Killarney awaits Big Tom’s return

Killarney awaits Big Toms return
Big Tom McBride inducted into the Hall of Fame at the the inaugural RTÉ Irish Country Music Awards in association with the Irish Farmers Journal live on RTÉ One on Friday 24 June. Picture Andres Poveda

The undisputed King of Irish Country music will be at Ireland’s National Event Centre

The King of Irish Country Music and Show Bands Big Tom – with The Mainliners – is returning to Killarney at the end of this month for the first time in many years. The much anticipated return of the King of Irish Country Music to Killarney will be at Ireland’s National Event Centre (INEC) on Saturday, 27 August.

It comes barely two months after Tom was the first performer to be inducted into Ireland’s country music Hall of Fame at the RTÉ Irish Country Music Awards on 24 June. Eight months before that he received rapturous applause for his special appearance on The Late, Late Show. On that occasion the man from Oram near Castleblayney received a tumultuous reception from an adoring audience.

This year is the golden jubilee of the release of Gentle Mother, the song that started it all for Big Tom and The Mainliners back in 1966. In 2008 Big Tom topped the bill performing for a crowd of 10,000 people at the revived London-Irish Festival in Roundwood Park, the culmination of many visits to packed Irish dance halls and ballrooms since the 1960s.

That same year he brought down the final curtain at the Galtymore in Cricklewood – down the road from the Irish World – with a tear inducing rendition of Auld Lang Syne.

The many, many industry accolades he has received down the years range from his recent Hall of Fame honour to the Freedom of Castleblayney.

Tom, who regularly represented Ireland at the International Country Music Festival in Fort Worth, Texas, His albums, many of which feature the songs of his late friend Johnny McCauley, are still among the best selling in the Irish country music genre and often outsell many of the newer acts. The Outlaws will open the show at 9pm and Big Tom and The Mainliners will be on stage around 10.30pm

• For tickets call 00 353-64 667 1550.

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