Shoot The Crows
This remarkable pub “Shoot The Crows”, or “Shoots” as it is affectionately known, opened its doors to the public in 1991 in Sligo and since then has become a music venue of renown. The only pub in Sligo to host Traditional Irish Music three nights a week, Seamie O’Dowd and his father Joe O`Dowd, well known traditional Irish musicians, have played here regularly over the years. Joe is recognised as one of Sligo’s master fiddle players. His son Seamie carries on the tradition, and is involved in a number of music groups including Sligo’s own Dervish, who have entertained fans and followers the world over. One of Ireland’s top guitar/fiddle players, Seamie headlines the Rory Gallagher Festival every year.
Shoot the Crows hosts a variety of music, from Americana to Bluegrass and everything in between. Ronan Watters, one of the owners, feels that “there is a real purity about the music scene in Sligo, so much happening in terms of creativity, and it needs to be encouraged more! And the best way to do so is with a sense of togetherness.” Ronan has had the delight of watching some of the older crew like Eddie Lee (founder of Sligo based folk world music group, “No Crows”) and many others reach a new level of musical maturity. In the 80`s local bands were playing music of the time, then branching off as they developed, expanding their taste and beginning to mix up their style, in turn setting a new trend along with a very high standard for up and coming artists today.
Down through the years, Shoots has had many big name acts perform, such as James Blennerhassett (who has played with famous musicians such as Van Morrison, The Chieftains, John Prine, Brian Kennedy, Paul Brady, David Knopfler, Gilbert O’Sullivan to name but a few). Steve Wickham from The Waterboys (also a founder member of No Crows) plays at Shoots regularly along with other intriguing acts both old and new. Be sure to visit Shoots to check out the musical treasures that have helped carve the Sligo music scene into its dynamic shape!
Everyone loves to have a good time on an evening out, right? Perhaps go where there is a roaring turf fire, friendly staff and cracking tunes three nights a week; where there is always someone new to meet, something new to hear, and a place to always feel welcome and part of the gang. If that sounds like your kind of scene get yourself down to Shoot the Crows to see for yourself the “craic agus ceoil” that there is to be had! The front window alone is enough to entice you, with beautifully painted designs by a well known local artist Peter Crann. As the designs change every few months, these remarkable displays of true original art work are a rare feature you won’t find anywhere else. In the past three or so years, Sligo people have really come together to reach the same goal, promoting this rare and innovative atmosphere that we have come to love dearly. It is important to the people of Sligo to pursue commercial success while preserving the native culture.
There has been much publicity from the ‘Sligo - Who Knew’ campaign in highlighting the positive impact that this growing branch of musical creativity is having on the community of Sligo. Shoots the Crows, a gem we are proud to call our own, is the real McCoy when it comes to great tunes!