Christy Moore takes us on a Voyage for his 10th year at the Marquee

For fear we may never see his likes again, should we not seek a sample of Christy Moore’s DNA and put it in a time capsule?

There’s a reason why Christy is the only artist to star at all 10 years of Live at the Marquee — he fills the tent every time. And he fills it because, frankly, there really is no one quite like him.

Great band too: Máirtín O’Connor (accordion), Cathal Hayden (fiddle/banjo), Seamie O’Dowd (guitar/harmonica), and Jimi Higgins (percussion).

“Brian Wilson was here last night, but by God the good vibrations are here tonight. Thank you so much for your good vibrations,” said Christy to another hugely receptive capacity crowd, spanning every generation.

Christy was in cracking form. He even did three dedications: One to Brendan on his 50th birthday; one to Eric from Lithuania (“in all my years, this is the first request I’ve had from Lithuania”); and most poignantly, ‘The Voyage’, dedicated to Aoife Conway, who had a ticket but sadly passed away before Saturday’s show.

Christy Moore takes us on a Voyage for his 10th year at the Marquee

Megan and Lilian Coughlan, from Douglas, at the concert.

‘The Voyage’ was a moving way to end the show, earning the first of two standing ovations. The crowd was on its feet again after the encore of ‘Lisdoonvarna’ and ‘Cliffs of Dooneen’.

The crowd sang every word of ‘Ordinary Man’, ‘Nancy Spain’, ‘Black is the Colour’, ‘City of Chicago’, ‘Biko Drum’, ‘North and South of The River’, and Shane MacGowan’s ‘A Pair of Brown Eyes’.

Christy thanked songwriters, like Jimmy McCarthy for ‘Ride On’, ‘Missing You’ and ‘The Contender’; and John Spillane for ‘Gortatagort’. He also thanked singers who have kept trad songs alive, like Jimmy Crowley for ‘Johnny Jump Up’, and John Reilly for ‘The Well Below The Valley’, for which Christy played a mean bodhrán.

‘Delerium Tremens’ was a highlight. Christy imagined himself back on the drink; when the DTs reached Cork, he sang: “Where’s your rhino horn now, Flatley?”

Another highlight was ‘Joxer’, Christy’s tale of Ray Houghton resolving hundreds of years of oppression when he headed the winner against England in Stuttgart.

Political whimsy was again evident for ‘Back Home in Derry’. Christy recalled recoiling back in 1995 when the BBC congratulated “British poet Seamus Heaney from Londonderry” on winning the Nobel Prize for literature.

Christy asked why the Beeb claimed Heaney as British, but called George Best, Alex Higgins, and others Irish? He has been consistent throughout his career spanning five decades. Not every fan agrees with his politics and/or the new material he adds to each set, but Christy seems more focused on being true to himself than on seeking to please people.

And yet, perhaps despite himself, he certainly pleases; to date, moreso than any other performer in the history of Irish folk music. DNA sample now, please Christy!


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