Throughout my learning curve on the ‘folk’ scene one of the constants has been Irish band The Dubliners. Now into their 50th year and no name change…take note Mr Gavin…this superb collection is personally better even than The Ultimate Dubliners CD released in 2003 and is proof positive that longevity can indeed be obtained if the will is there. Of course you can’t mention their name without smiling at the very thought of favourite songs and tunes including “Seven Drunken Nights”, “The Irish Rover” (with The Pogues), “The Wild Rover” and the astonishing rapport (long before Eric Weissberg’s “Duelling Banjos” was a twinkle in Hollywood’s eyes) between Barney McKenna and John Sheahan on the staggering “Mason’s Apron”. In his succinct sleeve notes folk-o-phile Colin Irwin manages to name check every past and present member of the band something unfortunately I can’t do here. Finally I’d like to thank the compilers of this set of tracks for including the plaintive “I Wish I Had Someone To Love Me”. I vividly remember being in the audience at The Fairfield Hall in Croydon two or three years ago along with a packed auditorium (nearly 2,000 seats!) and hardly a dry eye in the house by the end of the song performed by ‘banjo’ Barney. Sadly last year McKenna passed away but he can rest assured that we did love him and his antics on and off stage will be sorely missed. Let’s raise a glass of the black stuff to some true legends.
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