Tanya O'Callaghan

WATCH: Gig with Whitesnake was 'some buzz' says Westmeath musician

Westmeath bass player Tanya O'Callaghan has described her first performance on stage with Whitesnake as an "overwhelming" experience.

The Mullingar woman made her own piece of rock music history yesterday (Tuesday) evening when she took to the stage with the famous hard rock band in Dublin's 3Arena.

The show kicked off Whitesnake's farewell world tour, and it was also the band's first gig since Tanya became its first female member late last year.

Reflecting on last night's show on Instagram, Tanya said that, despite some technical difficulties with her in-ear monitors, it had been a very special night.

"Dublin, that was class... The energy of everyone was so overwhelming," she said.

"I know there were loads of people from Mullingar and all over Ireland there tonight. I spotted a few of ye, but obviously I couldn't hang out like I normally would before or after - we were straight out and we're heading straight to the UK."

An image from last night's Dublin gig which Tanya shared on Instagram.

Following the Dublin opener, Whitesnake will now perform a number of gigs in the UK before moving on to central Europe and, later in the year, the US.

Speaking to the Westmeath Examiner last weekend, Ballinderry native Tanya joked that "it was about time" Whitesnake, who formed in 1978, welcomed a female musician into their ranks.

The announcement in December that Tanya had joined the group caused quite a stir in the rock world.

Led by former Deep Purple singer David Coverdale, Whitesnake was one of the biggest hard rock bands of late ’70s and 1980s, selling millions of records across the world, with hits such as Here I Go Again and Is This Love.

Tanya has been based in California for the last seven years, where she has established herself as one of the most in-demand session musicians (“hired guns”) on the scene playing with big names such Maynard James Keenan (Tool/APC), Dee Snider (Twisted Sister) Steven Adler (Guns N’ Roses) and Nuno Bettencourt (Extreme).

Tanya said the opportunity to play her first gig with one of the biggest rock bands in history in front of family and friends in Dublin made the occasion even more special.

"After all the bands, and all the years I've been doing this, I very rarely get to play in Ireland any more. To be coming home after two and half years of not being able to because of the travel bans and then to be coming home for this reason is just pure class. It's a baptism by fire at home. No pressure!" she laughed.

The daughter of Brian and Dolores O’Callaghan, she spent the last few weeks rehearsing with her new band and was looking forward to performing the hits of Whitesnake and Deep Purple in a front of a live audience.

Despite her busy schedule, she also managed to get home for a few hours last Saturday, in what was her first visit to Mullingar since the start of the pandemic.