Archive for the ‘The Dubliners’ Category

The Dubliners Newcastle City Hall 19 March 2010

The Dubliners Newcastle City Hall 19 March 2010
Laura bought tickets for me, her and her friend Jo to see The Dubilners as birthday presents for Jo and I. The Dubliners are a band who I have only recently got into, and I’ve never seen them before. I have only recently realised just how influential they are.
The current band has one original member Barney McKenna who has been with the band since they started in 1962 and another John Sheahan who joined in 1964. The other three members have joined along the way, replacing members who have left or sadly passed away. Two of them, Sean Cannon and Eamon Campbell, joined the band in the 80s and Patsy Watchorn joined more recently in 2005.
The concert was entitled “Time to remember” and was centred around the theme of remembering the three members of the band who are no longer with us: Ronnie Drew, Luke Kelly and Ciaran Burke, and celebrating their life and legacy. This was done by John telling a little story about each of them, reading a poem and then showing some vintage video footage, with the band playing along with it.
The City Hall was packed, I would say 90% full, and the crowd were obviously all fans of many years and knew the words to every song. The Dubliners came on stage and were soon playing The Rocky Road to Dublin with everyone clapping and singing along. The set was in two halves with a mixture of old songs, reels, and stories and video footage of the departed members. Star of the show was Barney who spent most of the evening sitting on a stool, playing his banjo and cracking jokes to the crowd, who loved him. For me the other highlights were the video footage of Luke Kelly and Ronnie Drew. The video of Luke singing “Maids when youre young never wed an old man” was great; the power of Luke’s voice and performance stood out for me. Have a look at it on youtube (link below). For me, the vocals didn’t match those of the old band; which just made me wish that I’d gone to see them at their peak in the 60s or 70s.
They played many old favourites including The Wild Rover, Finnegan’s Wake, Black Velvet Band. They finished with Whiskey in the Jar and the encore was Molly Malone. The set was well over two hours.
We often use the word “legends”; well last Friday night we saw a band that truly match that word in every sense. A great evening spent with a band who have lived and sung Irish folk music for almost 50 years now. Laura and Jo enjoyed it too; we all thought that it was great (thanks Laura for buying the tickets!). Pity they didn’t play Seven Drunken Nights Jo.