Dervish – The London Palladium ****

SEPTEMBER 23, 2019

There was a triumphant atmosphere as Irish folk superstars Dervish took the stage for their 30th birthday celebration concert at the London Palladium.

“It’s taken us a long time to get here. If this gig is half as good as the rehearsal it’s going to be a great night” triumphed singer Cathy Jordan, revelling in her opulent surroundings.

The six-piece Irish folk outfit was joined by keyboardist Graham Henderson, producer of the band’s latest album The Great Irish Songbook and five guest singers; Imelda May, David Gray, Cara Dillon, Brian Kennedy and Kate Rusby.

During band introductions singer Cathy Jordan introduced all Ireland Fiddle champion Tom Morrow as “the newest member of the band. He joined 21 years ago.”

Magical sets of Irish reels, with extraordinary musicianship and amazing transitions, were interspersed with lovestruck ballads by the guest vocalists. Close your eyes and you were transported from this world-famous venue in London’s West End to Dolan’s bar in Limerick.

Highlights included Molly Malone and The Fields of Athenry with Imelda May and Cara Dillon respectively, both songs featuring delicious harmonies from Jordan, very much the vocal lifeblood of the group.

Fittingly the encore was The Parting Glass, with the lyric “Good Night and joy be with you all.” It was and it is.As Jordan had predicted,it was a great night.

Words and Live Photo by Chaz Brooks