Reviews 2006

Woodman Folk Club - Reviews

Kieran Halpin
Trevor Durden 8 September 2006
The new season at The Woodman got off to an explosive start with the appearance of Kieran Halpin. 

Kieran writes and sings songs straight from his heart and although the songs are intensely personal their appeal is not diminished in any way. He started off the evening with “Walk Like A Champion” a song he wrote for John Wright. Kieran tells the story that the song was, in many ways, a commission. John wanted to record an album of songs about dancing and asked Kieran if he had any songs that would fit the bill. Although he hadn’t at the time, he rang John back about 15 minutes later to say that he had! The song is not bad for 15 minutes work

Kieran continued by featuring a number of songs from his latest CD, “A Box of Words and Tunes”. The songs cover all the emotions from anger (Letter To America) to love of his children (Bigger Picture). Bigger Picture was probably my favourite number from the first set but mention must be made of the new interpretation of “All The Answers”. Influenced by a version of the song recorded in Spanish, Kieran has stripped away the driving tempo from the original and re-recorded it in a more melodic style and it works beautifully. The classic “Mirror Town” concluded the set and we all sat back to collect our breath and take in refreshment.

The second set proved to be every bit as good as the first. “This Isn’t Bad Only Different”, “Nothing To Show For It All” (with a wonderfully black comedy introduction), and “Angel Of Paradise”, quickly followed “Elmo’s Garden”. We all have our favourite song of Kieran and mine happens to be “Glory Dayz”. Kieran dedicated this song to the memory of Chris Jones who sadly died some 18 months ago. 

Time was passing so quickly and following “Hold On” it was time for Kieran to end the evening with “Closing Time In Paradise” a wonderfully feel-good song that belies Kieran’s claim that he has only ever written two optimistic songs! The refrain asks “Are we really in paradise?” Well, it may not have been paradise but after an encore of “China Rose” we were all agreed that it had been yet another consummate performance from a man who is surely one of the best wordsmiths in the country.