One thing that stands out about singer/songwriter Mick Flannery during his live show is his immense ability to endear himself to a crowd. Whether it be his modest disposition or his Irish upbringing, there is no doubt that this is one man that the Irish love. Sitting bashfully by his piano, he says very little before easing into opening track Safety Rope, but is nonetheless greeted by nothing but respect, awe and applause. This slow opener, with its big harmonies and sultry sound, creates a beautifully reverent atmosphere.
Donning his guitar Flannery moves to centre stage, and once again his modesty shines through as he tells the crowd “This is definitely a time at which stage presence would be handy”. Moving into the jazzier and slightly darker number The Rebel, Flannery proves that this is something he has in bucketfuls. There is no doubt that as he stands on the dimly lit stage dotted with candles, every pair of eyes in the theatre are glued to him, awaiting his next move. And that move was to come in the form of the track Gone Forever; with a burst of energy and rhythm, the band really show their passion for this music. Popular song Wish You Well is another triumph, dripping with bluesy love and despair.
Flannery’s humble nature shines through once again as he briefly introduces the track Boston, inspired by his time in the American city. Telling the crowd “I’d gone over there to play some gigs and depress some Americans”, he smiles shyly at his own joke before beginning this slow, peaceful and meaningful number. Once again charming the crowd with his dry sense of humour, Flannery introduces the final track with “This song features the word happy, which is some consolation, I suppose…”. The track to which he refers is Upon that Hill, and his rendition is dark, deep and powerful, finishing the set perfectly.
Naturally, such a strong finish prompts passionate calls from the audience for an encore, and Flannery does not disappoint. Returning to play his popular song Tomorrow’s Paper followed by the soulful In the Gruff, Flannery couldn’t have ended on a stronger note. With a set that shows off every aspect of Flannery’s songwriting skills, musical ability and humble attitude, no one left the Olympia Theatre disappointed. Surrounded by his talented band of musicians, including a string and brass section, Flannery creates a peaceful, soulful atmosphere for all to soak up and enjoy. A master of his craft, he certainly produces a live show of which he should be extremely proud.
Mick Flannery Photo Gallery
Photos: Debbie Hickey