Vinny with artist Gemma Dunleavy who recently played at The Workman’s Club.
The Workman’s is such a culturally important space. I always say, “I’ve got the best job in the world because I get to make people’s dreams come true of playing on stage”.
Heart-wrenching >>Watch Video>>
Back in August, we delayed our opening by about two weeks just to make sure we had everything perfect from the second you come in the front door, to how you order, to going to the bathrooms, and everything. Then with the bands as well, we spent time thinking about how we’d replace mics and mic grills and all that so it was all very, very safe. I always said if you wanted to spread something in that scenario it would have been tough.
When we opened up and we had everything ready to go, it was over a period of about 24 hours where RTÉ had come into The Workman’s Club to do a piece for the Six One News about how venues like ours could be open.
I had a show on that night, it was a Wednesday night, and I watched the six o’clock news just on my phone in work and I was delighted; they had great shots of the place and everything was looking great.
Between that and the nine o’clock news, the entire narrative had flipped – from places like our could be open, to couldn’t be open, and it was just heart-wrenching and you’re just trying to struggle with it and you’re dealing with it and I’m getting messages from people going, “What’s the story? What’s going on?” and I just don’t know.
Going to bed that night I was completely defeated going, “Right, well that’s that then”. And to wake up the next morning to another thing – readjusting the position back again to that we could be open… it’s jarring, it was really jarring and you’re trying to be professional about it but really you just want to scream into a pillow.
Support Network >>Watch Video>>
The way I overcome things like this is thanks to my friends really; the people around me. Even with statements coming from The Workman’s Club I’d always show them to my girlfriend or show them to other people – it really helps me.
I’d be very close with say Gugaí in the Róisín Dubh which is the other side of the country and we’re constantly back and forth asking each other/giving each other advice and stuff like that and as well with all the promoters up here and all the venue managers here, there’s such a good support network up here. Then when you have the musicians from all the shows you’ve coming up to all the shows that you’ve done in the past, it’s such a vast amount of people and everyone is just out to help each other, it’s an amazing thing to be a part of.
My North Star
My north star has been making art happen. Irish music right now is just insane, just over the last while Ailbhe Reddy has her new album out, Nealo has a new album, Pillow Queens, Gemma Dunleavey who we had in the Workman’s more recently, she played two amazing shows. When The Scratch released their album, every day I went out and walked for the entire length of the album, it was just amazing, it really, really helps.
Remember, if you’re a member of the Irish music industry, you can talk to a counsellor free of charge at any time of the day or night. Simply call the phone number below.