OJ went to his first gig on Wednesday; Christy Moore and Declan Sinott in the Millennium Forum in Derry.
I had the day off work to use up some annual leave, so I walked to town, got the bus to Derry and visited the RNIB blind centre until Fionas bus got in from Belfast. OJ hadn’t seen her before but liked her straight away because she made a big fuss of meeting him. Usually he hates people walking beside me, and especially people he doesn’t know but he was fine with her. We had coffee, walked around, and spent a long time trying to find lifts to toilets in Foyleside. We had food in Beckets while OJ entertained the children who were there. We went to the forum at 7.30. Our seats were in the end of a row beside the door, which was perfect for OJ because it was nice and cool. The staff brought him some water too.
Christy and Declan came on stage soon after 8 and played for almost two hours. It was my third time seeing them, and as usual they were fantastic. Christy seemed totally relaxed, absorbed in the music and happy to let the duke box in the audience influence the set list (well most of the time anyway!) He had the usual banter with the crowd. Someone kept shouting requests, and his reply once was: “we’re only 16 minutes into the gig and i’ve a pain in my hole listening to you already!”
His voice is perfect – it sounds just how it does on early recordings from decades ago, and he doesn’t have to be dramatic, or have big crescendos or loud guitar playing in his songs to convey emotion. My personal highlights were ‘smoke and strong whiskey’ and ‘little musgrave’, and ‘sunny’ brought back memories of me learning it on the piano when I was small.
OJ had his own personal favourite song too. He lay quietly through the whole gig, popping his head up sometimes when people cheered. The only time he really reacted was when Christy began to play ‘don’t forget your shovel’ He jumped up wagging his tail, and started biting me and giving me his paw, wanting to play. The people beside us were laughing at him, and I don’t think some of them realised he was there until he stood up. When the song finished he lay back at my feet again and didn’t move until the gig was over.
I mentioned OJ’s fondness for the song in a message on Christy’s guest book, and his reply was “I’m glad OJ recognised the song. It has always been a canine favourite…” Now no matter how much you know about Christy and his music I bet you didn’t know that.
Don’t forget your harness if you want to go to work…
We want to go to heaven but we’re always digging holes…