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2012-04 04/05 Emmen and IJmuiden, NL

reviewed by Anja

Hello everyone and Happy Easter!! I hope you will be able to spend time with your family and friends eating choccie eggs :-)

I have just returned from the Netherlands where me and my friend Simone had the privilege to see two Celtic Tenors concerts. This Dutch "10 year anniversary tour" made me stumble over the fact that I had my very own Celtic Tenors anniversary yesterday as it was Good Friday 2002 that I first set eyes on three Irishmen when their TV Special "Irish Dance and Celtic
Tenors" was aired on German TV... and like most of you I fell in love with their voices straight away. Not too long now before we all have a special anniversary to celebrate as this lovely yahoogroup was set up in May 2002... an anniversary marking the start of many, many, many memories of love, friendships, weddings and passings... happy times and sad times shared with
people from around the world. Some I have met in person and others are virtual friends. I've met some of my most important friends over the music which brought us all together so here's a HUGE "Thank you for the music" to the guys and a HUGE "thank you for all those years" to everyone :-)

One of those friends I have met through the Celtic Tenors is my friend Simone who came along to Holland. I only met Simone in person last year when she got in contact via the fansite to see if I could help her getting the Hard Times album. When we realised Simone's parents were living close to where I used to work we decided to meet in person to save shipping cost and
simply found out we do get along very well... that meeting was followed by several others ending up with a trip to Emmen and IJmuiden. A yearly event for me ( I do love the Dutch tours with their lovley venues, friendly people and cosy cities so I will always try to squeeze in a day or two visiting our neighbor country) this trip was special for Simone has she hadn't seen the
Celtic Tenors since 2004 and was looking forward to this very much.

After checking into our hotel we decided to go for a cup of coffee and found a nice Brasserie with a winter garden...not long before we saw Ali and Madeleine walking down the street... what a lovely surprise!!! More coffee was ordered and we chatted until it was time to leave to get ready for the show that night:-)

The first person we met in the theatre was Silke - so lovely to see you and your sister and I do hope it won't be long before we meet again... can you believe it's ten years in November when we all attended the concert in Bielefeld... Of course we met up with Ali and Madeleine for the promised glass of wine and more chats. No more familiar faces - Gabi and Klaus, Ute
and Uli, Christel, Beate and so many more we missed you!!!!!

I am now going to nick the setlist from Ali as that will help to work my way through the concert ;-) So thank you Ali for doing your first part of your review just in time to help me with mine!!

- Red-haired Mary: what a good song to start a concert! I love the song and the story and so did Simone :-)

- Feels like home - one of my favourite songs of the new album and even better live. I guess we all have those places which we love, bringing back memories or faces of loved ones long gone... that is what I always see when I'm closing my eyes to listen...

That is something I am doing quite often when I see the lads live: closing my eyes as I think it's the best way to be carried through a song especially when the harmonies come in and three voices carry your soul to places only a soul can travel to. A mini-holiday for the price of a concert ticket :-)

- Star of the County Down it's nice to have this back on the setlist and I wonder if this is the time to request more favourites? ;-)

- She moved through the fair shows off the harmonies in a perfect way and the harmonies are great - you could hear a needle drop during this one Granada... hmm... right... I must confess I would not mind more classical stuff again:-) Loved it

- Pearl Fisher's Duet - HOOORAY.... one of my favourite songs found its way back to the setlist. Strange enough we were just chatting about this song in the afternoon and there it was. I was so excited to have it back that I typed too quick on facebook ... So the PEAR fisher's duet was born... this song will now always be the "fruity song" for me *lol* honest... a bit of
classical touch is very nice and shows off that music really has no boundaries

- Wild Mountainside is a lovely little piece of music and Ali is right... with backing vocals it's even better! Glad James (I guess it was James??) found this on Youtube so it could find its way onto the new album and the live stage

- Finnegan's Wake is one of those Irish fun songs (even if I must admit the Canadian "brother" The Night that Paddy Murphy died' is even more fun) A special song in IJmuiden, though, as it was dedicated to the great Barney McKenna who had died that morning... Rest in peace, Barney, your music will be with us forever!

-Lay down Sally - as Ali mentioned James found Simone as his Sally in Emmen so she had a very nice first concert after all those years Remember Me

More chatting in the interval - including a quick chat with Rianne just before I had to go back in as she was far too busy to chat before ;-)) Always good to see people buying CD's :-)

- Bheir mí ó.... this is one of my all time favourites and it gave me goosebumps as always... No tears, though... pwwww.... I love the songs in ancient languages... no matter if it's Irish, Scottish or Welsh Gaelic so I would not mind many more Gaelic songs. Bheir mi o and the harmonies in it are especially beautiful so thanks for reactivating another favourite

- Silent Sunlight is okay but not one of my favourites. Would have loved to hear Dimming of the Day as that is for sure a favourite :-) But hey... having two all time favourites back is like having won the lottery so I should not complain....

- I'll tell me Ma a nice clap-along-song but again not one of my favourites

- Galileo and Better are wonderful chosen solos for Matthew and Daryl and I love both songs as much as I love James solo. Again... it is great to have the solos back as that is something I missed... room for each singer to show off his voice a little more :-)

- Going Home love it, love it, love it.... another song to close my eyes and follow the harmonies. I especially love Daryls voice in this one *ducks*

- Funiculì Funiculà - another classical song is all I have to say ;-)

- Westering Home Oh Bonnie Scotland... I do see the Highlands, the Coastline and the Islands

- Spanish Lady and yet another favourite made it back on the setlist. I especially love the blend with Mairies's Wedding at the end :-)

- Suo Gan left me speechless... DA IAWN CHI (which is Welsh for well done). Not only that this is my favourite Welsh lullaby it's also sung in perfect harmonies, a capella - voices only... more of that, please... you had me in tears twice. I can only imagine what would happen if you perform this down in Wales....

- Nessun Dorma is a good way to end the "offical" concert and the Emmen and IJmuiden audiences were good choirs, me thinks :-)

- All out of love has me on my feet and I am quite sure this one is more difficult to sing than Nessun Dorma... Just listen to what the guys do with their voices in the end... it must be more than hard work for both the voice and the singer so thank you for doing this for us

As always meeting everyone after the show was one of the highlights. I had not seen the guys for about a year as with moving to the new place, buying new furniture etc I had no time and money to travel far to see them so it was nice to say hello and give them huge hugs :-) Even better for Simone who met Daryl for the very first time being so happy that he spoke bits of
German :-)

It took us a bit over two hours to drive to IJmuiden where we stayed in the most lovely hotel in the middle of a nature reserve - water pools, meadows and loads of ducks, geese and other birds around and a balcony overlooking the water pool. I really must return to that spot for more than one night hiring a bike and explore more of that nature reserve!

Simone and I both were a little sad that this would be our last concert but with two empty spaces in the front row we had the chance to sit next to Ali and Madeleine to celebrate another great concert night. Had a lovely chat with Peter Boone who does such a great job to get the guys over to the Netherlands and now off to China - thank you Peter for all you do!!!

We were a little sad when it was time to say goodbye but the plans for Germany do sound quite promising so please everyone have your fingers and toes crossed that everything will work out fine and the guys will return to Germany in the not too far future - we would love to have you back!!! All in one these two concerts were brilliant and some of those I enjoyed a
lot so thank you James, Matthew, Daryl, Colm and Brian for two nights of high class entertainment!

We decided to have a little detour to the coast before going back to Germany and it was nice to walk along the coast and having coffee on the beach before heading back to reality.

Back to work on Tuesday so no chance to see one of the concerts next week. I was thinking of going to Eindhoven but just learned that a meeting has been set up which will end about the time the guys start their concert :-( So Andrea and others will have to wave the flag and pass on more hugs ;-)
But hey... there is the chance of a German tour so loads to look forward to - and hopefully more reviews - much better than mine - to look forward to as

I am sure I have forgotten loads of things but I shall add them once they come back to my mind (I am getting old....) so I am sure you will hear more soon ;-)

Happy Easter!

Hugs, Anja