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Reviews
Planxty Live 2004 PLANXTY
Planxty Live 2004
Sony 517319 2





The roars from the audience on this live CD say it all: not mere enthusiasm, more like primal expressions of joy from those lucky enough to have witnessed, in the first weeks of 2004, the historical reassemblage of Christy Moore, Donal Lunny, Liam O'Flynn and Andy Irvine into the legendary supergroup Planxty.

After 1973, once these boys had invigorated it, traditional Irish music was never the same again. Already virtuoso players with a vast love of the tradition, they infused their music with youthful energy and innovations from subtle harmonies to driving rhythms and the introduction of the bouzouki. Reformed for a dozen Irish concerts after a 21 year lay-off, the band played to ecstatic full houses and recorded this CD and a DVD for posterity.

The track list is a Planxty fan's dream and rightly so - why abandon a great repertoire unused for two decades? From the off, the sound is unmistakable - the melodic, intricate weavings of Lunny and Irvine's bouzouki and mandolin, the rhythmic drive, and above all, O'Flynn's razor-sharp uilleann pipes, locked rail-tight and flying over, in and through everything else. Moore and Irvine's voices are a little mellower, the familiar songs given maybe a little more bite: The Good Ship Kangaroo, Arthur McBride, Little Musgrave, The Blacksmith (chased by the tumbling, Balkan-inspired Black Smithereens), two versions of As I Roved Out, The West Coast Of Clare ... and the real prize, Raggle Taggle Gypsy with its classic segue into Tabhair Dom Do Lámh, still a heart-stopper after all these years.

There's nostalgia value aplenty but there's nothing dated or outworn from these four, who clearly still delight in each other's company. One gets the sense that on- and offstage spontaneous combustion was only narrowly avoided - you can feel hairs standing up on necks, the sense of prodigals returned, family restored. Just pray the rumours of more gigs turn out to be true.

Mel McClellan - July 2004

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For a long time already I hoped on a reunion of this band which had such an influence on the development of my musical interests. And when Liam o'Flynn, Donal Lunny, and Andy Irvine performed at the Vlaardingen Irish Folk Festival last year I already expected a kind of reunion, which finally took place last January/February. When shortly ago the CD / DVD of the perfomances were released, it confirmed my expectations. The music is still grand, even grander then ever. I hope to see them back in the Netherlands again. To all the members of Planxty ( present and past): thanks a lot for decades of great music, and please, don' t forget the part Johnny Moynihan and Paul Brady played.
J. van Heeswÿk, the Netherlands

This has been a dream of many lovers of Irish music for the past 20 years, the reunion of the supergroup PLANXTY. It is a flood of memories, emotions and exquisite music. Lets hope this is only the beginning again for Planxty.
Rory Tweed, yorkshire, England

when i heard that planxty had done a re-union concert and released a cd there was only one thing to do, buy the CD. having followed the musicians since i had an idea of the cd quality before i bought, just buy it and find out for yourself its simpy quality
sean mac raghanail, london
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