Tuesday 12 December 2017

Rock of (old) ages as music veterans take to the road again

Elvis Costello
Actress and singer Dolly Parton Picture: Gus Ruelas/Reuters
Elton John Picture: Yui Mok/PA
Bob Dylan. Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

THEY'RE oldies, but they're goodies. A number of veteran pop and rock superstars, including Bob Dylan, Elton John and Elvis Costello, will perform around Ireland this year.

The three world-famous musicians all announced their respective Irish concert dates yesterday.

Dylan is just one of the "heritage acts" performing at Live at the Marquee in Cork this summer, joining a line-up that also includes Tom Jones, Neil Young and Tennessee queen Dolly Parton.

The announcement came after music promoter Peter Aiken admitted he has never experienced anything like the demand for tickets for the Garth Brooks comeback special event.

Around 400,000 tickets were sold for Brooks's five-night Croke Park stint, which runs from July 25 to July 29.

"It has been amazing," Mr Aiken said.

"It is the first time that any artist will have played five consecutive sold-out dates at Croke Park."

Many heritage acts hit the road later in life to bolster their incomes and pensions; comedian John Cleese famously returned to the stage in 2011 with 'The Alimony Tour', and in 2008 he toured Scandinavia with comedy show 'How to Finance Your Divorce'.

But Mr Aiken says money is not an object when it comes to global stars like Elton John, Elvis Costello and Bob Dylan.

"They tour because they love being on the road and it's a great way to reach out to new and younger audiences. It's not about the money," he said.

Dylan is a regular visitor to Ireland, playing here eight times in the 1990s and 12 times in the 2000s.

Elton John and his band will play Dublin's O2 on December 9, while Elvis Costello presents An Evening with Elvis Costello at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre on October 16.

But at the same time, Lord Henry Mountcharles, the owner of Slane Castle, has confirmed there will be no summer concert in Meath this year as none of the proposed acts "caught his eye".

In order to maintain the "integrity and reputation" of the concert, Mountcharles decided to stand down the 2014 concert.

"An act wasn't grabbing my eye," he told the Irish Independent. "It was a difficult decision... but ultimately the buck stops with me."

Mountcharles is currently in "active discussions" with potential acts for the 2015 concert.

Irish Independent

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