Concert Review Archive



Monday, 7th November, 2011
013, Tilburg, the Netherlands

Article and Photos By Theo Verstrael

More or less out of the blue Clannad visited The Netherlands. Two venues were booked but only the Tilburg gig attracted enough fans to go forward. That is more than odd since Clannad once was and still is one of the most important bands in the folkrock/new age scene. Those who stayed at home will regret it dearly for this concert was great.


In an almost fully packed O13 the band went on stage just around 21.00 to start a set that consisted almost entirely of their magnificent folk period. On stage were the five original members, being Moya, Ciaran and Pol Brennan as well as Padraig and Noel Duggan. It has been more than 20 years since this line-up toured again and it was clear from the beginning that they enjoyed it very much.


The songs were taken from first four folk albums while their worldwide hits as In a lifetime, Harry’s game, I will find you and Robin, the hooded man referred to the period when Clannad was extremely successful but had hardly if anything to do with their ancient Irish origin. So it was back to the roots this evening and the audience loved it.


Moya’s voice has not influenced by age or anything, she sings as easily and as great as ever while also playing the Irish harp. Ciaran, in fact the artistic leader of the band, played the acoustic bass and keyboards while both Duggans stuck to acoustic guitar and mandolin. Age has actually struck the Duggans a bit who appeared rather gray and sometimes wondering why on earth they were still on stage. Yet their playing and singing was great.


Pol Brennan, who left the band in the eighties and was enthusiastically hauled back only recently, played flute, keyboards and guitar but was sometimes a bit too late in joining the rest. His playing was far from flawlessly which was made up for by his enthusiasm. The band was completed with tow guest players on drums and keyboards.


It was magical how everybody was absolutely silent during the a-capella songs or when enjoying Moya’s haunting Irish harp. It was great to experience the old folk tunes from way back in the eighties. Maybe it was a surprise to everybody that the band went back that far in time but great it definitely was. The quite simple but very tasteful light show completed the return of this legendary band that seemed to have stopped altogether but appeared to have picked up the sheer enjoyment of playing together again.

Crann Ull
Maire Bhruinneal
No Buachalli Alainn
Coinleach Ghlass
Eleanor Plunkett
Two Sisters
D'Thigeas A Damhsa
New Grange
An T'Ull
Buachaill An Eirne
I Will Find You
Robin Medley
In A Lifetime
Harrys Game
Teir Abhaile Ru

Sally Gardens
Nil Sen La


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