Gig Review by Andrew Cumming with Photography by Corinne Cumming

The Corrs

This evening was to be my second visit to the O2 in recent days, I must say that this one was considerably different to my company’s Annual General Meeting the afternoon before and in a reversal of the usual take your child to work day, my daughter Corinne decided to take her Dad instead whilst shooting the bands from the photo pit.

The Shires

The Shires

The Shires were first up supporting The Corrs and this was the first time I had seen or even heard them. I’ve got to say I really enjoyed their set, with the haunting vocals of both Crissie Rhodes and Ben Earle in their title track Brave, they are an unusual blend of rock, acoustic guitar and country. The highlight of their set for me would be the Dolly Parton and Kenny Rodgers cover of ‘Islands in the Stream’ which was a little unexpected but brilliant. It’s not easy warming up an all seated crowd in the O2 and to be honest, it’s not my favourite venue as it has to be a special band to get the atmosphere rocking, but the test for me is would I buy their album?… I definitely would.

The Corrs

The Corrs were a revelation in the nineties with a blend of rock and traditional Gaelic or Garlic as I wrote in my notes due to autocorrect, which gives them a unique sound as well as aroma. They opened with an impressive backlit drum and percussion solo from Caroline Corr, the white sheet upon which her silhouette was projected, dropped as they went straight into ‘I Do What I Like’ from their new album ‘White Light’. The crowd though enthusiastic seemed subdued as they were not as familiar with the songs, but things warmed up with ‘Forgiven Not Forgotten’ and I couldn’t resist joining in with ‘What Can I Do’ as Corinne joined me in the stands. Throughout the show, the flying orb lighting levitated in many colours at different altitudes adding to the atmosphere and a I definitely detected a distinctively Irish lilt to the crowd whilst singing ‘Runaway’.

The Corrs

The Corrs

I sat up and took notice when Andrea Corr introduced the track ‘Ellis Island’ saying that this song was about immigration, which I thought was a bit political from The Corrs. But I have been accused of going deaf from too many loud concerts in the eighties, and this turned out to be emigration, which is about people going in the other direction. In particular the emigration of Irish to America.

The Corrs

Mid set they began to touch on to crowd favourites ‘Love to Love you’, ‘Only When I Sleep’ and ‘Queen Of Hollywood’. Corinne and I duetted through ‘Dreams’ and I think our collaboration was even better than her version that had previously won her third place in the St Edwards Church talent contest at the age of ten. In my opinion The Corrs perform a better version than the Fleetwood Mac original we had watched six months earlier in the same Arena.

The Corrs

I was a little disappointed that the atmosphere, only reached the proper level to move the O2 towards the end with ‘I Never Loved You Anyway’ and ‘So Young’ into their encore of ‘White Light’ and ‘Breathless’, but there is no doubting The Corrs have aged well, sometimes when bands reform they seem a ghost of their former selves, but they all still kill it with their vocals and respective instruments. We left the arena extremely impressed and very much in favour of the current trend of late 90’s early 2000’s bands reforming, giving us all a chance to enjoy them once again.

The Corrs

The Corrs

See the complete photoset here.

One Response to “The Corrs + The Shires at The O2, London, UK – 23rd January 2016”

  1. Antony Ignatius Says:

    Great review Andy, and photography Corinne

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