By Eoin English
Shoppers on Cork city's Patrick Street were treated to a very special performance this weekend, as singer songwriter Duke Special joined other top musical talent for a street gig for charity.
The busking-style gig was organised by Edel Curtin, who runs Coughlan's live music venue on Douglas Street in the city centre, to raise money for the Cork Penny Dinners charity.
Edel said she was delighted that Belfast-based singer songwriter Duke Special, who played Coughlan's on Thursday night, agreed to perform on St Patrick's Street on Friday before he headed off to his Friday night gig in De Barra's in Clonakilty.
A PA system was set up on the plaza just outside Brown Thomas and Duke Special was joined by Hank Wedel, Crazy Chester and members of Hard Ground, all regular performers at Coughlan's, for the hour-long gig.
"They all gave their time voluntarily and there was a brilliant atmosphere. People on their lunch break came up to us afterwards and thanked us for cheering them up before they went back to work," Edel said.
Duke Special is finishing off his next studio album, due for release this year. He is on an Irish tour this and next month (dates here), and is unveiling for the first time some of the material from the new album.
A video clip of the performance was posted to the Cork Penny Dinners facebook page, where the charity comments: "What a fantastic performance today outside Brown Thomas by big hearted musicians who gave voluntarily of their time and talents to raise funds for a very worthy cause: Penny Dinners.
"Also congratulations to Edel Curtin of Coughlan's Bar for organizing the event. They surely all must have hearts of gold!"
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The musicians raised €750 for the Penny Dinners.
Meanwhile, Coughlan's is in the running for an IMRO live music venue award.
You can vote for the venue by following the links on their facebook page.