The Corrs Live Belsonic 2016

THE CORRS AT BELSONIC

When , in June 2015, Irish folk rockers The Corrs announced they were coming of their almost decade long hiatus and not only touring but recording new material, their fans were utterly delighted: the fairest Irish family of them all were back. White Light was duly released, with a string of tour dates following. Tonight in Belfast, therefore, was a special date for two reasons: not only did it kick off the second round of Belsonic in style, but it also signalled the end of the White Light world tour.

Before the Corrs’ dulcet tones though, there were two support acts to enjoy; first up was fellow Irishman Declan O’Rourke, who turned out to be a good choice as his sound and influences are clearly similar to the headliners’. His simple, at times almost ethereal music is folky with a distinctive Irish touch, and goes down very well with the small but enthusiastic crowd (“Whatever you do, don’t look behind you – the place is rammed!” he quips at one point). That rather droll humour, his mellifluous voice and almost lullaby-like songs with the audience over in no time, much to the band’s delight.

Scottish singer-songwriter KT Tunstall is next, with a similar folky vibe but a bit more of a kick to her music. Her husky, angelic voice is as sweet as ever, while her perky and upbeat songs shine from the stage like a sunny day. She’s not afraid to mix it up too, inserting snippets of ‘Walk Like An Egyptian’ and the White Stripes’ ‘Seven Nation Army’ into a couple of tracks.

She surprises the crowd by confessing that she has a new album that’s due to be released on September 9th, before playing the honey smooth lead single ‘Maybe It’s a Good Thing’. Her warm and infectious personality shines through in her music which means the few new tracks she plays are received enthusiastically – and when she announces a Mandela Hall date (on October 30th) the responding roar is almost louder than the one that final number ‘Suddenly I See’ receives.

By the time the stage lights drop to signify the arrival of The Corrs, the place is packed with several thousand excited fans. After a flashy intro they kick off their almost two hour long set with ‘Do What I Like’ from the aforementioned White Light, followed by their 2000 hit ‘Give Me a Reason’, which sets the crowd off nicely. “Good evening Belsonic! It’s wonderful to be here in Belfast” frontwoman Andrea enthuses. “It’s the last night of our tour – let’s blow the sky up!”.They then proceed to do exactly that.

What follows is a seemingly endless array of hits, executed flawlessly – and, it has to be said, beautifully; the band have lost none of their talent for playing and blending their instruments over the years, not to mention their harmonies, which are like the voices of angels.

Essentially, the gig was exactly what you would expect it to be: gorgeous anthems such as ‘Forgiven, Not Forgotten’, ‘What Can I Do’ and ‘Runaway’, with a smattering of new tracks, a couple of delightful Irish tunes from their traditional album Home (including one charmingly sang in Irish), all wrapped up in an almost unfairly gorgeous package. Frontwoman Andrea is quite the lively sprite, covering the entire stage as she dances around, dropping to her knees to belt out a few numbers, coquettishly replying “I love you too!” to a yell from the crowd and generally being rather dazzling – the woman even makes playing the tin whistle look alluring, for heaven’s sake. The rest of the band give it their all, too, and in perfect harmony.

In the end, though, it’s the songs that draw the crowd in, as indeed, it has done throughout their career. ‘I Never Loved You Anyway’ has pointing fingers and sassy attitudes appearing everywhere; ‘So Young’ is the ultimate ‘singing along while reliving one’s youth’ anthem; and their cover of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Dreams’ is, of course, superb.

An encore of ‘White Light’ and ‘Breathless’ (which earns them the loudest roar of the night) is finished off by another traditional Irish number and a promise to return soon. As comebacks go, the last year or so simply could not have gone better for the Corrs, and tonight at Belsonic was a fantastic way to celebrate their well earned success.

Review by Melanie Black

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