Posted by: mdmusingsie | November 3, 2014

Clannad – Live

Clannad doesn’t tour often anymore, so if you see them playing, take the opportunity to go, which is what I did as I found myself at The Olympia Theatre in Dublin for the final gig of their 14 month world tour. The last time I’d seen them was at least half a dozen years ago at Leo’s Tavern in Donegal for the 25th anniversary where it was wall to wall people, but I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. It was one of those right place at the right time events.

It was my first visit to the Olympia Theatre, and like many venues in Ireland, the seating plan is designed for those of leprechaun stature. Even at my five foot and a few bits, my knees were almost into the seatback in front of me. “Less room than Ryan Air,” muttered the gentleman beside me who was half a foot taller. Thankfully the seats don’t recline. You’d have to be an acrobat or a gymnast to get past people, even when they are standing (not at all possible to squeeze by if they are sitting).

The 50 odd folks who showed up in their own version of Irish Time (after the opening act, The Henry Girls from Donegal, had started) interrupted half the audience with shifting and standing to let them by, including a pair to my left. Not only did said pair go out between acts, but came back at the last minute and because they had guzzled several beers during the short interval, could not hold their water and had to exit the row during the performance. Had they tried to return I think I would have made them climb over me. Then there was ‘yer one’ a row in front who was up and out and back like a Mexican jumping bean; that is when she wasn’t talking to her partner throughout at least half the show.

Despite the cramped seating and annoying concert goers, it’s a lovely old venue with all the rococo or “wedding cake” style decorative touches of old fashioned theatres, and I wasn’t going to let the folks with the manners of a gnat destroy this rare concert experience.

Clannad have an ethereal nature to their music that goes right to the core of my being, as if the entire band were descendant from the Sídhe. It awakens that ‘touched by the fey’ nature in me that brought me to Ireland in the first place.

The band played and danced around as if they were decades younger, performing a wide mixture of old and new material including many selections from their recent Nadúr CD. As it was the final concert of the tour, it was so wonderful to see them with so much enthusiasm and joy in their playing. If recording and touring has turned back their biological clocks, at least in spirit, I hope they keep that youthful exuberance alive by working on another release!

Moya Brennan has returned to her natural brown hair which, for some reason, I found refreshing. She isn’t letting any grass grow under her feet as she is soon to head out on a Voices and Harps tour with Cormac DeBarra which takes her through to her annual Christmas concerts. Which reminds me, I need to get a ticket for the one in Dublin.

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Clannad with The Henry Girls

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