Review: Daniel O’Donnell, Sheffield City Hall

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HOW did I know I was not at a Take That concert? The sea of grey heads could have been a giveaway. Mainly ladies of a certain age.

Rarely has there been an artiste so much in tune with his fans as Daniel O’Donnell. Ever the professional, he knows exactly what they want and he doesn’t disappoint.

This wasn’t so much a concert as a party in his front room. He knows his most fervent fans by name. Many on the first few rows had camped out for up to a week to secure tickets.

And there is no denying his appeal. He’s definitely kissed the Blarney Stone and is in amazing shape for one nearing his 50th birthday.

His repertoire is extensive and varied and here included old classic Irish ballads like The Fields Of Athenry, The Isle of Inisfree and Danny Boy. Then there was the Elvis tribute and a rock ‘n’ roll medley with That’ll Be The Day and Let’s Dance, which had fans screaming, especially when he burst onto the stage in silver lame jacket and black skin tight leather trousers.

Add in the jokes, repartee with his band - most having been with him for well over 20 years - energetic dancing, some wonderful duets with the lovely Mary Duff, a star in her own right, footage of his mother re-visiting her old home in Ireland, and amazingly his wedding video, and you can see why fans feel that they are part of his family.

Monica Dyson