Mill Volvo Tyne Theatre, Newcastle
13 October 2013
‘Ireland’s greatest living musician’ Christy Moore mesmerised the Newcastle audience with a mix of memories and song.
Forget the bright lights. Forget the egos. Forget the pretentious attitudes of many in the music industry. Two men at the top of their game, singing classic songs, enjoying being on the stage and making the audience laugh with charming anecdotes.
That’s what filled the Mill Volvo Tyne Theatre when Christy Moore and his trusty guitarist Declan Sinnott came to Newcastle.
With nearly 50 years of experience of playing across the world Christy Moore played a variety of songs from his first albums, right through to classic traditional songs and his most recent records.
Amazingly the Kildare man’s voice sounds just as good as it did in his Planxty days. The joy of chatting to the crowd is evident, highlighting the legends of the past who wrote some of his songs and explaining the true meanings behind the words coming out of his mouth.
The first song was a stunning rendition of Jackson Browne’s How Long song capturing the audience on every word. The audience were mesmerised till the end. Tales of traditional Ireland and stunning social songs were hanging round the room throughout, but also the jovial Don’t Forget Your Shovel with nods to the British establishment and Amsterdam, discussing his tales round the Dutch Capital.
The concert was the first he had played since the funeral of The Pogues’ and The Radiators’ Phil Chevron. He told us tales of meeting him for the first time before bursting into Phil’s Faithful Departed and The Pogues’ A Pair of Brown Eyes.
Midway through the set Christy revealed his human side once more by mentioning requests he’d had on his website and played any song requested by the crowd and treated the audience to a stunning rendition of the famous song, Spancil Hill. The old ballad Little Musgrave also made an appearance before explaining the first time he’d heard Ewan MacColl’s The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face in the Bridge Hotel in Newcastle and performed a faultless rendition with the crowd joining in with the chorus.
The most poignant moment of the night, was when he mentioned he’d played in Liverpool the night before, and sang a song in tribute of Kerry Ogden who’d tragically died and used to attend his concerts every year. Pink Floyd’s Shine on You Crazy Diamond was then perfectly orchestrated in a way only his soft, yet powerful voice could do.
He showed off his local knowledge of the Newcastle area with many tales of his memories, and then paid tribute to Jack Charlton in his light hearted Joxer Goes to Stuttgart song. The crowd joined in with the joyous singing for this and his classics such as the City of Chicago, the poignant Ride On and the upbeat Lisdoonvarna.
To my surprise and joy he burtsed into his song about having a few drinks, Delirium Tremens and discussing Ian Paisley saying the rosary, Mother Teresa being on the pill and telling Michael Flatley exactly where he can go.
Declan was equally as good on the guitar as he showcased his musical expertise next to the Irish legend, and both received a rapturous applause after every song.
Christy may be 68, but he still has many years in him and this concert showed exactly why he was named Ireland’s greatest living musician.
All words by Dan White.