Drag my bad name down


I am a creature of habit. On December 30th last year I went to see The 4 of Us in Dolans Upstairs. I had an excellent time in spite of (or perhaps  because of ?) being on my own. I wrote an account of this gig in my final blog post of 2016 – HERE.

When I saw that the band were playing in the same venue on the exact same date this year, I decided to give it a miss. Much as I enjoy a solo gig, there’s something better about having a buddy with you when at a concert.

As luck would have it I received a text asking if I was interested in attending again this December.

‘Oui, bien sur’, I muttered in French in a nasal accent to myself.

‘Yes of course’ are the words heard by my sister, who’d bought the tickets. My internal French monologue is only sporadic. No need to worry the horses by announcing it to the world.

As expected the concert was excellent.

I’d liked the group as a teenager and beyond. My ears would stand to alert while in Amsterdam whenever I heard ‘Mary’ on Radio 538.

As befits their name the Brothers Murphy gave a great show – Brendan’s voice remains as powerful as ever, and he is a very engaging and funny storyteller. Declan remains the quiet man on stage – his musicianship still massively evident. They both clearly loved what they were doing.

I’m not going to repeat last years blog here though. There are only so many ways to describe a gig -none of which capture the unique essence of each one. Let’s just say that this year’s gig topped last years. You can read the blog post linked above for an account.

After the show we headed to the outdoor deck, upstairs at Dolans for a breath of fresh air.

The three of us stood there chatting. Glancing to my left I saw Declan from the band enjoying a well earned post show beverage.

We all got chatting.

I understand that there is nothing strange about human beings having a chat – in fact you could say that human interaction is the most normal thing in the world. A stage amplifies a person though. A singer or actor appears larger than life by virtue of the fact that they stand up in front of a crowd, beneath hot lights and perform for a paying audience.

It’s a trick of the night of course and even the greatest Oscar winning, rock star (that would be Cher I think) must occasionally gets constipation. Or an electricity bill. The audience doesn’t see this.

He was a pleasant and friendly individual.

Brother and sister Murphy told him about an experience, similar to one described in their show, about how our entire family Murphy used to be wedged into a car to travel on summer holidays with the family – to county Kerry in our case. The windows remained closed and the cigarette smoke from the front seat filled the car.

They’d been on tour in Germany recently and I was curious to hear what he made of a German audience.

All very civilised, lovely and absolutely unexpected.

That’s Dolans for you though.

As for The 4 of Us. Well I would recommend them wholeheartedly.

So much in fact that I think I’ll head to Whelans’ on Wexford Street next month to see them again.



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