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May 2020
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2003-09-09 Dublin, Gaiety Theatre

reviewed by Maeve


and so to a brief synopsis of the fantastic night in the Gaeity.............


First to report that I went to the concert with Veronika and her husband Helmut. They were in Ireland for the weekend with two friends. So I also brought a very good friend of mine and booked a box for the six of us, right over the stage.


As it was James' birthday, Margaret and I had brought roses to throw onto the stage. First, all six of us shared a lovely meal in a good restaurant. We were in great form, if even a little giddy, as the concert started.


Out on stage came our wonderful boys in fabulous WHITE SUITS and stirred us all to the invigorating strains of Granada! What a heart stopping, palpitating start! Wonderful.


Please forgive me if I get things out of order. I will just mention the highlights.

Niall's singing of Caruso was just to die for. Really beautiful and stirring.


Niall and Matthew sang the Pearl Fishers duet which was beautiful and James was so patronising as he told Matthew his Italian was improving. Matthew said with contempt "It was French". Hilarious!


James then sang "O sole Mio". He took it as his solo and pushed Niall and Matthew into the background and gave them a sheet with their backing music. This comprised of a few "ooohs" and "aaahs" and the odd "um pah pah" etc. The faces of Niall and Matthew just had to be seen as James kept telling them not to come too far forward. It was so funny!


The first part of their program was the more classical part. In this section, apart from the ones I have already mentioned, they also nearly collapsed me with their heart-rending rendition of "You are my Heart's Delight". So beautiful. They also sang "Nessum Dorma" in this section.


Deirdre, with newly straightened hair, also sang very beautifully......... Marble Halls and Song for Ireland.


The Irish section included Whiskey in the Jar, Mary of Dunloe and Matthew's rendition of the Contender. The fields of Athenry was dedicated to the fans and of course James named all the fans in the audience. He got a round of applause for that feat!


Whiskey in the jar, Remember Me, Ireland's Call and the Dublinia medley were all included. I was so touched as James and Niall fought for my attention as James faced me as he sang "Margaret O'Raffery, the flower of ArdnaGullion" and Niall retorted "the Pride of Petravore"


Of course we threw the roses onto the stage for all of our boys, but particularly for James, whose birthday it was. James was so embarrassed.


It was a wonderful evening. They sang about 10 or twelve new songs and we missed Caledonia and Fionnghula.


Afterwards it was lovely meeting Irmgard and Ines. Brid and Sandra were also there. Also Brigitte and Moni were there although I did not get an opportunity to speak with them.


It was a fantastic evening and I for one am grateful that our wonderful fan club has given me the opportunity to meet with Veronika, who has become a good friend. We owe our boys a lot!


Thank you.

I forgot to say that during the concert, two Happy Birthday banners were raised from the third row of the Gaeity. Niall drew our attention to the banners and we all sang *Happy Birthday" to James!