There’s no doubt that Christy Moore and long time collaborator Declan Sinnott are anything but seasoned performers, and tonight their set is a dazzling array of the protest numbers Christy has become renowned for. Still, as they work their way through a two hour set it’s not all politics, and My Little Honda 50 and drinking song Delirium Tremens act as two of the stand out humorous moments that litter the show.
As he opens with a cover of Jackson Browne’s How Long I’m instantly reminded why Christy is heralded as one of the greats, able to breathe meaning into every word and whilst he unnervingly doesn’t make eye contact with the crowd for much of the show, the passion is apparent. He spends the night roaming through his extensive catalogue Missing You and City Of Chicago touching on the love/hate relationship with his homeland, whilst Barrowland gives a nod to the infamous Scottish venue.
Nevertheless it’s his ability to bring history to life which is most poignant, and his honouring of an audience members request for Burning Times which hits home as one of the stand out moments of the evening. Whilst for the most part the audience sit in awe, the continual shout of ‘Newbridge’ from the crowd is obviously distracting, and he mumbles something inaudible before responding with ‘sometimes I think what can I possibly say? So you have to keep on singing and hope for the best’ yet he needn’t worry, the rest of the crowd are clearly lusting on every word.
With the traditional Little Musgrave and a nod to his 100 Club days with Ewan McColl’s Sweet Thames Flow Softly Christy and Declan range through sounds and styles with ease. Still, the highlight comes when Christy turns to face the audience for the only time, Ride On being deliberately given extra weight which leads to a harmony of singing from the crowd. It’s only at the end of the night I become conscious that the Bodhrán left to Christy’s side, never makes an outing, proof that tonight is anything but rehearsed, and that with over 3 decades of performing he is anything but complacent, a true testament to the deserved longevity of his career.