Christmas Busk 2009
January 5, 2010 8:02 PM   Subscribe

If you were doing some last-minute shopping on Grafton Street in Dublin on Christmas Eve 2009, you may have stumbled upon some musicians busking to raise money for a local charity. Look closely and you'll notice among the buskers are an Oscar winner and a Grammy winner. In just under two hours, more than €2000 had been raised.

Three days earlier, Glen Hansard had revisited his busking roots and shown up on Grafton Street along with Noreen O'Donnell (a former member of Hansard's band The Frames) and multi-platinum-selling Irish artist Mundy, for an hour-long busk which raised €812 for the Dublin Simon Community. You can see them playing Mundy's big hit before the gardai shut things down. This inspired Glen to post to twitter and his other band's website, urging people to get out and busk for a few hours on Christmas Eve to raise some more money.

So on December 24, he was back on Grafton, again accompanied by Mundy and Noreen, and this time joined by other long-time friends, Damien Rice, Liam O Maonlai, Vyvienne Long on cello, and Declan O'Rourke on mandolin. Here are some clips of their set (not as high quality as the first link posted at the top, but they still get the vibe across).

Heyday // July/I'm on Fire // Get Up, Stand Up // Volcano

After a few songs, Liam and Declan stood down and let a couple of teenage buskers join in. The crowd had grown quite large by the time they started playing The Waterboys' "Spirit", which was interrupted by Bono's arrival. He joined in on versions of Stand By Me, One and Knockin' on Heaven's Door. Check the expression of relief on the face of the young busker to Bono's right at 5:30 as they segue from a song he seems to be unfamiliar with and launch into one which he had clearly played before.
posted by shannonm (22 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
Joshua Bell didn't find things quite as profitable when he tried something like this in the DC subway a few years back.
posted by pjdoland at 8:15 PM on January 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


Hands down, Liam O'Maonlai is The Nicest Guy On The Planet. Ask anyone who has ever shared a cab with him, or met him.
posted by Nick Verstayne at 8:27 PM on January 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


Well that was lovely. I fucking love Dublin. Good on ya Shannonm, God between us and evil.
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:31 PM on January 5, 2010


Cool!
posted by zarq at 8:58 PM on January 5, 2010


Imagine if that snivelling junkie kid from the opening scene of Once had made off with the guitar case on this one!
posted by mannequito at 9:06 PM on January 5, 2010


Wow. Thanks.
posted by eriko at 9:09 PM on January 5, 2010


After Bono's recent pronouncements, I hope he's paid royalties to the artists whose songs he performed...
posted by quarsan at 9:29 PM on January 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


Awesome first FPP!
posted by futureisunwritten at 9:41 PM on January 5, 2010


....Dammit, now I wanna go back to Ireland again.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:44 PM on January 5, 2010


This makes me so bitter that I am not in Dublin. And nthing the comment about Liam O'Maonlai; he is awesomely nice. And amazingly talented.
posted by OolooKitty at 11:29 PM on January 5, 2010


You know, this was the first year in the last ten or so that I wasn't on Grafton street doing some (read: all) Christmas shopping on Christmas eve. That's what I get for being vaguely organized this year!
posted by TwoWordReview at 12:04 AM on January 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think that's brilliant; nice and shambolic and amateurish. If it did become a regular thing it could also work though, with a proper stage etc (which takes the spontaneity out of it a bit, but would also increase the appeal). I'd love this to be a new tradition.

By the way, if you enjoyed it don't forget to donate the the Simon community here
posted by DanCall at 2:56 AM on January 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hah! Awesome. I love it when people do stuff like this. And wow, kudos on the amount of work you've put into this post - lots of stuff to dig into. I didn't know anything about any of these guys except Bono, but I'm certainly curious to find out more now. Alas, it must wait 'till morning, as it's far past time for bed. Thanks for this, shannonm!
posted by po at 5:26 AM on January 6, 2010


If I were doing some last-minute shopping on Grafton Street in Dublin on Christmas Eve 2009, I may have stumbled upon some musicians busking to raise money for a local charity. Looking closely I would have noticed among the buskers were no one I recognized or ever heard of. But good for them anyway.
posted by blue_beetle at 7:02 AM on January 6, 2010


Heh. That one Stand By Me video makes it clear there is "Glen Hansard famous" and "Bono famous", and they aren't even close.
posted by smackfu at 7:17 AM on January 6, 2010


This is how I know I'm biased: It's all fun and cool, and then Bono shows up and it feels like a cheap publicity stunt.

Why do I hate him so?
posted by toekneebullard at 7:59 AM on January 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


toekneebullard, you may get a kick out of the point in the bit where they do "One" where Bono actually forgets the words and the guy next to him has to spot him.

I got a kick out of it myself, but I think I did for a slightly different reason ("aw, that's kind of adorable" rather than schadenfreude), but...eh, perhaps you'd like it.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:33 AM on January 6, 2010


If you haven't seen Once, stop whatever you're doing right now* and go and watch it.

* Ok, fine, you can finish your chainsaw juggling routine. But you're the only one with an excuse.
posted by kmz at 8:43 AM on January 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


Ohmy. I right jolly love this. Thank you, shannonm
posted by psylosyren at 9:41 AM on January 6, 2010


Every time I hear anything about Bono I laugh involuntarily, toekneebullard -- my studiomate's husband used to live near him and once saw him raking his leaves wearing leather pants. That just cracks me up for some reason.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 10:35 AM on January 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


Why do I hate Bono so?

It's his glasses.
posted by msalt at 12:32 PM on January 6, 2010


This is how I know I'm biased: It's all fun and cool, and then Bono shows up and it feels like a cheap publicity stunt.

Hee hee. As soon as I got to the part in the post that said This inspired Glen to post to twitter and his other band's website, urging people to get out and busk for a few hours on Christmas Eve to raise some more money, I knew Bono was on the way!
posted by futureisunwritten at 12:36 PM on January 6, 2010


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