Concert Review – Keith Donnelly

Keith Donnelly – Lichfield Guildhall – Friday January 10th 2020

Words by Ben Macnair

Photography by Dave Jones

With a storied career that has seen him playing Festivals all around the world, writing songs for the likes of Jasper Carrott and Phil Cool, and keeping thousands of people entertained at festivals large and small Keith Donnelly opened Lichfield Arts Spring 2020 season in his own inimitable style.

With a set  that ranged from broad comedy, to well crafted songs, some intricate guitar playing, and pastiches and spoofs of some classic rock and pop songs there was something for everyone.

Whitby Town was a solid opening, a love song, but Plagiarism Blues took elements of so many other songs, using the chord progression that underlined them all to make a point about originality, and how everything borrows from everything else.

The spoof songs were well thought out with Simon and Garfunkel’s The Sounds of Silence becoming the children’s songs The Sounds of Pirates, and the singalong, slapstick Ghost Eiders in the Sky being a new version of Johnny Cash’s Ghost Riders in the Sky.

Politics were never really far from Donnelly’s mind, with Jesus at the Airport being a pointed attack on Donald Trump, whilst The Girl on Platform Three was another love song, this time with a happy ending. He encored with a series of spoof songs, that took in songs by the likes of Leonard Cohen, James Blunt, Warren Zevon, and Daft Punk, allowing the audience to look at familiar songs from a different viewpoint.

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