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August 2010

The Isle of Avalon: when Irish dance is not quite what it seems

When I looked before starting to write, this clip of the Isle of Avalon Irish dance ensemble had attracted 2,969,130 views, which had risen to 2,969,283 by the time I finished a moment ago. It seemed fair to assume they would not be relying on Salut! Live to find 30,717 more clicks needed to pass three million.

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Graham Hinton and Owen Houlston: no messing with the blues

Blues


Readers at one of my other places, Salut!, have already been introduced to the new jazz and blues cellar in Rackham le Rouge, named after the pirate in Tintin's adventures and recently opened in the little French resort of Le Lavandou, midway between St Tropez and Toulon.

My third visit, having popped in for a quick drink to say hello to the English bar manager Steve Grieves and then returned for a French jazz guitar duo, Histoire de Swing, brought a delicious reminder of the music that helped lure me into the folk clubs of North-eastern England so long ago.

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Irish Coffee: an unexpectedly fine brew

Irsh coffee 1

The name of the band recalls all those grim albums using Celtic as an adjective because some marketing suit has decreed that Celtic sells. Well, not all of them but you know what I mean.

Driving along the corniche from Le Lavandou to La Croix Valmer, I was conscious that we might be late for Irish Coffee's open-air, free concert but it would be an exaggeration to say I minded very much.

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