Drogheda – October 2015

While my sister floats around Southeast Asia on her mega-moon, off to Drogheda I go, on my mini holiday. One night away, mid-October. My mode of transport is a little different than usual. Bus Éireann should get me there. All my planning and website booking in the days leading up to my public transport adventure are worth nothing to me as it turns out there is no Bus Éireann 14:47 bus to Drogheda and no bus to Drogheda goes from Busáras, despite the company’s website telling you both of those things are true. The response from customer service is a little laugh and ‘sure I don’t do the website’. How the fup do any tourists get around this country. Anyway, from Talbot Street I grab the bus, again, at the completely unpublicised time of 14:39. What the fuck.

I’m pretty sure this is my first time on Bus Éireann and unless I fucking have to, I won’t be using the service going forward. Lack of knowledge about how time works is their problem, but they cannot be blamed for the state of the roads. Shit the bed. I feel like I’ve had a painful massage from someone wearing obnoxious rings. When we hit Santry and the beautiful Saturday afternoon traffic the penny drops, ahh, this is why I love trains! The biggest crime of it all is; I didn’t have time to get a coffee. I would have….if Bus Éireann could get any of their times right. Now I can’t even eat my Bounty! Sigh. Father John Misty is attempting to sooth the pain though, and I have to be honest, it’s working.

Lisa and Roberto are the perfect hosts. Their house is beautiful and spotless. Rocky, their Bichon Frise is a bag of energy, looking pretty mischievous with his tongue hanging out. We ease gently into things with a few beers and a bite to eat before heading to The Black Bull Inn for Huey & the Hobgoblins, the venue having been changed from the Little Duke Theatre, with a BYOB policy. Obviously (according to the band’s website) you can no longer bring your own booze. I have to admit, Orla and I were a little disappointed with that revelation. There is something relaxing about the thought of sitting in a nice theatre with a cooler of beers or some nice wine maybe. Oh well, we’ll just have to get steamboats in a pub instead.

To be fair, our disappointment is very quickly alleviated by what can only be described as a very accomplished band, playing impeccably well from their first note all the way through to people demanding more at a time when that’s just not possible. Huey & The Hobgoblins were fantastic. To my shame, it took until their final gig for me to even know about them. After some subsequent research, live is definitely the way to hear this band. There’s blues and soul floating around with some serious infusion of funk. Moments reminiscent of my youth and playing Interstate ’76. A very enjoyable show followed by some late bar antics in Drogheda town. Buying a Guard back a pint of Guinness is one of the only stressful things I have to contend with all night. I pretty much downed my full glass just to get the obligation out of the way! A drink was definitely taken; I get to the point where I have to pretend I’m drinking my pint. I’m a pretty good actor though, or at least I think I am when I’m here so I probably got away with it.