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Review: Paul Brady with Ulster Orchestra, Waterfront Hall, Belfast

Like their English counterparts, Fairport Convention, graduates of the school of excellence that was Planxty haven't always had the recognition their ability merits.

Thus, Saturday's high-profile event featuring Paul Brady and the Ulster Orchestra was a novel way to showcase one of our premier songwriting talents in an unusual setting.

Brady acted as his own warm-up act, with a solo set somewhat constrained by the demands of live broadcasting.

After a ten minute ‘comfort' break, we were back with band plus orchestra, and there was an immediate sense of a degree of intimacy having been lost.

The first few songs struggled against tipping into blandness, until Brady and his band tore into ‘Nothin' but the same old story' waking up both orchestra and audience.

From then on, everything seemed to gel.

Michael Conaghan

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