Usually when I go to see a band or performer, I’m familiar with their music and know what to expect. Sometimes I’m too familiar if I’ve seen that performer so many times, and can predict the next song by the tuning of the guitar! That wasn’t the case when Nicky and I went to see John Prine in Derry on Friday. I got him tickets for Christmas, and I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t know much about him really. I knew that Josh Ritter was heavily influenced by his music and song-writing, so chances are I would like him, and of course I did.
The gig began with some songs by Philip Donnelley. Imagine Bob Dylan singing while holding his nose, and you get the idea. During the interval I was really wondering what sort of evening to expect, but after a few minutes of hearing John Prine and his two accompanying musicians on stage, I knew I was going to really enjoy this gig. Prine had throat cancer in 1998, resulting in a gravelly voice ever since, and by the end of the first song I was wondering how he was going to make it through an intire performance. He played for two hours, and although he sounded strained at times, he was fantastic. I’d imagine him to be a great story-teller, but I think maybe he was saving his voice for the songs. He was polite and humorous, and seemed to enjoy being on stage. The audience had his attention from the beginning, and seemed very respectful towards him, giving a long applause after he left the stage for the final time I imagined it to be more country than it was, and since I prefer folk music it suited me perfect. The guitars sounded fantastic! I’ll try and find a set list and put it in the comments section. .
I couldn’t help wishing I’d heard John Prine play years ago when his voice was stronger. I knew about eight songs, which was more than I thought I did, and I’m looking forward to buying some albums. In a strange way, its good that I’ve seen him play live now and can go and discover the recorded music and enjoy it.
Its nice when you buy someone a present and enjoy it just as much as they do 🙂
On the subject of music, RTE Radio 1 broadcast a documentary about Fergus O’Farrell from Interference yesterday. Its definitely worth a listen. I found his attitude and outlook on life very inspirational.