Sinead O'Connor on stage in Thurles at Feile 19
Without doubt Sinead O'Connor's performance was the highlight of the 2019 event
Sponsored by Stakelums Home and Hardware in association with Feile 19
Without a shadow of doubt Sinead O'Connor was the real highlight of Feile 19.
Her performance on the late Late Show a few weeks ago whetted the appetite for the mystical star who absolutely enthralled the audience in Semple Stadium, Thurles on Friday evening. She promised a magnificent show and she didn't disappoint as her mesmeric voice with its almost trance like wonder, had the attendance eating out of the palm of her hand.
There were many other highlights of Feile 19, but without question Nothing Compares to You - Sinead O'Connor. Her duet with Steve Wall of The Stunning was also a major highlight of the weekend - in a tweet beforehand, he described his excitement at the prospects of the duet saying that he could not believe that it would be happening. Their sound check earlier in the day had given ample evidence that their performance would be something special. And, it was. The contrast in their voices was something to behold - it was a vocal masterclass, a surreal coming together of two iconic voices of the Irish music scene when they performed Haunted. One a low rumbling, deep and throaty vocal which is instantly identifiable as being stunning - the other a lilting and shimmering expression of deep felt emotions which come brimming to the surface when Sinead O'Connor opens her mouth. "I wanna be haunted by the ghost, I wanna be haunted by the ghost, I wanna be haunted by the ghost of your precious love. Of your precious love," they sang - and the crowd loved it, singing along, with mobile phones alight and swaying to the rhythm of the music. A special Feile moment indeed.
The big question on everybody's lips as they left Semple Stadium tonight? - Would there be another Feile? The 2018 event was a great success, but the 2019 version fell below expectation in terms of attendances. Many say that it failed to capture the imagination of the general public. However, for those who attended it was a great success and whether you wanted Therapy, Eleanor McEvoy, The Sultans of Ping who still can't find their jumper, or Mundy, you had the chance to see them live at Feile.
At the end of the day, whether Feile returns again in 2020 or not, comes down to economics - events like this carry massive overheads and they must be paid for. The risk is considerable and the investing parties must be sure that they can turn a profit when all the bills have been paid. Music alone won't allow the cheques to be cashed.
So, if Feile was worth it, it will be back. Simple as.