Last night’s concert (the second of two) was the first appearance in two years of Irish singer-songwriter Christy Moore and his accompanists Declan Sinnott and Jimmy Higgins to the Royal Festival Hall, and his brand of Irish folk tunes and raucous sing-alongs seemed to go down well with a capacity crowd.
Moore has never been a household name but he’s been around close to half a century now and his blend of melody and political statement makes for an interesting and varied set, with some stunning musicianship (simply using a collection of different guitars and percussion). Fan favourites made their appearance (‘Black is the Colour’, ‘Ride On’, ‘The Voyage’, ‘Sweet Thames, Flow Softly’, ‘City of Chicago’, ‘Beeswing’) alongside songs about Mandela (‘Biko Drum’), communication (‘Natives’), the Hillsborough and Artane disasters (‘Does This Train Stop At Merseyside’ and ‘They Never Came Home’), the Spanish Civil War (‘Viva la Quinta Brigada’), solid Irish folk numbers (‘The Rocky Road to Dublin’, ‘A Pair of Brown Eyes’, ‘Well Below The Valley’, ‘Nancy Spain’) and more upbeat fun titles (‘Joxer Goes to Stuttgart’, ‘Lisdoonvarna’, ‘Don’t Forget Your Shovel’, ‘Delirium Tremens’).
Nice to see a crowd singing along with gusto where required, and soft accompaniment for the ballads. A heckler or two aside, this crowd was good natured and despite the size of the Festival Hall the trio managed to make this concert feel intimate and involving. Highly recommended for connoisseurs of the folk tradition.