The Ulster Hall is a great venue. A Feast of Trad is a great night out. But the two put together does not necessarily equal greatness.
Being a part of a Feast of Trad made me proud to be Irish.
Like Guinness, spuds and George Best, traditional Irish music is one of the better things to come out of Ireland.
The bands played with passion, conviction and feeling.
They were greeted with rapturous applause from the audience. Everything about the Feast of Trad was amazing. It was just in the wrong place.
The Ulster Hall, while a great venue, was not the place for this gig.
I wanted to have a pint of the aforementioned black stuff in my hand. I wanted to clap my hands. I wanted to stamp my feet. I wanted to give a yelp. You couldn't do this in the Ulster Hall.
The bands, including Lunasa, deserved and needed intimacy. An intimacy they seemed to be used to. There was banter, there was craic and there was great music, at the hands of a very talented group of people.
A Feast of Trad it definitely was, and one the crowd was hungry for. But the Ulster Hall was not a good host.