Clannad are an Irish band, formed in Gweedore, County Donegal in 1970. The original line up featured siblings Moya, Enya, Pol and Ciaran Brennan along with their twin uncles Padraig and Noel Duggan. However, Enya left the band in 1981 to pursue a highly successfully solo career. Since their formation, Clannad have released 16 studio albums, achieved international success selling over 15 million albums worldwide, won countless awards including an Ivor Novello, BAFTA, Billboard and a Grammy. 2013 saw the release of Clannad’s new studio album “Nádúr”. Their first since “Landmarks” in 1997 and they embarked on an extensive tour to promote the new record, including a show at Alhambra Theatre, Dunfermiline on the 25th of October.
The setlist consisted primarily of songs from the outstanding “Nádúr”, alongside an assortment of classics from their popular albums of the 1980s and 1990s. Opening with “I Will Find You”, the love theme from the motion picture “The Last Of The Mohicans” and including such classics like the haunting “Theme From Harry’s Game”, “In A Lifetime” and an array of songs from the “Legend (Robin Of Sherwood)” album. Clannad’s setlist of old and new compositions combined, proved to be the right move judging by the audience reaction. The crowd responded to songs from “Nádúr” with the same warmth and enthusiasm as the old favourites which is a testament to the strength and quality of the new material.
The concert was a truly magical experience with the listener being transported back in time to Sherwood Forest or Newgrange in Ireland and attending this show felt like the closest I will ever get to having a trip in a TARDIS in my life time. A Clannad concert becomes a celebration of the rich heritage of story telling through song, sharing tales of romance, love, loss and bravery in times gone by.
Without a doubt the jewel in Clannad’s crown is the ethereal vocals of Moya Brennan. From the moment, she walks on stage you are charmed by her warmth and humour and utterly blown away by the enchanting depth and quality of her voice. Like Kate Bush, Moya is steeped in the Celtic tradition of story telling through song and she inhabits the characters she sings about bringing them to life on the stage. I was frequently awe struck during this concert that it was possible to have 5 such talented people in one family. However particularly the multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Pol Brennan struck me as a driving force in the band live. He comes across as a charismatic front man blessed with enthusiasm and passion that immediately engages the audience.
As always with Clannad, it was a truly outstanding evening of beautiful music, I can not recommend seeing them perform live highly enough. The next time you get the opportunity, buy, beg, borrow or steal, do what you have to do, to get a ticket.