O'Sullivan Gives Intimate Irish Party in Carré
and pictures: Ronald Rijntjes
Rob van der Vaart
On June 18th,
2013 the well-known Irish pop artist Gilbert O'Sullivan (Raymond Edward
O'Sullivan) performed in Carrétheatre in Amsterdam. The concert was one
of the last of his past months tour. Various hits are in the name of
O'Sullivan, like ‘Alone Again (Naturally)’, ‘Clair and ‘Get Down’.
Now, in 2013, aged 66, he still searches for innovation. On his latest
album Gilbertvillehe is in search of the American blues and
Unfortunately the venue is not completely sold out, mainly his loyal
fans knew to find him this evening. The performance consists of two
parts, one calmly first set and a solid danceable second set. Behind his
keyboard O'Sullivan sings many songs that are known to the audience. Now
and then a less known hit, that he himself entitles as 'medium-hits'.
At the start of the concert the singer does not know what they are going
to play, but anyhow it will be an enjoyable evening, he assures.
band that O’Sullivan has brought along this tour takes care of a full
sound. Room is left for solo’s and some songs are being played in
quite an innovative way. Saxophonist Julian Webster with his solo’s
breaks nicely into the songs. He also knows how to subtle accompany on
flute and percussion.
Shanley knows how to play every style with his guitar and doesn’t stay
clear of any solo. Nick Scott easily knows how to play a solid bass line.
It is striking how he plays his bass: as a guitarist, with fast moving
fingers and a plectrum now and then.
melody lines of the music get more power by the play of keyboard and
accordion player Mick Parker, who, relaxed behind his keys, keeps the
overview and directs the band.
music of O’Sullivan is versatile, not only as for style, but also as for
theme: next to love and the search for happiness, also sadder sides of
life get a chance, like saying good-bye. Different music styles drop by,
from pop to blues and from country to reggae. This all framed by the
typically sensitive and soft voice of O’Sullivan.
The voice of O’Sullivan is still like in the old days, let alone that in
the height he is not always in tune. He gets vocal reinforcement from two
female background singers. They provide beautiful two voiced numbers and a
nice question-and-answer in ‘Ooh Wakka Doo Wakka Day’.
appears that tonight modern technic seems to takes over the singer: he
doesn’t feel comfortable with his in-ear system and he doesn’t hide
his annoyance about that. All the same he deservedly sees himself as an
innovative artist. For his loyal fans he gladly plays his hits like ‘I
Wish I Could Cry’ and ‘We Will’, but not too often. He’d rather
revert to songs that are a ‘medium-hit’ and not that known, but nice
still likes to write new songs and that becomes clear, when, after the
break, he plays a couple of songs from his album Gilbertvillethat
was recorder in America. The influences are heard immediately, with blues
and country styles used in them.
Eye catching is ‘All
They Wanted To Say’, dedicated to the victims of the Twin Towers attack
in 2001. The title refers to the people in the planes or in the towers
calling their beloved ones to tell them how much they loved them. The song
comprises of a beautiful composition and dynamically it is perfectly
stage the musicians regularly have fun together. This happens more in the
second part of the concert than before the break. That is because part two
contains more up-tempo songs causing an energy-boost. The audience sings,
claps and dances cheerfully, which makes O’Sullivan shine himself.
At many songs O’Sullivan sits behind his keyboard, but if he stands-up
singing he walks with one hand in his pocket and the other holding the
microphone standard. In the final the roof goes totally off when he stands
on his keyboard and the disco ball appears. In a fast pace all his
greatest hits come along, and that results in a splattering end.