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Clannad live at The Olympia, Dublin
Performing their first concerts in a decade, Clannad opened tonight’s celebratory Patrick’s Eve show with the majestic ‘Newgrange’ from the album of the same name.
Colin Carberry, 06 Apr 2007
It’s easy to forget that Clannad almost single-handedly invented the sound that we now know as modern Irish music when they released their ground-breaking Magical Ring album in 1982. The fact that they’ve been off the road for 10 years has allowed others to lay claim to the territory the Donegal family once owned. But performing their first concerts in a decade, the Brennan clan opened tonight’s celebratory Patrick’s Eve show with the majestic ‘Newgrange’ from the album of the same name. It’s a truly magnificent sound, with no less than three acoustic guitars, synth/keys, fiddle, percussion, deep pounding bass and the massed voices of the Brennans creating a wondrous texture. For the remainder of this perfectly-paced show they blended songs and tunes from their 30 year career with a skill and ease that can only come with experience. Moya, in crushed velvet gown and her hair tied back, looked fantastic and sounded even better, swapping homely banter with the audience, while the simple stage set, with predominantly purple backdrop, nicely complemented the sounds.
Highlights were many, including an old O’Carolan tune from their self-titled debut, the traditional folk of ‘The Green Fields Of Gweedore’, and the soft-pop rock of ‘Closer To Your Heart’ (surely the best song Fleetwood Mac never recorded). A suite of songs from the Robin Of Sherwood soundtrack went down a treat with the audience, which included visitors as well as locals, but inevitably it was an astonishing update of ‘Harry’s Game’ (also from Magical Ring) which brought the house down on this long awaited return from one of the most important Irish outfits of all time.