- 19 Dec 11
Bono was just one of the stars that turned out with the singer, over two brilliant homecoming gigs this weekend.
The U2 frontman appeared towards the end of the Friday night show, to perform a storming version of the band’s No. 1 hit single ‘Desire’. It was a moment of musical magic that turned the O2 into a cauldron – Imelda May’s superb band burning up the turf with a superb version of the Bo Diddley-inspired song.
Mary Black – who returned to full scale action recently with a brand new album – had earlier emerged to co-perform a song from that album, on which Imelda May duets, ‘Mountains To Sea’. And on the second night, that lovely moment was repeated.
There was a second guest on Saturday night too, with Paul Brady appearing, to duet with Imelda, on ‘The World Is What You Make It’ – a song from his last album Hooba Dooba. Finally, the Liberties star was joined by her sister Maria – as well as Mary Black and Paul Brady – for ‘Silent Night’.
“Imelda May is a complete natural,” Hot Press editor Niall Stokes said. “She has truly found her voice, in the most complete sense, and developed hugely as a singer. Her homecoming shows were a revelation – she moves with such incredible ease from rockabilly to blues to country to soul. And on the Christmas classics that were included in the show she confirmed that she can croon with the best of them. She is an extraordinary talent.”
May has the unique knack of making an audience feel that she is performing just for them.
“She is completely natural in that way too,” Stokes added. “It is a great gift to be able to talk and chat and improvise and make the audience feel that they really matter – which Imelda does. And she does that in between performing brilliantly: you can tell that she loves being up there, whooping it up, throwing shapes and delivering the most stunning vocal performances imaginable. And of course the band – led by Darrel Higham, who is a brilliant guitarist – enjoy every minute of it too. She’s amazing.”
There was an after-show party on Saturday night in the Irish Famine Ship, the Jeanie Johnston, which was attended by family and friends. Among those in attendance were promoter Bren Berry of Aiken Promotions – who was lauded from the stage by Imelda foor convincing her she coulld do two Dublin shows – Mary Black and her husband Joe O’Reillyof 3Ú Records, singer Róisín Ó, Paul Brady, Mundy – who supported Imelda on both nights, agent Madeleine Seiler – Amy McGovern of Universal Music and what must have ben the entire Clabby ¬famaily and half the local neighbourhood in the Liberties!
Read Colm O'Hare's review in full here.