Tonight saw the opening concert of Londonderry's much vaunted year as the United Kingdom's City of Culture. Somewhat against my better judgment I watched this event on the BBC's red button. I would have thought that the organisers would have wanted this concert to have been a slick and professional taster for the year to come. Maybe that's how it came across live, but that was not the impression give by the televised version. The male presenter, one James Nesbitt by name, seemed extremely bored by the whole event, but maybe he had succeeded in discovering the mood of the assemblage. Either that or it was his finely honed laconic style.
The name given to this concert was, "Sons and daughters." We were to see those of the City who had, "made good," in the world of entertainment. Some of the sons and daughters turned out to be more grandpa and granny. Phil Coulter just about got away with it, but Ireland's 1970 Eurovision Song Contest winner, the former Miss Brown, aka, "Dana." provided her audience with a very weak performance from a matronly erstwhile politician trying to relive her glory year. It was embarrassing to watch and listen to.
The most professional of the artists who tramped the stage this evening were, I believe, Neil Hannon and Damian McGinty. The latter was particularly self assured. He might not be as good a runner as either his father or his brother Emmet, but he is probably a better singer.