Sin E, Cork, Ireland (and Lee Sessions part 1)   3 comments

Sin E Cork

We rang in the New Year with Jackie fighting off a bout of the flu and bravely making it till a little past 2 am.  The streets of Cork were not the war zone an English town would have been late on a Thursday evening: we saw one fight and one puke but mostly just pleasantly high revellers either on their way to another party or, as were we, on their way to bed.  I awoke Friday for my run and then we caught breakfast at the B&B and had a brief walk around town but that was all she had in her and Jax spent the next 24 hours in bed (poor baby).

One of the reasons we came to Cork was the Lee Sessions and, as I felt the first symptoms of the flu coming on and knew I had only a day or two till I was likewise bedridden, I headed out to see one at Sín É, a dimensionally unstable pub that looks huge outside, then tiny once you’re in until you find yourself upstairs where it expands TARDIS-like.


Sin E Cork Lee Session

The photo, above, is from the Lee Session there that we went to Sunday night; the woman in the lower right and the fiddler were at an earlier one we attended at Charlie’s on the other side of the island.  The gigs tend to be fairly organic with a bit of music then a break for a few minutes while a sip or two is taken and negotiations on what’s next occur usually concluding when some one starts to tune an instrument and the others frown like they are trying to solve a puzzle and then join in as a new song develops (more than once, a musician asked if “that one has a name?” to be met with the reply, “just something I’ve had in me head for a few days”).

Occasionally during one of the breaks between songs, someone in the crowd will stand up and just start singing songs of heartbreaking beauty or dark humour (or both), a cappella but with a voice that shakes your soul.  The Lee Sessions are definitely reason enough for a trip to Cork (we’ve already planned a return trip later this year) and Sín É is one of the better venues to take in a session.

Sin E Cork barber chair and Beamish

But, the pub would be worthy a drinking session as well.  On the Friday visit, there were at least 10 musicians downstairs and while there were a couple of stools available and between a couple of songs I had some chat with other revellers, but I reckoned I could find a seat upstairs and still hear the music and moved up to find a cavernous dining area and a barber chair which turned out to be the most comfortable seat I’ve had in years (there used to be a barber shop here).

Lit mostly by candles, a few bar and tap lights, and whatever leaks in through the windows, Sín É is simply lovely.

I finished my second Beamish and headed back downstairs to find at least 10 more musicians spread out to the foot of the stairs.  Despite the heavy rain, I could hear the music down the street as I headed back toward the west bit of the island to rejoin the patient.

Sin E Cork upstairs

Posted January 6, 2016 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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