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David Porter » Reviews » The Dubliners

The Dubliners

The Dubliners in concert

at Norwich Theatre Royal

Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 14 March 2012

The world of fifty years ago was a foreign country when Ireland’s Dubliners began performing. Their celebratory tour recalls many changes of the decades.

Original Barney McKenna is still playing, and while some have come and gone, all are long-serving. A certain magic binds them together, sharing their love of jigs and reels, instrumentals, ballads and folk songs, traditional and new.

A packed house, many the same age as the band, others younger, was spellbound by quality Celtic folk tradition, guitar, banjo, whistle, fiddle, tapping along approvingly.

1967’s chart-topper Seven Drunken Nights was followed by songs, some poignant, others funny, about Ireland, mountains, alcohol and jobs long gone, like the ferrymen.

Many lyrics were from the political-social commentary wing of folk, while the haunting I Wish I Had Someone to Love Me was moving indeed.

Band banter and anecdotes supplemented old videos and stills on the back screen, like a big scrap book and tribute to Dubliners who have passed away.

The concert was a nostalgic joy, encouraging and inspiring to share with men who have no intention of stopping. They promised to return to Norwich ‘to start our second fifty years’.

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One Response to "The Dubliners"

  1. Thomas Robinson (Mike) says:

    David – a little bit of nonsense that might interest you. It is true.
    About August 1961 or 1962, I was camping in Galway/Salthill. It was the week of the Galway races. There was singing ’till early morning in all the pubs of the area. The Dubliners were going from bar to bar singing and drinking. At each venue they would sing a few songs then pass a glass around collecting money to fuel their drinking. I was 21/22 at the time and would sing to my hearts content when I had a few drinks. I sang a song which I called ‘Love and Porter’. Immediately afterwards, Ronnie Drew came over and sat beside me. ‘Bejasus, that’s a great song, can you give me the words’. He then wrote down the words which they later recorded as ‘Love is pleasing’. In fact, my idea of the song came from an old one called ‘The Butcher’s Boy’ and to be honest, I butchered it. They did in fact record it word perfect from my version adding a verse about ‘the sweetest apple is the first to rotten’.
    Finally, I found out later that Ronnie used to drink with my half-brother near Mount Street and would often baby-sit for him.
    As I said, a little bit of nonsense but every word is true…….Mick.