Eoin's blog: Blog-Thousand and Nine

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So here's the low-down:

As my good brother did lay-out, last week we adjudicated our local town's talent competition 'The N-Factor - Has Newport Got Talent?'. It was a scream. The bad news is that all of you reading this missed it. The good news is that it's going to be an annual event! A stunning, rousing and emotive roller coaster of 14 acts jostled for first prize of €1,000! Not a bad day's work. Entrants were only eligible if attending the local secondary schools so all the acts were between 12 and 17, and it was an education for me to be involved. Now, perhaps I'm looking back on my own teenage years with over-setimentalised naustalgia, but i don't remember me or any of my contemporaries ever being so confident about performing. These kids were amazing. Totaly unphased by anything like nerves of lack of confidence. They just got up there and did their thing and smacked me with it right between my eyes. Some may say it's as a result of being brought up in a culture of reality TV, others that it's due to the proliferation of audio-visual recording and social networking; whatever it is, it's working. I couldn't believe it.

The singing ranged from a self-penned Eurovision number to a bedsit singer-songwriter to a cheesetastic boy-band dirge and beyond. And the dancing; a mix of hardcore house, Flashdance, Dirty Dancing and two cow girls doing Riverdance to the club remix of Cotton Eyed Joe - breath-taking. And then the music, a ballad group that would have made Ronnie Drew proud, three shit-hot young buck traddies, and then, the Tualach Sheasta Ceili Band. They opened the night, and, as the judges totted up the scores back stage after the show, emerged the winners. I was as shocked as the rest of us. Yes, of course, they blew us away; with their energy and enthusiasm for an art-form that hasn't had it's time in the sun since Macra na Feirme hops down lush boithrins in the hay-scented more innocent times of Dev's comely utopia, but to think that they could possibly win the N-Factor! In our era of hyper-media turbo-global commodified Orwellian apocalypse of total cultural grey-out and drone like submission to the net of technology that The Man has us ensnarled under - By Jaysus The Ceili band came out on top!

And it's official: our début London Town Showcase - February the 28th - and the venue, yes, you guessed it - A Secret Yet to be Disclosed Location. Some critics have dubbed it the hottest new little venue in town. Stay tuned.

Two Thousand and Nine - The Year of the Sun.