Singing pubs are 'in'. With an increase in the popularity of Irish folk music enterprising bar owners everywhere are running folk sessions in their lounges. Lush carpeting, soft lighting, and jaded professional musicians abound.
Mark McLaughlin (that's him with the drink) runs a singing pub in Dundalk. But Mark's (as the bar is known throughout most of Ireland) is one of the few bars to be different. There is no carpeting. There isn't even a cover charge. Mark's is different because Mark's was a singing pub before there were singing pubs. (Even the antiques are old). The musicians and singers are anything but jaded, Jarred - maybe, but jaded never.
They sing and play because they love it. They do it for the 'crack'.
Julie Felix, The Dubliners, The Clancy Brothers, Tommy Makem, Brian McCollum, Maeve Mulvanny, Seamus Ennis - Mark numbers all these among his friends and regular visitors and indeed it is said that many of their best performances have been given in Mark's.
On the night of the recording Declan Hunt, Gerry McCartney and Clive Collins gave a great performance - a performance which in the opinion of OUTLET producer Billy McBurney has seldom been equaled on record and never certainly on a live recording. Billy puts it more simply. "A bloody great record".