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June 2019
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2009-04- Hamburg

reviewed by Ute

When this tour came up I found out soon  that the concert on Sunday takes place on Uli's birthday and so we decided to spend a weekend in Hamburg instead of Stuttgart though this would have been much closer to where we live. We had spent a great weekend in Hamburg two years ago and so we loved to return. Unfortunately we looked for a hotel just a week before the concert took place and so most of the hotels were fully booked, probably because of a big marathon with thousands of participants which was on Sunday as well. We were happy when we finally found a hotel close to the station. The receptionist had warned us in advance that there would be a lot of shops just for adults in the neighbourhood but we didn't come with our kids and so it was okay. We parked the car at the station and walked to the hotel. After entering the street where our accommodation was, I felt like being in Asia because of the shops, smells, restaurants and people and I reminded Uli that we were still in Germany. ;-) Nevertheless, the hotel was good and so it was okay.

We decided just to stroll along during this weekend as we had made a lot of sightseeing during our last stay. Unfortunately the things we saw were quite depressive - it started with a young woman sitting on the pavement and while begging she breast feeded her tiny baby. When we passed hours later she still was there. I had on my mind that the baby probably was fake but then I saw that it moved its tiny arm and then I knew for sure that it was real. We also saw a lot of homeless sleeping everywhere with empty bottles as their only companions and though the sun was shining and the air was lilac-scented they didn't notice this at all.

What strucked me most were all those young girls working as prostitutes as they looked not much older than our 16-year-old daughter. Of course I know that this is the same in every bigger city and Hamburg is a little bit different because of the well known 'Reeperbahn' with its red light district but it bothered me really  because there were so many.

Anyway when we entered the venue all those thoughts were gone. We were quite impressed by the 'Laeiszhalle' with a special atmosphere. Colm came on stage first playing 'Remember me' on his piano. The accustics were fantastic! After he had played a few notes I felt like coming home. I knew from the start that this would be a night to remember and that it was. We have been to a lot of Celtic Tenors concerts in the past and though knowing many songs in and out in the meanwhile it is always wonderful to be at these concerts as they are always different.

 The tenors started with 'I'll tell me Ma'. Then they greeted us in German. Daryl had the first laughters on his side as he prefered to greet us with 'Gruezi'. This was funny as we were in Hamburg, that means quite a few kilometres away from Switzerland! I don't write a song list now as they performed approximately the same as the days before on this German tour. A few songs I would like to mention though. I am also in the bunch of fans who were thrilled to hear and see Daryl at the piano (first time for Uli and me) with 'How great thou art'. Daryl had told us beforehand that he once played it as a 5-year-old in a church. I really can imagine how he looked like as a small boy with his feet dangling! The audience he had there was surely as impressed as we are now while his performance. Another highlight was of course James with another solo at the piano - a song that fits so well to him: 'Come what may'. Loved it! I was very pleased when Matt announced another song I like that much: Jimmy MacCarthy's 'The mad lady and me'. I can only back what Matt told us about this brilliant songwriter - that he can draw pictures with words and so in my opinion the Celtic Tenors should record further songs from him - (What about the song 'Neidin'?).
I was quite moved because of 'Dein ist mein ganzes Herz'. It is always wonderful to hear a song in our native language and all tenors had a flawless pronounciation! And while we're on the subject: Thank you guys for all your efforts in speaking German! That was great indeed. Uli and I liked it that Daryl didn't hesitate to play the guitar. It complements the new songs on the 'Hard Times' cd and the audience (including my husband and me) loved these songs as much as the older ones.

After a while they had a big surprise for Uli on store: James dedicated 'Four strong winds' to my husband and wished him a happy birthday. We both were really surprised as we haven't told the tenors about Uli's birthday  before. Later James told us that he got this 'insider tip' from someone but he didn't tell who it was. I think I will find out soon who of my (so far unknown) pen-friend it was! This song is besides 'Shenadoah' the absolute highlight for Uli on the new cd and so my husband felt really spoilt. Thanks for that once again!

I really don't want to neglect Colm in this long review and so I must admit that I found myself lost just watching him playing the piano with ease more than once.

What I didn't miss was a female singer. Uli told me later that during 'Time to say good-bye' he had missed Deirdre though.

After the encores (standing ovations and a lot of applause) James told us we would meet again at the meet and greet. I was really grateful for that. We never should take it for granted that the tenors and Colm are never too tired to talk with the fans, sign cds etc and pose on photos with us. So here's the next thank you for this!
At the meet and greet most people had left the venue soon which meant a little bit more time for the 'hardcore' fans. Moni was there and Ricky as well (met her first time) and a few others who had known the tenors already but I didn't know who they were. The pictures we took are too dark and blurry to post besides one which is a bit better. Uli has taken this snapshoot where Matt and a lady are on it. I don't know who she is but I think the pic is quite nice and so it is surely okay for this fan  that I'm going to post it later. As usual I liked to chat with the tenors as much as i loved  the concert itself and no, James, Uli didn't wanted to be with us on the photos.  I have asked him a few times, NOT that you think I neglect my husband because of you guys! ;-)

As always I enjoyed this evening up close to the fullest and I tried to absorb everything as good as possible. Who knows when we get the next chance to see them at all!

James feels always guilty when I tell him how far we drive to see them. You needn't do this, James. It is our 'fault'  but we are adults and are responsible for the decisions we make and we never regretted the long distances we drive to see and hear you guys! ;-)

For me, home is not only were the hugs are but also were the Celtic Tenors are and so I really hope that we can attend another concert not too far from now.