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[17 MAY 00] WARWICK ARTS CENTRE REVIEW
The Dubliners
- Getting Everyone Jigging With It
REVIEW BY ANTONY HOPKER

Several hundred people stamped their feet to the merry sound of the Dubliners and some of them even kept in time.

The show got off to an auspicious start. Seasoned performers these fine musicians might be, but a half-empty concert venue is not the thing you want to see when you walk on to a stage.

It was a shame, because the Dubliners deserve better. Having trotted round the circuit for over 30 years, they still retain a freshness that makes them enjoyable to an audience of all ages.

The variety of tunes, song, tales and ballards that come out is enough to keep even the most sceptical punter amused.

The instrumentation is well-balanced in the slower songs new riffs steadily wash over you in a wave of melody, but with the flick of a wrist the tempo is suddenly upped and the feet start to tap automatically.

And it was during one of the faster moments that the concert came to life.

Banjo player Barney, only just back on tour after illness and looking unwell, brought everyone to life with a blistering mandolin duet.

His self-deprecating wit and obvious discomfort at walking on and off stage brought both a sympathy vote and a spark to the show.

By the end, with the crowd singing along to Molly Malone and Whiskey in the Jar, four students had started dancing at the front of the stage, jigging around to the amusement of the many older Irish ex-pats.

The Dubliners might look as if they would be happier in a bar, but the tunes kept on coming.

No sooner had Barney slowly limped off the stage, than he had to turn around again for encore after encore.

ANTONY HOPKER - 17 MAY 2000
  

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