Derek Warfield is returning to Hawaii for a series of concerts bound to sell out. He’s a musical icon in Ireland, regarded much like American songsters Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen are in the US. He is a living emblem of a rebel spirit that won his island, or most of it, freedom and independence a century ago. And he loves Hawaii.
It seems to be an abiding love. The last time Derek Warfield and the Young Wolftones were in Honolulu about $3500 in gear, merchandise, and Derek’s many published works were stolen from their rental vehicle. (There is a special place in hell for people that steal anyone’s tools of trade. As a musician myself, I like to think that there’s an extra-special place for people that steal from working musicians.)
Hawaii’s Celtic community pooled resources and was able to help hedge the loss Warfield and his band suffered. Derek has been here many times. He’s brought to his fans countless smiles and ageless tears every time. It’s no wonder at all that folks rallied behind him. It was Aloha Spirit in full effect.
Perhaps it’s a kindred spirit that Derek Warfield feels. The similarities shared by Warfield’s Ireland and our state of Hawaii are many, such as they are. Both are island paradises, lush with every green imaginable. Both possess and cherish their own musical heritage. They are each cultures of oral tradition, of art, dance, and ancient gods and folklore. Both were colonized with regrettable consequences that linger stubbornly. And both retain their natural identity, fractured as each may be.
We call it the Aloha Spirit. The Irish call it the craic. It’s a state of mind that that agrees that we are all in this together, that we should look out for one another, and that we’re bound to each other by the simple fact that we share the same sun and moon and stars, and that we should have fun while we’re under them.
Derek Warfield’s return speaks to the power of the Aloha Spirit and to the spirit of the craic. Despite an isolated, despicable incident of thievery, he continues to be drawn to Hawaii. Because here in Hawaii a misfortune is invariably met with an avalanche of support for the misfortunate. Warfield has earned the distinction of Honorary Kama’aina because, like his own compatriots, he knows this.
8pm Friday, January 30
2440 S. Beretania Street
8pm Saturday, January 31
Irish Rose Saloon
478 Ena Road