Egan leaves us on a high after fond farewell

It's his last gig as a "proper Irishman" and Richie Egan's brought some champagne. By the end of this long weekend, the man otherwise known as Jape will be setting up shop in his wife's home country of Sweden.

It's also his drummer's last gig before leaving for New York, so you can understand if there's a hint of sadness in the air.

It probably explains why a number of local musicians have turned out to wave him off, and why David Kitt jumps on stage to lend a hand or two on bass. This is the end of an era -- and it certainly feels like it.

Then again, we are talking about the man who recently walked away with his second Choice Music Prize. This isn't just a farewell gig -- it's a jam-packed, sweat-soaked celebration.

Though lacking somewhat in the height department, Egan has always been something of a commanding showman; never too shy, yet rarely overconfident. Hundreds could be watching, maybe even thousands, but he just gets lost in the sound of his own beat.

And it's a wonderful thing to see. Almost as wonderful as the actual tunes that this talented Dubliner regularly churns out.

The ever-reliable Floating continues to flourish, thanks in part to Egan and his band's insistence on giving the track a superb, electro-heavy makeover. Scorpio -- with its jittery groove and crowd-pleasing chant -- goes down a treat, as does the excellent I Was a Man.

Returning for an encore, Egan and the gang break out the bottle of bubbly. There's a struggle when it comes to actually opening it, but a sweet rendition of Strike Me Down more than makes up for that. So long, Richie -- don't be a stranger. HHHHI