The Conquerors - in cruise control

It has been 45 momentous years since Galway’s finest showband The Conquerors decided to charm the minds of Irish music lovers countrywide, and began touring their music to every corner of the land.

Established in 1971, the band have seen chart topping Irish singles, band members leave, and other members join, but throughout their time together, a love for music and performing has been ever-present.

Drummer Paul Vignoles joined the band in 2007, and told the Galway Advertiser that each member had made their hobby a job, meaning they had never worked a day in their lives.

“Frankie Colohan [guitarist] and I are best friends,” said Vignoles.

“We grew up together in the Claddagh, and played in a band together called Rock and Roll Circus. We have always been friendly throughout the years.”

When drummer Dec Horan decided to leave The Conquerors in 2007, Vignoles recalled the day he was offered the job. “I was playing with another band at the time, and they called me to see if I knew a drummer, I think I got the message!”

Since then, Vignoles has toured with the band, and will be celebrating the 45-year milestone in a once-off gig later this month. “It will be three hours, maybe more, of music going through the years we’ve been together,” he said.

“Some of Ireland’s finest entertainers, the crème de la crème, will be playing on the night, and there may be some surprise guests too.”

Vignoles says the band is showing no signs of stopping, and have signed up to be the house band aboard a five-star Mediterranean cruise later this month.

“It is nearly a brand at this stage,” said Vignoles, “and we are all friends as opposed to workmates.”

The once-off ‘Through The Years’ gig will take place in the Salthill Hotel on August 25. Special guests on the night include Ronan Collins, Marc Roberts, Red Hurley, and The Swarbrigg Brothers.

For more information, and tickets, call the Salthill Hotel on 091 522711, or the Opus II, High Street, on 091 500300. Tickets cost €25 per person.

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