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One band, two cars, four weeks, a six-person tent and 32 gigs. Adela and the Meanits mean business on their literal tour of Ireland.

IT IS A novel idea – play a gig in every county of Ireland in one calendar month. If it has been undertaken before by an Irish band then it has been lost in the mists of time, so give it up for Laois band Adela and the Meanits, who embark on a nationwide tour this evening with a gig in Wicklow.

By day, Adela Meally teaches English at a Youthreach school in Mountmellick; by night, she sings and whirls around on stage in a pop/folk/snazzy-jazzy dream.  “We’ll have two old cars, big ones, with large boots,” she says. “We’ll have to fit all our equipment into them – a full drum kit, a PA system and then the other instruments. Plus the band. So no, it won’t be too roomy.”  Adela is confident that she and drummer Ross O’Meara, bassist Barry Hayes and multi-instrumentalist John Davidson will be match-fit for their on-the-road marathon. “John has toured all over America, including Nashville, and the longest he’s been on tour non-stop is three weeks. He said that by the end of that length of tour you just don’t want to sit beside some people. But we all get on, we have a good similar sense of humour, so I can’t imagine there’ll be any fierce major rows. I’d say it’d be good craic. We’ll soon find out – I might have a different story for you in a week.”

The primary aims of the tour – an idea their manager came up with – are to present their musical wares to a mostly unaware nationwide audience, to drum up interest in their forthcoming debut album (Kinda Wild, out at the end of September), and to be “musically as tight as possible”. For a project as extensive as this, organisation and preparation is all, according to Adela. “We rang up all the venues ourselves looking to book gigs. Some places were initially lukewarm, but when they heard what we were aiming for they got quite enthusiastic. Some venues are offering food and some places accommodation. There’s a lot of goodwill behind it.”  And on the nights they don’t have accommodation provided? “We have a six-man tent with us if we don’t get accommodation. Me and the lads in the tent? No bother – sure we’ve done it before, like.”

One band. Two cars. Four weeks. A six-person tent. Thirty-two gigs. It’s more about killing time, implies Adela, than killing each other.  Louth to Cork and Armagh to Kerry are long enough distances, though – what will they do to pass the time?  “I think we’ll have stuff like camcorders.  And we’ll be blogging, too, and coming up with more ideas for world domination.”

32 counties to go

August 1st: Wicklow, Harbour Bar

2nd: Meath, Slane, Boyle’s Bar

4th: Offaly, Castlepalooza Festival

5th: Laois, Durrow (3pm); Kavanagh’s, Portlaoise

6th: Westmeath, Mullingar, The Stables


7th: Louth, Dundalk, Spirit Store

8th: Cork city, Crane Lane

9th: Wexford, Sky in the Ground

10th: Carlow town, Cafe Formenti (12.30pm)

10th: Kilkenny city, Ryan’s

11th: Sligo, Strandhill, Strand Bar

12th: Tyrone, Omagh, An Creagan (1.30pm)

12th: Donegal town, O’Donnell’s (6pm)

13th: Fermanagh, Belcoo Sports Community Festival

14th: Mayo, Achill Island, Gielty’s, Clew Bay

16th: Cavan, Belturbet, The Widows

18th: Down, Bangor, Coyle’s Bar (2 pm)

18th: Antrim, venue TBC

17th: Galway city, Róisín Dubh (as support act)

19th: Derry, Draperstown, The Cellar Bar (7pm)

20th: Armagh (surprise gig to be announced)

21st: Kerry, Tralee, Rose of Tralee International Festival (main stage)

22nd: Limerick city, Bourke’s Bar (afternoon show)

22nd: Clare, Lahinch, Kenny’s

23rd: Waterford, Tramore, Grand Hotel

24th: Tipperary town, The Piper Inn (7.45pm)

25th: Roscommon town, JJ Harlow’s

26th: Longford town, Edward Valentine’s

26th: Leitrim, Ballinamore Free Fringe Festival

27th: Kildare, Athy Arts Centre

28th: Dublin, Whelan’s

Follow Adela and the Meanits on Facebook @ Adela & the Meanits.

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