Review of their gig in the Olympia, Dublin - Apr 15/16th, 2000
"Ladies and Gentlemen, will you please welcome on stage Prefab Sprout". The lights go down, the hands go up and Paddy, sporting an image similar to that of Roy Wood in his Wizzard days, walks on stage to tremendous applause.
"This is a song called 'I Remember That' says Paddy. A voice in the crowd shouts "I remember Trinity" a reference to their concert here in '84. "I'd rather forget it" Paddy quickly replies. This sets the tone for the evening as a relaxed Paddy has to defend his appearance on numerous occasions.
His back catalogue of ballads dominates the early part of the show, 'Bonny', 'Andromeda Heights', and 'Life's A Miracle' being the most melodic. "What's the story with the beard paddy" someone shouts. "Do you not grow hair here in Ireland or is it a cultural thing" he replies. The pace quickens for 'Faron Young', and 'Appetite' and 'Life of Surprises' brings the first half of the show to an enjoyable end.
The singles 'Electric Guitars' and 'Cars And Girls' open the second set before 'Cruel' slows the tempo down again. "This next song could have been the number one for the Millennium, only Westlife got there" says Paddy. "I mean Terry Jacks obviously wrote 'Seasons In the Sun' for the Millennium. How stupid of me to write a song called 'Carnival 2000'" he added.
He was now enjoying himself. It was the last city on their tour, their first in 10 years so why shouldn't he. His mother smiled down from the balcony while Paddy did his best Billy Joel impression at the keyboard for a lovely version of 'Swans'.
The following night he remained at the keyboard to play 'Nightingales' for me as I'd told him it was my wedding song. It wasn't really rehearsed, although you wouldn't have known. Martin and Neil just stood back and let Paddy and Jess compete with each other on keyboards.
'When Loves Break Down' brought the loudest cheer from the packed auditorium before 'Goodbye Lucille No. 1' and
'Cowboy Dreams' brought the show to an end after two hours.
The crowd weren't leaving so back came the quartet to complete the encore with 'Looking For Atlantis' and the new single 'Where The Heart Is' . 'A Prisoner Of The Past' brought the set of 31 songs and 140 minutes to an enjoyable climax. It was certainly the carnival of 2000.