Saturday, May 09, 2015

Review: Christy Moore & Declan Sinnott.Bath Pavilion May 26th 2013.

I have been a Christy Moore fan since 1985 when I discovered the album 'Ride On'. I loved every song on that album.I liked the humour of songs like Lisdoonvarna and like Steve Earle who I saw three nights ago I liked Christy's left-wing political songs. Until recently I bought all of Christy's albums. I saw him several times in Bristol and about four times at Glastonbury. To my shame though for somebody who claims to be a Christy fan it has been far too long since I last saw him live so I was delighted when I heard that Christy was playing locally at Bath Pavilion. I caught the 4.00 train from Westbury and arrived in Bath 29 minutes later. It was a beautiful warm summers evening as I strolled up Milsom Street with thousands of tourists and local people enjoying the sunshine or watching the jugglers and the clowns and the other buskers.
I walked past the Abbey and there was even a buddhist lady meditating in the abbey courtyard blissfully unaware of the crowds. I made my way to the Huntsman pub where I hoped I might meet up with some other fans but I didn't, so after a pint I got bored and went for a walk along the river. I had a pint in the Boatman pub and sat outside and it brought back quite poignant memories of when Kim and I used to come to Bath at the weekends.Then I went back to the Huntsman and my brother Paul turned up so we sat there for a while chatting and watching the world go by and taking photos of each other.At 7.45 we made our way to the Pavilion.I hadn't been to this venue for over 30 years but it is small and intimate, just perfect for a Christy concert.
I bought the most recent CD called Folktale, a beautiful album which I am listening to at this very moment. and we took our seats which were right in the middle behind the sound man.As usual Christy was ably supported by Declan Sinnott who is a superb guitarist.I have actually been aware of Declan's work longer than Christy's because I had the Book Of Invasions album by Horslips about 35 years ago.The first song they did was January Man which was a really nice introduction. Christy said it was nice to be playing in the city of Bath and to play a venue where The Beatles, Stones, The Who and Jimi Hendrix had played. Then it was the Yellow Furze Woman followed by Richard Thompson's great Beeswing. Christy got a few words wrong in this for which he apologised afterwards. This was followed by I'm Missing You another very moving song and then Christy sang a song for somebody called Julia. It was Butterfly which I think is a song by The Handsome Family originally.Its a beautiful song and it made Julia's night I'm sure. I was realising that the words of the last three songs all reminded me of Kim. Then Christy sang Bob Dylan's Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll maybe because it was Bob's birthday last week. Christy said it was nice to play to an audience that came to listen. This was true,you could have heard a pin drop during most of the songs. Next was a song for a lady called Rosaleen. It was Spancil Hill which Christy had first heard in 1963 and it had never left him. That song was followed by the great Does This Train Stop On Merseyside?.I found it very moving especially with the reference to the Hillsborough victims. I really enjoyed the next song as well The Dalesman's Litany written by Dave Burland.I bet my Yorkshire friends Jacky and Bill would love this song because they spend a lot of time in The Dales.
The very respectful audience came alive during the next song and clapped along to the very humourous Delirium Tremens which was great fun.The following song Christy said he first heard sung by Nic Jones who i am looking forward to seeing in a few weeks.He had also heard it by John Riley. I discovered it myself as Matty Groves by Fairport Convention but Christy calls it Little Musgrave.It is an epic song and a great one. It's like a film in a way, you can imagine the drama in your mind as you listen to it. Then it was the great Ride On.One of the songs that first got me into the music nearly 30 years ago. This was followed by Jackson Browne's wonderful  Before The Deluge which Christy has made his own. Then a song i had never heard before. It was a request for Sixteen Fishermen Raving written by Wally Page which was really funny and Christy said he didn't know what it was about either. Nancy Spain written by Barney Rush was next and this must have been sung a thousand times but it is still very moving.
Christy handed over to Declan to sing a song next which I hope is called Let The Sunshine In. It was very nice.Declan has his own new album out now which I must check out.The following song was a joint effort with Christy and Declan taking turns to sing a verse. I'm not sure what it is called though. It is a story set in America about a woman called Sara McCrae.Maybe one of the experts will help me out. People started calling out requests so i shouted out Don't Forget Your Shovel which was the first song that came into my head and Christy sang it. The audience loved it. The next song was the sad story of The Contender Jack Doyle.I don't know anything about Jack Doyle. I'll have to do some research but I can't be bothered at the moment. Its a great song anyway. The powerful Biko Drum was next, one of my favourites of Christy's political songs.Then there was a request from somebody from Kildare,Christy's home county and there was some banter to find where exactly in Kildare the person came from. Their reward was the funny Honda 50 written by Tom Tuohy (Thanks for that info Petra). I'm A Bogman was next which was written by Christy's brother Luka Bloom. followed by the beautiful Bright Blue Rose written by Jimmy McCarthy.Another very emotional song was Black Is The Colour which Christy encouraged the audience to join in with.
Declan and Christy then left the stage but we knew they would be back for an encore. The first song was the great City Of Chicago and then the audience favourite Lisdoonvarna. During the part which mentions Van Morrison Christy said to Declan, "Did you know Van has a house in Bath?","We'll stay the night then",said Declan.(Actually Van left Bath quite a while ago). The song then segued into a rousing I'll Tell Me Ma to bring a great show of almost two hours to an end.I went down to the front to snap a couple of photos but all my photos that i took inside turned out crap so sorry about that.


Afterwards I bumped into Hilary from the Kingdom of Kerry.She is a lovely lady who I met three years ago through a mutual friend Petra from Hamburg at the London Feis in Finsbury Park when Bob Dylan,Van the Man and Christy played there. Hilary is a huge Christy fan who goes to all his gigs. She is also good friends with his stage crew which was very useful because she asked one of them called Mick to go backstage for me and he came back with my CD personally signed by Christy which really made my night.
I had to rush off to catch the 10.30 train.It had been a perfect night.It was great to see Christy and Declan in such fine form and obviously enjoying themselves and last night must be a contender for gig of the year as far as i am concerned.Thank you very much Christy and Declan.