Being an Irish Banjo player in London is really good craic.
There are countless sessions all over the city. You could easily catch a session every night of the week and probably still have to make a hard decision which ones to miss because there are so many.
London is a melting pot of cultures and musicians, so it breeds very open minded musicians. Its been a pleasure meeting and playing with so many.
Its been 2 years since I landed in the city and the music scene has never failed to inspire, motivate and spur my growth as a musician. Wether its going to see The Sword in the Underworld, getting to meet a new face at The Lamb session on Holloway Road or hitting the road with Neck, the opportunity to be surrounded by great music/musicians is fantastic.
Off course its not all roses. There are the long nights, the hustle and bustle of the city and the venue owners who think musicians should pay to play. Thats the price, however, to be in this place. For a musician, the love of playing and growing is far greater than these negatives.
Banjo players also have a natural advantage - There are relatively few banjo players, particularly Irish banjo players. I have met other Irish banjo players but there are always more fiddle and whistle players. Brian Kelly, one of my favourite banjo players actually lives in London and has a regular session close to where I live but I think thats another story for another day.