Tuesday 23 April 2019

‘I’m in amazing health at the moment’ – Tom Dunne gearing up for Tipp Classical following major heart surgery

Tom Dunne performing with Something Happens this summer on the main stage at Groove at Killruddery House, Bray. Picture: Tony Gavin
Tom Dunne performing with Something Happens this summer on the main stage at Groove at Killruddery House, Bray. Picture: Tony Gavin
Something Happens
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Tom Dunne is not allowing major heart surgery to stop him from organizing – and performing at – the follow-up to last year’s hugely successful Feile Classical.

The Newstalk broadcaster, who has also fronted the band 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 says he had “no reservations” about taking on the two-day Thurles festival, which has been re-named Tipp Classical for 2019.

“I’m in amazing health at the moment and I’m only starting my physio now so I’ll be even fitter,” he tells Independent.ie

tipp classical.jpg
Tipp Classical

“Come April/May I’ll be in better physical shape than the last five or ten 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, which 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 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.

Although the name of the event has changed, the 90s nostalgia vibe remains, with many of the artists and bands enjoying their heyday in that era.

The line-up includes Sultans of Ping, The Stunning, Therapy? (in their first Thurles concert since 1994), Transvision Vamp’s Wendy James, Mundy, The Frank & Walters, Something Happens, Picture House, The Fat Lady Sings and Eleanor McEvoy.

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," says Tom.

All of the acts will perform with the Irish Chamber Orchestra and there will be some special collaborations too with Shane MacGowan and special guests performing with the orchestra as well as a celebration of Thin Lizzie’s Live and Dangerous album.

“Last year was a surprise.  I don’t think anyone realised how good it was going to be,” says Tom.

“We all thought it was going to sound great but the first indication it was going to be something really special was when the orchestra did the intro to The Frank and Walters’ After All.  It was just one of the greatest pieces of music I’ve ever heard in my life.

“After that it was treat after treat after treat and it got more magical as the night wore on.  The pitch invasion really helped with the magic on both nights. 

“Afterwards I interviewed all the bands for a podcast and everyone was saying the same thing, that it was the most special night of their lives.”

Tickets for Tipp Classical on sale now, €159.50 online from www.TippClassical.com and physical tickets from Lar Na Pairce, Thurles.

It's been emotional: Féile comes full circle for Jerry Fish Tom Dunne’s Féile odyssey Féile Classical - Brewing up a perfect storm of homegrown hits The original Trip to Tipp: 1990 was the year of the first Féile - when the Irish summer would be altered forever

Online Editors

Editors Choice

Also in Entertainment

Back to top