A return visit to Acapela for Moya Brennan and her band on Sunday night, and another sell out for the venue.

Moya, on vocals, harp and bodhran was accompanied by her four piece band consisting of her daughter Aisling on guitars and vocals with son Paulon keyboards. Both are excellent musicians as you would expect. Fiddler and vocalist Clare Friel is a winner of the Irish young musician of the year competition. Completing the band is harpist and vocalist Cormac De Barra with whom Moya has released several albums. Keeping things in the family, very Clannad style, her husband Tim is the tour manager and driver, her nephew on the merchandise stall, and other crew duties.

We were promised a mix of solo songs and some from Clannad, also receiving one from the forthcoming album by Moya and Cormac. The first set concentrated mainly on the solo and duo albums, Moya explaining what the songs were about as many were in Gaelic. Titles included Children Of War, Tara, Mothers of the Desert and the set closer Voices Of The Land. Aisling took the lead for one of her own compositions, the others taking a spotlight in the second set. The sound was excellent, at times very fragile, easy to hear any audience chat or other noises. There were none to hear from the attentive audience I am very happy to say.

The second set included several Clannad pieces, all very faithfull to the group versions I remember seeing live in places like St David’s Hall. In A Lifetime opened the set, with, a surprise to me, Christine McVie’s Songbird following it up. A great song and a grat voice combining for a great performance. Clare for her solo chose a Scott Skinner tune with a traditional Irish piece following. A medley of slow and fast. The Robin Hodd series music is probably the best known of Clannad’s music to many, though tonight’s audience appeared to be much more knowledgeable. The Robin medley that followed included four of the pieces from the album. Cormac for his spotlight chose O’Carollan’s……. beautifully played and well received.

A couple more songs, one for the encore and it was all over. Two hours of music seemingly so quickly having passed by. Here’s to another return visit.

Review by Ian Burgess