June into July is always a time of change for us at Masamba. The schools work finishes up, and we come to rely more on gigs to keep us busy!
As the month began, we had a great little gig out in the Dun Laoghaire Shopping Centre. The place started out relatively quiet, but was jumping as soon as we started playing! It was really nice to do such a simple old-school gig, and to be back in Dun Laoghaire again!
The following night, we played a wedding for a Brazilian-Irish couple, and as often happens at these things, the Brazilians couldn’t wait to get onto the dance floor and strut their stuff. The bride was even seen leading some Axé dance moves up front – giving it socks!!
On Tuesday evening, we re-visited our friends at Nando’s in Santry for their annual Grill Off competition. This involves a team of their chefs from different restaurants competing to see who is the best cook. Of course, you need samba percussion and a DJ set from Frank Jez to accompany that, but we weren’t complaining as they are a great, ‘up for it’ group of people AND they feed us and give us beer!
For the rest of the month, we have some highly visible work, and some invisible work. The ‘invisible’ work involves sorting through our workshop instruments, doing a stock take, and making repairs where necessary. It is great to get everything back into the Masamba HQ every so often, and get it all sorted!
The other ‘invisible’ work (at first, at least), is the purchasing of a new van for the band. We were delighted to learn recently that we have been awarded a grant of almost €23,000 to buy a brand new splitter van to support all our community projects. This will make life a lot easier, and will also extend the range of where we can deliver workshops and small gigs. This funding is part of the Dormant Accounts allocation and is managed by Pobal on behalf of the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.
Gigging-wise, we have a few cool public things coming up:
- City Spectacular in Dublin this Saturday and Sunday (8th and 9th July)
- Swords Family Day, Sunday, July 23rd
- CVLTO DO FVTVRV as part of ‘Wilder Beings Command’ with artist Stephan Diotschinoff and drummer Iggor Cavalera at the Irish Museum of Modern Art on Saturday, 29th July.
This last gig at IMMA should be very exciting on a number of levels. It allows us to collaborate with a visual artist on some themes close to our hearts. It facilitates us to throw the net a little wider and bring in some drummers from outside the immediate band. It allows us the opportunity to work with one of the best-known drummers in Brazil, and a real legend in the Thrash/Groove Metal scene.
There are lots of other smaller things happening, including a couple of really cool workshops in Ashbourne and Clongowes Wood, and at the very end of the month (July 31st), we start a week-long summer camp in Charlesland, Greystones as part of Music Generation Wicklow. We had great sun working with these kids earlier in the year, and so it should be a blast!!
Summer Holidays – who needs them??