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Review: Sharon Corr at the Sugar Club, Dublin


Sharon Corr

Sharon Corr

Sharon Corr

How do we feel about The Corrs? Their success was breathtaking, encompassing record sales of 45 million and photo opportunities with Popes and Presidents.

But a halo of earnestness always seemed to shimmer around their songs and it was difficult to be entirely on their side. You didn't begrudge four siblings from Dundalk conquering the globe - far from it.  Still, who wanted to spend longer than necessary with their music,  a patience-testing alliance of twee and glossy?

The question popped into your head watching Sharon Corr, the eldest member of the group and one of their main songwriters, headlining a not-quite-sold-out Sugar Club. She has just released a solo album, not that anyone is truly interested (her new material is nicely observational and competent and that is all you will wish to know about it). Yet it was at times difficult to muster enthusiasm for The Corrs' stuff too, no matter that the tunes were artfully assembled and, assuming you enjoy uplifting sentiments slapped on with a shovel, not without their anthemic aspects.

The difficulty is that, though Sharon may have been the brains behind The Corrs, penning several of their biggest hits, she lacks the overcooked charisma required to make these old moments come fully alive. There was a reason Andrea was the best known Corr - she sparkled in the spotlight, visibly comfortable as centre of attention. Here, Sharon appeared sometimes to duck and weave as the adulation came her way.

That said, she was capable of surprises (a tilt at the nationalist hymn Mna Na hEireann was bracingly proggy). One element that caught you unaware was Corr constantly referencing her supposed 'wild' streak. "I can be feisty when I want to be," she said. "This is another song where someone severely pissed me off," she added later.

However, her revenge songs didn't twist the blade in quite the way she imagined. Ears Painted, she explained, was written as a kiss-off to a record company executive who had let her down. In fact, the composition was rather fluffy - clearly Corr believes vengeance is best served via the medium of boogie woogie guitar.

She of course played several Corrs smashes. As with their original recording, a reprisal of The Corrs' cover of Dreams by Fleetwood Mac profoundly misunderstood the source material, Stevie Nicks' chiffon eeriness replaced by Laura Ashley grey. However, she won you over with So Young, dedicated to her parents and their endless vivacity.

Followed by Say, a gauzy album track from 2000, it was a reminder that sentimentality has a place in music and that when it comes to touchy-feely bombast, the Corrs had few equals.

Irish Independent

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