Belfast Telegraph

Rebel yell still gets faithful roused

In this fractious summer of stand-offs and riots, who better to pour oil on troubled waters than The Wolfe Tones?

The consummate Irish rebel band are turning 50, and have announced that they are retiring from live work. So we should enjoy them while we can.

The trouble with so-called rebel music, is that, when it's not being gratuitously offensive, it can be repetitive.

First surprise was the sound, this was the Tones channelled for the Snow Patrol generation as the opener, an arrangement of John Lennon's Bloody Sunday, showed. But God save Ireland – in west Belfast rebel music would be to sing a song about joining the Alliance Party.

They create a feelgood atmosphere where rebellion can become a kind of humorous celebration and still deliver useful historical lectures on the United Irishmen – even as its more violent manifestations retreat, we hope, further into history.

MICHAEL CONOGHAN

Belfast Telegraph

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