Leonard Barry at Whelans

leonardbarryHaving released an album last year, Leonard Barry is starting to make inroads with what you might call, modern-trad. A genre which really needs live performance to get the full impact. (Unfortunately, I missed the high-profile support act, Christy Moore, due to (my own) poor organisation)

Leonard Barry’s pipes took centre stage, threatening to drown out (Christy Moore’s nephew) Conor Byrne on flute, with fiddle, accordion and guitar thrown in on songs like Kitty Got A Clicking, The Bog Parrot and Shaving The Baby With A Spoon. The occasional vocal turn by various members of the group brought an almost Americana influence to the proceedings.

Many of the stronger moments were underpinned by the powerful drone of Barry’s pipes. An offbeat version of the Rolling Stones’ No Expectations worked well and the evening felt like a jamming trad session.

Towards the end, the musical brew turned more potent with added Jew’s harp, though the presence of Christy Moore on bodhran added little. A pleasant surprise to see a somewhat hackneyed genre being taken down a “New Road” (sorry!).

Killian Laher

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