Saturday, October 07, 2006

Dick Gaughan

I'm just back from Dick Gaughans gig tonight. No MP3s. But someone has put a photo montage over Dick's "Fathers' Song"

If you have no soul you'd best skip it.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable gig. Dick mentioned his cold at the start but it didn't seem to affect his voice. I saw Dick at the previous Ennis gig in the foyer at Glór (the venue) so some songs I've heard before and others were totally new. The stand outs tonight were the Jack Glass story, the John Muir Redwood Cathedral song, Ewan somebody from St Kilta (pardon my ignorant spellchecker - I'm a Northumbrian), No Gods (precious few heroes), The Burns tune (which my friend has a treasured cassette copy of and was relieved to hear).

The Big Muddy was a stand out. And The Yew Tree. Remember Thomas Muir of Hunters Hill is a new fave. And the end was a surprise, and in retrospect I felt kind of jarred from my reverie. Transported as I was into my imagination by the tunes I could have listened all night but I suspect Dick knew his throat best.

It is an experience that's hard to fathom. During the Burns song - I found myself meandering back to being a kid watching the boats sailing down the Tyne. The Tall Ships race or Navy frigates. It would be announced in The Journal and my dad would get us all out to Tynemouth to watch them passing on the weekend. One day he said to me "We build ships on this river" and I thought "Do we?" It was a bit like driving past the cooling towers in Gateshead and being told "Your Great Uncle Jimmy built them". I was gobsmacked. It must have taken him ages. But being young I missed the point that it has taken too many years to understand. The sense of pride and identity in being part of the work being done, and the sense of community.
My dad came from a mining family though neither he nor his brothers were miners. His dad ran a shop and was the out of the mine his father had worked in. He was a salesman, but he still felt that "We" did it.

I wonder at the audience and all those different journeys that folk were travelling during the performance. Dick has a passion for his roots that is contagious. Magic. And a good spell well woven is a gift on both the giver and receiver.

Thanks Dick, and keep on with the vitamin C.


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