The Waterfront Hall- Fri 24th April 2009

Peter McCabe

As a fan of Brian's for the whole 20 years, he certainly has an extensive, quality back catalogue to call upon!  Whilst I'm definitely a fan of the older material, the concert started with one of my favourite recent tracks 'Gaye'.
Joined by the wonderful Pat Gribben (of the equally wonderful Adventures) on guitar, Brian worked his way through his back catalogue, picking out a few expected and unexpected gems.  As well as excellent, but expected, renditions of 'Hollow', 'Captured' and 'A Better Man', for me an unexpected inclusion on the set-list was 'Silver Hearts and Chains'.  Whilst a number in the auditorium clearly didn't recognise the song, for me, it was a highlight.
In my opinion 'Get On With Your Short Life' is much better sung live, and this time was no exception.
A couple of songs from Brian's days singing with Van the Man (a period during which, in my very humble opinion, coincided with much of Van's finest work, e.g. Live in San Francisco, The Healing Game etc) proved that the Belfast crowd were, as always, in fine voice!
An unaccompanied rendition of 'You Raise Me Up' brought the evening to a finish.  Whilst an excellent song, and whilst I'm probably in a minority of one here, personally I think that some accompaniment is better for this song.
However Brian's voice is still as strong and unique as ever.  He looks very svelte (if I can say that!) and, as usual, had a good bit of banter with his home crowd.  So, here's to another 20 years! 
Best wishes, Peter