SEAN Cannon is speaking the day after playing another sellout gig, this time in from Hjørring in Denmark, and is being coy about his age.
“I won’t tell you how old I am but I was born in 1940,” says the man who is the living embodiment of the band he plays with – The Dublin Legends.
The Galway born giant of Irish music – he was in The Dubliners for 30 years – is as popular as ever, the Legends playing to packed out concert halls the length and breadth of Europe and Britain too.
And later this month they’re in Redditch too, for what promises to be a stunning night at the Palace Theatre on March 20. as part of their ‘Seven Drunken Nights Tour’.
“I was a blow in for The Dubliners,” he says.
“They’d already been going 20 years when they contacted me to stand in because Luke Kelly was unwell.
“I thought I’d never last but I ended up staying 30 years – just the other week I was in Dublin for the unveiling of a statue to Luke in bronze with his banjo by the Gaiety Theatre.
“I’d made a point of being there because he was always very gracious to me, and then to the unveiling of a sculpture of Luke’s head in Sheriff Street, in the area he was brought up.”
Music was very much in the blood where Sean was brought up.
“We lived in the county of Galway and my mother was in a band and the neighbours sang and played, it was part of growing up,” said Sean.
When he was still a teenager the family moved to Coventry, a city Sean still calls home.
“I still go to the Hearsall Inn there, it’s like cultural society of Irish music, and people go there and play – the music is perpetual, the attraction of the music, the jigs and hornpipes,” he said.
“For me it’s got rhythm and I think that’s what people like – it’s like Dixieland Jazz out of which came rock n roll – well Irish music is the rock n roll of folk.”
On stage with Sean will be Paul Watchorn, Gerry O’Connor and Shay Kavanagh and together they have more than 100 years of performing experience between them.
There set will of course contain all the classic songs and ballads known the world over from Whiskey in The Jar, Dirty Old Town, The Wild Rover, Seven Drunken Nights, Molly Malone, to The Irish Rover, and Black Velvet Band plus many more, including modern classics like Steve Earle’s Galway Girl.
Tickets for what promises to be a Rare Old Mountain Dew of a night in Redditch are £24 available from the box office in person or on 01527 65203 or book online at www.redditchpalacetheatre.co.uk/ .