With gritty mind control and no little charm, he also got an enthusiastic crowd to stop clapping along to the songs.
“I know some of ye will be saying ‘What a cranky auld bollix’, but I’ll do plenty of big clapping numbers in a while if ye can bear with me,” he said.
Christy Moore on #LATM stage now. Starting with Before The Deluge. Miraculously most people in their seats.— Joe Dermody (@JoeDermody) July 4, 2015
Oddly enough, for such an age-diverse audience, obedience was near unanimous. We were rewarded with soulful renditions of ‘Sonny’s Dream, ‘Bee’s Wing’, ‘Cliffs of Dooneen and ‘Black Is The Colour’.
When singing ‘The Ballad of Patrick Murphy’, the tale of a Cork fisherman shot by a bailiff 100 years ago, Christy paid tribute to the song’s author John Spillane, and to members of the Murphy family who were in the audience. He gave the nod to a group from South Africa before playing ‘Biko Drum’.
8pm Christy Moore due on #LATM15 stage any second. Half the crowd still at the bar. Let's see how the bould Christy reacts!!!!— Joe Dermody (@JoeDermody) July 4, 2015
He thanked ‘Jimmy McCarthy’ for’ Ride On’, ‘Missing You’ and others; and he celebrated Ewan McColl’s centenary with ‘Go Move Shift’ and a rare rendition of The ‘First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’.
His tribute for ‘The Voyage’ got the biggest reaction: “I’d like to play this next one for Harry O’Leary, who asked me to sing this song for his parents. Harry is seven years old, so thanks Harry, and I hope you’re still awake.”
Then, good as his word, the floor was bouncing for the likes of ‘Joxer Goes To Stuttgart’, ‘Delirium Tremens’ and ‘Don’t Forget Your Shovel’.
Musically, this show was lifted by the beautiful vocals of Vicky Keating from Cobh, percussion from Jim Higgins from Galway, and of course the guitar wizardry of Declan Sinnott.
The crowd roared approval when Sinnott performed his song ‘Lightbox’, and for his guitar solos on ‘Viva La Quince Brigada’ and others.
Christy Moore broke a string. #LATM Immediately joking with audience great rapport, stops Before The Deluge, sings Nancy Spain instead.— Joe Dermody (@JoeDermody) July 4, 2015
Christy has played to capacity houses for all 11 years of the Marquee’s existence. A camera crew shot film, interviewing fans, capturing the atmosphere. Are we to expect a film? A live CD and DVD package?
Are they obedient, as he says himself, because he’s such a cranky auld bollix? Well, in all honesty, yes.
Or at least 10% of the obedience is for Christy’s legendary crankiness, maybe 20% for the calm and polite security staff, but the other 70% is just because people feel Christy has earned the right to put on a show in the manner of his choosing.
And sure, at the end of the show we were all standing in any case, standing in ovation for the majesty of Christy.
Standing ovation for Christy Moore #LATM tonight. Fully deserved. Legend.— Joe Dermody (@JoeDermody) July 4, 2015