McTell is looking forward to coming back to Ireland

Legendary singer/songwriter, Ralph McTell, will perform at the Ardhowen Theatre this November will be hosting the acclaimed award-winning composer who is also recording a new album “From There To Here” to be released next year to coincide with his 80th birthday.

The album will feature interpretations of his songs by other artists including Moya Brennan from Clannad, Declan O’Rourke and Enniskillen’s own Adrian Dunbar of whom McTell says that he “sung with me at the Royal Festival Hall in London on my 75th birthday. He’ll be doing vocals on this album”.

Ralph will be delving into his back catalogue for the show but given how some artists have been known to tire of playing their biggest song, has McTell got fed up of performing 1974 hit, “Streets of London”?


He said: “What happens when an artist has a big song is that some may feel it obscures everything else that they’ve done.

“However, I prefer to think that ‘Streets Of London’ has opened up my whole repertoire to people. So I’m so grateful to a song that has literally changed my life.

“I was very young when I wrote it but I still think it’s a young song. When you get into the craft of writing, you know when you’ve written a better song – and I know I’ve written better songs than ‘Streets Of London’ – but that’s the one that people remember and I’m proud of it.

“Because it’s held with some sort of reverence, how could you become cynical about it? There was a period I went through back in the 70s where I might have dropped it out for a tour or two but it always comes back in.

“It seems that people don’t get tired of hearing it so why should I get tired of playing it?”

Ralph’s relationship with Ireland has been a close one having had a hit with “From Clare to Here” that documented the Irish diaspora in England who had come over for a better life only to find broken dreams.

He was also one of the few artists who would come over to the North and perform during The Troubles.


Of that he says: “I never had a problem in touring Ireland during The Troubles. I came over in 1969 and I was horrified to find that the same situations that black Americans were fighting against were being fought against by a disenfranchised group in the North of Ireland.

“However, with regard to performing, every time I came back from doing shows in the North of Ireland, I was asked ‘what was it like?’ and I would always reply that the audiences will probably be the best you’ve ever had in your life. I’ve always been well-received every time I come over.

“The enthusiasm and the passion for music was something else. I don’t feel any heroics about coming over and touring during The Troubles when some other artists wouldn’t.”

Ralph McTell will be performing at the Ardhowen Theatre in Enniskillen on November 8, 2023,

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