- 19 Dec 18
After a refurbishment in 1999, The Chasin’ Bull has firmly established itself as Bundoran’s most-loved music venue and sports bar. And now they’ve hooked up with Sea Sessions for a special Live & Unsigned competition.
Popular Bundoran pub, The Chasin’ Bull, is renowned for its commitment to promoting Irish music talent.
“The bar has long been a premier live music venue in the north-west,” events manager, Kevin Cassidy, explains. “For over a decade now, we have been promoting and supporting the Irish music scene.”
The truth is that the ‘Bull’s track record is an enviable one. Like a small number of other local live music venues around the country, they have made a fantastic contribution to Irish music.
“Over those ten years,” Kevin says, “The Chasin’ Bull has always had an affiliation with great live music, whether it was local talent or up-and-coming Irish bands as they were developing – from The Coronas, The Blizzards and Delorentos through to Wolves of Youth and Order Of The Mess – as well as international acts like Iglu and Hartley.”
The Chasin’ Bull’s live music tradition has been given a further boost in a competition run in association with the Sea Sessions Music and Surf Festival. In January 2019, the live battles that are essential to what is their second annual Live & Unsigned Sessions competition will commence. The collaboration with the festival came about organically, as a way of supporting local musicians.
“We started the competition to give artists a chance to play a major festival,” says Cassidy, “and we can do just that, working with the Sea Sessions. So we host and run the competition, to give artists the opportunity they were searching for, while also keeping our own original music tradition alive.”
It’s not uncommon for well-known artists playing the festival to stop by the bar.
“Artists often make a point of visiting us during the festival,” Kevin adds. “Or indeed if they are in the area. Gavin James recently came in and made people’s night by stopping for pictures. He was very kind and unassuming, and spent time talking with fans.”
Clearly, Gavin James is among the growing number of musicians who recognise just how important live music venues are. Without them, you might ask, where would we be?
Hundreds of bands have already signed up to the Chasin’ Bull’s Live & Unsigned competition, where the winners will play the Sea Sessions main stage.
In the past, Sea Sessions has played host to Paul Weller, Dizzee Rascal, Bastille, Tinie Tempah, Seasick Steve, Example, Walking on Cars and Picture This, to name but a few. To be up there, alongside musicians of that calibre, is a dream gig for any up-and-coming act.
Back on terra firma, The Chasin’ Bull was Ulster runner-up at the 2018 IMRO Live Music Venue of the Year Awards. But it has also built up quite a reputation internationally.
“Visitors come from all over the world,” Kevin says. ”The US, Holland, France and many other countries. Music is so important in our appeal to tourists.”
Clearly, what makes the bar so popular is its love of, and commitment to, Irish music.
“The reason it is unique is that, even after all these years, the drive and ambition to be a premier live music venue is still there,” says Cassidy. “With this competition, we are showing that we still care about Irish music and musicians, and will continue to support and nurture the scene here in any way we possibly can. We will always be involved with great music, great pints and great craic.”
It sounds like the perfect recipe...
The Chasin’ Bull, Main St, Bundoran, Co. Donegal (071) 984 1988, thechasinbull.com