Entertainment Festivals

Sunday 16 June 2019

Don't let name-change confuse you - the Trip to Tipp is back once again

Classic stuff: Louis Roden, Irish Chamber Orchestra; Wendy James of Transvision Vamp; Jerry Fish; Tom Dunne; and Jane Hackett, Irish Chamber Orchestra, at the launch of Tipp Classical Festival at Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co Tipperary, where it will take place in September. Photo: Oisin McHugh/True Media
Classic stuff: Louis Roden, Irish Chamber Orchestra; Wendy James of Transvision Vamp; Jerry Fish; Tom Dunne; and Jane Hackett, Irish Chamber Orchestra, at the launch of Tipp Classical Festival at Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co Tipperary, where it will take place in September. Photo: Oisin McHugh/True Media

Aoife Kelly and Sorcha O'Connor

It's back - although with yet another slight name change.

The Trip To Tipp, reborn last year as Féile Classical, will return to Semple Stadium in Thurles in September as Tipp Classical.

According to organisers, the latest name change is "all about looking forward, rather than focusing too much on the past".

But of course it will have a distinctly retro feel when it comes to the line-up with The Stunning, The Sultans of Ping, Therapy? and Transvision Vamp's Wendy James, among others.

Of course, Something Happens singer Tom Dunne, who resurrected the Trip to Tipp last year and is steering this year's event, will also take to the stage again.

And he isn't about to let major heart surgery slow him down.

Signed-up: Northern Ireland rockers Therapy? are part of the line-up for Tipp Classical in September
Signed-up: Northern Ireland rockers Therapy? are part of the line-up for Tipp Classical in September

The Newstalk broadcaster, who has also fronted Something Happens for more than three decades, had surgery on a genetic heart condition just three months ago.

Despite suffering from kidney failure during the operation and having to learn to walk again following surgery, Tom (58) has recovered extremely well.

He said he had "no reservations" about taking on the two-day Tipp Classical.

"I'm in amazing health at the moment and I'm only starting my physio now so I'll be even fitter," he told the Irish Independent.

"Come April or May, I'll be in better physical shape than the last five or 10 years, my heart will be that much improved. It was a genetic thing, a valve in my heart was slowly stiffening and it was going to stop completely. What I have now is completely un-stiffened."

Tom describes the recovery from heart surgery as "incredible" and says he even had the all-clear to accept a gig with Something Happens in Dubai, although it ultimately never came about.

"I was with the heart surgeon and my wife and I said, 'What do you think about Dubai?' and my wife was weighing in and said, 'He won't be able to do that, will he?' and the heart surgeon said, 'Absolutely, he will. He'll be flying', which is not what she was expecting, I think," he said.

Tom will perform with the band at three or four festivals this summer prior to their stint at Tipp Classical, which takes place on Friday, September 20, and Saturday, September 21, at Semple Stadium and other locations across Thurles.

Tom had tried to secure Cork's Sultans of Ping for last year but they were unavailable. "I think 'Where's Me Jumper?' will sound unbelievable on that pitch," he said.

All of the acts will perform with the Irish Chamber Orchestra and there will be some special collaborations with Shane MacGowan as well as a celebration of Thin Lizzy's 'Live and Dangerous' album.

Tickets for Tipp Classical are on sale now for €159.50.

Irish Independent

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