Belfast Telegraph

Frances Black and Kieran Goss review: Folk duo's magic still there on first tour for two decades

By Simon Fallaha

As much a connection of calming comedy and mellow melodies as both sides of a musical and lyrical border, Frances Black and Kieran Goss's Belfast reunion was the ideal antidote to the dark and stormy conditions outside the Grand Opera House.

On their first tour together for more than two decades, the Mayobridge musician and Dublin chanteuse filled the packed venue with plenty of cheer, calm and positive energy.

A gently minimalist yet appropriately atmospheric backdrop greeted the eyes of the numerous contemporary folk lovers who enjoyed a successful merging of national and international stars from opposite sides of a border but with similar musical styles. It was a nostalgic and memorable occasion filled with heart, mirth and unity.

Black's initial nerves were quickly set aside when Goss's nimble fingers clicked into life, his jaunty acoustic guitar giving Black's dulcet tones the backing they needed to stand out, and for her to smile.

Watching them perform, it genuinely felt like they had never been away.

The tone of the concert was one of fond remembrance rather than regret. It was not about looking back in anger, but looking forward with optimism.

Both performers were suitably and refreshingly humble on a night where neither let the grandness of their surroundings overwhelm them, though of course, the strength of the music superseded the mirth and memories that they shared with the crowd.

The ultimate strength of the night lay in its seamless simplicity and the immediately infectious vibe of every song that was performed; tapping feet, pleasant hums and singalongs were in abundance

As the duo played on, their confidence was enhanced, and so too was their connection with everyone watching.

Four stars

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph