Stuart Morrison's verdict: four stars
There are many things that this little country is being told it can't have or shouldn't dare hope for, but one thing that we do have, in ever increasing quantities, is musical talent. Especially, female musical talent. Particularly, vocalists. The traditional end of the market is over-burdened with it and Eddi Reader has occupied the top rung now for nearly thirty years.
Whilst this tour was in support of her latest album, Vagabond, she drew on all aspects of her career, from Fairground Attraction onwards. Of course with Reader's shows, you know that you are going to see top of the line musicians in a straight-forward setting. No big production numbers, no fancy lighting, no pyro for example and, as far as I could see, Boo Hewerdine was, at no stage, propelled across the stage on wires. They just played beautifully. The set included almost all of the new album, with opener Married to the Sea, Michael Marra's, Macushla and the beautifully atmospheric, Baby's Boat, being the highlights.
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We had The Moon is Mine from Fairground Attraction's album and Green Grow the Rashes O and Charlie is My Darling, we had the excellent Yvonne Lyon, who was support on the tour, join Reader for The Fairy Love Song and some political observation preceding another Marra composition, Here Come the Weak, in which she wondered why so many people refused to listen to 'the truths they were being told about their situation'. In fact Marra's song was the song of the night, apart from the old warhorse, Perfect, which, Reader reminded everyone, had been number one in 1988 and which only got there because her Dad had gone to mass that week.