Something else –  about a different kind of sound

By Bernie Bell

music imageI’d come across Eamonn Keyes in The Orkney News – I like how he writes – I like the tales, and I like the way he tells ’em.  He mentions in his articles, that he has been involved in the music business for a long time, meeting many big names along the way – some of  whom feature in his pieces for TON.

When we found that he would be playing for the Orkney Fisheries Association annual ‘do’, we were intrigued to hear what he’d be like.

The answer is, that he’s very good!

As a seasoned performer, he knows how to ‘read the room’, and played a good mixture of – The Stones, Van Morrison, The Beatles, Abba, Stevie Wonder, Ed Sheeran, Johnny Cash, The Killers, Kool & the Gang, Tom Petty………………………………and he played them all well.

As far as I could tell, his act is one man, with guitar, so, I wondered how it would work, for a dance. And the answer to that is – he  programs and records the songs on his computer and sticks them on his iPhone!    He then plays guitar, and manages to sing, successfully, in a lot of different styles to accompany himself, on his iPhone!  The wonders of modern technology!

The evening’s  entertainment consisted of Eamonn, playing  half  hour sets, interspersed with Ewan Rorie and Andrew Dennison playing half hour sets of Ceilidh music.  Again,  we weren’t sure how this would work out, but it did work well, as all the musicians involved knew what they were doing, not only in being good musicians, but also knew what would follow on best, from the previous piece of music.

It was a really good night out – the dance floor was heaving – something to suit everyone.  When Eamonn announced the last song – the crowd roared out for more, so he did another one,  then the crowd roared “ONE MORE SONG, ONE MORE SONG, ONE MORE SONG” – so he did.

Eamonn Keyes

Eamonn Keyes

And why am I writing this? Because TON is a community based publication, and this is about some information, which may be of use to the Orkney community.  Eamonn is a busy man, he works full time, but he is also very much a music man.  He’s not been on Orkney long, so you may not have heard of him as a musician.

I’m hoping that will change – what he does is the kind of thing it’s good to come across in a pub, on a night out – publicans, and Festival organizers,  of Orkney take note!

He’s also available for functions – the usual ‘weddings, birthdays & Bar Mitzvahs’.

And, to be purely practical, there’s only one of him, so he’s cheaper than a bigger band!

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6 replies »

  1. I’d like to thank Bernie for her very kind comments and Fiona M for asking me to play. It was the second gig I’ve done in the last two years and over four months since I’ve played. As a result I felt my playing was poor, and not helped by it being one of the sweatiest gigs I’ve ever done. Sweat and lacquered fretboards make for very slippery playing.
    I’ve not pushed myself to perform, but the odd run out like Saturday would be nice from time to time.
    Thanks again to all concerned. A great night, with Andrew and Ewan being very impressive.
    I’m off to buy some sweat bands for my wrists, and that’ll be the only thing I have in common with Mark Knopfler.

  2. Your playing was NOT poor! Or, if it was – I’d like to hear you when you’re on form!
    A reet good do – all round – and what’s a bit of sweat, between friends?

    • I was not remotely good. I’ll be better with more practice. But I’m glad I entertained. That’s my job.

  3. What is it with you artists/performers? Never satisfied with what you do. I suppose that’s what keeps the edge – keeps you on your toes.
    After many years of knowing musicians, I know when to give up trying to tell them that what they do, is fiiiiine.
    And I don’t say things to be kind – I say what I think, and …..”Well I may be wrong – but something deep down in my heart tells me I’m right – and I don’t think so.” – Van Morrison.

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