- 22 Nov 19
Christy captured in his natural habitat
Part of the magic of a live Christy Moore concert is the way his persona expands in ways virtually impossible in a studio setting. There is an inevitable bond between the man, his music and his audience that is a wonder to behold.
This new 26 track collection is culled from a myriad of such gigs in places as disparate as Liverpool, Lisdoonvarna, Birmingham and Cork, with a delicate mix of old and new songs. It opens with a graphic version of John Spillane and Ger Wolfe's 'Magic Nights in The Lobby Bar' that sets the mood for what follows.
His unerring instinct for attaching the right song to key moments is best exemplified by his dedication of a passionate version of 'Burning Times' to the murdered campaigner Lyra McKee before a Belfast audience. While he can pick up the mood of an audience with uncanny accuracy, he can also respond to their needs, as he does after a Glasgow audience calls for 'Spancil Hill' and he delivers and then some. At a gig in Athy he offers up a version of 'Hurt', wisely avoiding the anguish of the Johnny Cash version and making it his own.
Elsewhere there's an overflow of emotion in his renditions of songs of the stature of 'Only Our Rivers Run Free', 'Missing You' and 'Back Home In Derry'. When he appeals to the audience after forgetting the words during 'Johnny Jump Up' it merely adds to the fun. But there's joy to be had too, with the infectious cheek of 'The Tuam Beat'. And you get relatively new additions to the Moore feast with Sean Mone's 'Rosalita And Jack Campbell' and Albert Niland's 'Irish Pagan Ritual', emphasing Christy's eagerness to champion new songs and writers.
Kudos too to producer Jimmy Higgins and engineer David Meade for cherry-picking these gems from the hundreds of concerts available. Of course you can't beat the real thing, but if you can't catch Christy on his current tour, this generous double CD will do nicely.