Saturday 23 September 2017

Finbar Furey - Ready to Rock Against Homelessness

Finbar Furey is flying to Dublin next month to play at Rock Against Homelessness, for a subject close to his heart
Finbar Furey
Finbar Furey
Barry Egan

Barry Egan

He is flying in from Spain on the day of Rock Against Homelessness in aid of Focus at the Olympia in Dublin on April 7. It is an issue close to Finbar Furey's lion-heart, so that is no big surprise in itself.

What will be a big surprise, however, is what kind of set Finbar will play on the night (songs from his internationally acclaimed new album Paddy Dear) and who he might play with at the show.

One of the true greats of Irish music, the Buddha of Ballyfermot, Finbar will bring the house down on the night.

He told me recently that the problem of homelessness in Ireland is something that breaks his heart and that he cannot pass someone living on the mean streets of this country without stopping to give that poor unfortunate soul whatever money he has in his pocket.

Trust me on this: if practically any other artist had said something like this, you would take it with a pinch of salt.

With Finbar, however, you can take it as gospel. A bona fide soul man, Finbar is a different species to the chancers in the music industry, generally.

As will be his playing in the Olympia on April 7. "I play pipes different to anybody," he told me. "I play in the Traveller style.

''It is very beautiful. It flows. It is like an Amazonian waterfall. It just rolls."

Rolling too at Rock Against Homelessness will be The Blizzards and Delorentos, two of the best live bands in the land, to say nothing of the mighty HamsandwicH, and August Wells.

"Homeless men, women and children sleeping in the shadows of empty buildings is a form of madness," said Ken Griffin of August Wells who are also flying in from their HQ in New York to play Rock Against Homelessness.

"A madness that weakens the idea of a decent society.

''Songs are not homes, but a lot of them are about home," he added.

Homeless musician Danny Bracken will be one of the highlights of the show (he will be accompanied on the night by that other living legend, Paul Brady, with Dave Fleming), to say nothing of the MCs - Al Porter and Katherine Lynch.

Tickets for Rock Against Homelessness, in aid of Focus, are available from Ticketmaster outlets nationwide, and cost €30.

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