A Sunday evening concert at the Wellington Opera House – what a great finish to the weekend. A group of Foster and Allen fans boarded the bus to take us in to the big city, all of us in the silver haired age group, out for a night of Irish song and blarney. Going in by bus certainly makes life so much easier, no worries about car parking. Wonder if the drivers ever worry about taking these big buses through the narrow city streets? Robin doesn’t think so, as a former bus driver himself, his philosophy is “Might has Right”. Or in other words, “I’m bigger than you, get out of my way!”
Mick Foster and Tony Allen stepped on stage and then the fun started. “You will have to help us out”, we were told, “singing along, clapping your hands and stamping your feet. At our age we need all the help we can get”. The show started with their earliest hit from 1975, “The Rambles of Spring”. We had fun singing the chorus of “Red Haired Mary” who got up to high jinks with the tinker. And as for those “Seven old Ladies locked in the Lavatory”, have to admit that we all joined in to that song with gusto.
They sang a range of lilting Irish songs, including their huge hit, “Maggie”. There were a few surprises as well. We weren’t really expecting the Buddy Holly classic of “It doesn’t Matter Anymore”, or Cliff Richard’s “The Young Ones”, but both of these songs were performed admirably. Mick Foster showed he was a master of the accordion with his rendition of “The Bluebell Polka”, which had the crowd clapping and stamping their feet. After 32 years, 25 albums, and 19 million record sales, Foster and Allen are as popular as ever. Their Irish self deprecating humour was amusing, and their rapport with the audience was great. I loved their comment, “We used to be heart throbs”, they still are to all of the sentimental ladies in the audience. Those wonderfully emotional songs were performed with feeling and tugged at my heart. It is easy to see why these two are Ireland’s most famous and successful duo.