Christy Moore performing his On The Road Tour at The Town Hall Birmingham on Tuesday 8th May 2018.

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

Christy Moore’s concerts are so good for the spirit that they should be available on prescription. He delivered a set last night that dug deep for songs and stories of war, famine and cringing injustice whilst also egging on this eager audience at the Town Hall Birmingham to stomp their feet and have a good time.

For some, Moore’s gigs aren’t so much concerts as sermons with the main man holding court from centre stage. Sitting on a stool playing guitar, the delight is that you can never be sure which songs he will revive, but last night he was in top form as he treated the audience to a set list of his best known work which included opener Lingo Political which was quickly followed by Cry Like A Man.

Moore’s voice was as strong and as resonant as ever on the likes of Raggle Taggle Gypsy, as he managed to convey a fresh air of sombre vulnerability to his songs. There were cheery songs with darker meanings such as Viva La Quinta Brigada, alongside the slower more reflective material such as the lovely The Voyage.

The whole crowd joined in to the sing along versions of the spine tingling Ride On, Cliffs Of Doneen and the crowd pleasing Lisdoonvarna. Moore and guitarist Declan Sinnott were terrific live performers and their musical partnership, honed for more than a decade, sounded as fresh as ever especially on the likes of The Magdalene Launderies, a song written by Joni Mitchell about unmarried pregnant women being sent to the nuns to do the laundry.

The time breezed by with Moore’s unique mix of hilarious anecdotes; classic songs and friendly audience banter, especially when he gave a rare outing to his drinking song Deleum Tremen, and swiftly forgot the words.

He was in fine form throughout the entire evening and his soulful voice gave each song his equal attention and when he finished with the powerful song The Ballad Of An Ordinary Man, the crowd gave a well earned standing ovation for a consummate performer who is still at the top of his game.