Friday, 11 May 2012

Paul Brady at The Sage, Gateshead - review by Terry Kelly

Paul Brady
The Sage Gateshead

Wednesday 9 May 2012

AUDIENCES immediately sense when a performer is a musical master.

From the second he stepped on stage, Irish singer-songwriter Paul Brady was clearly the real thing.

Opening with an energetic version of the Hank Williams's country standard, You Win Again, Brady took his fans on a musical journey through his long and varied career.

A guitar maestro, Brady is also no slouch on piano and mandolin, moving between all three instruments with great skill during a 90-minute show.

His current solo tour is partly about promoting his new two-CD anthology, Dancer In The Fire, with Brady trawling through his extensive back catalogue for songs highlighting both his roots in traditional music and his later West Coast rock leanings.

So the mainstream pop of Smile - which he called "a soppy love song" - was followed five minutes later by the traditional folk standard, Mary and the Soldier.

The often fraught relationship between Ireland and England was explored in a fiery version of his classic, Nothing But The Same Old Story, before Brady closed the show with a beautiful version of the traditional ballad, The Lakes of Ponchartrain.

Special mention must also be made of brilliant support act, Eleanor McEvoy, an impressive songwriter and singer, who joined Brady for the singalong duet, The World Is What You Make It.

Terry Kelly

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