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Black 47 Live

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Friday night, my father in-law called me and told me that Black 47 was playing an unannounced show at Providence College. I hooked up with him and headed over to see the show. It was a free show, as part of the PC Irish Fest ’03. We got there just after they went on and watched the show.

I haven’t seen Black 47 in a few years, but they have lost none of the energy and vibe that makes them one of the best live bands around. Despite the fact that they were playing in a gym, with shitty acoustics, they were fabulous. They played one of the tightest, energy-laden shows I’ve seen in quite some time.

The set list was incredible, touching on most of their classics and throwing in a few new ones to mix it up. The highlights were “Fire of Freedom,” “John Connelly” and of course the cult hit, “Funky Celi.” The best song was “Green Suede Shoes,” a song that was written about their experience leaving Providence a few years back.

Afterward, since I was with the owner of Patrick’s pub and my father in-law, who both know him, I got the chance to talk with Larry Kirwin (the lead singer/guitarist/songwriter). They’ve been on the road for 8 months, almost non-stop but they were heading back to the NYC area on Saturday. They were due to play at the Dancing Pony in NJ, then some well-earned time off. I asked him a couple of questions and talked about things for a few minutes but they didn’t have much time until they were heading out.

I asked him when they were getting a new CD out. He said that they had quite a few new songs, some of which they played tonight and were ready to go. After the show on Saturday, they were heading into the studio on Monday (today). He said they were aiming for a late spring, early summer release. I then wished him well and we headed out.

Unfortunately, due to travelling, he wasn’t going to come over to Pat’s and have a few pints with us. Maybe next time. I can’t wait for the new CD.

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About Jim Schwab

  • Maureen

    I saw Black 47 perform at the Ritz on St. Patrick’s Day in I want to say it was 1993. Morningstar opened for them. They were the LOUDEST band I have ever heard. When I left I was actually DEAF for about twenty minutes. The highlights of the night: listening to the soundcheck, seeing a guy passed out in a corner, noticing that behind the stage you could see the alley and brick building adjacent, and the best part was during Funky Ceili when everyone was simply jumping up and down in unison. It ROCKED. It was one of my first “concerts”.