Dublin 30 July 2009

Charity at Liberty Hall

Dublin, 30 July 2009

The concert in Liberty Hall was organised by Jimmy Kelly ( Luke's Brother). Iit always surprises me that when a call goes out to guys in the music business to offer up their time in their extremely busy schedules to help assist those who have for some unknown reason been struck down with a run of bad luck - life can be cruel sometimes - and when that call was made to The Dubliners to show their support to a very long time friend Mick Hand and his family, they didnít hesitate in answering YES, 
Micks, Son Eamonn was dealt a very cruel blow this year when he was struck down with a brain tumour while in London, where he is at the moment making a recovery and I am sure everyone will wish him a full recovery. Unfortunately incidents like this require funding and this was one of the reasons for the concert.

Lets try a bit of visualisation as I donít have any photos yet; Johnny from Cork took loads of photos but he hasnít gotten round to sending them yet, theyíre coming by snail-mail.
Liberty Hall is a small theatre style venue seating approx 450 people; it was good to experience a gig in such an intimate setting it was almost like having a session at home, everyone there knew each other, if not on arrival certainly on departure. Check out www.libertyhall.ie for a more information

The Evening started off with a session from the very best of traditional musicians featuring Kevin Glackin and Mick Hand and forgive me for not mentioning any other names, they played a fine selection of tunes, not tunes that anyone would recognise by names as traditional musicians know them as, "Do you know this one" and than start to play, and sure enough everyone joins in.

Al O'Donnell, a fine singer and musician entertained the crowd with his fabulous voice, charm and personality, Al goes back to attending Art College in Nottingham, listening to artists like Ewan McColl and Pete Seeger in the early 1960s and has established himself as  "one of the great voices in our singing tradition" as Derek Copley of the Irish Independent put it.He works in RTE now. Al is a very good friend of Patsyís.

Finally it was The Dubliners turn, I remarked to John later that doing a gig of this size every now and than is good for the soul, and keeps you grounded. He agreed with me, but The Dubliners treat every gig the same: 3k-5k or 400 people they will always come out on stage as the true professionals they are and give it 250% - and thatís exactly what they did in Liberty Hall. Personally I think it was the best gig so far this year. 
Each one of them stood out on their own performances and but when they play together itís a thrill to see them all coming together as one unit, there are no egos on or off stage, 
As you read earlier in another report they were joined by Torgeir Straand (see our 6 August 2009 news here): it was an interesting instrument he played as it almost sounds like there are 3 fiddles playing at once.

Sean Keane from The Chieftains joined the lads later in the night. Sean is a fantastic fiddle player and can literally play anything like jazz or Rock'n'Roll, but that night he played The Marino Waltz with John and their harmonies were beautiful. Sean mentioned that the next set of tunes they were going to play, he first played back in the sixties with Barney in The Pipers Club: We were treated to The Colliers, The Dawn and The Mullingar Races and Barney informed us so named after the races in Mullingar! ;)
Everyone joined together for this set, with Patsy picking up the Bodhran and tapping out a nice rhythm which seemed to please Sean Keane.
Like all good things the night had to come to an end and what better way to finish than with Molly Malone.

When I say the end, it was really only the beginning of a much more intimate session in the bar afterwards,

Review by Mandy Byrnes, pictures by Johnny Cullinane

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