The Corrs Talk On Corners UK Tour
Fairfield Hall - Croyden, England - 24 March 1998
Concert Review   © 1998 Russell W Elliot
Last Updated: 10 May 1998
About two years ago on business in Manchester, I came across
the 11 March 1996 issue of Time magazine with a byline article
about the resurgence of Celtic music; the large photo of Enya caught my eye.
I became quickly immersed in the article that introduced The Corrs to me.
That weekend after a very quick preview of their premier album
Forgiven, Not Forgotten at our local CD shop, I became hooked on
The Corrs and their stunning blend of traditional Irish tunes with upbeat
progressively popular melodies. We've wanted to seem them perform live
since then and despite a glorious holiday in Ireland in 1996 while they
were on tour there we couldn't connect with them. Finally we were able
to get terrific seats in Croyden's fabulous Fairfield Hall for the 24 March
1998 concert, which was the last date of their first UK tour. Simply
stated, it was a great show; most likely it's the best concert
we've ever seen.
The Dublin-based support group Picture House came to the stage a
few minutes before 8:00PM to open the show. We were fortunate to be
right outside the concert hall entrance during their sound check and
could hear just how good they would be. With lead singer Dave Browne
-- that to my ears gives the band a sound reminscent of REM -- they
played a nice mixture of ballads and more upbeat songs. Dave's
entertaining commentary between the songs enhanced their act. He
worked hard to warm up the audience by getting us involved. It worked.
Quite a few of us thought enough of them to buy their singles at the
interlude. Their album Shine Box is worth a listen.
With a canned introduction playing on tape, The Corrs came to a
darkened stage shortly after 9:00PM. The 2000-seat house was packed
and people that had bought standing room tickets lined the walls of
the venue on either side.
Applause and cheers began as Caroline led the way and took her
place on the drum platform. Sharon came next and took her
spot on the left hand side of the stage. The two supporting guitarists
and Jim came along next. Finally Andrea came to the stage but remained
facing the drum platform until the lights came on. The music for
"When He's Not Around" began. Andrea then began to sing and we knew
right away that we were in for the concert of a lifetime.
Sharon (fiddle), Caroline (drums), Andrea (vocals)
and Jim (keyboards)
Photo by Brian Rasic
Mere words can't describe the feelings evoked by their performance.
Not since seeing a video of October Project had we seen a band with
such presence. They are consummate performers, professionals in every
way, and entirely captivating. No words can do them justice. And
we're likely not alone with these impressions. Indeed, every concert
venue on this UK tour has been sold out, including London's Royal Albert Hall.
The three sisters are drop-dead gorgeous but that's just a bonus. These are
extremely talented musicians and the result of their hard work is evident
in the live performance. Although their second album departs slightly from
foundation laid in their first, the live performance melded the styles of the
two albums into a coherent whole. A balance of pumped up traditional music
coupled with popular melodies shows the true range of the artists. My only
regret is that they didn't play "Heaven Knows" which has been my favourite
track of theirs since I first heard it.
Although we were unable to snare a Croyden set list, here's another one
that we were able to get from the crew (for Northampton 23 March 1998).
We didn't take notes so can't attest to the accuracy of it for the show
reviewed here, but we're pretty sure these are the songs they played. It's
a good cross section of what the band does and the transitions from one song
to the next worked very well indeed.
When He's Not Around
No Good For Me
Love To Love You
Erin Shore ~ Forgiven Not Forgotten
Joy Of Life*
What Can I Do
The Right Time
Queen Of Hollywood
Dreams (Fleetwood Mac Cover)
Instrumental ~ Haste To The Wedding*
Only When I Sleep
I Never Loved You Anyway
Toss The Feathers
* unreleased track at the time of this concert
Although the album versions of these songs are terrific, the live performance
in many cases is even better. An excellent example of this is "Forgiven, Not
Forgotten" which with the additional acoustic effects was substantially better
performed live on stage. It is a testament to the artists as well as their
stage crew and engineering staff. Many of the other songs were equally well
enhanced and even when some of the songs that are not my favourites were played I was
intrigued by the positive acoustic changes and visual enhancements made for the
live show. This was an extremely well produced show from all respects, including
the clean staging and the crisp lighting which were both superb.
A special treat during the show was The Corrs' wonderful performance of Fleetwood
Mac's "Dreams." Andrea informed us that their recording of the song will appear
on the forthcoming Tribute album with tracks performed by various artists entitled
Legacy: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac's Rumours. Earlier in the tour Mick
Fleetwood performed the song with them on stage at The Royal Albert Hall.
It is impossible to visualise Caroline's percussion work until seeing her
live. She has tremendous energy and could very well be one of the best percussionists
performing today. She is equally comfortable with the kit as she is with traditional
instruments. We were treated to a really good view when she came down from
the drum platform during one of the instrumentals to play the bodrahn. The intensity
and range of her hand movements as well as the rhythmic accuracy and sheer power
througout the show are second to none. She is a real star.
Andrea is the frontispiece of the band and her stage performance is quite dramatic.
It is extremely difficult to take your eyes off her at any time during the performance.
Her tin whistle playing was spot on and watching her mix singing with playing was
fascinating. She knows exactly how to maintain your interest at all times, bopping
around the stage in her own unique style, yet she works well with the other musicians,
especially her sister Sharon who plays a mean fiddle. It was Sharon's birthday,
and at a point prior to one of her solos, the audience sang a round of
Happy Birthday to her. She blushed, giggled and thanked the audience;
the subsequent wolf whistling made it difficult to begin the solo but
finally the excitement died down and she was marvelous. She is a terrific
musician and the featured solos showed off her capabilities
The Corrs - See Them Perform Live!
Images © 1998 AVP Ltd - Photos: Lars K Mikkleson
The Corrs are a fabulous live act (****) and must been seen to be truly
appreciated. A documentary has been produced by RTE (Ireland) on their rise to fame
and a live performance at the Royal Albert Hall was aired on BBC on St Patricks Day.
These will likely be shown again so watch out for them. If you can catch The Corrs
live, do it. They are definitely worth a long journey.
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