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June 2019
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Seven concerts in The Netherlands

reviewed by Ali

A lot of words this time, but it is for seven concerts. Left out some of my own funny stories. The average is less than 200 words per concert.

It was great to see the Celtic Tenors again. This tour they had Brian MacNamee with them. He fitted in every way.
I went to all seven with Madeleine. One of the nicest things of attending more concerts in a row is to see the differences, even when the song list is similar.

In Weert we met Marjoeska and Richard in the afternoon. We all were curious. Which songs? New songs? Will they sing (some of) my favourites?

They started with `I'll tell me ma' in a new arrangement. So it sounded familiar and new at the same time.
Then `The town I loved so well' and `Finnigan's wake' . Matthew explained the song.
After that `Ag Criost an Siol', I really love this song. It was followed by `Fionnghuala'. Then three new songs. `Silent sunlight' and `If I fell' are beautiful.
`Funiculi Funiculà' (with explanation) is well known by almost everyone.
The next one is on my list of favourites. `The holy city'. I love that song for a long time, but sung by the CT it always brings tears to my eyes.
Daryl's solo `Brown eyed girl' was a new one too. He asked to sing along the refrain, but I think it's more a song to listen to.
When they announced `Remember me' and the interval afterwards, I couldn't believe that the first half was already over.

The first one after the interval was `Granada'. It was real fun at one point. It is always hard to decide what to tell about funny parts. For those who are going to a concert in the near future and maybe see the same songs/jokes it is good to find out themselves. For the others it would be nicer when told. Thinking of Heather maybe it's better not to tell.
`Anthem' (written by the ABBA boys) is always good to hear.
Then the new one I immediately put on my list of favourites: `Dimming of the day'. Still feel emotional when I recall that moment.
Time to recover with `You ain't goin' nowhere' before James' solo. `Come what may'. This one is very high on my list!
Then `Wanted man' followed by `Matthew's solo `Fearless love'. Think I've said before that didn't really liked on the CD, but love it much more live.
`The mad lady and me' makes me thinking back of Cork where we were last year.
The next two songs are loved by a lot of us. `Caledonia' and `Shenandoah'. Again two of my list.
After `Whiskey in the jar' it was time for the final song `Nessun dorma'.
Of course it wasn't really the final song. The encore was `Time to say goodbye'.
For us it was: "See you tomorrow".

Next day we went to Delfzijl. 4,5 hours by train. Never been there before. Love to be in the North of our country. People there are different (nicer) from those in the middle and (especially) the West.
Here the show was even better. We wondered if that was because it was almost sold out. Now we know that there must have been another reason.

Two days later it was time for Enschede. Good to see Gabi and Claus again. Gabi already wrote that was the day of Brian's birthday. We didn't know, so we couldn't bring him a little something. We did that the next day. Really a little something as it is not easy to find something on a Sunday in The Netherlands.
I've seen Heike and Axel before. Just seen. Now we really met and talked. And I'll see them within a month again.
The concert was like the first one. I told Gabi that I expected that the Hardenberg concert would be like the one in Delfzijl.

The next day Ute and Uli picked us up in Enschede to travel to Hardenberg together. We met once before (last year in Vlaardingen) and they were so kind to offer to pick us up. It was a lot of fun. By the way: Ute says that I'm funny, but the funniest was their navigation system. When we went from the theatre to our B&B (800 meters!!!) to change clothes, it recalculated three times or maybe more!!!
We had dinner together and Ute is right: We didn't run out of words. And Ute, there is more to tell. I'll mail you soon.
When I showed my ticket, one of the hostesses said: "You came from far". She remembered last years concert. James gave her his rose that night and she drove us back to our B&B because it was raining.
And yes, the show was more like the second one. Gabi agreed that it was different!

Back home for a few days and then to Zaandam. There we met Cristel as agreed. She left very early in the morning and arrived in Zaandam at about 13.30
Of course we had the same hotel and spend the afternoon together. So good to see her again.
Was surprised to see Frieda and Chris. Met them at first in Sligo last May.
In the first half `Four strong winds' was replaced by `Lay down Sally'. Glad that I've heard it live now. From the very beginning we are thinking of an old horse when we hear the first notes (SORRY), but I love the song.
`Wanted man' made room for `Pilgrim 33' and `Fearless love' was replaced by `Ramblin man'.
There was an extra encore. Again one from the top of my list. `In the gloaming'.

Back home again as Ede is not too far from our place. For me it was a very special one. I had to order 15 tickets. The system gave me seats at 3 different rows. Christel had a ticket for row 14. We decided to ask for another seat. It ended up that we could change ALL tickets. All first row. The stage was fixed for a seminar the next day, so the stage was smaller and two extra rows of chairs were created. Unfortunately it was far from sold out.
Four tickets were for known fans (Madeleine, Christel Marjoeska and I). One for my mum who attended two concerts earlier. The others just wanted to find out why Madeleine and I love to go to CT concerts.
No disappointed people in our group. On the contrary, they all loved the show and were in particular impressed by `Shenandoa'.
Some of them tried to find out which voice they liked the most. Didn't work. They still can't decide. Have to say that I couldn't decide either after just one concert.
We think this was the best show.

For the last Dutch concert we had to go North again. Another long trip. Christel travelled with us till Deventer. There she had her train to Berlin.
A sold out venue. We had balcony seats. From that place we had a great view on Colm's hands. I absolutely agree with Ute: lovely to see him playing. But&I spotted two empty seats on the first row. In the interval I asked the staff if it was okay if we took those seats. It was okay, so the second half we had first row again. Not bad 6,5/7 first row.

Then the first encore said what we had to do. Time to say goodbye (Tot ziens).

I'm sure I forgot to mention other people I've seen. Same for things of the concerts.

I feel so privileged and spoiled (again). I'm counting down to Dublin next month. But before that my thoughts are at Heather's counting down.