- 30 Jul 18
Imelda May closed Trinity's Summer Series with a blistering set of her classics, new tunes and legendary covers
“Dia duit, Baile Atha Cliath!”, were May’s first words to her Trinity Summer Series crowd. The night certainly felt in many ways like a homecoming for the singer after a period touring abroad. She regaled audiences with stories of America while playing a set - including bodhrans and a ‘Molly Malone’ cover - steeped in love for Dublin and Irish culture.
The evening started with support act Keywest, who have opened for May numerous times. Known for their soft radio pop stylings, the four-piece Dublin band kicked things up a gear, adding a surprisingly great samba drum outro to ‘The Little Things’ and a harmonica on ‘Something Beautiful’. These new flavours, combined with frontman Andrew Kavanagh’s charming crowd banter, gave the impression of a band upping their game for May.
However, it was Imelda’s show all the way. Taking swigs of red wine between songs, the singer moved effortlessly from stripped back ballads (‘The Girl I Used to Be), rockabilly classics (‘Big Bad Handsome Man’, ‘Johnny Got a Boom’) to punk tunes (‘The Longing’). The crowd loved it all, bursting into dance for the up-tempo bangers. Meanwhile, one could hear a pin drop when May dedicated track ‘Love and Fear’ to colleague Thomas Ayad, killed during the Paris Attacks.
A high point saw the singer introduce poet Stephen James Smith, who recited a thundering five-minute spoken word ode to Dublin, name checking everything from Beckett to Veronica Guerin. It was no surprise that after finishing her set – featuring rollicking renditions of her own single ‘Mayhem’ as well as The Animals’ ‘I’m Crying’ – May busted out a cover of Thin Lizzy’s ‘Boys Are Back in Town’ for the encore. We’re happy Imelda is too.