Tommy makes a
return to the Forum Catherine
Millennium Forum is a regular gig for Sligo’s
popular singer-songwriter Tommy Fleming, and he returns to the stage here this
Saturday 16th February as part of his ‘Begin’ tour.
an absence from the music scene following the
untimely deaths of both of his parents on the same day in March 2012, Tommy
is back with an album and tour filled with cathartic and poignant
A return to his folk roots, the album is no doubt a tribute to his beloved
the ‘Journal’ last week he said, “This is a very new chapter in my life, and
the album does feel very different.”
Tommy insists that the concert on Saturday will not neglect the hits from his
past. “I always think it takes a year or so for an album to ‘bed’ down, so I’ll
be doing about four tracks from it, but the majority of the setlist will
concentrate on tried and tested songs that the audience will recognise.” Accompanying
the tour and album, is Tommy’s first biography ‘Let Me Begin’,
his life from a young boy growing up in rural Ireland, through worldwide tours, meeting
his wife and, of course, his musical highs (and lows).
first Irish tour was alongside Derry’s own Phil Coulter, after a chance meeting
at a charity gig in Westport
introduced the pair. Tommy recalls that as a “highly influential figure in the
Irish music industry” having Phil behind him was “the break I
long been looking for.” From there he accompanied Phil on a six week tour of America, with a gig in New York’s Carnegie Hall a massive career
highlight for the then young singer. And even now, Tommy still takes Phil’s
counsel on a regular basis. “I was visiting Phil just last week and I would
still ring him for advice. I would like to think that he’s proud of the fact he
helped me get to where I am now.”
the meantime, Tommy is looking forward to this weekend’s performance at the Millennium
Forum. “I always love playing Derry. I
remember playing in the Rialto just before it
was closed and the audience in Derry has
always been great supporters. I never take it for granted that the seats will
be full, but Derry fans are very loyal.”
Fleming will play the Millennium Forum this Saturday 16th February, starting at
8pm. You can book tickets from the box office on (028) 71264455 or online at
Welcome return for Tommy Fleming
an almost full house at the Millennium Forum on Saturday 16th February, Tommy
Fleming admitted that coming to Derry every
year has become something of a ‘pilgrimage’.
an annual stopover on his regular tours of Ireland and with a loyal crowd
regularly buying tickets, it’s easy to see why.
tour does launch a new album, ‘Begin’, but Tommy was quick to say that the show
would not be all about the new material.
he played old favourites, from as far back as 1996, with ‘Contender’. ‘Hard
Times’ and ‘Jubilee’ all getting an airing.
the show definitely had a more sedate vibe than previous outings, and this is
reflected in his new album, which came to
following the death of his parents on the same day last year.
despite a slower setlist, the title track from the album, as well as ‘The
Welcome’ and ‘The Night Visiting Song’ were all played, and well received.
Tommy, in recent times, plays with a full eight piece band, and the addition of
a live orchestra,
a talented four-piece string section, is fabulous. There’s a real sense of
hearing live music, rather than a man on
with a backing track, and the atmosphere in the Forum reflected the powerful
sound. Personally, I couldn’t fail to be
by the lyrics of ‘Christmas 1915’, a poignant track recalling soldiers calling
a truce on the front line during Christmas – well worth a listen if you get a
standing ovation at the end of the performance tells its own tale - locally
Tommy is a well liked and regarded singer who
to produce shows which inform, as well as entertain.
for as long as he continues to do what he does best, his annual pilgrimage to Derry will be safe.