Ossus Library Index Live Show Index


Together with a 36 piece string orchestra.



4 stars

December 21st, 2002

    Once again, this family really puts on a great show. It seems that they've gone up in the world, as they've moved to a larger venue, and perhaps gone for an older crowd.

Donnell was, as the last time, the host of the show, the spokesman for the family. He gave some fun and interesting stories, explained some backgrounds to a few of the songs they were about to sing, and introduced everybody.

He told of how this Christmas tour really turned into the "expecting" tour, as Siobhean missed part of it because she went into labor, then Agnes became pregnant, and was very likely only a couple of months from delivering when we saw them perform. Their replacement dancer, Shanda (I'm not sure if that's right), Frank the drummer's wife, was also visibly pregnant during the performance, but she could still dance! Doug the fiddler's wife, Jennifer, also joined the tour as an extra vocalist, apparently having given birth a few months ago, as well! Congratulations to everybody!

The show was a good mixture of stuff we've heard before, some Christmas tunes, and some other Celtic stuff. It was a good mix, because I think if they had kept to what we know of them from their two CDs, it would have been a little disappointing. Still, there is something exciting about hearing music that you've grown to love on CD performed live. The energy that they gave to the performance was great.

Jennifer, a small woman, doesn't look like she could have such a deep and resonant voice. Together with Erin's terrific vocals, she was amazing, though at times it looked like she didn't know what to do with her hands.

Siobhean and Agnes looked positively radiant, truly giving off the glow of pregnant women. They were both swinging to the music as if they were listening to rhythmic jazz. I loved the looks on their faces!

The fiddling was great, especially when there were two or more doing what looks like a face-off. Donnell and Angus would fiddle together, then be joined by Doug, giving an amazing performance. It was nice to see Erin step out from behind the keyboard to take up the fiddle during their encore, not to mention Siobhean. I was a little disappointed that the drummer didn't pick it up, though. Still, the crowd went wild when the others picked up fiddles instead of their regular instruments.

I didn't think they did enough step dancing. Since they do it so well, I thought we would get more. Mostly, it was Shanda who would come on stage and give us a show, and it was nice when she was joined by some of the other women. The final number before the encore was their showpiece, A Call to Dance, where everybody drops their instrument at one point and joins the others on the tap-dance floor. It is truly an amazing sight to see, and I wonder if they can ever do anything to top that!

The string orchestra behind them added an unusual touch to their music. I don't know if it added much to their fast and loud music, as the fiddles played by Donnell, Doug and Angus drowned nearly everything else out! The slow songs, and the Christmas songs, though, really used them, giving a soft and enchanting background to their music.

The first half of the concert was much slower than the second, meaning that there were many more slow tunes. This is fine, but seemed to get a little repetitive after a few songs. Maybe if we had had a dance floor nearby, it would have felt a little more novel. The slow songs were very nice to listen to, though, in their own way, but it is the energetic songs that really get our toes tapping!

These guys really give a great show. They do the step dancing and fiddling with great pride and energy, not to mention great talent. I hope next time they don't move up to an arena-sized venue, but it was nice to see them in such an acoustic and recognized theatre. If they have another concert next year around this time, I would see them again!


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