Bap Kennedy returned to play The Barge, Belfast on 29 Dec 2013 where he performed with his band to a packed house. This is great venue for local music, with lots of character and intimacy.
Support for the evening was the wonderful Mandy Bingham who opened proceedings with her own song "Good Girl Blues". I can remember the first time I saw Mandy back in 2012, this was the first song she ever sang in public... Mandy has come along way since then. Tonight with support from husband Graham she gave her best performance ever. Confident and in great voice she took us through a range of her own material but also included her special version of "Harlem Lady", written by her late father David McWilliams.
Then Bap Kennedy took to the stage supported by his wife Brenda on bass guitar and backing vocals, Gordon Mc.Allister on lead acoustic guitar and Rabb Bennett on drums.
Bap entertained us with his own style of country blues and Americana, playing songs from his new album "Let`s Start Again" plus some of his more popular back catalogue. The night was a great success with my highlights being "Radio Waves" and "Heart Trouble" from the new album, plus two of my all time favourites .. "Cold War Country Blues" and the beautiful "Jimmy Sanchez".
The audience played their part too by singing along and shouting out for requests....
Bap had some copies of the new album (his 6th) for sale on the night. I bought a copy of the Ltd Deluxe Edition containing a bonus CD of classic Bap recordings...
Bap Kennedy has come a long way since his early days with Energy Orchard.
In his solo career he's toured supporting Mark Knopfler who also produced and appeared on Bap's last album, "The Sailors revenge" and has also worked with Shane McGowan, Van Morrison and Steve Earle.
For this album he chose to record it in Northern Ireland, and as well as the band he's toured with for the last year or so since the release of the last album, he's also brought in a number of local musicians. The album was co-produced by Mudd Wallace ....
By Ronnie Purvis
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