Cuppa Tea causing a stir as Luka Bloom comes to Shannon

Internationally renowned singer-songwriter Luka Bloom during his recent Cuppa Tea TV gig at the Hope Cafe in Shannon

A HISTORIC gig featuring renowned singer-songwriter Luka Bloom has helped kick-start the creation of an unique music scene in Shannon. 

The innovative initiative ‘Cuppa Tea TV’ is the brainchild of Shannon native Damian O’Rourke, a project which is combining the power of social media and music to “spread that good vibe feeling”.

Welcoming Luka Bloom, the younger brother of Christy Moore, to Shannon recently, Damian’s idea aims to give up-and-coming local artists a platform, whilst also bringing well-known talent to his hometown. 

Expressing his pride at being able to showcase such a household name in Shannon, the ‘Cuppa Tea TV’ founder explains how the project and the intimate gig came about. 

Shannon native and ‘Cuppa Tea TV’ founder, Damian O’Rourke introduces Luka Bloom to the crowd at Hope Cafe in Shannon. Photo credit: Joe Buckley

“It started off as an idea, just from going to gigs,” Damian said. “I finished off playing sport – I had a lot of free time so I was going to a lot of gigs”.

“I came away from gigs wanting to ask these musicians questions about their music.

“So, one day in work I was thinking to myself – why don’t you set up a forum to try and do that, where you meet musicians, interview them, and record a couple of their songs.

“At the start it was just up and coming musicians,” he told The Clare People.

Singer-songwriter Luka Bloom and ‘Cuppa Tea Tv’ founder, Damian O’Rourke in Hope Cafe in Shannon. Photo credit: Joe Buckley

Having a strong background in sport, Damian’s novel idea stems from a passion in music, one which has grown since his sporting career took a back foot in recent years.

“I play a little bit myself but I wouldn’t call myself a gigger, I just loving listening to it [music] – I love where it comes from, I love what it does to me, I love how it makes me feel.

“I just want to spread that good vibe feeling that I get – I want to try give it to other people,” he added.

While, Clare is known throughout the world for its original music scene, Damian feels that Shannon has a long way to come when compared to the likes of West Clare and Ennis.

“There is a lot of musicians in Shannon that don’t have a stage or a platform – there is something missing and I’d like to bring that [to Shannon]”.

While introducing original artists on stage during the esteemed White Horse Sessions in Lahinch last summer, Damian first met with Luka Bloom.

Following this, the duo joined forces to record a couple of songs and as a friendship grew from their love of music, the Liscannor-based singer agreed to play a gig in Shannon. 

Taking place in the Hope Cafe in Shannon, Damian said the performance was a ideal way to kick-start his mission of creating an authentic, original music scene in his hometown.  

“He is obviously so well around Ireland and the world – it was just the perfect high profile guy. 

“His music speaks for itself and the people came on the night.

“It was a big, big night – historic in my eyes”.

As ‘Cuppa Tea TV’ goes from strength to strength, a series of upcoming gigs have been organised in a bid to promote original music across the county.

In Ennis shopping centre, ‘Youth in Music 14’ takes place in Insomina coffee on Friday, February, 22, at 6pm.

On Saturday, March 2, artist David Hope will perform a hometown gig at the Hope Cafe in Shannon, taking to the stage at 8pm.

‘Cup Tea TV’ are set to introduce a series of acoustic sessions in Patrick’s Bar in Ennis, kicking off at 8pm on Thursday, March 7, followed by a performance from Sara Ryan and Steo Wall in the Hope Cafe on Sunday, March 10 at 7pm.

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