John Spillane - Oriel Centre Dundalk Gaol 22nd September 2018
He began with Princes Street and then into the fiercely depressing (his words, not mine) "You're The Only One For Me". Everytime John speaks to the audience they are attentive and engaged. He exudes a natural charisma and is genuinely a brilliant storyteller. He then treated the Dundalk crowd with an Irish language song "Rinn Na Mara" which was enchanting to say the least. After each song, John assures the audience that he is doing a great job which nobody disagrees with.
Given the venue, "I Want To Set You Free" is particularly relevant. John tells the audience about his former work as a music teacher in prisons which was the inspiration behind the song.
"Johnny Don't Go To Ballincollig" is up next followed closely by the retort "Beautiful Ballincollig". It's at this point that John decides to treat the audience to a collection of his jingles. One for a car park, one for potatoes and then the brilliantly short "Martin's Mad About Fish".
Another couple of tracks from John's Irish language repertoire sooth the crowd. The songs are given even more life through the stunning acoustics of the building. John then delves into the Hit Factory again with "Passage West" and "The Ballad Of Patrick Murphy", both are songs about the place he calls home. "Dunnes Stores Girl", "Slieve Gullion" and "Magic Nights In The Lobby Bar" bring the night towards the end but not before a rip roaring rendition of "Óró Sé do Bheatha Bhaile" which could have blown the walls off the building much like 1922.