Album: One Night In Bremen
Planxty need little introduction but for those who aren’t aware of this force in Irish music, it comprises of quartet Andy Irvine, Donal Lunny, Christy Moore and Liam O’Flynn. On this album they are joined by Flautist Matt Molloy who would later become a key figure in the massive and ever-enduring Chieftains. When they arrived in the early 70s with flares, taking their rogue-ish hippy attire and performing blistering Irish folk, they certainly turned a few heads and cemented their names into the scene.
The album here is from a time in the late 70s, where the band had reformed and had refined their sound. The album is a live recording from April 1979 in Bremen, Germany before the album recording ‘After the Break’.
The album opens on ‘The Pursuit of Farmer Michael Hayes’, a stomping song sung by the often imitated but never replicated singer Christy Moore. He’s in fine form on this album. Liam O’Flynn’s pipes open the second track with his evocative and expressive style of playing, this is part of what makes Planxty such a force in Irish music. Combine that with the Mandolin/Bouzouki combination of Irvine and Lunny, they step away from ‘Trad’ and become their own.
What is a delight from listening to these live recordings is hearing a band in full flow. With both Irvine and Moore who are solo performers in their own right, albums like this will be ‘must-haves’ for those who follow these two performers.
Andy Irvine leads the plaintive ‘ You Rambling Boys of Pleasure’, this is a standout track on the album. Irvine’s classic delicate vocal which sounds like he’s singing just for you is evident on this track, rather like Irvine’s many poignant Planxty ballads.
‘Smeceno Horo’ is a driving Balkan tune led by Mandolin and Bouzouki, then Molloy’s flute. This would be Matt Molloy’s only tour with Planxty before joining The Chieftains.
The classic ‘Raggle Taggle Gypsy / Tabhair Dom Do Lamh is the only song from their renowned first album on here. Delivered very well by Moore. One of the early parts in the track you can hear someone in the audience shush other clapping members. It’s nice to hear this is a live album with enough audience noise in there so it doesn’t become another live album that is just tracks performed differently.
I have to say, what does let this album down is the artwork, which resembles a poor bootleg which has had little care in fonts or their size and also leans a little too much to ‘Oirish’ with its garishly green artwork. This is by no means an album for someone to acquaint themselves with Planxty, rather for those who wish to re-acquaint themselves with this era of Planxty or to keep their collection up to speed. Which if you are, and can get past the artwork, there are some fine songs on this live album.
Note: this is a translation to English using google translate, the original article is below.
Precious Heroes: a tribute to the working class
He made the heyday of Planxty in the 70s, before founding Patrick Street the next decade and Mozaik. More recently, he helped found the Usher’s Island super group alongside Dónal Lunny, Paddy Glackin, Mike McGoldrick and John Doyle (1). A very long career of more than fifty years adorned by many albums.
In 2018 Andy Irvine released a new album, this time accompanied by Australian guitarist and mandolinist Luke Plumb. Or when the old lion of the Irish tradition meets the young Tasmanian tiger.
On Precious Heroes , Andy and Luke pay tribute to great men and women, largely unknown, who shaped the working class and the cultural roots of their respective countries. Through trials, sorrow, adversity and tragedy, triumphant stories remain. Andy and Luke share History and Hope by dedicating their album to these precious everyday heroes.
We meet randomly, traditional Irish ballads, Erin’s Green Shore , Dunlavin Green or Farewell to Ballymoney and an Australian ballad The Death of Ben Hall . Andy’s compositions, including Franck Ryan, who fought Fascism in Spain in the International Brigades, Hard Times in Comer’s Mines and Here’s a Heal to Every Miner Lad on the condition of minors in the 1930s in both Ireland and the United States. -United. And then Trip to Tír na nÓg , a piece composed in 73 by Andy for Planxty but never recorded until today.
To highlight the superb A Tune for Angus composed by Luke in tribute to his friend Shooglenifty, Angus R. Grant, recently missing.
Alongside the two musicians are Scottish fiddler John McCusker, flutist Mike McGoldrick, percussionist James Mackintosh, guitarist Rens Van Der Zalm and two Australian singers Kate Burke and Ruth Hazleton.
At seventy-five Andy Irvine proves to us once again that he has not lost anything of a talent that has been expressed for half a century on stages all over the world.
(1) PB No. 645 – October 2017
February 28, 2018
Précious Heroes: un hommage à la classe ouvrière
Il fit les beaux jours de Planxty dans les années 70, avant de fonder Patrick Street la décennie suivante puis Mozaik. Plus récemment il a contribué à fonder le super groupe Usher’s Island aux côtés de Dónal Lunny, Paddy Glackin, Mike McGoldrick et John Doyle (1). Une très longue carrière de plus de cinquante années émaillée de nombreux albums.
En 2018 Andy Irvine sort un nouvel album, cette fois accompagné du guitariste et mandoliniste australien Luke Plumb. Ou lorsque le vieux lion de la tradition irlandaise rencontre le jeune tigre de Tasmanie.
Sur Precious Heroes, Andy et Luke rendent hommage à de grands hommes et femmes, largement méconnus, qui ont façonné la classe ouvrière et les racines culturelles de leurs pays respectifs. A travers les épreuves, la tristesse, l’adversité et la tragédie, des histoires triomphantes subsistent. Andy et Luke partagent ici l’Histoire et l’espoir en dédiant leur album à ces précieux héros du quotidien.
On y croise au hasard, des ballades traditionnelles irlandaises, Erin’s Green Shore, Dunlavin Green ou Farewell to Ballymoney et une ballade australienne The Death of Ben Hall. Des compositions d’Andy, notamment Franck Ryan, parti combattre le fascisme en Espagne dans les Brigades Internationales, Hard Times in Comer’s Mines et Here’s a Heal to Every Miner Lad sur la condition des mineurs dans les années 30 tant en Irlande qu’aux États-Unis. Et puis Trip to Tír na nÓg, un morceau composé en 73 par Andy pour Planxty mais jamais enregistré jusqu’à ce jour.
A souligner le superbe A Tune for Angus composé par Luke en hommage à son ami de Shooglenifty, Angus R. Grant, récemment disparu.
Aux côtés des deux musiciens prennent place le fiddler écossais John McCusker, le flûtiste Mike McGoldrick, le percussionniste James Mackintosh, le guitariste Rens Van Der Zalm et les deux chanteuses australiennes Kate Burke et Ruth Hazleton.
A soixante-quinze ans Andy Irvine nous prouve une fois de plus qu’il n’a rien perdu d’un talent qui s’exprime depuis un demi-siècle sur les scènes du monde entier.
ANDY IRVINE & LUKE PLUMB – Precious Heroes Autoproduit AK-7 – www.andyirvine.com
(1) PB n°645 – Octobre 2017
28 février 2018