Made in South Africa


Posted on January 02 2017

Johnny Gallagher & The Boxtie band

Applying Dead Reckoning to life, reminiscing on memories of the past is part of the process. Often we ask ourselves the important question. What led me to this point in life, which crossroad did I take that has put me right here in this very spot. Making memories through life is important, they are our landmarks. The more you make, the easier it is to gauge your position.


"Not many things remind me of Bundoran Ireland, the place felt like it was forgotten by time, a small town surrounded by Mountains and sea, a place where you would expect Pirates, or Vikings to come charging over the hilltops, wielding their axes and swords, this place is for them, it’s cold and rugged yet insanely beautiful, it’s the Emerald Isle of course.

Nowhere or nothing about the way I live now resembles anything like it, so it’s not often I sit and think about my years spent in Ireland. 

Then the name Johnny Gallagher & the Boxtie Band with their song “Cowboy of the Deep Blue Sea” hits my social media inbox and boooom I spiral back in time to the land of Black Water, thick cold waves breaking off shallow reefs, my sessions at the Peak, sometimes with other surfers or sometimes alone, sketchy sessions at Pampa Point, sitting on a bench overlooking Mullaghmore watching storm surf heave over the ledge knowing this is out of reach I would get hurt, the land of big cold fronts, the land of Pubs, the land of the Black Stuff, mash potatoes and Irish Stew, the land of music, proper music, not the Cores, not Rownan Keaton or U2, not Sinead O’ Conner, but rather the land of the busker or the local pub muso, the hometown smaller bands who never quite hit the Commercial big league and it was in a place like this and at a time like this I first saw Johnny Gallagher and Boxtie Band - the year 1999. 



I did not plan to be there but as fate would have it I found myself sitting at a table with a Pint of Guiness looking at the band set up knowing one thing for sure, these ou’s could play! There was just too many well-worn instruments on the stage. Besides you don’t just rock up in Ireland- walk into a pub and say “hey you mind if I jam here?” … nope - chances are you are not qualified enough, go do your time somewhere else son, if you play in a pub or club in Ireland you are accomplished. 

So before he even picked up the guitar you knew this is about to be something special! The gatekeepers made sure of that. 

Johhny is a character that represents what I pictured a true Irishman to look like, big fella, big beard, long hair, so when he switched on the Amp and the electricity started buzzing off the pickups and the bit of feedback screeched over the system I grabbed my pint of the Black - fixated on the band the Wizards - whilst Johhny went through his tuning process and then without time to form any further preconceptions he started to whip through rock and blues rifts with such ease whilst belting out the vocals from behind his signature beard, yip my night at the Old Bridge Bar (I think it was the bridge), created a special memory.



I guess life is rich when you meet characters and not just people. During my time in Ireland I met many characters……listening to “Cowboy of the Deep Blue Sea” and watching the video I can spot my old flat from where I used to watch the storms and the waves, you can see the left and right run off in the background, I feel like I can still smell and feel the water, like a black oil slick that sucks up over the ledge, I see the town and gaming halls in the back ground with the smell of anthracite thick in the air, and most of all among all this I still hope there are many good story tellers, sitting around the fire, sipping on the Black…………………… cheers to Johnny Gallagher & the Boxtie Band." - Mark, Dead Reckoning

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