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Then, almost unnoticed special guest Sinéad O’Connor slipped out on stage to take the vocals on ‘The Lakes Of Ponchartrain’
Colm O Hare, 11 Oct 2001
The first leg of his October gig-fest saw Brady trawling through his extensive back catalogue with a full band in tow, before a packed, appreciative audience. The early part of the show featured newer material mainly from his Oh What A World album. With help from former In Tua Nua chanteuse Leslie Dowdall on backing vocals highlights included the title track, ‘Love Hurts’ and his Ronan collaboration, ‘The Long Goodbye’.
Then, almost unnoticed special guest Sinéad O’Connor slipped out on stage to take the vocals on ‘The Lakes Of Ponchartrain’. Her rendition of the Brady classic was poignant, beautifully paced and ecstatically received. She remained onstage for a couple more numbers before departing, almost as anonymously as she’d arrived.
The second part of the show was more or less a greatest hits set and included solid performances of, ‘The Island’, ‘Follow On’, and ‘Homes Of Donegal’. A more upbeat arrangement of one of his best songs ‘Nobody Knows’ was another highlight as was ‘Crazy Dreams’, the only number tonight from Hard Station, his first and arguably best album of rock songs. Sinéad O’Connor returned again for her own rendition of the Abba song, ‘Chiquitita’ marking another highpoint in an enjoyable, if sometimes patchy evening.
Friday’s show saw Brady reunited with the musicians who played on the recently released Liberty Tapes, a concert recorded at Liberty Hall back in 1978. The combined talents of Andy Irvine, Donal Lunny, Liam O’Flynn, Paddy Glackin and Noel Hill made for some truly magical ensemble playing, with the sound quality markedly better than the full-band show. The set list closely followed the original concert with ‘Paddy’s Green Shamrock Shore’, ‘I am A Youth That’s Inclined To Ramble’ and ‘Don’t Come Again’ all sounding fresh and exuberant. There was much good humoured, between-song banter and extended bouts of tuning (prompting Andy Irvine at one point to quip, “this song doesn’t deserve such perfection”) Inevitable highlights were the, ‘The Lakes Of Ponchartrain’ (a truly stunning rendition) and that other perennial, ‘Arthur McBride’.
Expect plenty more surprises for the remainder of the shows.