Tasting to Tucan! An interview with Donal Gunne.

March 5th is a big day for us at Tindals. We’re hosting our first Portfolio tasting for a few years. Producers from all over the world are coming over, we’re opening up a massive selection of our wines and we’re polishing up our smiles  ready to greet you as you come in the door. During the day we’ll be welcoming our customers & members of the trade and press. With their working hats on, they’ll be trawling through our wines, hopefully discovering some new gems or remembering old friends to boost the listings at their respective establishments.


The evening will be our first ever event focussed on you, the actual drinkers of our wines. You’ll have the chance to try a huge selection of wines from all over the World, with the guys who actually fermented the grapes and made the wines standing in front of you. For those of your picturing a silent room, lined with bottles, men with red trousers and lots of slurping – have no fear!! We’re setting the tone in a more informal fashion with Túcan strumming some tunes in the background and a couple of cheese suppliers offering tasty nibbles of their produce to strengthen and cleanse the palate. Here’s a little insight into Túcan from their front man Donal Gunne.

You were described in a recent article as ‘traditional trailblazers’. How would you define your music style?
I don’t know how “traditional” we are. I would have described our last album as acoustic-funk-folk-rock, while I think the new album could be described as cinematic-folk-post-rock… maybe!
At the beginning it was just yourself and Pearse Feeney, have you found your style changing lots with the addition of a drummer and percussionist? Will this mean you change your name to Forcan or is that just a rumour?
We have drastically changed our style from year to year, with the addition of all sorts of instruments. Most recently we have performed as an 8-piece band.. so maybe we should call ourselves 8can, or, Lots-can, Many-can, even??
I saw you playing at The Electric Picnic a few years ago and remember the massive buzz around the stage created by your obvious enjoyment of the music and ease with which you play. Do you still get the same feeling playing now as you did at the start?
Life changes, people change. I think how I view performing has changed. I still really enjoy it, but maybe, in different ways to back then….. Back then it was all about raw energy, while nowadays, things are a bit more constructed and melodic. Maybe, because we’re all getting a bit older!
Who does your styling? Are the dark suits here to stay or is your image dependent on the crowd?
Those darn suits have been axed. We don’t have any particular styling these days, just whatever people feel comfortable in. Though, I think that it is very important to make an effort in how you present yourself to the public, and to show that you are serious about what you are doing on stage.
Onto more wine related questions….
You obviously work hard. What’s your favourite drink? (doesn’t have to be wine!!)
I’m a sucker for a pint of Guinness…..
Have you tried any wine styles recently that have got you excited about the odd glass?
I wouldn’t know a lot about wine, but, in recent times, I have had some pretty delicious Malbecs, and some nice Valpolicellas.
Sligo has a lively social scene, where would you recommend visitors go to see the best of it?
For pubs, The Swagman, Furey’s, McGarrigles, and 5th on Teeling, all do a lot of live music, of very high standard. Other nice pubs are Hargadons (nice food), and Shoot the Crows (cramped, but good fun). You can find good live music, or a session, every night of the weekend in Sligo, so there’s no excuse to stay in….
Finally, if you were stuck on a desert island what would be your dream food, drink and song to hear?
Hmmm.. Sushi, water (is that too obvious? Otherwise, feck it, Champagne), and…….. “My Favorite Things” the John Coltrane version, as it’s quite long. Apparently, back in the day, his gigs would sometimes consist of just that one tune, lasting two hours or so. He would take it all around the world, and back again. So I’m told.

Thanks Donal, see you on the 5th!

The consumer tasting will be in the evening on Wednesday 5th March (a fruit day for those of you biodynamic nuts) at The Marker Hotel, Dublin. To book tickets at the cheaper advance purchase rate of €10 pp please click here.

Tucan playing at the Electric Picnic in 2007

Tucan playing at the Electric Picnic in 2007

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