Sunday, July 16, 2017

Wonderful night of music in the square

With the white horses from the song 'coming at him', Liam O Maonlaoi's keyboard supports suddenly collapsed and he had to stop in the middle of his signature 'Don't Go', writes Brian Byrne.

But such was the great humour at the Twilight Chorus concert in the market square that everybody took it in their stride just as much as they had the shower which had eventually arrived after an otherwise perfect weather evening for the music.

The former Hothouse Flowers front man also took it in good spirits, waiting patiently while the keyboard was rescued by Noel Clare and the roadie, and then getting back into the swing of the second half of the concert, with the small drop of rain disappearing at the same time.

It was a superb event, with a full square seating some 400 people for the concert, in aid of Pieta House. The balmy evening was a great help to providing an almost Electric Picnic music festival ambience. Wine and beer flowed gently, as did the river in the background, while the various performers entertained with enthusiasm, polish and panache.

The Kilcullen Gospel Choir was the underpinning to the whole evening, punching out some of their own popular staples through the concert as well as providing backing to other artists.

There was a brand new song from Roy Thompson, 'Unanswered Questions', right on theme with the benefiting charity of the evening.

The Newbridge Three Sopranos were introduced by Gaye Brabazon. Their company includes Lorraine Nolan, the director of the Gospel Choir, along with Ursula Conlan and Nicola Gainey and they gave a terrific rendition of operatic and show favourites that suited well the sunny mood of the evening.

After the break it was time for Liam O Maonlai, inveigled to take part by the persuasive Fergal Sloan at a chance musical meeting. Although the Diary was unable to stay to the end, for family reasons, there was definite promise of a spectacular finale, which I'm sure I'll hear about today.

"We exceeded everything we set out to do," organising group member Richie Kelly said, also revealing that the turnout to the Dawn Walk earlier (very) yesterday had been excellent, with hundreds taking part.

The concert was more than a great musical occasion, it was a showcase for what can be done in the square when it is returned to use for people instead of cars. Hopefully it will add an impetus to the plan for the area's re-development. All the pictures are here, but below we give you a few more to show the flavour of a great evening.