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Music DVD Review

DVD cover

Celtic Woman
Musical Gems (Live in Concert)


Starring: Celtic Woman
Distributor: UMC
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: E
Release Date: 24 February 2014

Celtic Woman is a created band, in that they were brought together by Sharon Browne and David Downes. The line-up has changed little over the time they have been around, having produced eight successful albums and found fame touring Ireland and America.

Celtic Woman: Emerald Music Gems (2014 - 1 hr, 12 min, 18 sec) is a record of one of their most recent concert, wherein the girls, Lisa Lambe, Chloe Agnew, Mairead Nesbitt, and Susan McFadden, take us through a series of traditional and modern songs, with the emphasis a little slated towards traditional.

I can’t quite put my finger on it but they are in some way fundamentally different from bands like Clannad, which seems odd as they both present a combination of modern and traditional Irish music. To be honest I don’t know the girls backgrounds, but they sing like theatrical actresses, which creates a different kind of sound. It’s not unpleasant, but it seems to emphasis technique over passion.

You can tell is authentic Irish music, by the number of nuns in the audience and the reason that you know that they are there is that there are an extraordinary amount of shots of them; okay, not just nuns, but the audience in general. It’s not as if they are going wild, throwing knickers in the air, for the most part they sit sedately and appreciatively, clapping when encouraged. I think the drummer felt a little at a loss banging away in silence.

Even if the audience seemed to be on strong sedatives, on the plus side the girl’s harmonies are pleasant enough. There are fifteen songs performed and you have the option to watch the show as a whole or individual songs. The performance is in what appears to be a small auditorium, so the girls are only backed by a small band.

The band performs:

'Awakening'; 'Dulaman'; 'Nocturne'; 'Teir Abhaile Riu'; 'Coast of Galicia'; 'Danny Boy'; 'Mo Ghile Mear'; 'Amazing Grace'; 'She Moved Through the Fair'; 'Nil Se'n La'; 'Shenandoah-Dancer'; 'The Voice'; 'You Raise Me Up'; 'Parting Glass'; and 'Celtic Woman Playoff'

It’s the sort of presentation which might tax some, but the ensemble have sold over six million albums and given the average age of the audience your mother may like this, even if she isn’t a nun.


Charles Packer

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