Where can I start. What a gig! The atmosphere was perfect. Christy and Declan were on top form. The crowd were silent when appropriate (well most of them anyway) but everyone had the craic too. They played solidly for two hours, and the set list included some requests from audience members. When people start asking for songs at the beginning, he tells the audience that him and Declan will play for a while and then go into “dukebox mode” where the audience can choose the songs. This system seems to work well, as you don’t get people constantly shouting throughout the gigs.
It was brilliant to see an event with so many people in the town, and it was nice to see the venue being put to good use as well.
The staff were very helpful regarding access, and brought myself, OJ and my aunt to a seat as soon as we went inside. OJ slept happily through most of it. Even during powerful versions of Joxer and Lisdoonvarna, he lay curled up at my feet. He looked around a lot when the bodhran started because he hasn’t heard it before. He was also a bit confused when we stood up for an encore and sat back down again for the last couple of songs. OJ thought he was going home.
After the gig I waited with my aunt until the hall emptied out a bit. We talked to some very nice people, (some from the 4711ers forum) and lots of people petted OJ and commented on how well behaved he was. The owner of the Plaza and a man who worked with the musicians came up to ask about OJ. They were keen to keep me hanging around for a while and said if I waited five minutes I could meet Christy. Of course I was delighted and wasn’t expecting it at all. I was also a bit nervous, because I’ve been listening to his music since I was about seven. He’s been playing for so long and had such an interesting career. I would have loved to ask him about something I’ve always wanted to know about his music but I didn’t have time to think about intelligent conversation. I was also distracted by people who were a bit obsessed with me being blind, but I won’t go into that now.
I was in a bit of a daydream when Christy came over and shook my hand. He was like I’d imagined, a gentleman and really sound, and although we only talked for about two minutes it was lovely to meet him. He asked all the questions, not me. I just stood there grinning like a fool, as usual. He asked about OJ first and petted him. We talked about the gig, gigs I’d been to, where I work and what I do there. He seemed genuinely interested, and promised if I contact him before his Derry gig next spring he’ll call up and visit. We shook hands and made it a deal, so we’ll just have to wait and see!
I had a camera with me but didn’t really want to bother him by getting a photo. I’m sure a lot of people would have wanted to meet him, and all he wanted to do was relax so I really appreciated the chance to say hello. I also got a poster signed by him and Declan. I would have taken an album but I wasn’t expecting it to happen. I wouldn’t have met him if it wasn’t for OJ being so good looking, attracting people’s attention in the first place. Its a tough life being a guide dog owner!!
1. Wise and Holy Woman
2. North and South
3. Magdalene Laundries (the most immotional song I think I’ve ever heard)
4. Hiroshima Nagasaki Russian Roulette
5. City of Chicago (the singing from the audience was great)
6. Pity the poor Immigrant
7. Duffys Cut (love this song)
8. Listen (a gorgeous song and the title track on the new album)
9. Does This Train Stop at Merseyside
10. Barrowland (Christy said this could also be about the Plaza ballroom in Buncrana)
11. Smoke and Strong Whiskey (one of my favs)
12. Ordinary Man
13. I Will (Declan Sinnott)
14. Missing You
15. Viva La Quinte Brigada
16. Bright Blue Rose
17. Don’t Forget Your Shovel (funny as usual)
19. Back Home in Derry
20. Voyage (one of the nicest songs ever written)
21. Joxer (a man kept laughing really loudly, (causing Christy and Declan to stop playing and laugh too)
22. Victor Jara (another amazing song)
23. Shine On You Crazy Diamond (their version is unique)
24. Well Below The Valley (Bodhrán)
25. Ride On
26. Lisdoonvarna (pure class!)
27. Rory’s Gone