Welcome to the Musical Dublin

True Grit

True Grit

Essay of life as a Dublin musician in her own words 

by Rachael McCormack

I met Rachael through Fiach Moriarty whom she calls as Dublin’s local music hero. You always start from somewhere and that’s when you meet other people in the business. It is a thriving community of interesting people from all walks of life. Some of them even came from other parts of the globe but got marooned here and well, the rest is history.

She is from north of Dublin and got exposed to music at such an early age. Here are her thoughts about her city and why people never want to leave when they get there:

Well what can I say,100 words wouldn’t be enough about how much I love my hometown of Dublin, it’s one of the only cities that caters for unsigned musicians.
Down every street, every side alley your bound to bump into a musician playing guitar to violin to drums to even the odd thin whistle, especially around Temple Bar the carnival atmosphere in the square is pretty special, I myself would be seen walking the streets with the guitar on my back going to a gig.
As a very young child I’ve always wanted to play music.

courtesy of the Temple Bar website

courtesy of the Temple Bar website

I can think as far back as 6yrs of age when I’d be tugging at my mams jumper saying I want a guitar, or I’d make one out of a shoe box and shoe laces hahahaha. So Dublin to me is one big song with many choruses. Let’s face it, us Irish know how to party, so adding the music element is like water from a tap: It comes naturally I guess,we’re a nation of storytellers and the songs are there to guide us along the way.

With our famous exports as The Frames to The Script (and lets not forget U2),there’s something special about singing in front of a packed live audience. I recently visited the Glor Sessions which is a poetry/singer/songwriter night, where there is no mikes, no amps, just you and your voice and guitar.It’s really intimate and you feel that when you finished each song. I myself have always just wanted to play for people, at so many of my gigs I get at least one person coming up to me saying, I really loved your set, and that one person makes the whole night worth it, and that’s what music should be about, not will I ever be discovered?Or will I ever make it?

To me, I’ve already made it. I’m a musician and that to me is an achievement, from supporting Slumberjet, a Dublin based rock band in the renowned Sugar Club venue,to upstairs in Whelans for the battle of the bands Dublin final, it’s a fantastic city of acceptance, musically speaking, Irish audiences love you for who you are on stage and how unique you are. Us Dubliners are known for being a noisy bunch at gigs. But are always remembered for and are welcomed, and that’s what music is about: a celebration of local talent.

Hopefully in the coming years will just grow and grow in this fastly cosmopolitan city, but the thing is, I’m lucky I’m right in the heart of it, and that’s the best gift of all; the charm of the city will always make me want to play. I once played for 3 people and a dog. Now I’m playing for 300 people in the middle of Marrion square park for the rising stars of 2011. Things can only get better for the Irish music scene.

Dublin, River Liffey at night

Dublin, River Liffey at night



One thought on “Welcome to the Musical Dublin

  1. Because we were so tired after sightseeing in Dublin when I was there in April for a tour I missed seeing the River Liffey at night (though we crossed the Royal Canal on our way to a dinner while there at night – really lovely.). The city is magical in the day time or at night.

    She’s right about music being almost everywhere. We went to Trinity College on foot from our hotel and it was amazing how many musicians we stopped to listen to along the way. Thanks Rachael for the article, and bringing back the memories of my April trip!


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