IT’S a dream come true for young Mayo musician Rickie O’Neill. The 21 year-old from Coolroe, Crossboyne, just over a mile from Claremorris, has landed the job as drummer with The Sawdoctors and the former St Colman’s College student is thrilled with his good fortune.
Rickie, who is on tour with the band in England this week where they are playing shows in Oxford and Salisbury and other venues, has been associated with the music scene in the Claremorris region for the past few years. Together with Niall Hughes, Jack Grimes and Dan Egan, he was a member of local band Silver Circus who played gigs around the region.
Rickie, who is son of Frank and the late Mai O’Neill, is thrilled to have secured the prestigious job with The Sawdoctors. “I grew up listening to them. Leo Moran and Davy Carton and the lads from Tuam were always a happy band on stage. It is unreal and just fantastic to share the stage with them now,” said Rickie.
His father Frank was in Bristol for their concert last week. “It was a very special time for me and it was great to see Rickie so happy on stage. He was beaming and the lads really gave him a great boost, encouraging all the way him from the outset. Music has always been at the heart of his life and I am so pleased that things have worked out so well for him”
The Sawdoctors are shaping up to top the charts this Christmas with their version of Downtown on which they are joined Petula Clark who had the original No 1 with the song back in 1965. They are playing Christmas show sin Castlebar and Killarney and a major show in The Olympia in Dublin on January 28. After that it’s off to America for a six weeks tour. A long way from the N17 for Rickie and the lads ….!
Loads of messages have been posted on Rickie’s Facebook pages over the last few days. This one from Sinéad O’Malley captures the essence of goodwill that is behind Richie as he sets off on his new journey. “Congratulations, loveen, shur didn’t I tell ya you were going places! Just don’t forget us when you’re famous. Xx!”