The Commitments at Bury St Edmunds Suffolk

In Abbey Gardens, Bury St Edmunds, Greene King, Roddy Doyle, The Commitments on May 25, 2007 at 10:49 pm

I must say that over the years we have not had much success when we have chosen to attend the Bury Festival to watch live music in the Abbey Gardens. I think there has been 2 years of complete wash outs and 1 year when having bought 4 tickets we turned up the night after the performance.

We have had some successes when we managed to turn up on the right night for cover bands for the Blues Brothers,Madness and Abba.

Tonight the rain held off and we saw The Commitments. I first read the book some years ago along with a no of other Roddy Doyle stories such as the Van, The Snapper . More recently I have read the A Star called Henry and Play the Thing based on the adventures on one Henry Smart.

Some time ago I picked up the Commitments CD for £3 in an HMV Sale and more recently the dvd of the film. So going to watch the band completes the set although from the characters in the film only 2 were actually playing in the band namely the lead guitarist Ken McCluskey (the Meatman in the film) and the drummer Dick Massey (The Animal in the film). Some what odd all round really watching a band from a fictional book playing live!

The film was based on a bunch of Dublin teenagers trying to make it good by forming a soul band in Ireland playing Motown standards.

When we arrived there was a small space at the front of the stage but the rest of the spectator area was filled with chairs, picnics and tartan blankets. The Greene King tent was our first port of call with a pint of Speckled Hen until we realised the IPA was on special offer at £2 a pint.

There was a low key start to the Commitments as every body sat and watched and politely applauded In the Midnight Hour. It took abut 20 minutes before some dancing commenced and once the front of the stage was invaded with dancers the whole atmosphere and enjoyment of the evening was improved 10 fold.

At the interval I overheard 1-2 complaints from folk grimly keeping to their sits and bemoaning the audacity of people standing in front of them and dancing!

The band ran through a number of classic soul standards such as Take me to the River, Try a little Tenderness, Mustang Sally, Chain of Fools and Wrong End of the Street.

The second half needed little crowd encouragement for dancing singing and encores . A really good evening – Bury could really do with a large music venue. The Commitments could have done with a support act just to warm the crowd up.

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