Mike happy just going with the flow

Chatting to Fergus Dennehy this week, Mike Denver talks about his upcoming show in the INEC, his love of music, why he never expected to have such success and how he first got started in music

Mike Denver
Mike Denver

Less than a week out from his show in the INEC and Mike Denver says that he is looking forward to "coming home" to perform in Kerry.

Although a Portumna man by birth, Mike says that he has grown to feel more at home here in The Kingdom, ever since he and his band started performing every Wednesday night during the Summer season in the famous Killarney venue.

"Killarney is always a fantastic and wonderful place to play. It's become home to us over the last few years because we play down there so often during the Summer season. The Gleneagle Hotel and the ballroom there, that's our base of operations for the Summer and we love it," said Mike, speaking to The Kerryman on Monday afternoon.

"I don't think that there is any gig or venue in the country that we play as much or enjoy playing as much as we do the INEC in Killarney. It's such a fantastic venue and we're delighted to playing there again this weekend with the hugely talented Margo. It's going to be a great night altogether," he continued.

Starting his musical career at the age of 16 with a series of pub gigs in and around the Portumna area, Mike is typically understated when he says that it just "all took off from there."

His first professional gig took place in the Park House Hotel in Edgeworthstown in Longford on Saturday, January 11, 2003 and as Mike says, he has just been "tipping away at it" ever since.

If 14 studio albums and four live DVD's in 15 years is Mike's definition of just "tipping away," a call to the Oxford Dictionary may be in order!

His first album was recorded in early 2003 and was entitled "Wings to Fly". This included tracks such as "You're My Best Friend", Johnny Cash's "Cry Cry Cry" and "It's a Dream Come Through".

This Aalbum was recorded in Tony Maher's studio in Headford and also featured base Guitarist Frankie Colohan. To date, Mike has recorded 14 albums namely "Love to live", "Messenger Boy", "Christmas Country", "Galway Boy" "Seasons in the Sun". "Got a Funny Feeling, "Thank God for the Radio", "Tradition" "Vintage Country" and most recently, "The Live Show - Double CD."

With this huge successful career under his belt and a legion of loyal followers in tow, I ask Mike whether he could ever have envisaged such a career for himself when he first started out.

"Honestly, I don't think anybody getting into music ever imagines where they are going to go with it or where the road will lead them," he laughed.

"You get into music because you love it and you never know where you'll end up with it. For me, I have just found myself going with the flow over the course of my career and enjoying the ride as I go," he smiled.

"The thing about music is that it's universal. Everybody loves listening to music, whether it be country, dance, rock or rap - everybody has their own favourite type of music and that's what what I love about it," he continued.

"For me, I love performing and getting on stage and long may that continue," he continued.

Talk of performances brings us to chatting about some of Mike's early shows and he says that thinking back to these early days still brings a smile to his face even now.

"I started out just playing shows with my band in small pubs and while I can't pick out specific memories from those days, those early gigs are still very special to me - that's where all this started," he said.

Mike is set to be joined on stage in the INEC this weekend by another musical heavyweight, Margo - who of course is the older sister of Daniel O'Donnell - a duet that Mike says he is immensely excited to experience.

"She's a huge, huge name so she is and she's singing better than ever these days and I can't wait to get on stage with her. Hopefully we'll avoid the bad weather," he finished.

The musical talents of Margo and Mike Denver will be in full flow in the INEC this weekend as the two musical heavyweights perfom on Saturday, March 3.

Tickets for this great night of music are currently on sale from the INEC box ofice and are set to cost just €33.20; doors open on the night at 7:30 with the show itself starting at 8:30pm.