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We are off again to Norway for another stint in The Dubliner! I can’t wait! I love it over there. We are growing a strong fanbase around that region and we are expecting a bit of a buzz for sure at the shows. As a musician, there’s one thing that always has me on edge when travelling.The packing. Flying on the Ryanair flights..or the ‘Dreary O’Leary’ flights as I aptly renamed them, can be a pain in the arse…and I’m not talking the literal pain in your behind you get from sitting two hours on a cheap cramped hard seat. I’m referring to the baggage allowances. It’s very difficult to be a musician, especially a guitarist, and fly. I know there are a lot bigger instruments that people travel with, but a person with a cello or double bass undoubtedly has long come to terms with the fact that they must check in their instrument. A guitar is somewhat more, logistically acceptable and ‘arguably’ more cabin friendly than the latter…and that’s exactly what happens.An argument. Trying to explain to two grumpy Ryanair robots, that your guitar is possibly worth more than the plane you are getting on, is a nightmare. After years of having the same old barney at the departure gates, once one of the gargoyles has spotted the guitar case you have a jumper wrapped around, and are trying to tuck it behind your aftershave filled duty free bag, I’ve decided to just book the extra seat. It’s actually well worth the elbow room, but mostly the looks on the gate keepers faces when you present a ticket and seat number for your ‘giant, offensive’ guitar case.
This flight however is different. It’s with Norwegian Airlines. Reading the baggage allowances, they seem pretty cool. A nice section about musical instruments and how they can help you get to your destination happy and with your axe intact. I’ve learned over the years how to pack very light. I have a travel version of everything. My special Mini Maton guitar and minuscule hard case. It’s ridiculous really the size of it! But it totally fits in the overhead with room to spare. I have a travel effects pedal board, shorter cables, a travel towel..even a special travel suitcase! 🙂
I have my toiletries worked out to a military precision daily ration system. Toothpaste, hair wax, shampoo, conditioner, shaving gel, beard balm! The whole lot…but in a ‘try stop me taking this on’ form.
It’s always a bit nerve wrecking bag checking at the airport desk, and a bit of a buzz kill when you have to fight with an attendant regarding the importance and value of the tools of your trade…but I love it all the same. The excitement of packing, taxi to the airport…the obligatory full Irish breakfast, and then, because we took so long eating and drinking tea, the traditional panicked dash to the departure …where the battle of flight attendant versus musician ensues …as an empty plane awaits..
-Ciarán #lovenafianna

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