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The Kildare Boy; The Christy Moore Story
Selected as the Best Irish Male singer at the Meteor Awards 2010, CHRISTY MOORE first emerged as a performer towards the end of the 1960s. Since then, he has become one of the most distinctive and influential voices in Irish music. A magnetic performer, his work variously with Planxty, Moving Hearts and as a solo artist, has been widely acclaimed and he is regarded among his international peers as one of the pre-eminent folk singers.
Niall Stokes, 10 Mar 2010
I had a date with a legend. Back in October, Christy Moore had agreed to come to The Music Show in the RDS for a public interview – and I was privileged to be asking the questions.
The setting was an unusual one: press interviews don’t normally feature an audience hanging with bated breath on every word, and so we can usually afford to be as sloppy as a parish priest after an indiscreet feed of altar wine. Not on this occasion. There was an element of performance required, of making sure that the modus operandi was tight enough and the content entertaining enough to keep a packed house from getting restless or falling asleep. The real pressure was on Christy – it was his life we were talking about, after all – but if I made a balls of it, well, at the very least his job would be that much harder to do.
As it turned out, the man was in fine form and gave liberally of himself over the guts of two hours – a long time to be talking. There were some great moments during the interview, some hilarious ones and some very touching – especially in the question and answer session at the end, during which the audience got the chance to put their own teasers to Christy.
I knew that we had the bones of a great story for Hot Press. But not everything that happens in a public setting like that translates effectively into print. And, as in most big interviews, there were strands that had to be revisited after the initial conversation, for the purpose of clarification and accuracy, or to add a bit of extra detail or heft to a story. There was work to be put in before it would be ready for print.
Well, it’s done. There is a lifetime in music covered here – and so it is, as the fella said, a long story. But it is, I think, also, a fascinating one, which reflects in all sorts of revealing – and frequently challenging – ways, on what it is to be a musician, a performer, a writer, an artist, an activist and occasionally a joker-in-the-pack, in a country that has undergone quite an extraordinary level of change over the past forty-plus years, between when Christy Moore first hit the road as a song-gatherer towards the end of the 1960s and the release of his current, magnificent album, the mighty Listen.