July Arts Focus: The authentic Christy Moore
Christy Moore was born in Newbridge, County Kildare, Ireland on the 7 May, 1945 so he'd turned seventy just a few days before this concert. ‘Happy birthday!’ someone from the audience called as he walked on stage.
with Deborah Harvey
CHRISTY MOORE, With Declan Sinnott on guitars, Jimmy Higgins, percussion, and Vicky Keating, backing vocals at Colston Hall, Bristol
Christy Moore was born in Newbridge, County Kildare, Ireland on the 7 May, 1945 so he'd turned seventy just a few days before this concert. ‘Happy birthday!’ someone from the audience called as he walked on stage. Christy smiled wrily and replied, ‘I know, you don't have to tell me, I don't look a day over sixty-nine!’
Any Christy Moore concert is a big deal. As a solo artist and as a founder-member of the hugely influential bands Planxty and Moving Hearts, he's one of the best loved of contemporary Irish musicians, recording well over thirty albums, performing numerous sell-out shows all around the world, including the Albert Hall and Carnegie Hall, and in 1991, twelve successive nights at the Point Theatre, Dublin to 70,000 people.
Christy Moore sings songs that tell the stories of real people in intense situations. It might be love, good or bad, ecstatic or sad; it might be an experience such as alcoholism, or about missing home when you can't go home; it might be about unemployment, about injustice, about people caught in political and economic strangleholds such as the Chinese cockle pickers of Morecambe Bay. It might be about a subject as big as the holocaust, but whatever the experience, whatever the song, the music is beautiful and the lyrics poetry. What’s more, Christy Moore's delivery is committed, he isn't misrepresenting anyone, and he isn't letting anyone down. There are no cliches, no stereotypes, no lies spun. He's offering someone's experience for you to feel, he's creating ‘the language of the heart’. It's very moving, refreshing and empowering, because in this language of the heart, we remember what we are and who we are. I suspect that after the General Election result, this was just what the audience needed. I also suspect people who vote Conservative don't tend to go to Christy Moore concerts much.