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PHOTOS – Horslips at the Big Top



Legendary Irish trad-rockers Horslips played a Live at the Big Top gig in the Milk Market and is was the first gig the Celtic prog-rock band played in Limerick in 35 years! The gig, presented by Rapparee Productions in association with Dolan’s, is to kick start the Sarsfield’s Day Festival taking place in the city all weekend, and is also being backed by Limerick City of Culture. Huge interest was anticipated in the gig given Horslips’ guitarist Johnny Fean spent his formative years in the city and lives in Shannon. A recent publication called Tall Tales by Mark Cunningham documents the history of the band, from foundation to break-up in 1980, during which they played some 2,000 gigs and released ten albums makes for interesting reading. An accompanying online listing of gigs reveals that, in Limerick, while they played the Savoy regularly, they also played the City Theatre, the Stella Ballroom and the Jetland and, somewhat unlikely now to think, the Confraternity Centre on January 6, 1972. The last gig listed on the website is April 29, 1976, in the Savoy.

Horslips released some ten albums in eight years, plus two live albums, an “incredibly productive and intense period” as Johnny recalls it. They include 1972 debut Happy to Meet – Sorry to Part, The Táin, Dancehall Sweethearts, The Book of Invasions and Aliens – the latter which Johnny and Barry agree is their best album.

Photos by Caleb Purcell for 2014. All Rights Reserved.


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Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.