" I have a special relationship to Sweden. I was child actor and wrote in my teens a letter to Bibi Andersson, if I wanted to be in an Ingmar Bergman film. She wrote a kindly reply, but my actors went downhill after that...
this is just one of many storys that irishman Andy Irvine draws during the evening. The folk songs he sings are already chock full of stories, but he fills them out even further in the often quirky mellansnacken.
He certainly has a winding long career to draw from. The 76-year-old Irvine has belonged to the epicentre of irish traditional music since the mid-1960s. Just the groups he's been in, and often started, is an impressive list: Planxty, Patrick Street, Sweeney's men, Mozaik, etc Plus his extensive solo career. You would think that he had started to unwind in the 2000s, but it seems to be almost the opposite. He is constantly in new constellations and touring the length and breadth of the world. Right now he is out on a solo tour in Sweden and Norway. Folkmusikmeckat the Stables have been sold out for several months (for those who haven't got the ticket broadcast the concert in the radio's P2 in June).
sucked in Irvine trollkrets. He has gray hair and beard and pliriga dark eyes. Low-key, chosefri. He sits alone on a chair and sings with convincing and supple voice on, inter alia, the Titanic, the miner, Harry Houdini, unionism, horse racing. He let his fingers run in the rapid, complex fingering on his mandola or its various bouzokis. The crowd is full of specialists and listen completely silent (it feels like I disturb when I turn the page in the notebook). We become like the softly embedded in his irish folklore. Then make it not so much that he sometimes slip on the the text in the wordy songs.
As the last encore, singing the Irvine fine tribute to folkikonen Woody Guthrie, ”Never tire of the road”. He fits on to add reprise the topical range of that chorus: ”All of you fascists bound to lose”, as the audience with thunderous force sings to. It becomes a natural ending to a obvious evening.