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Clannad / Seth Lakeman @ De Oosterpoort – Groningen (NL) – 27.01.2013

The spectators in De Grote Zaal of De Oosterpoort in Groningen, where they going to a movies-concert or an Irish music-celebration of Clannad? They are famous for both, as they have written many film-songs, but there was definitely the Irish-Spirit in flotation. The only things missing for a perfect pre- and aftershow-party was that there was no Guiness and Irish-Stew on offer.  The stage was not decorated in green, it was very artless, only the intruments, spot-lights and a curtain, but all admirers of the music-legend were eagerly awaiting their faves.

But first it was Seth Lakeman to heat up the fire as very special guest from the very first tune he was performing. His music-mélange of folk seasoned with modern pop and even smooth-rock was live even more exciting as already on his actucal cd ‘Tales From The Barrel House’. Listening to his beautiful singing and his fiddle- and bouzouki- play was a delight. And for the maidens he was utmost attractive as being so good looking of visual nature. He had for some songs two buddies on acoustical guitar and percussion supporting him. ‘Blacksmiths Prayer’ and ‘Blood Red Sky’ were during his approximately 30 minutes of show the song-heights. He took leave by splendid applause and many spectators will keep him on their wish-list for a concert-tour as headliner in an intimate club-atmosphere.

Clannad were taking their fans on their Irish journey starting by ‘Na Buachaillí Álainn’. The beautiful, loving-hearted Moya Brennan was to ensorcell by here sweetest harp-play and her crystal-clear, full of harmony and strength voice. By the second song ‘Maire Bhruinneal’ they were manifesting that they are not only a folk band, but really can rock, you can even call it prog-rock. Electrifying several-voiced singing by all band members and specially the solos on transverse-flute  by Pól Brennan and electric stand-bass by Ciarán Brennan, intensified by heavy drum-beats were amazing. By ‘A Muírnin Ó’ it should have been normally time for Irish dancing, but as there was seating nobody was rising to do so, except the band. But the fans were instead
clapping and singing along in most ravishing way. It was movie-sound time by ‘Robin Of Sherwood – Medley’ and ‘Theme From Harry’s Game’. As interludes during all songs Moya and Pól were telling little anecdotes regarding the upcoming song calling out many smiles and laughters amongst the audience. A splendid extra would have been a projection screen showing films or photos of Ireland to be in line with the songs. By ‘Teidir Abhaie Riú’ the end of the normal set had been achieved. The harmony vocals and specially the flute-play were so enchanting that the wuthering thank-you applause was calling Clannad again on stage. Their song ‘Down By The Sally Gardens’ was their calm and dreamlike ode to the moon. By then the freaks had risen from their seats by motivation and specially Moya and Pól were dancing excessively on stage by the final encore ‘Níl Sé’N Lá. Nearly two hours of musical allurement had passed like on a speed flight on a dragon.