Saturday 25 October 2014

Stars come out in force for cancer-stricken Christy

Sam Griffin

Published 22/06/2013 | 05:00

Aslan frontman Christy Dignam, in front, and guests at Dublin's Olympia Theatre for 'A Night for Christy'.
Aslan frontman Christy Dignam, in front, and guests at Dublin's Olympia Theatre for 'A Night for Christy'.
Mary Black, son Danny O'Reilly, daughter Roisin O
Mary Black, son Danny O'Reilly, daughter Roisin O
Gavin Friday
Gavin Friday

THE stars of the Irish music industry turned out in force for a special gig in honour of Christy Dignam at the Olympia Theatre in Dublin.

'A Night for Christy' was organised for the Aslan frontman who is facing mounting medical costs as he fights a rare form of blood cancer.

Among those performing at the gig were Bressie, Shane MacGowan, Paul Brady, Mary Black, Jedward, Gavin Friday, Jerry Fish, Danny O'Reilly from the Coronas, Don Mescall, Steve Wall and Ryan Sheridan, who all gave their interpretations of Aslan classics.

U2 performed via a link-up to the delight of the 1,650 Aslan fans packed into the Olympia.

Christy's daughter, Kiera, who gets married next week, said her father had been lifted greatly by the gig and the rehearsals of the past few days.

"The last couple of days he's been in great form, and during the rehearsals he looked great," said Kiera.

"We were a bit concerned that by the time the gig came around he might struggle a bit, but he's loving it all."

Kiera herself performed, but despite the high-profile celebration she joked that her nerves were nothing compared with her upcoming wedding, which she said was the "really big deal".

Paul Walsh, lead singer with Royseven, opened the night with 'This Is' and paid tribute to 'Crazy World' singer Christy, who he said, gave him his "first ever proper pep talk".

"I think it's testament to the admiration and respect that everyone holds for Christy when you see so many artists wanting to be a part of this," he said.

"We could have sold out another five nights."

Tickets for the gig sold out within 24 hours of being released. All the money raised will go towards funding chemotherapy for the star.

Choice music award winner Gavin James sang the Aslan favourite, 'Chains', and was the third act on stage.

Beforehand, he said he would be "incredibly nervous" but added that it was a great occasion and a "great thing to do".

"Christy is such a popular guy, I think we could have sold out the 02," he said.

Jedward said they were delighted to help out, though they added that they had never met Finglas man Christy before.

The twins also made a special plea for music fans throughout the country to buy and download Aslan records in an effort to get them back into the charts.

"It would be a great tribute to Christy if Aslan were in the charts, so everyone should download their tracks.

"That would be awesome," they said.

Irish Independent

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