In an unusual juxtaposition the National Library, as part of their Yeats season, had Gavin Friday on stage with Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill interpreting Yeats poems. Friday read in-between (and over) tunes and airs from Hayes & Cahill. It was unusual, and would have been great if Gavin Friday hadn’t let the side down a bit.
Friday needed more rehearsal & creative direction to match the soaring effects of Hayes-Cahill. He fumbled a bit; and really should have memorised the poems instead of working off print-outs.
The skilled, hard-earned craftsmanship of Hayes-Cahill was never going to be in doubt; and while Friday impressed at first with his attempt to “give voice to the inner voice” of a poet, as if from the inside, almost whispering the verses; he Friday wasn’t up to it on the night, in my opinion. He wasn’t rehearsed enough; he should have done without print-outs of the poems as he occasionally struggled to keep the pace he set going while reading; he hadn’t bothered getting the pronunciation of certain place names right, and fumbled the odd line. In contrast, Hayes & Cahill were totally in control of and at home with what they were doing. Ultimately, it’s just a pity the words of the poems weren’t shown the same respect that the notes of the tunes were.