When Glen Campbell grabbed Siamsa hearts at Páirc Uí Chaoimh

Glen Campbell in Páirc Uí Chaoimh in 1983. Picture: Irish Examiner Archive

In memory of Glen Campbell, we’re reproducing Declan Colley’s review of the late singer’s 1983 appearance at Siamsa Cois Laoi at Páirc Uí Chaoimh in Cork.

INTERNATIONAL singing star Glen Campbell was taken to the hearts of the thousands of people who attended yesterday’s Siamsa Cois Laoi when he gave a performance of true virtuosity and talent.

On a day made successful by a good-natured, well behaved crowd, Campbell provided the crowning glory with an hour and a half long show filled with a wide variety of songs, much good humour and genuine nature.

Despite complaining of a touch of laryngitis, Campbell did not let the many punters down. His set took a little while to settle down, but when he and his five-piece backing band got into their stride, they got the crowd going in no uncertain terms. ‘

Some of the fans at the Siamsa gig.
Some of the fans at the Siamsa gig.

A selection of his greatest hits started off his performance arid, while songs like ‘By The Time I Get To Phoenix’, ‘Galvestbn’ and ‘Wichita Lineman’ are classics of their genre, I suspect that the man might find it a little difficult to put much heart into them after all these years.

Nonetheless this is only a small crib. Thereafter the crowd reacted mightily to each and every number. They were enthralled when, in the middle of the show, Campbell appeared on stage with a set of bagpipes and did a rendition of Paul McCartney’s ‘Mull of Kintyre’, leading the band on vocals and the pipes.

An unexpected inclusion in the show was the Oscar winning theme song from the film ‘Chariots of Fire’, with Campbell’s rhythm guitarist and synthesiser player, Craig Falls, leading the band.

In his final number, ‘Rhinestone Cowboy’, Campbell was almost out sung by the enthusiastic audience, who refused to let him leave the stage when it finished.

He rewarded their applause with an encore of ‘Amazing Grace’ in which he again led the band on the bagpipes. Quite taken by the audience reaction, he promised to come to Ireland again within a year.

Prior to Campbell’s appearance, Siamsa regulars Wolfe Tones, Bagatelle and the Furey Brothers and Davey Arthur provided the majority of the entertainment.

— Monday, July 25, 1983


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