Fifty years is no short time in music, and yet that’s what Christy Moore is notching up this year. By way of celebration of a life in music he’ll be releasing a new album ‘Magic Nights‘ which consists of live music – favourite recordings of favourite songs. The music on ‘Magic Nights‘ has been recorded in venues from Derry to Dublin, Birmingham to Belfast and Liverpool to Lisdoonvarna.
Commenting on the album and on his gigs Christy Moore has related that “The opening track is “Magic Nights in The Lobby Bar”. A version of John Spillane/Ger Wolf’s classic song recorded at The Opera House, Cork in 2014.
We have recorded all our gigs in recent years. Producer Jimmy Higgins and Sound Engineer David Meade selected these takes from hundreds of gigs.
It has been an enjoyable process. Listening back and discovering special moments, riffs that went unnoticed, choruses long forgotten.
Every gig develops its own atmosphere, every audience being a unique gathering of listeners.In Belfast we dedicated “Burning Times” to Lyra McKee, her Young Life so cruelly ended on The Creggan. In Glasgow I responded to a call-out for Spancilhiil and what followed was, for me, a very special version of young Michael Considine’s beautiful song.
When we played Dreamland in Athy I sang Johnny Cash’s version of “Hurt”. I was 18 when I heard him sing in that very same Dancehall. A night I have never forgotten. (Albert Reynolds was on the door!). In Vicar St, Dublin a voice called out for “Johnny Jump Up”. The Band had not played it before but I dived in and they followed. I cherish such spontaneous moments. In recent months I have happened upon Sean Mone’s “Rosalita & Jack Cambell”, Pete St John’s “Inchicore Wake, Rob Corcoran’s “Ringing that Bell” and Albert Niland’s “Irish Pagan Ritual” (aka “Sail on Jimmy”) Each one taking its place in the set and gathering momentum along the way.
I have deep gratitude for the mystery of it all. At work I’m surrounded by a great team of comrades. Their talents and vital contributions keep the show on the road. Each night at 8.05 we stand side stage, breathe in the air of expectancy, the intoxicating waft of perfume and after shave. The crew complete their final checks, the lights go down and out we go once more to face the Music.”
The first song to be released from the album is a take on Trent Reznor’s ‘Hurt‘, influenced by the Johnny Cash recording.
Photograph: Matt Kavanagh