A Dolores Unto Herself
Stuart Clark looks forward to the Cranberries playing their first Irish gig since 2003
Stuart Clark, 02 Jun 2010
It's fair to say that me and The Cranberries have plenty of shared history.
A cub reporter in Limerick when they were still singular and had a "Saw Us" at the end of their name, I penned their first press release – the bottle of Jack Daniel's I got in return was most welcome – and told Dolores the night she passed her Leaving Cert that if she wanted to give this band lark a whirl she should defer college for a year.
As for the 30 million-plus albums they went on to sell, that was all their own doing.
I was also present at another Cranberries landmark in January 2009 when, as part of her being honoured by Trinity College's Philosophical Society, Dolores shared a stage with Mike and Noel Hogan for the first time since 2003. They only played four songs but, wow, those years just rolled back.
"When I was asked a few weeks ago if I was up for it I thought, 'Oh, it'll be a nice simple acoustic job', but Dolores being Dolores she decided she wanted to make a real occasion of it and have a string section as well," Noel Hogan told Hot Press beforehand. "I kept leaving it, but finally got my old notebooks out last night and slipped right back into it. We rehearsed this afternoon and, I have to say, it sounded pretty good."
While the trio – drummer Fergal Lawlor wasn't able to make it that night – were coy about whether a full-blown reunion was on the cards, it was pretty obvious that something was afoot. That something turned out to be a Cranberries world tour, which kicked off last November at the Ram's Head in Baltimore (Maryland rather than County Cork) and had the man from the local Sun newspaper drooling with delight.
"O'Riordan had the crowd in her corner all night," he gushed. "Dressed in a tight, sparkly black dress and black leggings, her dark hair cut short, she cut a fierce and captivating figure. Her impressive range and vocal acrobatics were on full display too."
Yup, primetime Cranberries service has been resumed, which is good news for everyone journeying to Cork for their Live At The Marquee show.
With such an extensive back catalogue, the quartet have been peddling a Springsteen-esque 22-song set, which in addition to the obligatory likes of 'Linger', 'Salvation', 'Daffodil Lament', 'Zombie' and 'Dreams' contains a smattering of tunes from Dolores' two solo albums, Are You Listening? and No Baggage.
It hasn't all been plain sailing though with the South American leg of the tour having to be postponed in January when Dolores was diagnosed as having a vocal cord nodule. Six weeks of treatment and resting up in Toronto, the O'Riordan pipes are again fully fuctioning and ready to remind Irish fans what they've been missing these past seven years.