- 02 Jul 19
Whatever happened to good music? You know in the days when you could feel it?
Things don’t get more meta than when Dave Couse hollers these words from the title track of 1991’s 'I Am The Greatest'. For many of those in attendance, one surmises, this album epitomises the sentiment.
Tonight Couse and Fergal Bunbury transport the audience back to a time which for most of a certain vintage (myself included) has been imbued with a halcyon glow. And this album was one of a few key soundtracks.
This is the second instalment of the NCH / IMRO Trailblazer Awards performances, last year Microdisney unveiled their meisterwerk The Clock Comes Down The Stairs in the venue.
The National Concert Hall's Gary Sheehan introduces the evening, paying homage to ‘a big, powerful, funny and poetic’ record and then we are off.
“I Don’t Care’ is as irreverent and anthemic as ever - Couse spits out his words of umbrage magnificently before mellowing for cautionary tale ‘You're Too Young’.
‘Endless Art’ has been updated to include more recent passings and broaden its previously male-dominated subject matter. Karen Carpenter, Amy Winehouse, Aretha Franklin and Nina Simone now also receive a namecheck as do Sean Hughes, Alan Vega and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
‘How Strong Is Love’ is uplifting and joyful, daughters Mairead and Aoife are brought to the stage for vocal and drum duties on ‘I Am Afraid’ and ‘Take It Easy On Me’ is welcomed like an old friend.
Couse thanks us all for attending and acknowledges the fine performances of drummer Johnny Boyle, keyboard player Scott Halliday and Neil Dorrington on bass before a visceral and scathing ‘Live Life Dead Die’ and exultant and emotional ‘I Am The Greatest’ close the main event.
But the baying mob must be appeased so several delightful morsels including ‘No More Apologies’ and ‘Call Me Blue’ get a dusting off before ‘I Want Too Much’ bids a greedy crowd adieu.