Last Friday night I had chance to attend a live concert of the Sligo-based band
Dervish. The hall where the concert was held was pretty much filled by the time
they started, and they had our attention from the start right to the encore.
Their bouzouki player, Michael Holmes (whose playing is compared by some to
Ciaran Curran's of Altan), was quite tasteful, and was closely matched by
(ex-Oisin) mandolin-player Brian McDonagh on the opposite end of the stage.
Together they provided the rhythmic basis for the other 4 band members, in
various combinations. Brian also did some tunes and songs with guitar instead
of his mandolin (he didn't do that the last time I saw the band). The other 4
are Liam Kelly on flute, Shane MacAleer on fiddle, Shane Mitchell on box (he
had a wonderful new one, a Briggs he said it was called), and of course singer
Cathy Jordan, who also plays bodhran and bones, and does most of the
announcing/chat with the audience.
Together they made some wonderful music. The tunes were all great, as you
probably have heard on their albums already. On some of the songs Cathy's voice
was somewhat thin, as if she had trouble getting in the right mood to really
give it all. But still, the highlight of the evening for me was a song - "For
Ireland I 'd Not Tell Her Name" - which I had up now only heard as a slow-air.
[Does anyone know if there are words known for this tune or if they wrote them
to the tune ? The words she sang were (mostly) in English, with one or two
Gaelic expressions slipped in.] It was quite a long one, and it seemed to me
that Cathy's voice got better (or maybe her confidence grew) as the song
progressed. Funny enough this was also the only song they had not (yet)
recorded. The rest of the material was all taken from their records. And if
this song is representative for what's going to be on the next album, they've
sold one copy already.
I must say, this was one of the best (Irish) concerts we've had here in the
last 2 years.
Merry Christmas to all,
H. Speek, B.Sc. E-mail: [log in to unmask],
Univ. of Twente, Dept. EL, ICE group [log in to unmask]
The Netherlands WWW: http://www.ice.el.utwente.nl/~han/