Toss's the venue for Wexford leg of '32 gigs' adventure
TIPPLERS in Toss Kavanagh's pub in Enniscorthy were treated to a unique spectacle recently, and it wasn't the bolts of lightning illuminating the streets outside.
Instead, Galway musician Aidan Breen chose the Templeshannon hub of live music as the venue for the Wexford leg of his '32 gigs in 32 counties in 32 days' challenge.
The round-Ireland idea was hatched at a bar in the City of the Tribes when fellow band members of the 'Cotton Ball Three' laid down the gauntlet for the 21-year-old IT graduate.
With the sunshine on his back, Aidan packed his guitar and PA system into his trusty Nissan Almera, before taking to the country's roads.
His appearance in Toss Kavanagh's occurred on day 25 of the tour, and he has accumulated some interesting tales to tell along the way.
Having slept in B&Bs as well as hostels and his car – the spot to lay his head dependent on the generosity of his daily tipsters – his adventure hit its lowest point to date in Belfast. After booking into a hostel in the city centre on a street that he was assured was safe, he woke the following morning to find his window smashed and his Sat Nav gone. Luckily, the thieves left his musical equipment alone.
'Overall it's been a great experience, and I've got a lot of tales to tell,' says Aidan, 'including the gig in Omagh, which was one of the highlights so far. I just walked into a pub, asked if I could play, and before I knew it the place filled up with musicians. I really want to be a full-time musician. I love letting people hear my own songs, and that's what has made the trip so worthwhile.' His repertoire, a mixture of covers and originals, went down well with the Toss Kavanagh's crowd and the quick-witted Galwegian had plenty of banter in reserve for one heckler who wanted to hear 'something that he could understand'.
From Enniscorthy, and with a ringing endorsement from his audience, Aidan left for Bastardstown in south Wexford where a bed awaited in the home of his girlfriend's mother's cousin.
His journey ends in Brogan's pub in Ennis, County Clare, on July 31. To read more about his trip see his blog at www.32counties.in32days.com