February Showcase 2018

February Showcase 2018


Jim McHugh A native of Castleblayney, Jim McHugh’s music brings a new dynamic to folk music by cleverly infusing traditional styles with an uptempo and raw indie style (even the odd ballad) that creates something very different for the Irish music scene.

The roots of this original music stretch back to Jim’s time performing and writing for many years with his band The Mandalas, previously known as Unaware. In late 2016, Jim drew on his musical past and more recent experiences to put together an album of 12 new songs. The songs flow through Indie and Up-Tempo Folk Rock to slower heart wrenching ballads.

The 12-track album was launched in 2017 and features McHugh on vocals/guitars/piano. He also enlisted his old band mate and friend James ‘Butch’ McNeill on drums, former Speedking members Paul McCabe on bass and Ronnie Morgan on guitar. The album was co-produced, mixed and mastered by the singer/songwriter Ben Reel at his new studio in Armagh. Three of the songs have been released with music videos, ‘Hills of Mullyash’, ‘My Destiny’ and ‘Sweet Surrender’.

Jim’s release in 2017 has seen him live play on Midlands 103 FM with Anne Marie Kelly, Near FM sessions and South Dublin FM. He performed at The DC Club, Dublin as part of his album launch and was selected for the Christmas Music Trail as part of the Carrickmacross Arts Festival.

For 2018, Jim will release a new song entitled ‘an Muc Snámha’ on 06th March to coincide with Seachtain Na Gaelige and Bliain na Gaeilge. This song has already received airplay on national radio with RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta to the fore. This song is based on the local legend of St. Maeldoid trying to build a new monastery on one side of Muckno Lake but his attempts were thwarted each night by the swimming pig. In addition, Jim continues to write new material for further release in 2018 and with additional live performances.

Reviews so far…….�Jim brings a new dynamic to folk music as he cleverly infuses traditional styles with an uptempo and raw indie style (even the odd ballad) that creates something very different for the Irish music scene’ Chantelle Frampton, Gigging NI.
And that’s the charm of Noise Machine, it’s uncultured, indie folk driven rock that has a vibrant beating heart. From the driving single ‘Red Rose’, the catchy ‘River Won’t Flow’, the rootsy ‘My Destiny’ and ‘Help Her Help Me, to the almost Velvet Underground reminiscent ‘Do You Remember, there’s a rich vein of potential coursing through the grooves of this record. Pete Whalley.

This music clearly has deep-seated roots – cultural, musical and social – and like all music with roots, it takes many forms. There’s abrasive folk rock with edge and irritation, wrenching ballads with anguish and distress. There’s personal recognition and unrestrained observation.
“Sweet Surrender” by Jim McHugh. A great song. Its raw guitar sounds & sweet vibes makes this track easy listening & thoroughly enjoyable, Songwriting Ireland

‘Noise Machine Album’ Great Debut by Jim McHugh, down to earth lyrics, confident vocals, good tracks all round’ Zoe Farrell, MusicWand

Enda Brennan a member of Moposogs (Monaghan Poets and Song Wrtiers) is a performance poet and storyteller that can change character in the drop of a hat. He can be sad and serious or mad and hilarious. He has been writing poetry since childhood and he also shares other poets work from around the globe. Since his last performance at the Monaghan Arts Showcase Enda has been hugely in demand and has been performing across the county and beyond at community events, birthday parties and concerts and has also featured in Moposogs cd ‘Home from Home’ which was released last August.


Raimonda Zakariene is owner/designer of “Knits by Monda” originally from Lithuania near Siauliai town, she came to Ireland in 2002. Growing up watching her mother knitting Raimonda began knitting dresses for her dolls. Losing her parents at an early age, she continued knitting for her family and working in a knitting factory.

Raimonda’s inspiration comes from everything around her: environment, people, nature and growing process. She loves knitting something special, something unique, that people would feel great in and would love themselves. Raimonda’s knitwear has been published in Lithuanian Knitting magazines. Raimonda has been showing her knitts at Fashion Show, which was held in Clones Canal Stores, Profits was in aid of the Largy College YSI ‘Break the Silence’ project, last December.


Dara McCluskey is an award-winning film-maker from Monaghan who specialises in documenting the arts.

His films include; Blood Relations about the life of Butcher Boy writer Pat McCabe (RTE, Celtic Media Festival Best Arts Documentary 2009, Irish Times Pick of the Year 2009); Death In The Fields about Clones playwright and novelist Eugene McCabe (RTE, ‘Riveting’ – Sunday Times); The Odd Couple about Blayney theatrical twins Tommy and John McArdle (TG4); Power Plays about Irish theatre and politics with Fintan O’Toole, Garry Hynes, Sean McGinley, Tom Murphy, Sebastian Barry, Marina Carr, Marie Mullen and Robert Sheehan. (RTE, ‘A model of robust arts programming’ Irish Independent.)

Monaghan Gothic tells how the style of the great European cathedrals came to Monaghan in the Middle Ages and has been shaping our landscape ever since.

Presented by Architectural Historian Kevin V Mulligan (author of The Buildings of South Ulster (Pevsner)) and Monaghan County Council Heritage, Officer Shirley Clerkin it is a must-see for lovers of Monaghan art, history and culture – a unique walking tour of many masterpieces of Monaghan architecture including Monaghan Cathedral, St Patrick’s Monaghan, Lough Fea, Bessmount, St Joseph’s Carrickmacross and others.

Filmed in Monaghan, London, Paris and Provence, it played to packed houses at last year’s Clones Film Festival where it was the opening feature, again at the Markethouse and more recently at St Peter’s Laragh. This is a chance to see an extended excerpt from the film on the big screen introduced by the film-maker.