Robert Thorpe came to Limerick over ten years ago for work and found a city with a vibrant music scene.
“I’m originally from Yorkshire in the north of England and I work as an electronic engineer. Many years ago I was recruited to move here by Dell. My first experience was coming here for a job interview. I got the job and worked in it for a few years. I grew to like it here, all my friends were here and I’ve been here for about 10 years here. I came here for work but I stayed here for other reasons.”
Robert recently bought a house in the city and is currently in the middle of renovations. When asked what his favourite thing about Limerick is, he says it’s hard to pick just one.
“I definitely like the music scene, going to gigs and meeting people. There’s lots of good bands here and music writers. There’s lots to do here and it’s all close by, even if you don’t live in the city centre everything is reasonably nearby.” Some of his favourite hangouts include Charlie Malone’s on Wolfe Tone Street known for its open-mic nights as well as Dolan’s. “You go to Dolan’s on the average Saturday night and they have five gigs on at the same time. The trick is to decide what one you want to see, which is good. The Old Quarter do some gigs now. There’s lots of places that do gigs and open-mic nights.” His favourite local bands and musicians include Fox Jaw Bounty Hunters and Emma Langford.
“The local filmmakers are doing a good job at present and making some good short films which is really interesting. I live next door to two of them! There’s good plays from time to time as well.”
We discuss the upcoming opening of Troy Studios in Castletroy. “I used to work in Dell so I realise just how big those buildings are. There’s definitely a lot of potential in the future for these things. I hope that Limerick do well in the bid. I hope Limerick keeps growing.”
Speaking of the cultural scene in Limerick Robert is very much a patron of the local arts. “I like to consume the fruits of the creative industries; I just go to these things.” However, patrons are what culture needs, without the audience there is no one to appreciate the music, the talent, the hard work. “As a patron I occasionally give them a fiver!” he laughs but Rob has extended a helping hand to his film-making neighbours as well as starring in a music video for band Race The Flux and refereeing for Limerick Roller Derby.
Art and culture comes in all forms, “There’s all sorts of aspects to do it. I got a man to do me a stained glass window, a man from Limerick. You can get all sorts of things in Limerick that you wouldn’t think of.”