Friday, April 10, 2009

Fred to play in Thomond Park

I love a bank holiday weekend. I really do. Normally I would be loading up the car, surf board on the roof, heading west. No sir, not this weekend. It's the Great Friday Festival for me, a house-warming tonight, Old Crescent trouncing Highfield tomorrow and Munster battering the Osprey's on Sunday.

I picked up some CDs last night as well, new Doves album, Kingdom of Rust, new Mogwai album, The Hawk is Howling, Passion Pit's debut EP Chunk of Change and Justice's 2007 classic Dance.

So I'll be catching up with them at the weekend also.

Back to the weekend and Munster playing in the biggest game ever to come to Limerick. Yes, you heard that right, forget the All-Blacks, this is the big one - a chance for Munster to march on toward a third European title.

Walking toward the Munster-Leinster match last Saturday, the energy in the city, on the streets, happy faces streaming toward the ground, I realised that we have essentially got the joys and benefits of having a top-class Premiership soccer team based in our city. Except rugby is far better than soccer and, unlike most grim, industrial English/Scottisch cities, we have the finest rugby team in Europe located right here. Ha! It's like having Real Madrid right on our doorstep, except Munster are largely drawn from the local community and embody an incredible spirit - and are almost never flaky like Los Merengues.

Anyway, Sunday should be superb, even if Sky/ERC screwed us with our pants on and scheduled the game for 1pm. The powers that be have scheduled a nice bit of pre-match entertainment mind you, starting from 12pm, including Fred (see below), Derek Moloney, Munster Rugby Supporters Club, Arcana drummers and various carnival characters.

Can't wait!

Alan Owens
THE LIMERICK Leader can exclusively reveal that hugely popular up and coming Irish rock band Fred - who boast a Limerick member among their ranks - are to become the first band to play in the newly developed Thomond Park.

While the €40 million stadium is set to hold high profile concerts by Elton John and Rod Stewart this summer, Cork based band Fred have been invited to perform next Sunday, before Munster’s Heineken Cup quarter final match against the Ospreys.

Fred have gained a legion of fans on these shores and around the world due to the infectiousness of their acclaimed third album, ‘Go God Go’. The band, made up of members from Cork and Kerry, plus Limerick man Jamin O’Donovan, bassist with the group, are self-professed die hard Munster fans that regularly play in Limerick.

“I'm from Caherdavin which is just down the road from Thomond Park so this feels like my homecoming gig,” laughed Jamin when contacted by the Leader. “We are all very excited about the gig, big time.

When I say we're all, about three fifths of us want to actually play for Munster. I don't think it is going to happen. We are big fans, so this is as close as we think will get to playing on the team.” The band will perform three songs, including their hit singles Running, Skyscrapers and latest single, Good One, which has just been released.

They will perform on the pitch, facing the East Stand, becoming the first band to play in the newly developed stadium.

“To be the first band is brilliant. We are going to play three songs, and hopefully there will be loads of people there to see us - although we have played Oxegen and Electric Picnic, this is definitely going to be the biggest crowd we have played in front of.”

Fred have had a busy start to 2009, recently returning from a trip to Canada, where they performed a number of gigs and appeared on Canadian television. ‘Go God Go’ has been released in Canada and Japan, with UK and US releases set for May.

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