Nathan Carter at The Olympia Theatre – Review and Photos
Nathan Carter and Friends at The Olympia Theatre – January 17th
Having grown up with traditional music from a young age, I was looking forward to hearing what Nathan Carter had in store for tonight. What I didn’t expect was the dedication of the fans here for the first of two shows in the Olympia Theatre (which was sold out, may I add). I overheard two women having a conversation. One of the women had travelled all the way from New Zealand to be here tonight, and they had nothing but good things to say about Nathan and his band. Apart from a New Zealand accent, I heard many various accents in the crowds (ranging from Southern Ireland to Northern Ireland and everything in between). The stage is flooded with instruments including traditional instruments like the accordion and the mandolin, to the non-traditional instruments like the piano, drums, guitar and bass. The versatility of instruments definitely intrigued me. Children and adults of all ages had travelled long and far for this show, and they weren’t going to be disappointed.
At around 8pm, Niamh McGlinchey takes to the stage with her acoustic guitar and dressed in her floor length sparkly skirt, ready to perform. She seems nervous and timid at first, but once she gets into the swing of things, there was no stopping her. A competitor on TG4’s ‘Glór Tíre, performing in front of crowds seems to come to her ease once she settles into her surroundings; within 3 songs she had the whole crowd singing along! She opens up with a cover of The Monkees’ hit “I’m a Believer”. She continues on playing covers from the likes of Dean Martin, Elvis Presley, Sheryl Crow, Gareth Brooks and Alison Krauss, which fill her 40 minute set. There’s something for everyone in the crowd tonight! She played each song as though it were here last, and the crowd clapped and sang along as though every song was her last song too; exactly what you want to see and hear! McGlinchey closed her set with an original song she wrote when she was still in school about trying to make life decisions called “Crossroads”, and it goes down very well among those in the audience. If you’re looking for a humble, gentle artist with a sweet as sugar voice, Niamh McGlinchey is your girl. She has a great future ahead of her.
Uilleann pipe music plays accompanied by anticipation and excitement. The band take their places on stage, shortly followed by tonight’s star, breaking into the first of many of tonight’s songs. He’s got a very strong stage presence, and is clearly popular with the women in the crowd tonight. Young, charismatic, charming, witty… What’s not to love? It’s clear he’s very comfortable on stage, and asks the crowd to rub the leg of the person next to them (maybe he’s a little bit too comfortable…). The band play “Where Do You Go To My Lovely?” by Peter Sarstedt and link it into “That’s Amoré” by Dean Martin, which has the entire singing along and swaying from side to side together, which really sets a great atmosphere for the remainder of the night. The band perform Joe Nichols’ hit “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off”, while lingerie is thrown on stage by some very excited women in the crowd. These are taken and placed on the heads of various band members by Nathan; laughter erupts in the crowd, the first eruptions of many tonight. As well as fantastically done covers such as The Dubliners’ “In The Rare Old Times”, The Lumineers’ “Ho Hey”, Phil Coulter’s “The Town I Loved So Well” and Rascal Flatts’ “Bless The Broken Road”, there is a band instrumental (which displays the talents of the individual members of the band), original songs such as their latest single “Simple Life”, a display of Nathan’s instrumental talents (he plays the piano, guitar and the accordion on numerous songs throughout the night) and a duet with Niamh McGlinchey singing “Bruises” by Train with Nathan. Hailing from Liverpool, Nathan plays a song from his own city known as “Leaving of Liverpool”, which becomes the highlight of the night for me; regardless of him moving to Ireland a few years ago and playing the music he plays, he never forgot his roots. The band close the show with their hit “Wagon Wheel” and a medley of Status Quo’s “Rocking All Over The World”, Quiet Riot’s “Stomp Your Hands and Clap Your Feet” and Gareth Brooks’ “Spirit In The Sky”. Overall, I was really impressed by the performance, and I know anyone seeing the show on the second night will enjoy it. It had all the elements necessary: charm, comedy, a high quality performance, an amazing atmosphere and a crowd hypnotized by the wonder that was tonight’s performance.
Review by Shauna Collins
Photos by Tudor Marian