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.

Friday, May 08, 2015

Christy Moore At Glastonbury 2004

Seeing Christy Moore in Bath on Sunday brought back many fond memories of seeing Christy with my late partner Kim.At Glastonbury 2004 we got snapped by the official photographer.We were drenched but it was worth it to see Christy.This is an extract from my account of his performance.
                                                                                                                             Then it was time to make our way to see one of my personal favourites Christy Moore. We got there good and early to get right at the front.Before that though The Bishop Of Bath And Wells came on stage and gave a short speech which was well received.He reminded the audience that during the 3 days of the festival 90.000 children will have died worldwide because of lack of the basic things we take for granted and he urged the audience to support the charities that the festival supports.Thats what many people forget, that Glastonbury is a fundraiser.Each year it gives over £1,000,000 to groups such as OXFAM, GREENPEACE, WATER AID, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL and many others.
                                                                                  I think it was 1982 the first time I saw Christy at Glastonbury when he was in the Moving Hearts band and I think 3 times since as a solo artist. The previous time was 1993 when he came on before Lenny Kravitz and The Kinks . I remember that occasion because Chisty sang 'Welcome To The Cabaret' and with his great self -deprecating humour Christy said ,"Thank you very much ladies and gentlemen for coming to see Lennie Kravitz and The Kinks and Christy Moore, i've never heard of him before!".Christy has always been a great supporter of the festival and so it was great to see him back on the Pyramid Stage at 4.00 Sunday afternoon.He hasn't enjoyed the best of health in recent years but Christy seems fighting fit again now. It was also great to see him arrive on stage with great support from Declan Sinnott and Donal Lunny.We were in for a great show. Christy began with the great Before The Deluge, a Jackson Browne song that Christy has made his own. I wonder why he chose that song to open? Had he gotten word backstage about the storm brewing?. He followed that with North And South Of The River, a very moving song about Northern Ireland. This set the tone for the show with Christy opting for songs with a strong political message rather than love songs or the whimsical humorous songs for which he is noted.You will have to excuse me now because I wasn't taking notes and I was merrily drunk so I can't remember every song that Christy sang but he did the following for sure.
Before The Deluge
North And South Of The River
Black Is The Colour (Christy does requests even at Glasto!)
Missing You
Viva La Quinte Brigada (Awesome, My Favourite)
Burning Times
City Of Chicago
Go Move Shift
Hiroshima/Nagasaki Russian Roulette
Yellow Triangle.
A few minutes into the set it began to rain and got heavier until it became a downpour,the crowd stayed though even though they were drenched which is a huge sign of the affection the audience have for Christy.I think the rain even made Christy more determined to entertain the crowd.
"I know its hard but thanks for staying with us, you created a great vibe to work off,"Said Christy.
We all knew what the finish would be.It was of course Lisdoonvarna which was superb and I always like it when Christy name checks my other hero Van Morrison. The song evolved into I'll Tell me Ma and the crowd danced in the mud.All three of them took a bow and walked off in triumph. What a show! As we left John C Scott from the official Glastonbury Website took our photo. I looked like a drowned rat, so we went back to the tent .There was a huge pool of water in it because I had stupidly not done the zip up properly.Then I made a decision..
"Lets go home", I said to Kim.
"What about James Brown?".
""Oh sod James Brown, he's not bothered about seeing us."
We put our belongings in a couple of bags and walked away, abandoning our little faithful little tent.It had done a good job for 4 years but it was knackered and caked in mud.(That was a really bad thing to do, you shouldn't abandon stuff for others to have to clear up)
We got the bus to Castle Cary and the train and were home about 50 minutes after leaving the site.A hot shower and a shave and I went to the pub and the football.That night I watched
about 2 hours of Glasto on the telly,Bonnie Raitt sounded great and Morrissey and I began to regret coming home early.I felt that I'd cheated.Today I washed my wellies with a hosepipe in the garden they were covered in mud. A little bit of Worthy farm will be forever part of my back garden