Sinead O’Connor in Vicar Street, Dublin, 08 April 2015

Despite her controversial public persona, Sinead O’Connor takes a surprisingly straightforward approach to her concerts. There are no big speeches, nor even much banter, just 90 minutes of music.

And the music is very good. She has been busy making solid albums since around 2012 and both ‘How About I Be You’ and ‘I’m Not Bossy’ are well represented tonight. O’Connor starts off with her by now classic cover of the John Grant song, Queen of Denmark, a song fully of dynamic tempo changes and therefore an excellent concert opener.

The early salvos are all strong, as the band shows itself to be relatively tight and empathetic players behind O’Connor’s confident vocals. Say what you like about O’Connor, she has always sung every word like it might be her last.

Take Me To Church (not to be confused with the Hozier song) is another early highlight, as O’Connor’s band raise their trademark anthemic stomp to a slightly higher level. The band has the two brothers from Relish on guitar and drums and two women on bass and guitar – and together with the keyboard player and Sinead herself, they gradually bring the audience along with them in the first half of the show.

The sound is rooted in O’Connor’s latter day sound, and often with a slight tinge of reggae.

Later in the show the band take a break and O’Connor does some solo electric guitar numbers. At the end of the set she brekas out an accapella version of the Irish national anthem with some amended lyrics. These moments serve to break up the set, and distract the audience from some other moments when Sinead herself seems a little distracted.

But, when she’s on she’s on, and the last few band songs of the set include killer versions of things like The Emperor’s New Clothes and Last Days of Our Acquaintance. These seem to send the fans home fairly happy, despite some disappointment at the lack of her two biggest hits, Mandinka and that Prince song. But Sinead will be Sinead, and it was an enjoyable concert. Perhaps a better night would have been a bit tighter, 20 minutes longer and included one or two better known numbers, but these are minor complaints, and Sinead O’Connor remains an act that is always worth seeing.