Ryan Graham took the trouble to post this review on the Guest page…
I read it just before the Barrowland gig and it stayed with me
Hi folks, I’ve been up since the early hours this morning on a rare day off and have spent it doing something I haven’t had a chance to do in too long a time. Christy CDs on and just relaxing around the house and trawling through the internet for anything interesting to read. I came across the following post on a soccer forum and it said a lot I myself couldn’t have put in to words so eloquently so I thought I would share them with you.
Anyway, here goes:
Good Morning, in another universe and on another planet, in another time, another place I wear a different hat and coat. In that other world and with a different name I have cause to write sporadically on things simply not related to Celtic Football Club or Football in general. One- Pastime-so to speak, in this other world occasionally involves the reviewing of the odd performance artiste, and in the course of so doing I do occasionally throw in a mention of my love for Celtic Football club and all- or at least most things- related to the club. This morning I feel the need to bring that other world into this football forum- and talk not about football, but about something else entirely. I first “heard” Christy Moore live whilst hanging about outside the Mitchell Street Theatre. It would be the very early ’80’s sometime and he was rehearsing for a gig that night. I had no idea he was on and had no tickets for the gig. I had no idea he was rehearsing- I only heard a noise and a tune that stopped me in my tracks. In those days, I was a part timer. Part time student, part time drinker, part time footballer ( in the purely amateurish and recreational sense ), part time shite talker, part time sage, part time- everything! It is a job description or life style that I have never escaped despite eventually becoming a full time worker, husband, father and I suppose Adult. I am and hopefully always will be a part time something or other. Within two years I had me a job, a wage, a supposedly 9-5 existence, and the permanent smile and laugh that I hope one’s early twenties should bring. I also therefore had the wherewithal and the savvy to go and see the man from Kildare when he next came to town. That too was to become a fixture that I rarely missed and Christy has ever since been a constant source of reference. He still is some nearly 30 years on. The reason for Christy Moore being an Iconic performer was all too much in evidence last night at the Concert Hall. Some may come to listen to the man sing, but for me it is more- far, far more- than the singing which drags me in like a tractor beam. I will openly admit that I frequently, if not always, shed a quiet tear during a Christy concert. It is something that I cannot and never can explain. Whether it is the emotion he throws into a concert, or the songs or the lyrics, or whatever- I am gripped. Seized with the images painted in words and music. He grabs the root tree and branch of the soul and the very being. He can reach into the grave and pull out your ancestors as well as showing you your children. When you look into a child’s face- you are seeing all the human race. Moore has vast cannon of songs and whilst he has a songbook with a list always at hand, there is no set list as such. Yes there is the stable diet of standards, but he feels his way into a vibe and plays and sings what he feels is right in the spur of the moment-often leaving his side kick, Declan Sennett (of whom more later ) having to follow on and catch up. Last night, you clearly got the impression that he had a particular vibe- a particular message. A subliminal statement to make. Starting quite deliberately with North and South (co written with Bono), he went through a range of numbers concerning Ireland and the Irish, the today, the yesterday and the tomorrow. He name checked “Mary” at 70 and “Hannah” at 14. He paid his homage- as he always does- to Scotland and Glasgow in particular with the beautiful Barrowlands, and Black is the colour learned from the late great Hamish. Mentions of Danny Kyle, and the boys of the loch were thrown in and a quick tale about being saved one night by Tam Harvey, Billy Connolly and the late Gerry Rafferty, who threw him into the back of a van one night quickstyle- when he sang the wrong song in the wrong place! There is no need for me to go through a Christy Set list on here- many will know the words and tunes as well as I do if not better. What I want to convey is that I always feel a better man for having been to listen to Christy. He sings and talks of what is right. About the issues. About a moral coda that to me seems absolutely the right path and stance. A stance full of humour and the good things of life with no animosity to your fellow man, and a deep respect and love for those who we share the planet with. However all of this is fortified with the right and belief that you should stand up for your rights and for the rights of the man next door no matter his race, creed, background or whatever. There are few Human beings on this earth who are as “Gentle” as Christy Moore, but by God I swear that Declan Sinnott is one such. His effortless guitar playing and his endless capacity to just follow on wherever Christy chooses to go is, in itself, a wonder. These two men are linked by far more than the desire or need to eek out a living on the road together. There is clearly a deep bond between them, which goes way beyond the playing of music. Declan has huge hands. Hands that could be wrapped around the frets of three guitars at once let alone one. He sings with a lovely gentle voice that should be heard more often, and he plays the guitar with his right shoulder. If you don’t know what I mean by that, then treat yourself and buy a bloody ticket next time round. Declan will applaud some solo stuff that Christy comes out with, and seems sometimes surprised and delighted at what his fellow performer comes away with. Many reading this will have had parents, or grandparents, or great grandparents who came here from Ireland a long time ago. They came in search of the better and to escape if not the great famine, then a different type of famine- oppression, a lack of hope or opportunity, a lack of possibilities for them and their kids. Others will have come to Scotland- and elsewhere- to escape the more recent troubles- the bombs, the bullets, the army, the police, the tensions, the bigotry, the gerrymandering, the unemployment and the general greyness of the 60’s or 70’s that could be found almost anywhere in Britain and Ireland. They came with Hope. Hope and a sense of tradition expressed in music and song. The ability to build, or fix, or mend, to work long hours if given the chance, and to contribute and fend for themselves and theirs. Christy’s songs always bring that back home. The reminder that the ordinary man is precisely that- the ordinary man just going about his day to day. Not seeking conflict or hassle, just the chance of the daily wage, the bread on the table, the ability to give the next generation the leg up. In 2011, life is much more comfortable for many than it was in the’80’s or before. The standard of living is higher and in many respects the rubbish that came with the troubles and the troubles themselves are behind us. Songs will always exist about historical events. Some glorify past actions, some are testament to and a reminder of things in the past which must remain in the past and never be allowed to happen again. Not just in Scotland or Ireland, but England, South America, The US- everywhere.Yep, Christy Moore reminds me of why I get up in the morning, and instills in me the belief that if enough of us pull together then the world will be a better place than yesterday and the day before. He also instills that sense of righteous gentleness that you see in many, many good folk from all walks of life, all colours, and all persuasions. Ordinary people, not politicians, presidents, kings, film stars and the like – just the ordinary Joe. Such a concert is magic – just magic and you leave with the belief that you are absolutely right and justified in dreaming of past, present and future. So if you have never been then make it a must do for the next time yer man comes to town. I swear you will feel the soul move. My oldest son is called Declan, my youngest called Christy – and I just like that. And to the big fella that sat next to me and who tunes in here from time to time– Enjoy the Barrowlands tonight- I will be singing in the living room. So come all you dreamers……….. Ride On!