To spend one’s afternoon in the company of Raymond Considine is a relaxed and amusing affair. He sang with a fine Irish lilt and we all gathered around to hear him draw from a pool of unfamiliar folk songs, giving us an insight into a history of which he is evidently proud.
Though he plays the Pogues and the Dubliners, most of his covers are unlikely to be recognised by many. Considine travels across the world with his protagonists, imparting to his audience the love, loss and inebriation that these characters have undergone. The accent and husky texture to his voice sit well with the poetic tradition of the pieces. His choices range from poignancy to comedy: one moment he tells us about a soldier who falls in love with a kind stranger only to be rebuffed and the audience begin to well up the next, he leaps into a blithe and humorous number about a drunken husband stumbling home every week to find his wife in circumstances ever more suspect. He strikes the right tone, each song fresh enough to grab one’s attention anew.
Considine talks about the ordinary man as an ordinary man, with whom most people would certainly have liked to go for a pint. His pride for his history, tradition and genealogy is clear, and experiences of his own formed the links from one tune to the next. He brought us into his personal story through those of others, and it this cultural touch that made it a delight to watch.
While it’s nothing particularly new, to sit and hang out in Biddy’s with Raymond and a pint is a highly recommended period of détente in the hustle and bustle of the Fringe.