Published on December 16th, 2011 | by Lisa McInerney0
If you’ve logged onto the internet at all in the last couple of months, you’ll probably have heard me bleating on, and on, and on about my recent move back home to rural South County Galway, a place with rocks where fields should be and reality where Killinaskully should be. Since I got settled back in Connacht, I’ve struggled with how best to explain this reclaimed lifestyle to my urbane urbanites back in my adopted city of Cork. Should I send them photos of cows in flagrante delicto? Elderly priests falling off their bicycles? Perhaps videos of boy racers speeding their Massey Fergusons up and down the community school car park? For a while, it was as perplexing a quandary as our disappearing lakes. And then Garry Carroll sorted it for me, just as he had sorted Fade Street and Coldplay. I should never have doubted him.
Garry Carroll, also known as Nostril Shorts, also known as Dryad’s Saddle, is either a genial oddity or an odd genius, depending on the mood I’m in. From adding new perspective to Coronation Street, to sexing up Daniel O’Donnell, he’s a brilliantly alarming marriage of musical wizardry and the purest divilment, and most definitely not safe for work. His latest manifestation, Fecquin Foley, is a proud son of County Clare and the frontman of trad band Mother Focal, and he’s so terrifyingly real that if my laptop screen was big enough, I would have thought I was looking out the window.
Fecquin’s hits include such gems as Sweet Mary Joe Breda Devine, and I would bet my corner of the Burren that its comforting trad air and the dulcet tones of its singer would go down a treat with the misty-eyed ould wans in my family pub, so long as none of them realised it opened with the lyrics “By the coast, eating toast, up a lamp post…” The authenticity of both Fecquin’s artistic vision and the superfluous h’s in his vocal delivery are enough to knock sparks out of me. One no longer needs documentary nor Pat Shortt sitcom to understand the culture of the Connacht/Munster border. If RTE had any sense at all, they’d be licking Carroll’s ankles while stuffing filthy lucre in his every orifice. But I might only be saying that because he’s singing to me the song of my people.
Here’s Fequin’s first outing, in which he sings us a couple of songs and teaches us a money-saving trick with common driveway materials.