Liam O’Brien celebrates six years of ‘Crooning at Christmas’

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

Liam O’Brien’s annual yuletide celebration of the swing era, Crooning at Christmas, is synonymous with the holiday season and returns for the sixth consecutive year this December.

Liam O’Brien’s annual yuletide celebration of the swing era, Crooning at Christmas, is synonymous with the holiday season and returns for the sixth consecutive year this December.

O’Brien, who acknowledges that he is almost as ubiquitous as Santa Claus himself, pours his heart and considerable talents into the much loved show every year, enlisting a superb supporting cast to aid him.

This year he returns to Dolan’s Warehouse after a stint in the University Concert Hall last Christmas, while he will also perform in the intimate surrounds of Friars Gate Theatre, Kilmallock. Returning with him are the supremely talented Lisa Bresnan, Kathleen Turner and Dave Irwin and his Million Dollar Swing Band for the seasonal show.

“We celebrated the fifth year of the show by going out to the UCH last year and doing a big show with the kids and everything, so this year it is going back to its roots,” explained Liam, well known from his stint on Emmerdale.

“What I love about it being so close to Christmas is that loads of people are around for the holidays - a great night for people to get together and have some fun, sit back and enjoy the music.”

Liam received ideal training for his Crooning shows, which are dedicated to Christmas standards of the Rat Pack era, given that he recently spent a two year stint touring the world playing Dean Martin in a full scale Rat Pack show.

“That was a dream come true job for me,” said Liam. “In that case we were singing with a 20 piece ‘big band’ and I got to travel to Sweden, Denmark, all over the US and UK, places I had never been to really, performing in front of 1500-2000 people a night, which was a great buzz.

“The Crooning show features a lot of the same stuff. I know the songs backwards at this stage. Every year we put in new stuff as much for ourselves as the audience, which is great - but I would say by year 10 I will know every Christmas song ever written,” he laughs.

O’Brien and friends will perform the classics - Bing Crosby’s White Christmas, Dean Martin’s Let it Snow - as well as some newer material from Michael Buble and Harry Connick Jr.

Charity is at the heart of the show, with a major raffle for the Redemptorist’s Christmas Poor campaign forming a centrepiece of the show.

Crooning at Christmas takes place in Friars’ Gate this Saturday and in Dolan’s Warehouse on December 22.