En­niskerry star Chris ‘high on emo­tion’ af­ter re­view

SINGER/SONG­WRITER PENS SCATHING RE­SPONSE TO IR­ISH TIMES WRITER

Bray People - - NEWS - Mary FOG­A­RTY

EN­NISKERRY res­i­dent Chris de Burgh must have dis­agreed with the wis­dom of Malx­olm X (‘If you have no crit­ics you’ll likely have no suc­cess,’) when he re­cently saw red and penned a scathing re­ply to a neg­a­tive re­view. The spat has caught the at­ten­tion of even the in­ter­na­tional cul­ture me­dia.

‘Were you much teased by your school chums in the school­yard and called Creepy Craw­ley?’ the singer asked re­viewer Peter Craw­ley. (We have it on rea­son­ably good au­thor­ity that the for­mer St. Michael’s boy was not.)

Craw­ley’s re­view was of de Burgh’s show in the Gai­ety The­atre and was pub­lished on Septem­ber 3 in the Ir­ish Times. Its con­tents were neg­a­tive, de­spite the con­cert hav­ing sold out for three nights and in­clud­ing more stand­ing ova­tions than an episode of X-Fac­tor. Craw­ley de­scribes the singer as ‘a busi­ness­man happy to have fin­ished his long day of con­fer­ence calls.

‘There is that war­bly tenor, the call­ing card of the mawk­ish bal­ladeer...there is that hair­cut, long at the back and wispy up front, en­tirely un­ruf­fled by 34 years in the mu­sic biz.

‘And of course there is that cringe fac­tor,’ writes Craw­ley. ‘His slightly tar­nished squeaky clean per­sona, his claims to heal peo­ple with his hands, his in­deli­ble as­so­ci­a­tion with a time of shoul­der pads and enor­mous hair.

‘In short, it’s easy to snig­ger at de Burgh.’

Rather than us­ing the of­fend­ing pa­per to wash his win­dows, the En­niskerry man hit the prover­bial roof and re­sponded quickly to Craw­ley’s mis­sive.

‘Your churl­ish re­view is an in­sult to all those who en­joyed their night out,’ he said, and in a stark warn­ing to all jour­nal­ists, ev­ery­where, ‘in th­ese days of col­lapsi n g news­pa­per sales and an en­tire new gen­er­a­tion on the way who will get their in­for­ma­tion on­line, you may be looking for an­other job sooner rather than later.

‘It seems you are uni­ver­sally loathed in the the­atre world; a lead­ing im­pre­sario de­scribed you as “puffed up with his own self im­por­tance”, and a much loved and suc­cess­ful ac­tress refers to you as “that loath­some lit­tle turd.” Great ac­co­lades, to be sure.’

Craw­ley said that he felt he could write about de Burgh’s pub­lic per­sona without caus­ing any emo­tional trou­ble. ‘I think that some­body with a ca­reer of over 30 years stand­ing will take it in his stride. I was sur­prised that it ev­i­dently was so wound­ing.’

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