Town Hall, Birmingham (2012)
Since 1962 The Dubliners have been bringing the traditional music and stories of Ireland to the rest of the world and now, as they celebrate their 50th year, it’s fair to say they are officially the grand-daddies of Irish folk music.
The packed Town Hall, already in party mood because it was St Patrick’s Day, gave the gang of "Banjo" Barney McKenna, John Sheahan, Sean Cannon, Eamonn Campbell and Patsy Watchorn a roof-lifting welcome on stage.
Into more than two hours they packed in their old favourites such as Seven Drunken Nights, Dirty Ol’ Town, Rare Oul Times, All For Me Grog and Eileen Og with poems and big screen videos paying tributes to the other founder members Ronnie Drew, Luke Kelly and Ciaran Bourke, who are sadly no longer with us.
Even the ailing Barney, who may be slow on his feet, is still just as adept when it comes to playing his famous banjo or squeezebox on tunes such as I Wish I Had Someone To Love Me and the melancholic Lamentation.
In the half century since they first formed, in where else other than a Dublin pub, their influence not just on Irish music but on traditional folk music worldwide cannot be measured.
The Birmingham audience, swathed in what seemed like 40 shades of green, lapped up the jigs and reels of Swallow’s Tail, St Patrick’s Day and Jackie Colman’s Reel.