Firstly, I’d like to acknowledge the First Nation traditional custodians of the land on which we live.
My name is Mick McHugh, I grew up in Lucan, Co. Dublin and have lived in Australia since 2005. My wife is from Queensland, our daughter was born in Ireland and our son in Australia. I went from being a barman, a Polymer Engineer, an English language teacher and playing open-mic nights in Dublin, to moving to Australia, following my dreams, and becoming a full-time musician.
In 2014 I started a kick-arse Irish band called ‘The Gathering’. We gig regularly in Brisbane at Irish Murphy’s, and in Surfers Paradise at Finn McCool’s and Darcy Arms. The Gathering gives audiences a fun, authentic Irish music experience. We’ve built a strong Celtic community in South East Qld, which is important cause we’re all far from home.
My music has taken me all over Australia, supporting deadly Irish acts like Damien Dempsey, The Coronas, Damien Leith, Gavin James, Mundy, Paddy Casey, Aslan, as well as awesome Aussie artists Amy Shark and Pete Murray. I’ve even performed at The Sydney Opera House – that was a nice phone call home to the Mammy. I toured New Zealand, Ireland, Dubai, and Europe, then COVID hit.
It was a tough year with COVID, I was instantly out of work and wondering what would happen to my livelihood. The first few months were very anxiety provoking. However, I was lucky I got a few days teaching work, and then thankfully Sole Traders were included in the government’s JobKeeper scheme which helped pull us through.
Not knowing if or when I might ever be able to gig again, I realised I had to start focusing on whatever positives I could. I had time with my family that I hadn’t had in years because I was always gigging and on the road. My wife and I got back into songwriting together and finally set up our home recording studio.
Saint Patrick’s Day for me is an important time to celebrate being Irish. Our families, friends, and ancestors. Our history. Our culture. Our survival. Let’s enjoy this day, no matter what we do or where we are. Despite COVID, or perhaps because of it, this year I’m really looking forward to playing gigs for you all and celebrating life through Irish music and the craic.
Watch out for new songs this year from both ‘Mick McHugh Music’ and ‘The Gathering’!
Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona daoibh!
Visit mickmchugh.com for music, videos and gig guide.
Mick’s Band The Gathering will be playing during the festival at Irish Murphy’s, so do yourself a favour and enjoy a night of great Irish Music.