The Ulster Hall, Belfast
Thursday 23rd November 2017
As Bob Dylan once allegedly advised, Paul Brady is one of those artists worth getting out of bed for…
Paul Brady and his five-piece band played a ripping show to an almost full Ulster Hall on a cold Belfast November evening. Looking relaxed, confident, and appearing to be thoroughly enjoying himself, Paul once again delivered a show of pure class and style. One suspects he likes the city and
The set consisted of a real tour through an outstanding back catalogue and bringing it up to date with the new ‘Unfinished Business’. All delivered with Brady’s powerful and distinctive vocal and guitar playing, backed and added to by a tight and expressive band. A particular nod is due to Suzanne Savage, formerly Belfast based, on backing vocals and violin.
They were into their stride right from the opening numbers, not even distracted by mobile phones, delivering a polite but effective reprimand. The new stuff sounded great. Paul seems to be in a rich vein of form aided and abetted by co-writers notably including poet Paul Muldoon.
Numbers from this work included the title track ‘Unfinished Business’, ‘Say You Don’t Mean’, ‘I Like How You Think’, and ‘Harvest Time’.
Alongside side the new stuff, carefully chosen gems from the back catalogue including ‘Hard Station’, ‘Nothing
But The Same Old Story’, and ‘The Long Goodbye’ as well as one or two more obscure numbers, in particular ‘Soul Child’ from the ‘Trick Or Treat’ album. The band really let rip here.
And yes, he played ‘The Island’; an interesting version with Paul singing while other band members
played piano and guitar.
I think this worked very well. It seems to free him up to be more expressive in his singing. A standing ovation was duly received.
A long set concluded with a two-song encore; ‘The World Is What You Make It’ and ‘Crazy Dreams’. There’s no
‘Arthur McBride’, ‘Mary And The Soldier’ or ‘The Lakes Of Pontchartrain’ but with so many stand-out songs, you can’t get them all in one night.
As Bob may have said… well worth getting out of bed for.
Grab any chance you get to see this outstanding performer.