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Sony Music 88985493842

A clear 16 years since his last live album, CM revisits his most popular songs, recorded on a recent tour of Ireland and the UK, over two CDs, in the form of a first and second live set. His sets always include songs covering his long career (50+ years and counting). Indeed eight of the songs herein are also to be found on the Live At The Point album – some 24 years ago. The voice is as strong as ever, and his sense of humour also still in the forefront (St. Brendan’s Voyage, Weekend In Amsterdam and Don’t Forget Your Shovel are just three examples). He has a heroic take on Richard Thompson’s Beeswing, and there are the compulsory Ride On and Lisdoonvarna, and his own Viva La Quinta Brigada is triumphant.

The assembled band includes the eminent Declan Sinnott and Máirtín O’Connor on guitar and accordion respectively, with brilliant contributions from Cathal Hayden on fiddle and banjo.

Christy also revisits his take on Fairytale Of New York – probably the only artiste that can confidently attempt it (with Shane McGowan’s blessing). If I had to choose a particular high spot it’s Jimmy MacCarthy’s Bright Blue Rose, although there are no below par tracks. A perfect showcase of how Christy Moore is sounding today. At 50 and 45 minutes respectively, the listener is aware that these two CDs comprise a fair concert worth of material – and delivered with his usual gusto. A good start to 2018.

Grem Devlin

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This album was reviewed in Issue 123 of The Living Tradition magazine.