From rock ’n’ roll kids to real-life guitar heroes, dads who reignited their love of music in the corner of their local pub are set to perform the biggest gig of their lives tonight in one of Ireland’s most historic venues.
Members of The White Horse Guitar Club, which was founded five years ago in the renowned White Horse pub, restaurant and music venue in Ballincollig, Co Cork, will headline a gig in the city’s Everyman Theatre.
White Horse publican Joe Carey, one of the guitar club founders, was also a founding member of former rock band, Jodavino. He said the club’s musical journey proves that it’s never too late.
“No one expected us to get to this stage. We have made great strides in the five years together and this concert in the Everyman will mark a coming of age for the group,” Mr Carey said.
He revealed that he stopped playing music for almost five years after Jodavino broke up.
“I was just so disillusioned with the music industry. Then the club started. It was kind of like a men’s shed for guitarists. We just put the call out. And 11 guys responded.
“Some of them had never played to an audience before, some had never played their guitar outside their bedroom before.
“But I think we’ve proved that it’s not all like The X-Factor. If you don’t make it by 25, it’s not over.”
The club was founded in his pub’s upstairs music venue on a cold, wet, March night in 2012 when a small group of guitar lovers, including Joe Philpott who played with legendary Cork band Ruby Horse before joining Jodavino, issued an open call to anyone interested in forming a guitar club.
Among those to answer the call were Stephen Hegarty, a senior executive with VoxPro; Justin Cronin and Anthony Cotter, who run printing and graphic design firm CoolGrey; photographer Donagh Glavin; Adrian O’Mahony, an electrical engineer and chairman of the Cork Concert Orchestra; Dermot Carew, a teacher; Liam Óg Fitzgerald, a stone mason; Brendan Whelan, a carpenter and building project manager; and Brian Fitzgibbon, who works with Irish Rail.
Their earliest sessions were in pubs across Cork city but the group has since performed across Ireland, and toured in France, Germany, Italy and Holland.
They have carved out a reputation for their special blend of Americana and roots music. They have also performed with American piano virtuoso, David Syme, at one of his intimate ‘living room’ concerts’ with capacity for 100 people at his Beara home in West Cork where he has lived since 2005.
Mr Syme, a Juilliard-trained concert pianist who has performed in Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Center and Kennedy Centre, and all over Europe, will join the club on stage tonight, alongside the 50-strong Carrigtwohill Gospel Choir.
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