Reviews

Padraig LalorPadraig Lalor
Album: Ismay's Dream
Label: Black Horse
Tracks: 11
Website: http://www.padraiglalor.com

There are some events in history that have a disproportionate impact on the human condition than other bigger, larger events. Events that take on a life of their own, events where fact and legend get merged as a 'universal truth' comes into existence that is neither universal or truth. Events that are far more than the black and white on the page of history.

King Tutankhamen is one good example, a relatively unimportant king made grand by the fact that his tomb avoided being robbed for centuries, the sinking of the Titanic another, a sea tragedy without a doubt, but there were plenty more that you can't name where more lives were lost, both before and since. No one had even claimed the ship was unsinkable until after it had sunk.

Padraig Lalor's album of the Titanic, "Ismay's Dream", named after J Bruce Ismay, the man who had the dream of big liners and who, as a survivor bore the criticism of a lot of people with twenty, twenty hindsight. Some of you may be aware that this album actually came out a few years ago, but it was only recently that a copy dropped into the office and as concept albums go, this one deserves wider recognition.

Singer songwriter Padraig Lalor is also an actor and it's fair to say, that this is an album that has been infused with a real sense of drama. Lalor comes at the album from an Irish perspective and incorporates both the ship and the people into this eleven track concept album, an album that finishes, as you might expect, with "Nearer My God To Thee", the only song he didn't write and the one that legend has it the band played as the ship went down.

This really is an album about people and places, those that built the ship, those that went on the ill-fated maiden voyage, but it also deals with wider social events of the time, the social unrest that was impacting both the linen and shipbuilding industries of Belfast.

True, it was released three years ago, but if like me you missed it at the time and have a fondness for well written albums that capture moments in time and spirit, I'd highly recommend you check this one out. Padraig Lalor's brogue breathes life into the tale, telling a remarkable story in forty minutes, definitely worth a listen.

Neil King