Brilliant or what! John Spillane live @ The Seamus Ennis Cultural Centre

This Saturday night I’ve been tempted outside the city to hear John Spillane live at the Seamus Ennis Cultural Centre in The Naul. The trip is not a surprise to my friends as his last album “The Gaelic Hit Factory” is one of my favourite albums and my copy of the cd is worn out from constant play.

Don Baker and John SpillaneUnfortunately I didn’t get a photograph of John Spillane live in concert, but here he is after a gig in Limerick pictured with Don Baker.

John is on tour at the moment in advance of his latest album and so treated us to a selection of his new songs. I can’t wait to get a copy of the album so that I can listen again. John is a consummate story teller and each song is a gem. His songs are sharp, perceptive and witty. He writes about ordinary things like the weeds at the side of the road, to the extraordinary. He even strings together the titles of Irish tunes which makes an amazing song.

His delivery is brilliant and often hilarious. He is a terrific song-writer and entertainer. I loved the chilling “The Mad Woman from Cork”, the brilliantly hilarious “Lovely Ballincollig” which goes no way at all to making up for “Johnny don’t go to Ballincollig”. Just as well they love him in Cork. The excellent “Orca Orca Killer Whale” written about the day the whales visited Cork city and sadly one whale perished. Who else was going to write that song? Naturally, I requested “Luíonn mo Ghrá”, and he obliged plus he sang a couple of other songs from his last album “The Gaelic Hit Factory”. “Luíonn mo Ghrá” is my current favourite song.

For my mind, John Spillane embodies all the best qualities from our Irish culture of the Seanachaí (the Storyteller) and Sean-Nós (Old Style singing) with a shot of modern Irish culture thrown into the mix. Another one straight into the back of the net for the Gaelic Hit Factory. Brilliant or what ! Brilliant I say.

Do yourself a favour, if John Spillane is performing anywhere even remotely close to you, go see and hear him.


The Naul in County Dublin is a pretty village built on a cross road which is the old Dublin to Drogheda and Finglas to Balbriggan roads. The village has practically been untouched by time and is a haven just 30 minutes outside Dublin City. The Seamus Ennis Cultural Centre is named after the great uilleann piper, folklorist and broadcaster, Seamus Ennis.

Book or phone to reserve your tickets as this is a small theatre. Seats are not allocated, so if you want a good seat arrive early. They have a very nice coffe shop on site to while away the wait before the gig, or have a drink at Killian’s the excellent pub across the road from the venue.

Venue Information

The Séamus Ennis Cultural Centre, Naul, Fingal, Co. Dublin.
Phone: +353 (0)1 8020898 Fax: +353 (0)1 8020899