Review: Daniel O’Donnell wows Ipswich Regent audience

WATCHING Daniel O’Donnell on stage, it’s clear to see why his fans love him.

Performing to a sell-out crowd at Ipswich’s Regent Theatre last night, he treated them more like the old friends they were rather than just another audience.

Obviously it was heavy on Irish folk and country tunes; a few rock ‘n’ roll numbers and the classic Danny Boy aside it wasn’t really the kind of music I’m into.

Whatever your taste, you can’t ignore the fact the man can really sing. Enjoyable though it was, I won’t be rushing out to buy his back catalogue just yet.

The rest of the audience, ranging from as young as ten to 90 years old, however lapped up every moment.

Festooned in badges, jumpers and scarves bearing his face; some had travelled hours to sing and clap along, cheering and whooping as O’Donnell whirled around the stage like a man half his age.

For a man who’s nearly 50, he sure can jig; step-dancing, jiving and whisking long-term collaborator Mary Duff off her feet on more than one occasion.

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She was excellent too, making sure everyone had a good craic during her solo spots and acting as the perfect foil for the often hilarious O’Donnell, who made fun of his age, his band’s age and even the audience’s age.

It has to be said there were a few more St John Ambulance volunteers dotted around the auditorium than usual and the foyer looked like a mobility scooter showroom.

O’Donnell clearly loves his fans, it’s a feeling they share and what keeps them coming back time and time again and it was heart-warming to see.

He joked with them - thanking them for getting his new album to number nine in the charts, adding “I would liked to have been higher than Lady Gaga, but nine’s not bad after 27 years - and read out their messages and dedications with geniune warmth and interest.

Even after a mammoth show, he was waiting in the foyer afterwards to speak to people.

It was hard to not get swept up in O’Donnell mania. Who knows, maybe in ten or so years time I’ll be queuing outside the Regent for tickets like everyone else. I’m sure he’ll still be raring to get on stage.


See our news section later for 90-year-old fan’s surprise meeting with Daniel O’Donnell

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