In 1997, persistent heart trouble prompted Christy Moore to announce his retirement from live performance. Two years later, he was able to return to the stage briefly before a recurrence of the illness forced him to cancel all scheduled appearances, acknowledging again that his days as a live performer were probably over. If so, the Irish folk world's considerable loss is mitigated slightly by the fact that Christy's masterful 1994 concert album Live at the Point remains as a testament to his extraordinary gift for entertaining audiences. Moore has always been the sort of artist who records albums in support of his live act, not the other way around. A lot of his songs are written with an audience in mind, as was the opening "Welcome to the Cabaret," heard here in a smoldering rendition that makes the 1990 studio recording seem tepid in contrast. It is one of many laugh-out-loud funny performances on the record. Among the others are the anti-drinking song "Delirium Tremens" (in which Moore bids "goodbye to the port and brandy, to the vodka and the stag"), the football fan ballad "Joxer Goes to Stuttgart," and the clever, political satire "The Knock Song," about an unlikely airport in small town Ireland ("Did NATO donate the dough me boys?"). These rollicking comic numbers are interspersed with passionate political anthems ("Go, Move, Shift" "Natives") and quiet traditional ballads ("Black is the Colour," "Cliffs of Dooneen"). There is an energy, a joie de vivre to this recording that is sometimes missing from Christy's studio albums. It captures one of the greatest talents in Irish folk at peak form -- something live audiences may never be able to see again.
Live at the Point Review
by Evan Cater