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May 2019
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2005-09-09 Trim

reviewed by Beate


Back in front of a PC again - but far more importantly, dry again AND warm again after what I would describe as a very memorable concert night in Trim last Friday - for more than one reason!!!


The weather forecast had been "rain" for the whole week, yet every other day came and went dry and partly sunny, so I had my hopes a little bit up for Friday. But when I got up Friday morning I fully agree with Emily, it was one of those rare mornings where you look out of the window, see the grey skies and the rain, and just know it will not stop raining for the rest of the day. Not that I did give up the hope, but deep down inside, I knew at 7 am that this was going to be everything but a good night for an open air.


The weather got a little better the nearer I got towards Trim, and I actually had a stroll around the village and along the Boyne without a drop of rain, still it remained grey, murky, and very windy. I had been wondering all along how stage and audience area would look like at Trim Castle. I have been there many times (it's one of my usual stops when I have visitors), but I just could not imagine how the setup would be. It turned out to be a perfect setting - the stage was on the backside of the keep, there was just enough space for it, then came a moate of about 3 metres, and the chairs for the audience were on the plain on the other side of the moate. The only thing missing to make this perfect, really, would have been better weather!


Just to give you an idea of how different from usual gigs this night was - getting ready for this event had included putting on a fleece pullover, a fleece jacket, and a rain jacket on top of those (I could hardly move), the most robust pair of jeans I had in the closet, and waterproof walking boots. Plus I took one of the rain coats that were provided to the audience, and to tell the truth, even equipped like that my teeth were chattering after a while.


The concert was sold out - 1000 tickets, at least that's what I read if I am not mistaken. And though most people only came at the last moment due to the weather, the audience did fill up and most seats were taken by the time the concert started shortly after 8 pm. Unfortunately, the rain also started again around 8.30 pm - light at first, but becoming heavier and heavier by the minute. So if the song list is incomplete or in the wrong order, forgive me, it's not exactly clearly readable any more.


As usual, the lads started off with "Star of the County Down", followed by "Wild Rover". And they were introducing each other this time, opposite to introducing themselves (as they usually do). Niall introduced James, James introduced Niall, they both introduced David, and this was it. Poor Matthew was starting to feel left out but to tell the truth, I think both of the others were "jealous" about the reception he got in his home county - actually down the road from his home town because Trim is not too far from Kells. And of course the audience was giving him a big cheer!!! On they went with "Caledonia" and "Fionnghuala", before allowing a few glimpses into the new album again, with "Here, there and everywhere" (much loved) and "Angel of Mercy". Just as well that rain water was running down my face at that point anyway, because I cried my whole way through it again. It is the most moving song and many thanks to James for sharing the background of its dedication with us.


After "Spanish Lady", Deirdre joined the lads on stage for "Nella Fantasia", followed by "Once in a very blue moon" with the Celtic Tenors as background singers, and "Airdi Cuan". Matthew joined Deirdre back on stage for "The Prayer", then the other two came back as well for "Libiamo". In between songs, the lads would enquire were the people in the audience still comfortable (meaning of course, as comfortable as you could get under the given circumstances), but they really kept the introductions and usual banter at a minimum and sometimes song just followed song. Weird as this may sound, this is actually much appreciated when one is dripping wet! The next songs were "Granada", "You raise me up", "Bheir Mi O", and "Non Siamo Isole".


And rain or no rain, "O Sole Mio" then was a big hit with the audience as usual. Alas, all those songs dealing with sun and warmth did not persuade the rain to stop Next on the programme was "Fields of Athenry", "Whiskey in the Jar", and "Remember me", before Deirdre joined them back on stage for "Time to say Goodbye" and the encore, "Ireland's Call".


Of course, there was no signing afterwards. There was no dry seat left on the castle grounds, and the stage was not accessible from the audience's side, so even had they wanted to do one (which I doubt due to the temperatures and the wind), there were no facilities for it. What I have to say, though, is that the organisers have done a very good job and they actually managed to get everybody out in a relatively short period of time, by calling them to leave row by row. Which worked amazingly well!


And never have I been so thankful for the heating system in the car as I was last Friday! However, this will teach me to enjoy even the crappiest venue from now on, however cold or uncomformable it may be, as long as it has a roof!