Finbar says all the Wright things ahead of INEC show this month

Fergus Dennehy talks to Finbar Wright, one third of ‘The Irish Tenors’ ahead of the group's upcoming show in the INEC on Sunday January 13. Finbar talks about his love of performing, his delight at returning to the INEC and more

The Irish Tenors including Finbar Wright (left)
The Irish Tenors including Finbar Wright (left)

His list of accomplishments is as long as my arm but for the one and only Finbar Wright, his almost 20 year association with 'The Irish Tenors' still remains one of the great achievements of his illustrious career.

Finbar Wright, Anthony Kearns, and Ronan Tynan have been touring together as 'The Irish Tenors' since 1999 and now, on January 13, the much loved band will celebrate their 20 year anniversary with a show in the INEC in Killarney.

They have had sold-out shows at Radio City Music Hall, Sydney Opera House, Carnegie Hall, The Hollywood Bowl, and major concert halls throughout the world; selling over a million CD's and DVD's in the process.

Finbar took the time last month to speak to us here in The Kerryman about the groups upcoming show and why he and the group love coming back to Kerry to perform.

"It's great to be coming back again and doing these songs and these shows because there has been a lot of demand for them. We're in the Concert Hall in Dublin for three nights before the INEC but I think that the INEC show is the one that everybody, especially a lot of American fans, are looking forward to. It'll be good fun," he said.

"It's a joy for us to be doing it. We're always performing with a full orchestra and when you do have that full orchestra and singing those Irish tunes, it's another world up there," he continued.

Twenty years on from their first tour, Finbar, in the clear sign of a man still loving what he's doing, admits that the past two decades have just gone by in a flash.

"The years have flown by," he laughed, "the phones keep ringing, the agents keep calling and the shows and concerts keep going."

"There's no stopping it. It's been great fun and the songs are songs that we all still know and love. It always amazes me that even today you can go into a pub or a wedding and people of all ages are still singing the same songs," he said.

After such a sustained period of success for not just the band, but for Finbar as a performer in his own right, no-one could begrudge the now 61-year old singer the chance to take his foot off the pedal and slow down, but the man himself is not having any of it.

He is determined to keep going for one simple reason: he loves his audience.

"It's all about the audience really. We've obviously done the recording music part and the TV shows but it's the live shows that make all the difference. People come in and let's say that they have two hours to forget about everything else in the world and enjoy the music, enjoy the effect the music has on them, the joy, the emotion everything. That's what I feed off, that's what I love," he said.

"I get so many letters off of people telling me how our songs are important to people. Some are sad stories and some are happy ones. They are all special though none the less," he continued.

I remember the writer, Fergus Finlay, writing in one of the nationals about when his father-in-law was dying. They were all in the room and he said that in the background playing was one of his favourite songs, which was my own song 'Softly As I Leave You'. It doesn't get any more poignant than that," he said.

Finbar and the rest of the Tenors are set to appear on stage on the night of Sunday January 13; tickets are on sale from the INEC website and are set to cost either €44.05, €54.65, €65.45.

See the INEC website for full details on the show; don't miss out on this special homecoming tour.