The Kilkennys filled the Watergate Theatre for their version of the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem story – Fine Girl Ye Are – and got a rousing, happy clappy and standing ovation for their efforts.
Noel Carthy Promotions have a good eye for the nostalgia market and The Kilkennys are a good enough, good looking enough, quartet of balladeers who have a fine reputation in a reviving circuit. A circuit newly polished by The High Kings.
This show is devised and narrated by Cathal MacCabe, who would be no stranger to Waterford Opera Festival fans, as he directed for St Agnes and actually adjudicated the Festival as well.
The Kilkennys are a four piece with guitar/banjo, bodhran (amped up), banjo/mandolin and electric bass and they rattled out The Irish Rover to set the scene as MacCabe delivered a nifty script of facts and trivia.
Red Is The Rose moved into I’ll Tell Me Ma, followed by The Bold O’Donoghue and the Bloody Well Song.
MacCabe laid how the acting dreams of The Clancys and Makem as The Jug of Punch shifted gear into The Rocky Road and Come By The Hills. They kept up the attacking pace with The Wild Colonial Boy, Wild Mountain Thyme and you could feel the summertime is coming with a Hooley in the Kitchen.
The second half opened with an odd flute tune and the good looking bodhran player acted out Dick Darby The Cobbler, a Makem classic and then the second disconnect of the evening happened. Earlier the Kilkennys stepped out of Clancy mode for a banjo/mandolin duel and this time they lashed into their own Shine On Kilkenny.
The narration was touching on drink problems and tax problems and we get a home town hurling song. Go figure. The Clancys were actors and performers and this band spoiled the illusion. But they recovered got into their bánín jumpers and lashed into a finale of Kelly The Boy from Killane, Rising of the Moon, Boolavogue, Finnegan’s Wake, The Holy Ground (Fine Girl Ye Are) and The Parting Glass. The theatre went wild.