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Review: Chris de Burgh

The idea of Chris de Burgh recording a collection of upmarket sea shanties may sound like a comedy sketch, but alas, it's very real. And now Moonfleet -- his concept album based on the story by J Meade Falkner -- has a world tour to go with it.

According to the programme, it's "driven by a desire to create lyrics and music that can become what Chris himself refers to as 'films in the mind'".

Unfortunately, though, de Burgh lacks the talent to match this ambition -- and the result is cringeworthy.

It's not just that age has been unkind to de Burgh's voice, and that his warbling sits uncomfortably on top of dull, disjointed material. Nor is it that the set -- with a ship's wheel, an old hull and cargo netting -- looks like it's been borrowed from a seafood joint. The issue is that there's simply no discernible narrative -- and so, de Burgh's grand vision crumbles.

When all the audience has to get excited about are ventures into 'What Shall We Do With A Drunken Sailor', it's clear that something is very wrong.

Towards the end of the show, some of the popular material is broken out.

One number -- guess which -- is performed within the crowd, as a spotlit de Burgh wanders around kissing all the ladies in red.

Ultimately, though, it's impossible to get past one declaration in the programme: "We've already discussed with a number of people not only creating a film around the Moonfleet story, but also, the idea of a musical based upon it."

Pass the bucket, me heartie. I think I'm going to be seasick.

Irish Independent