Never mind casualties or war. What about casualties of work?
That thing that pays the rent (a very high rent if you live in Abu Dhabi) is constantly delaying postings, and Salut! Live is one of the first corners of my cyberlife to suffer.
But I have had such a heartening response to my recent article in The National, and the discussions to which its contents have subsequently contributed that I really must make time to share some of it.
The first message I received was from a colleague, Philippa Kennedy, whom I knew to be Irish but not to be a fellow folkie, more specifically one who even remembers, as I do, the Johnstons (thanks to another colleague, Lauren Lancaster, for doing the photographic honours with my old admission ticket, and to YouTube folk for the rest).
First, this is what she wrote (I quote verbatim because the names are all so resonant):
Loved your folk club piece. Actually you are not alone. I spent most of my four years at Trinity College Dublin in dingy cellars around the city where the folk scene was vibrant. I still love it - mostly Irish - but I fully intend that the last voice I hear on this earth will Dolores Keane singing Never be the Sun. (not too soon I hope)
One of my best mates in those days was Mick Moloney, one of the world's most brilliant mandolin players and now professor of Celtic Music at Philadelphia university. He was in a group you'd never have heard of called The Johnson's (had a hit with the Curragh of Kildare). The Furies were just 'oul tinkers that came in from the cold to earn a few bob (most of which they drank) and I once sat on the knee of Luke Kelly of The Dubliners who sang Rocky Road to Dublin to me on a car journey from the city to Bray. Died young, poor soul.
I used to sing a bit too. Still do. I've expanded my very traditional Irish tastes these days to embrace Blue Grass, probably because one daughter loves it. Gillian Welch, Old Crow etc.
We'd get the odd English singer over in Dublin in those days. Sorry I never made it to your club.
To which I replied:
That is a lovely message, and brings back memories of almost all the people mentioned. Had the Johnstons at each of two clubs I ran (40 pounds plus petrol/beer money from memory; they stayed at our (co-organisers') homes. Lucy had left by the time of the second visit. And I recall that Adrienne died v young. Interviewed Luke once, at a grim night club in spennymoor , co durham and he was desperately hard work, but I adored his voice.