BLARNEY musician Clare Sands told The Echo she is still grinning from ear to ear after her luggage, containing priceless stage equipment and costumes, missing for six weeks, showed up at Dublin Airport.
“After nearly six weeks of being who knows where, there it was, my luggage had been found,” she said. “It went missing after I was over in the States playing a couple of gigs in mid-May, and it’s just been like a nightmare really.”
A friend went to the airport in Kansas City to look for her missing luggage, and another to the airport at Newark, to no avail.
“That was my own second trip up to Dublin as well to look, it wasn’t there the first time, but there it was just lying there in Arrivals amongst hundreds and hundreds of other bags,” she said.
“The bag contained all of my stage costumes, loads of music gear, not instruments but leads and pickups and all of those sort of finicky things that are actually very hard to sort of replicate, as well as jewellery, clothes, all of that stuff that you’d want to represent yourself in going over to the States for the first time, there was a hand-woven Aran Island crios and all sorts of things.”
While she was forced to replace much of the gear in the meantime because it was necessary for performances, she was still delighted to get it back.
“I just couldn’t believe it like there’s been never been anyone at the other end of the phone, like in six weeks, you call this baggage service number and there’s just no-one at the other end of it and they’re just probably slammed,” she said.
“Like in the airport, there was only one guy dealing with all the claims, the poor fella, you know, it’s not his fault, but it’s just a little bit chaotic.”
She said a silver lining has definitely been in the swell of support she has received, with complete strangers wishing her well, and she said that has meant the world.
She said her heart had gone out to traditional musician Andy Irvine, who announced recently that two of his instruments, a guitar-bouzouki and a mandola, valued in excess of €16,000, had apparently gone missing between Dublin Airport and Denmark.
Clare has a busy summer ahead, playing Irish festivals and returning to the United States to play the Milwaukee Irish festival.
“And there’s one big Cork show that I’m really looking forward to, and that’s Live at St. Luke’s for my album launch on October 1, as part of the Cork Folk Festival, and that’ll be with a full band and special guests, so I can’t wait,” she added.