Clannad – Christ Church Cathedral (ARC Music EUCD2441, 2013)
Clannad’s live performance at Dublin’s ancient Christ Church Cathedral is now available on CD and DVD. Clannad is a seminal Irish band with a long career. For this occasion, the Celtic group focused on its earlier acoustic material, which was more appropriate for the intimate environment of the cathedral.
The Irish band is well-known for its beautiful solo and harmony vocals and its mix of Irish traditional music with contemporary elements, using lyrics in Irish and English. Some of Clannad’s songs became hits in Ireland and abroad. The enduring and hauntingly beautiful ‘Theme From Harry’s Game,’ which appears in the Christ Church Cathedral concert, was also used in the popular Dialogos 3 radio show on Radio Nacional de España’s Radio 3 in Spain. This made the group extremely popular and memorable in Spain.
The Christ Church Cathedral recording brings together the original Clannad lineup, featuring siblings Moya, Ciaran and Pol Brennan, together with their twin uncles Noel and Padraig Duggan. The five musicians present their captivating unique style, delivering their most iconic material, including the previously mentioned ‘Theme From Harry’s Game’, ‘In A Lifetime’, ‘I Will Find You’, ‘Dulaman’, and the soundtrack to the ‘Robin of Sherwood’ TV series.
“When we were asked to perform in Christ Church Cathedral we really wanted to put together a unique show that would complement the spectacular surroundings,” says Moya Brennan. “It was the first time in many years that we had played in such an intimate setting and in choosing the program it made us go right back to the earliest days of our forty years as a band, we even start the show with the first song Clannad ever played together.”
As the January 29th, 2011 concert progressed, Clannad invited various guests to the stage, including famed Irish choir Anuna, singer Brian Kennedy, fiddler and vocalist Maire Breatnach, singer and fiddler Sinead Madden (from Moya Brennan’s backing band), Jane Hughes on cello, Robbie Harris on percussion and Eamonn DeBarra on keyboards.
“The show is almost like a history of the band,” adds Ciaran Brenan, “starting with just the five of us on stage, as it was in the beginning, and gradually being joined by some wonderful musicians and very special guests. The backdrop of the cathedral’s architecture provided the perfect setting for us and everything just felt very special on the night.”