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CHRISTY MOORE

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On The Road

SONY MUSIC

‘Lingo Politico’ UNMISSABLE LIVE

SNAPSHOT OF IRELAND’S FOLK SUPREMO

With 24 live tracks, recorded in 17 venues, and a booklet of Christy’s thoughts on the songs, On The Road is a remarkably generous and fulfilling document of the singer’s power as a live performer.

It ranges widely across his considerab­le canon. There’s the marvellous – and at times graphic! – imagery in ‘Lisdoonvar­na’, ‘Delirium Tremens’ and the hilarious ‘Joxer Goes To Stuttgart’; the intimately personal account in ‘Ordinary Man’; heartachin­g love songs such as the wistful ‘Black Is The Colour’, ‘Beeswing’ and ‘Nancy Spain’; and a slightly daft version of Christy Hennessy’s ‘Don’t Forget Your Shovel’, which develops into a right wig-out.

Christy’s delicate approach to ‘The Voyage’ – written by Johnny Duhan – reveals the many layers of the song, while he is one of the few singers capable of squaring up to a classic like The Pogues’ ‘Fairytale Of New York’ and winning. His evocative take on ‘The Cliffs Of Dooneen’, with the audience singing lovingly along, would make you want to go there (again). And he can equally deliver a song with his majestic voice alone, as with ‘Weekend In Amsterdam’. Meanwhile, songs laden with political intent like ‘Viva La Quinta Brigada’ and ‘Go Move Shift’ score powerfully without hectoring or lecturing.

Even ‘Lingo Politico’, Pat Quinn’s acerbic portrayal of Irish politician­s as inveterate liars, is tempered by the nature of its razor-sharp wit. “They’re trying to sell us water and it’s pissin’ down with rain” kind of sums the breed up alright.

In a sense, On The Road is Ireland in microcosm: the good, the bad and the spectacula­rly ugly aspects of our carry-on laid bare. Christy’s voice is in knockout form throughout, and he’s supported by a seven-piece band as required, with Declan Sinnott’s masterful guitar fills as sparkling as ever. And the audiences go with him all the way, knowing when to shush and let Christy do his job, and how to raise roofs as appropriat­e.

Indeed, the audience are an intrinsic part of the Moore live experience, and Christy’s relationsh­ip with his fans and his music is marvellous­ly rendered in ‘If I Get An Encore’. No matter what they say elsewhere, there’s no show like a Christy show. On The Road is a triumph. Accept no substitute.

OUT NOW // JACKIE HAYDEN

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