Thursday, 2 May 2013

This is how we Fumbally.....

I've always thought the best thing about living abroad was the coming home. There's nothing quite like that first pint of Guinness after your arrival back in familiar, comfortable old Dublin. It holds in it so much more than the physicality of what it is. It symbolises familiarity, belonging, security. Perfection. One of the things I really struggled with when I moved back home three years ago, was that this ritual could no longer exist for me. Whilst abroad, I always felt secure in the knowledge that no matter where I was or what I was doing, life would always contain the ritual of the welcome home pint, and all that symbolised. A ritual that became filled  with stronger and deeper emotional connections the longer I lived away. Having moved home, that no longer existed for me anymore. I could have a great pint, in my favourite pub whenever I liked. But somewhere along the way, it's very availability meant it lost it's sweetness. The thing that I spent so much time anticipating, the comfort of the experience when it happened, the beauty of it's rarity. All gone. It was an unexpected bitter sweet consequence of returning home. I still struggle with it. It's almost enough to make you emigrate again. 

Which is what I've done, albeit temporarily. It seems an apparent consequence of my summering in Brussels is that when I am in Dublin I'm very keen to make the most of my few days here. And as always when looking at a city from the outside in, Dublin is not letting me down in terms of it's possibilities. Endless events abound. It's just a case of finding them out and booking them in. 

One such event was at the Fumbally cafe. Hipsters among you will be all too familiar with the venue, it being the embodiment of everything alternative hipster Dublin has to offer. This would usually make me feel a little uncomfortable, as although I may aspire to this level of cool, I will never quite get there. However the Fumbally has fast become one of my favourite cafes in town, not least of all as it's right round the corner. Everything they do, they get just right. The menus are simple and delicious, the decor is inspiring, the ethos encouraging and there's always a handsome man or two to admire over your flat white.

Fumbally punters getting their hipster on

Of late, they have begun opening their doors in the evenings for gigs. They have a small stage in the corner and together with the crowd at Happenings, they pack in the punters for an evening of food, booze and music, all for the price of 20 quid. This week saw them host the folk group This is How We Fly along with the raw foodies from Living Dinners who took care of the food side of things. We kicked off with the food at about 8. Nothing on the plate had been cooked, it being raw food and all. It was a beautiful looking plate of essentially various salads, cleverly constructed to look like more than just salad. The plate contained courgette spaghetti, root slaw, baby greens and sprouts. To go with it was some rustic bread (the only thing on the menu which had been cooked) with carrot and cumin hummus, a red pepper creme and a wild garlic pesto, all of which were incredibly tasty. I'm not sure about the raw food movement. I think I like the idea of raw food. I get the concept and it seems like a valuable one. I'm just not sure that I would ever be satisfied by a meal made entirely in this way. As delicious and beautifully presented as it all was, I found myself wanting more. I was ready for my main course. Maybe this is partly to do with the raw food element, maybe it's partly to do with my gluttonous nature.

This is How We Fly took over as soon as everyone had been fed. Which was no mean feat. There were about 150 people at the gig and a prep space that could probably handle about 20 plates at a time. It was a bit of a scrabble to get fed but for the most part they handled it really well.
I digress. If you've never heard of This is How We Fly, they're worth a look. I say look, because for me I wasn't totally sold on the musical side of it. It was all a bit repetitive and while they had some nice tunes and riffs, I felt I heard the same tune and riff for about 2 hours and was going a bit gaga by the end. The best feature of the group for me was percussive dancer Nic Gareiss. Percussive dance may just be my new obsession. Using a mike on the floor he incorporates the sound of his dance steps into the rythmic fabric of the music. It was awesome to watch, and to listen to. To see someone use their whole physique in such a musically inspired and communicative way is not something you get to experience every day and is something that I could watch/listen to forever.

All told the gig was a great success. The Fumbally's an awesome venue for these types of gigs. Intimate and romantic with an edge of cool. I think I would have happily listened to anything and had a great time, even if I wasn't totally sold on the music. Once again, I found myself being quite excited by the innovation of the people behind the gig. Dublin's not dead yet. 

We rounded off the night with a Guinness in Fallons round the corner, so it would seem for the time being at least, the homecoming pint is also back in service.