Review & Gallery: Full house at Regent as O’Donnell wows fans

Not many stars would climb down from the stage in the middle of a concert to give an elderly fan a birthday hug.

But Daniel O’Donnell isn’t just any singer. He has a unique rapport with his fans – and, as he sang Oh Danny Boy to Anne, who will be 96 next month, it was easy to see why they love him so.

I’d never been to one of his concerts before, but really enjoyed it. I was impressed by his charm and humour, as well as his powerful and expressive voice.

His warm personality came across throughout the evening, as he chatted and joked with the audience in between songs, and read out dozens of dedications from fans.

He even revealed that he nearly didn’t make it to Ipswich at all, because he was stuck in Tenerife when flights were grounded. He came back via Madrid, and commented: “I didn’t know if I was coming or going, and nor did they!”


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However, there was no sign of him being tired from his long journey, as he packed the show with non-stop energy. He kept dancing throughout the night, shouting out at one point: “I’m 48 now, but it makes no difference!”

And he was keen to point out that he had learnt some new dance steps in France, though a lot of the fast footwork still looked like Irish jigs to me. Daniel is of course best-known for his Irish folk music, and there was plenty of that during the evening, with songs such as The Isle of Innisfree.

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But he also performed a number of country songs, starting the concert with I’m Going to Be a Country Boy Again, which was a highlight of the evening for me, as was his performance of King of the Road.

There was a touch of rock’n’roll with Buddy Holly’s That’ll Be the Day, plus a host of pop songs such as Carpenters classic Jambalaya, The New Seekers’ Never-Ending Song of Love, Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline and Dawn’s early 1970s number one Knock Three Times.

Daniel also gave a storming performance of Tony Christie’s Amarillo to end the first half of the night. He constantly encouraged the audience to join in with the songs – and even turned the house lights on them every now and again.

The second half of the show included a medley of hits as a tribute to Daniel’s friend Sir Cliff Richard, with a heartfelt version of Miss You Nights being the standout.

Mary Duff, who regularly performs with Daniel, joined him in an Irish folk duet, and also performed several country standards on her own during the night, getting a warm reception.

Daniel was also backed by a great band, including an accordion player who added a lot to the show.

It all added up to a great night – and hundreds of Suffolk fans can’t wait until Daniel returns to the Regent!

JUDY GEATER

Hundreds of ecstatic fans from across Suffolk ventured to Ipswich to see legendary Irish crooner Daniel O’Donnell.

Dedicated followers descended on the Regent Theatre to see the singer, who has performed in the town on numerous occasions.

Last night, he performed a selection of songs from his latest album, Country Boy to a sold out crowd.

Excited fan Eileen Bray, of Colchester, said she had seen the crooner on many occasions.

She said: “I’ve seen him perform nine times – I think he’s such a good singer and it’s always an enjoyable show.”

Anita Sealey, of Shotley, added: “He’s just a lovely man, his shows are always great and he’s very dedicated to his fans.”

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