- 10 Dec 02
It’s what every remembrance should be: not a reflection on the ache of losing him, but a celebration of our insane good luck at having had him in the first place.
Any admirers of the recurring theme of friendship in Mic Christopher’s songwriting – or, for that matter, anyone who knew him – wouldn’t have been surprised by the masses of friends who came tonight, a year to the day after he left this world, to stir up songs, stories and voices in his honour. What is a surprise, however, is how not-maudlin the evening is – how much conspiratorial, exuberant fun it is. It’s what every remembrance should be: not a reflection on the ache of losing him, but a celebration of our insane good luck at having had him in the first place.
Maybe it’s because tonight’s a second kind of celebration, too. It’s an album launch, for Skylarkin’, Mic’s solo debut, posthumously finished by his friends and relations – and now these same loved ones are here to help wet the baby’s head in the absence of its proud father. They lift his songs up for us to see as lovingly as he would have: touchingly, the singers (consciously or not) borrow Mic’s crisp phrasing, and the musicians his songs’ shuffling, jaunty punctuation, as surely as they pass around his sticker-mottled acoustic to play them on.
Given tonight’s unprecedented talent-count (Gemma Hayes; Dave and Karl Odlum; Mundy; Damien Rice and Lisa Hannigan; Ann Scott; Paddy Casey; Kila; The Mary Janes; Bronagh Gallagher; the list goes on) the word “highlights” hardly applies. Unless you want to count The Frames standing away from amps and mics, shouting bluegrass spirituals into the ether; or Mic’s dad Harry singing Elvis, one hip rakishly, Elvisly jutting out – or getting to see the completed video for ‘Skylarkin’’ (“I thought Mic should get to sing at least one himself,” his sister Maureen beams proudly).