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June 2019
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2004-10 Liam Lawton concert with special guests ;-)

reviewed by Beate


Okay, I get off track here... back to the concert. After a little stroll through Dublin, we met up with another friend, and around 7 pm arrived at St. Patrick's Cathedral. Just about right, as the line was not too long at that moment, but went around the corner about 10 minutes later. Whew. I don't remember who told us, but someone said that they had actually reckoned with 500 people, and at the end had around 900 people in the church - which was also the reason for the concert starting a little late.


We were greeted by Liam Lawton's manager, who told us that the CD which is only due out in about four weeks' time had been made available for that special evening. He also told us a little about Liam and this project - apparently, and I am taking this from the CD cover now, he had asked Liam some time ago to write down a wish list of artists he would like to perform with. The outcome is this beautiful CD which just gets better every time I listen to it - and it was a beautiful and marvellous concert too. The following listing of songs is not the concert order - I can't remember that - and I fear it's not complete either.... But these are the things that stayed in my mind.


Liam himself, of course the main person of the concert, introduced every song, told a little about the story behind it, why he had written it, and so on. And there were some wonderful stories, "In the quiet" is about the places he seeks and finds to reflect, "Two sides to every story" is about the fact that there's another side to almost everything - something he has learned being an identical twin - and "The clouds' veil" is about hope - no matter how dark it might be, the sun always comes out again. This song also has a special significance as it was used as the main mourning song after the 9/11 tragedy in the US.


And there were many more - most of the artists Liam had had on his wish list and who feature on the CD were present. Roisin O'Reilly did an "Ave Maria" version and a gospel song, and Eimear Quinn replaced Moya Brennan in "Labyrinth", before doing her own song from the CD. For me, that was the most touching moment of the whole night, as Liam explained that "Voice of an angel" was dedicated to Leah, who died at the age of 7. Eimear has a beautiful voice and especially that song was very emotional for me (still is when I listen to the CD).


There's two more guest appearances I would like to mention - Brian Kennedy, who has an incredible stage presence (if one can talk about stage presence in a church - you know what I mean anyway) and who did a song titled "Allelu". Just to hear that voice carrying through the church alone would have been worth the flight to Dublin and I can assure you, I had goosebumps all over (the crying had actually started a long time before that so that's no measure here...).


The other guest appearance I realise I better include here was of course the one of the lads - doing "In your heart" together with Liam Lawton. Again, it's definitely something else to hear them in a church, especially in such a historic one as St. Patrick's Cathedral, where the flickering lights and such added to the special atmosphere. I've posted the meaning of the song - or rather the idea behind it - already a few days ago so nothing remains to say except, it was simply beautiful.


For the last song of the evening, "Benedictus", all artists appeared on the little stage together. Something clearly baffled them and I could hear Matthew ask "What are we going to do"? (Yes Matthew - churches do carry voices quite good - we heard that!) Niall and James, together with Brian Kennedy, looked ready to launch into laughter. Niall was holding the mike but did not look too happy about it - and both James and Brian refused to take it. This was all very funny to watch and when we enquired about it later, James said that they had all been pushed back onto stage, but did not even know the melody of the song.... Well, at least it made for the concert ending on a lighter note.


Opinions about this concerts were split - Cassie, Anja and I loved it and we have all bought the CD, but there were others who said it was too tragic, too boring, stuff like that. Really a question of personal liking and personal taste I think.


I was glad Liam had talked about his identical twin before one of his songs, otherwise I would have been quite confused at one time after the concert - I had just returned from the signing table with my CD when the guy who had just signed it suddenly stood in front of me at the other side of the church, wearing a suit in another colour!


Another after-concert highlight was that we had the opportunity to meet - and shortly speak to - Brian Kennedy. Earlier that day I had purchased the novel he has written, but unfortunately I had not brought it along as Brian's website had stated he would be in Australia that week so I did not even reckon with seeing him in St. Patrick's. Let alone meeting him. But he signed the CDs and we chatted about the book for a few minutes. Brian's own concerts in Dublin are taking place this week - too late for our stay - but I hope to catch one when I am living over there in the next year! Hmm.


Just dreaming along here but if there is a wish list for artists I would like to hear perform with the Celtic Tenors... Brian would for sure be in a very high position! Oh I just remember... he is supposed to be on the new album!


So it was a very tired group that returned to the hostel later that night after a final drink in Temple Bar... but a very happy one too!