Tag Archives: Tin whistles

Colm O’Tuama

(IRL)  Irish flute/Tin whistles/kazoo/VocaEarlyls

A thoroughbred Irishman from Dublins fair city, Colm came forth into the world in the september of 1962 becoming the eighth in a family of nine children! Traditional music runs in the O’Tuama family, Colms mother being the chief instigator, playing the piano and Irish harp as well as being fluent in all the Celtic languages. His father was a civil servant, but also a very talented actor and singer and a huge inspiration in Colms’ life. There seemed to be traditional Forteen down ... kerry farmer ... is in his own fieldmusic sessions going on in the house every night, with musicians from far and wide dropping by for some crack at the O’Tuamas’. Harpists, fiddlers, pipers and seanós singers, and of course whistle players! International guests such as Heinz Becker (no relation to Boris) a German who played the saw, often paid a visit when he was in town and joined in the merriment. When there was a break from the sessions, there was always music in the house as his parents had a vast LP collection of classical music. Colm himself began tooting the tin whistle at the age of 11, encouraged by his brothers and sisters who were already diddlin’ out on traditional music.

'Normal straight kid' As a boy Colm was a “normal straight kid” (what happened???), into Football, hurling and western films, in particular John Wayne films, all good wholesome stuff, and went to a school run by the notorious catholic Christian Brothers. Until he was old enough to get into pubs, Colm concentrated his interest in football. Not quite hot enough for midfield, he was favoured for goalkeeper and allegedly made some cracking saves!

Then came the wild period of raging hormones, seventies discos, nightclubs, permed hair (?), drunken orgies…… and Irish folk sessions! Colm joined a local band called ‘Pipeline’ who played pubs and rebel clubs performing the tired and tested old repertoire of Jigs and reels with the old song with the “rousing” chorus thrown in at prompting. Matt Malloy and the Bothy band and Farrah Fawcett-Majors now replaced John Wayne and Arsenal FC as Colms heroes. After leaving school Colm worked in a greengrocers for six months before promoting himself to petrol pump attendant at a local garage where he pumped his stuff for six oily years before discovering that the dete'Blues Brothers' auditionrgent used in washing cars, (he had to do that as well) was playing havoc with his skin.

In 1989 came the clarion call, and Irishmen and women were emigrating once again, (this time nothing to do with potatoes). Jobs were up for grabs in Germany and the beer’s good over there, so Colm early if you want, got up and went along for the crack. Reappearing as a barman in a Munich restaurant, Colm ploughed his lonely furrow through numerous employment agency jobs before becoming a city gardener alloted to the city graveyard.  Colms major hobby was of course playing his whistle. He never missed a session and was playing with every Munich Irish band going (whether they liked it or not!) Then came 1999, restless times, and Colm left his job  for the  beer and biscuits lifestyle, his behaviour proAltogether now ...voking the archbishop of Dublin to have a word with him about it!

Today, Colms jokes are still the same, but we still have to laugh ‘cos otherwise…….er…….um…….???

Colm now spends his time playing with numerous formations in the Munich Irish music scene, teaches the tin whistle and Gaelic language. He would like to follow in his fathers footsteps and try his hand at acting, and some of his sidesplitting antics on stage (for the band at least), prove that he’s willing to give it a go. “Its a laugh my friends” says Colm before bursting into yet another ‘rousing’ rendition of “Auf der Reeperbahn nachts um halb eins”.