In good Company at the Áras!

By Courtney Oliver

E6S1Pic1Waterford band King Kong Company had the honour of performing for President Michael D Higgins’ garden party on Monday, July 3rd.
Waterford-based band member Mark Graham (trombone and percussion) discussed how surprisingly well the performance went.
“Honestly, playing for the President could have been a car crash, but it turned out really well. We really enjoyed ourselves. We had been recommended to them, and they reached out to us to perform.”
Mark jokingly adds: “People were always saying we were wasting our time on music- I’m like look who’s wasting their time now!”
In 2008, the musician graduated with honours from Trinity College Dublin with an MA in Music and Media Technology.
While King Kong Company is what Mark is prominently known for musically, he says music has been a part of his life for a great many years.
“I’ve been playing in bands around Tramore and Waterford since I was 16, I just kind of took things from there. I even played a bit of Ska music in the Tramore band, Skunk.”
Since Mark’s teenage beginning, he has come along way in the music industry.
With The King Kong Company frequenting one of Ireland’s biggest music festivals, The Electric Picnic and their debut album landing in the Irish charts, it’s safe to say Mark and his gang are taking the Irish music industry by storm!
Other venues graced by King Kong Company include Dublin’s Academy and The Cork Opera House.
Apart from music, Mark is an accomplished journalist as well, with an award-winning weekly column in The Irish Times. He was also a regular contributor to The John Murray Show on RTE Radio 1.
One of Mark’s most memorable writing opportunities was his expedition to 183 festivals all around Ireland, which he wrote about in his first book ‘A Year of Festivals in Ireland’.
The book went on to win the Travel Book of the Year award at the 2015 Irish Travel Writers Awards.
Mark had loads of hilarious and quirky stories about the festivals he went too, but one in particular festival stood out the most to him.
“The Cow Dung Festival was pretty odd. It’s like a rural Vegas – very, very rural. They mark the field in squares and it’s basically like roulette only with cow dung.”

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