Live in Dublin
Rubyworks RWXCD60; 68 minutes; 2007
The reappearance of Moving Hearts for a series of four concerts at Dublin’s Vicar Street in February 2007 offered the chance to assess the endurable value of perhaps Ireland’s most important rock-trad fusion band (pace Horslips fans).
Formed by Dónal Lunny and Christy Moore in 1981 to explore said musical interface, the band’s sound hinged upon the vital (and never previously undertaken) interplay between an uilleann piper - Davy Spillane – an a saxophonist - Keith Donald - backed by a pulsating rhythm section and blending awesome renditions of traditional and newly-composed tunes with Moore’s politically-charged song repertoire. The Hearts stumbled after Moore’s decision to re-embark upon his solo career and folded in 1984, re-emerging a year later as an instrumental outfit to record The Storm, one of the most remarkable albums in Ireland’s musical history and a thorough vindication of the band’s fusionist approach.
All six tracks from that momentous album reappear on Live in Dublin, including an astonishing opening rendition of The Lark, gob-smacking interplay between Spillane and Donald on The Storm, as well as a version of ‘Downtown’ (not the Petula Clark song) with more fire in its belly than a dragon with gastro-enteritis. And all is driven to the sensitive side of distraction by the most powerful rhythm section that Ireland has ever produced.
But the Hearts also had a soft side too and if Spillane’s low whistle on The May Morning Dew doesn’t draw a tear to your eye, then nothing ever will.
A class act all round!
This review by Geoff Wallis was originally written for Songlines magazine – www.songlines.co.uk.
For more information about Moving Hearts click here.