Music and Reviews from Clare, Limerick, Waterford and sometimes further afield

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Gilbert at the Olympia

My teenage daughter Alice is a big Gilbert O Sullivan fan and there was a time when  I knew all the lyrics of Nothing Rhymes and we travelled to Dublin to hear the Waterford born singer in the Olympia Theatre.    Backed by a 11 piece band including string quartet, 2 backing singers ,  lead and bass guitar drums and sax and keyboard player, he delivered  two very energetic sets, mixing hits from his back catalog with more recent material.  With a giant screen as a backdrop , the set was enlivened by photos , aninmated clips and videos .  This certainly gave a fresh input into Oowackadoo and I loved the video of Gilbert duetting with Peggy Lee .  The New York orchestral  musicians seemed to play with a particularly emphatic brio that was palpable even in two dimension format. Gilbert gave interesting introductions to the songs setting the context for the material.   . The centre stage was taken up with a baby grand piano and in a token rock star gesture , G clamboured on top for an encore rendition of Get Down but he was at his most comfortable sitting and performing from an electric piano, seeming a liitle ill at ease standing without any barrier between himself and the audience.  There is an edginess to his  stage persona  which does make him a compelling performer if not an easy listening one .  There is a certain poignacy to a 64 year old artist peforming to a backdrop of images of his stunningly handsome younger self
The large band were spread out across the stage and I regretted that we could not see the string quartet very well as they were place fairly far back one side and with a very full band it was not always to make out the string lines .  Occasionally there were small coordination problems suggesting that this might be an early tour night. The audience was made up people in the 50 to 60 age group for whom G O S songs would have featured in the  soundtrack of their adolescence. There was a bit of dancing in the boxes and one gentleman stood up occasionally and sang along with the star from his spot in stalls.

Waiting at stage door The Houlihans

Following the concert as a large crowd gathered in the lobby to meet the star while  at the stage door I met the three Houlihan sisters , loyal fans  who were waiting hopefully to have a few words with Gilbert.  Full marks to his management team on the lovely display of album covers and memorabilia in the the lobby, a nice touch.

Maureen's Bar

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