3rd Jan 2007
Reviewed by Adam Sherwood
Wednesday 3rd January 2007
A few days before the Vicar Street gigs I started to remember back to last year, of going to my first Christy gig. I was really excited but I was to soon realise it was much more than that. Declan Sinnott; I never really knew who he was before, but now I am a huge fan of his. As I remember back to last year I was trying to picture the Point Depot, as I had never been there before and was amazed at how big it was. But for Me, Christy and Declan could play in a field or their back garden and they would still bring the music across. Christy really does have a gift at telling it how it is.
Vicar Street was near and I was full of expectations for the night ahead. I made my way up to Dublin in the morning, thinking about what sort of venue it was going to be. I knew Vicar Street was small compared to the Point but I was amazed at how much of a good vibe I felt as I walked in the doors. It was lovely, an amazing venue, and to anybody who has not been there before it is worth going to. I took my seat at the back near the sound box and had a great view of the stage.
Then it began. Christy and Declan took to the stage and the crowd welcomed them with a warm applause. I got the feeling that something was amiss when the mikes didn’t seem to be 100%. They started with one of my favourite songs “Wise and Holy Woman” written by Christy Moore/Wally Page. It’s a fine song and perfect for the opening. Both Christy and Declan seemed a bit nervous during “Wise and Holy Woman” but soon that was forgotten. Next was “Cry Like a Man” for me this was an emotional song and one of my favourite songs. Parts of it I can relate to and certainly for me they really showed us what they could do. Christy seems able to bring out the true meaning of songs and this really showed, the lines that always get me are “the feelings you hid the love you couldn’t give kept her from touching your soul” and “your love is torn beyond repair” Dan Penn wrote a fantastic song here and showed us that there is nothing wrong with crying. Next up for an airing was “Faithful Departed” now the last verse or so they really get into it you could see this was a song that got a good airing and it really was fantastic to see what Declan can do on the electric.
I don’t remember much of the exact banter that went on during the show between Christy and the audience but it added a kind of relaxing feel to the atmosphere. I found it a bit irritating when someone in the audience repeated to interrupt the show and this I felt seemed to unsettle Christy a bit but thankfully it stopped.
Next up was a beautiful song called “City of Chicago” written by Christy’s brother Luka Bloom. Now it was time for “Beeswing” what a song. Whenever I hear this song, it’s the opening that’s gets me the most “Burning Babies And Burning Flags” it’s a song that I never really listened to when I first heard it on the “Burning Times” album because I used to just listen to the real high tempo songs like “Knock” or “Joxer” or “16 Fishermen” but over the years I have come to appreciate all songs that Christy and Declan sing, and the fine writing of songs like “Beeswing”. Next up was “Missing You” well what can I say this is truly a great song. Jimmy McCarthy is a fine writer and this is proof. The song began but I felt that there wasn’t that buzz about the song compared to other versions. I compare to the Point, where Declan’s electric guitar would really kind of hit a high just as Christy starts and it goes from there, but never the less I still liked it, and I suppose some songs sound different in different venues. Maybe that isn’t true.
Seventh song in and it’s a song I may have listened to once before but not on a regular basis. “Peace In The Valley Once Again”. By Rennie and Brett Sparks, this song got a great intro which I really thought was hilarious. I won’t quote what was said because I can’t remember the exact words but it was to do with Christy and Declan being in a shopping centre and Declan trying to find some sort of mp3 that would do all sorts of things, it went on for a minute or so but I can’t remember all of it. I do know that the audience had a good laugh and I think it is brilliant the way Christy brings in some humour into the gig and it was a great song. Next up was “Reel In The Flickering Light” by Colm Gallagher. It was great to hear this song as the last version that I can remember was on the “Ordinary Man” album. I don’t know what it was about that song, but it really was a nice touch to hear it.
I think by about this time the concert was in full flow and I am sitting there wondering what magic was going to be performed next. Also by this time I was looking over at the sound box wondering what goes on over there. Fair play to the crew they were hard at work making sure nothing went wrong, great lights and sound. Christy has himself a decent crew. Next was “Burning Times” followed by another favourite of mine “Matty”. Sometimes I wonder what certain songs are about and what they mean and for me this is one of them that you have to listen carefully and clearly. Moving on now it was time for “Delirium Tremens” I keep thinking back “did the audience clap for this or not”. I have a strange feeling that they did. One thing that struck me about the concert was that it seemed that the audience were unsure if they should clap or not as I think there were certain songs that Christy had to encourage the participation of the crowd but when it happened the audience can really lift certain songs to their best and this did happen on this particular night. “North And South” was up next and this is some song. Declan again shows us what he is made of on his electric which, if I am not mistaken, is a “Fender Stratocaster”. I really hope I got that right. Next song to pop up was another Jimmy McCarthy song which I believe is one of his best and some of his best work does suit Christy. Sometimes I think to myself “how on earth can he write such songs” they really are amazing and meaningful.
This next song was one I don’t think I have come across before. “Companeros” by Ewan McColl. This next song was the point of the concert I was looking forward to. Declan Sinnott. All evening I was trying to think what Declan play. Will it be “Corina Corina” or maybe “I Shall Be Released”? But it wasn’t any of those. It was a song I have never come across before “St. Louis Blues”. Please excuse me if I have got that song title wrong. This was one of the highlights of the night for me to hear Declan. I sat back and enjoyed this song, it was beautiful. I can’t get over how he can perform songs like that. He is truly inspirational. If there was anyone wondering what on earth could they play to top what had already gone, they soon got their answer “Mc Ilhatton” followed by “Mother Land” Another highlight was what was next “Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll” what can I say, this is one of the best songs I have ever heard. It is a fine piece of music by Bob Dylan and a song I listen to every couple of days. Next was “16 Fishermen” this started well but about half way through Christy lost his way and had to make a slight detour and went into “Don’t Forget Your Shovel/Minds Locked Shut” I cannot believe how well Christy picked himself back up from “16 Fishermen” to give a great version of “Don’t Forget Your shovel” and Declan as well was great, the way he was able to keep up after the song change.
What a pair they are, they make a fantastic team. “Magdalene Laundries” was up next then “Viva La Quinte Brigada” Nearing the end of the night and with so many great songs already gone this next was inspirational. Jimmy Mac McCarthy, it was about time we heard this song I love listening to this song and I think its sounds so much better live. “Ride On”. Declan opened this song on the electric and it’s the way he opened it makes this song worth while listening to. The audience joined in about ¾ way in and this is one song were Christy just lets the audience sing part of it for him and it was lovely. Here we go 2nd to last song and they brought out the big guns. “Lisdoonvarna” After a bit of encouragement from Christy the audience made this song into one of the highlights of the night. To finish the night off they ended on “Rory is gone” a great way to end a most sensational night of music.
Everyone started to make their way out. I briefly got to speak to the sound man after the gig and that was nice. I then got the biggest treat ever; to meet Christy himself and that was the icing on the cake. I couldn’t believe how relaxed he seemed after just playing a two hour set. What struck me was how nice and warming he was I got my cd’s signed and we spoke for a minute then I left. Sadly I didn’t get to see Declan, maybe next year.
Overall the gig was fantastic and I can’t wait till my next. The highlights of the night for me were “Cry like a Man” “Faithful Departed” and “Peace in the Valley”. I want to take this chance to say a big thank you to both Christy and Declan for a great nights entertainment. Also I feel that everyone involved in the gig behind the scenes should get thanks as well as they play a vital role in the gig running from start to finish. Thank You. I do want to apologise to everyone as I am sorry if there are any mistakes in this review and also that I couldn’t give a better description of the show but I hope this is interesting reading.
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