Wednesday, 31 December 2014

A musical evening

A friend of mine invited me to a concert last night. She asked me if I was interested to go and see Mary Coughlan, Frances Black and Sharon Shannon performing together at a theater in Drogheda. Me being French and all, I had no clue who those singers were, except Sharon Shannon as she is quite well known in Brittany.

I really didn't know what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised. Mary Coughlan came up first and I discovered her raspy smoky jazzy voice. She is a fantastic singer, and funny with that. Despite suffering from pneumonia recently, she still took on the stage and delivered! Obviously I didn't know any of the songs but I really enjoyed her performance.

Then, Frances Black came on stage. The fact that one of her trick is to actually get people to sing along made me enjoy the songs more, even if I didn't know the words. The audience was a bit shy at first, but by the end of her slot, people were a little more relaxed and really started to sing along. 
One of her song was "All the lies that you told me", and as soon as the music started, I felt transported back to my teenage years. Somehow I wondered how I knew it and then I remember it was featured on an album me and my best friend kept listening back in the days. It was called "L'imaginaire Irlandais" (Imaginary Ireland) and was a compilation of Irish folk and trad music that was released in 1996, following a big festival that celebrated Irish culture in France. This album made me fall in love with Irish folk and trad music.

When Sharon Shannon came on, all I wanted to do was get up and dance. I didn't do it of course (I would probably have been thrown out of the venue!) but I was tapping and clapping along. That woman is a musical genius. It's hard to explain, but it is amazing to see how fast her fingers go when she plays the accordion or the tin whistle. Her pianist was equally amazing. I mean, come on! The guy was playing piano AND guitar at the same time!! How crazy is that? This is the kind of music that completely lift my spirit and makes me forget all my problems. 

My best friend also plays accordion and we used to dance to the sound of Breton and Irish tunes. She is very talented and I know she is a big fan of Sharon. 

I know she will kill me but well... picture taken a long long time ago

When I saw there were CDs for sale, I couldn't resist buying one for her birthday. It's a limited edition CD of an upcoming DVD of one of her concerts, but it will only be released on Saint Patrick's day. On top of that I managed to meet Sharon after the concert, get a signed copy with a personal message for my friend, and a picture!

Personalized message and autograph
I look a bit crazy don't you think?

I couldn't have asked for more and I'm sure my friend will be very happy with her present.

This concert was the perfect way to end a fantastic year. 

Happy New Year everybody, see you all in 2015 !