Belfast Telegraph

Hugo Duncan: Great to join forces again with old friend Gene Fitzpatrick

Great memories: Hugo (far right) with, from left, Don O’Doherty, Big Tom,
Anne Breen and Gene Fitzpatrick at a charity event in Londonderry
Great memories: Hugo (far right) with, from left, Don O’Doherty, Big Tom, Anne Breen and Gene Fitzpatrick at a charity event in Londonderry

By Hugo Duncan

I will be linking up with an old Homespun colleague of mine tomorrow night and I am eagerly looking forward to the occasion.

Many years have elapsed since Gene Fitzpatrick and I first shared a stage together.

Our paths will cross once again in the Killyhevlin Hotel, Enniskillen.

It's not often that I'm invited to act as MC and perform at cabaret dinner shows, but this will be very much the case tomorrow.

As well as Gene, Dominic Kirwan and Ritchie Remo will also be on the stage and it promises to be a lively show.

I have known Gene for a long time and I have always been an admirer of his professionalism, enthusiasm and integrity.

I have never heard Gene use what could be described as 'blue' language in order to raise a laugh. His humour is always homespun and warm, the kind of banter that can serve as a tonic to people.

We both go back to the days of the Homespun Country shows organised by Jim Gough who did such wonderful work in helping to promote country music in the province.

And it's worth pointing out that one of the first songs that really caught my ear was Gene's fine version of The Kingdom I Call Home. I was so impressed that I subsequently recorded it myself!

Dominic Kirwan of course is another veteran of the cabaret scene, while Ritchie Remo is an accomplished singer whose lively stage shows have been winning him many admirers.

The Killyhevlin show is being organised by Gareth Lowry, the popular drummer in Nathan Carter's band, who organises shows on an occasional basis.

Gareth has been in Nathan's band since day one and has certainly seen quite a bit of the world in the nine years he has been behind the drums.

His father John is also an accomplished musician and played with the Senators band, while Gareth's mother is a gifted organist.

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