I love this street, and I think that most of my Waterford pictures were taken there.

captain

Irish United Nations Veteran meeting was held in Cathedral Square, just a minute walk from The Quay. Thank you for your service!

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Waterford Spraoi festival is one of a kind. Theatre, music, art, dance and much more is happening in the streets of Waterford on the first weekend of August. Here is my Spraoi 2015 post. I will share only a few pictures this time.

Spraoi orchestra string quartet.

Spraoi

Morbid&Sons, a brand new undertaker business. Way to go, guys!

Morbid&Sons

Tango for all! Dance until dark!

aspraoi tango 090

aspraoi tango f 137

The sun is setting down and it looks like we are having a rainy day tomorrow 🙂

Waterford

Melting gold of the setting sun flows behind the horizon. Darkness comes instead.

night

It is a perfect time to see the famous Spraoi monsters in the streets of Waterford City…

SPRAOI

… and listen to the monster style music 🙂

SPRAOI

Don’t be afraid of Spraoi monsters. They are a little bit crazy, but all they want is to have fun.  The only really scary and ugly thing in this world is hate.

Thank you for stopping by and for your interest in Ireland. In my next blog post, we will return to the Ocean and take a very unusual walk 🙂

inesemjphotography Have a wonderful weekend!