Review: Celtic Woman Nottingham Royal Concert Hall.

five star

“Celebratory and sensational with three standing ovations”

On the last leg of their successful 10th Anniversary World tour – international music sensation – Celtic Woman arrive at Nottingham Royal Concert Hall to a packed audience of eager fans awaiting a stunning show fusing traditional Irish songs and music with World Music and the Classics. They are not disappointed. The whole stage concept musically transfers emotions from the stage to the audience, emotions that elicit great joy, along with a lot of heart-felt clapping and tremendously appreciative applause as well as a few hankie producing tears. Overall, Celtic Woman – celebrating ten years; is a state of the art production, pleasing not only its enormous fan base but, winning new fans with its sophistication and fresh fusion of musical styles.

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Pure voiced singers Éabha Mc Mahon, Mairéad Carlin and Susan Mc Fadden form an elegant and graceful musical backbone to Celtic Woman enthralling the evening with their harmonic renditions of Sail Away, You Lift Me Up, Danny Boy, Amazing Grace, Fields of Gold, Dúlaman and many other Celtic language dreamlike songs.

Puckish violinist and fiddle player Máiréad Nesbitt stuns the Nottingham Royal Concert Hall with her dance energy and charismatic violin playing encompassing contrasting styles of classical and traditional with a bit of jazz style thrown in for good measure. She is an inspirational talent on two rather lovely dancing legs.

The fashion designer for this visually impacting show is Synan O’Mahony and the direction and choreography is by Daryn Crosbie.

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Celtic Woman have come a very long way in ten years. In its present manifestation not only do we have the three beautiful and professionally accomplished singers and a wonderfully gifted violinist but a full band of very talented musicians including bagpipes and Uilleann pipes/whistles (Eoghan O’Neill, Ray Fean, Andy Reilly, Tommy Martin, Brian McGrane, Anthony Byrne), two world class Irish male dancers (Chris Naish and Nicholas Yenson) and four backing singers from the Aontas Choir (Chris Naish, Sarah Gannon, Nicholas Yenson, Edel Murphy). It is orchestrated and arranged by David Downes and features a magical and vibrant sound and light show that deserves a standing ovation of its own.

The Nottingham audience can’t get enough and reward the show with three standing ovations and to paraphrase that famous Irish saying this reviewer bets that, on departing the Royal Concert Hall, “the road rose up for many a happy audience member on their way home tonight”.

May the road rise up to meet you and may the wind always be at your back…

Phil Lowe

Originally written for The Nottingham Post. Extended version.

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