Christy Moore (with Glen Hansard & Luka Bloom)

The Shelter, Dublin, April 3 2001

"I was halfway through the third song when I realised there's no point in wearing glasses when I've my eyes closed" joked Christy Moore, at the start of his performance in The Shelter in Vicar Street recently.

Christy MooreChristy, along with Glen Hansard, and Luka Bloom were all taking part in a Charity Gig and what a night it was. Christy, who hadn't performed in public for a while, looked relaxed and contented as he took to the stage.

Some easy listening ballads opened the set, but Christy seemed to find it hard to perform in front of a crowd again. "I do this in front of the mirror everyday at home, but now that I look out there and see all these people, I get a bit nervous". "I was so nervous today that I actually forgot my Bodhran" he added, but it didn't stop him playing an imaginary one on the hilarious 'A Stitch In Time'.

Old favourites like 'Mattie', followed by a Jackson Browne cover "that I haven't worked out an ending yet" and the foot-tapping 'Continental Ceile' followed in quick succession.

"Was I imagining it or did I hear the most amazing harmonies coming up from the crowd" Christy asked. This led to a spontaneous duet of 'The Bright Blue Rose' with a fan called Aine.

He continued with 'One Last Cold Kiss' and 'January Man' before proclaiming that his last song would be a long one. "On my way in here tonight, someone tapped me on the shoulder and asked me to sing this song. I was too scared to turn around to see who it was".

The opening familiar chords of 'The Rose of Tralee' excited me for one, but Christy wasn't as comfortable as I was with the song. "This isn't going too well" he added, and opted for something less strenuous.

Glen Hansard had kicked off the evening with some solo numbers including 'Disappointed' and 'Headlong' - a song he wrote outside McDonalds in Artane. He dedicated it to "the big man Christy". Even the word "Christy" has weight to it he added.

After Christy we were treated to some "flutes and fiddles everywhere" from Conor O'Brien and Friends and Luke Bloom wrapped up the night with a terrific solo set which include Sonny Sailor Boy, a version of 'Black Is The Colour' - "you were singing Christy's version and I was playing my version" he joked.

His set also included a selection of well known cover-versions including 'If I Were A Carpenter', 'Dancing Queen' and the highlight was undoubtedly 'I Need Love'.

From Christy's point of view I can understand how hard it must be for someone that has spent everyday of their life on the road performing in front of large crowds and now only does it on the odd occasion annually. Regardless, Christy you were brilliant - ride on.

Mick Lynch

(bullet) Check out a review of Christy Moore Live with Declan Synott, Donal Lunny & Luka Bloom at this hometown venue in 2004.
Check out our other articles on theIrish Folk Music Scene.