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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
Now read on…
Niall Stokes: Christy when did you first get the idea that you might be a singer?
Christy: Well, I grew up in Newbridge, County Kildare in the pre-television era. There was always live music and singing in our house. Our mother was a singer and she played the piano. Our father also sang and from early on we were all encouraged to sing. I was a boy soprano, if you can believe that, and I also sang in choirs and school musicals. Singing came naturally to me.
Did you ever resent that thing where the parents would say to you ‘get up and sing us a song there, Christy’?
Never for a moment. I was an exhibitionist from the very start. We used to have little concerts at home. We had sliding doors between two rooms and sometimes the grandparents and parents would sit in one of the rooms. The sliding doors would create a stage and we would do our little gig.
You got a job as a bank clerk. How the hell did you think Christy Moore would make a good bank clerk?
I was a disaster of a bank clerk. In those days I was a different fella altogether. I was 18, I’d just done my Leaving Cert and I sat an exam for what was then The National Bank. For some reason I got accepted and went to training school in Rathmines for three months. It was all pretty boring stuff. Move on quick, for Jaysus sake, or I’ll start singing!
So there was a bank strike and that was the point where you decided to hit the road?
Prior to that I was working in The National Bank in Dublin. I was sharing a room with Donal Lunny. At the time he was in a band called The Parnell Folk with Mick Moloney and Dan Maher. I used to go around watching them. There were a lot of really good clubs in Dublin back then – I played the guitar and sang. Occasionally I would be asked up to do a couple of songs so the seed was sown early on and right through my three years in the bank I really wanted to be playing and singing. In 1966 there was a bank strike and I went over to England and never came back until 1971. I got involved playing in the Irish pub scene in London – mainly vamping jigs and singing the odd song. The Grehan Sisters from Boyle were friends from The Fleadh Ceols. I knew nothing about folk clubs ‘til they brought me up to Manchester and introduced me to the folk scene. I began to get floor spots and guest bookings and my life changed very quickly. There was an audience out there who wanted to listen to songs. That was quite a revelation.