Andy Irvine (with guests)
Tue, Aug 1, 2000, 01:00 – MIC MORONEY
The whisper had gone out about a reunion of the Planxty desperadoes, but this was Andy Irvine’s night, and a huge crowd gave him pin-drop attention as he boldly executed long, historic, left-wing pinko ballads like that Australian anti-conscription song, Gladiators – and they roared for more.
He lilted unaccompanied into that hilarious auld diddle about the Irish mother who posted a letter addressed to “My Son in Americay”, then swooned back off onto mandolin/bouzouki for Braca Hill, or that Antrim song, Come With Me to the Mountain.
Personally, I was raging to hear Born in Carrickfergus, but it was great to see those idiolectic tunings and pickings again; mandolin melodies plucked at great variance to what he was actually singing.
After the break, Donal Lunny came on, and there was a lot of tuning and fussing. It never got right in the end, but Lunny quietly shouldered Irvine’s My Heart Tonight’s In Ireland. On Chetvorno Horo, a Balkan 7/16 tune, Lunny’s bouzouki and Irvine’s mandolin were making that magical mesh of strings again, even though – the old Planxty curse – they could hardly hear each other.
When Christy Moore arrived, the extremists were howling “Up Newbridge”, but the boys kept it low and accoustic, trying to find some way back between Christy’s so-gently flogged guitar/bodhran and the out-there mandolin/bouzouki of the others.
That’s when they started very quietly strumming the heartstrings: leaving you swaying gently to Andy on Arthur MacBride, or his Ur-camp A Blacksmith Coorted Me, while Christy dug the emotion out of Lord Musgrave and The Lakes of Pontchartrain. No joking, they finished up with Andy’s great song The West Coast of Clare, and I’ll Go No More A- Roving.
God forgive me, but there were tears in my eyes.
This review featured in the Irish Times it is unclear the venue the performance took place. It seems to be a rare performance by 3 members of Planxty. If anyone has any additional info please get in touch.