BRENDAN Shine is a national institution, a byword for Irish music and one of the most easily recognised faces and voices in showbusiness.
The 66-year-old has been playing the ballrooms, theatres and dancehalls of Ireland for 50 years, starting out in the music business in 1963 – and he’s still going strong.
Once he was playing in a club in Cork when this lady asked him: “What about auld Brendan Shine himself? Does he get out at all?” A straight-faced Brendan replied: “No, he’s at home by the fire saying his prayers!” Thus it’s a fair indication of the singer’s comparative freshness when that woman mistook Brendan for a younger model.
Shine’s recording career is truly astonishing as he has made over 40 albums, not counting compilations, and he has also recorded over 45 singles, many of these charting at number one. The late, great Joe Dolan once famously said: “Brendan Shine has more tracks than Irish Rail.”
In 1971, Brendan first topped the Irish charts with O’Brien Has No Place to Go. Some other of his big hits were: Catch Me If You Can, Where The Three Counties Meet, All My Roads Lead Back To You and How Much Time. Plus of course the song that will forever be associated with the Athlone man, Do You Want Your Old Lobby Washed Down. It got loads of plays across the water on the BBC and it turned Shine into an international star. Indeed after the success of his most famous song he started touring and selling records in New Zealand, Australia, Canada and America.
He also recorded a German version of Old Lobby.
On the same theme, Brendan said: “My proudest day came in 1979 when Pope John Paul II visited Ireland. As the Papal party left Shannon airport I sang Do You Want Your Old Lobby Washed Down. That was a really special moment.”
Brendan also loved the song Where the Three Counties Meet saying: “It relates to where I come from, near Athlone. It’s dear to me and I do love singing songs about home.”
Another of Shine’s favourite tunes is The Rose of Castlerea, which not only has become the anthem of Roscommon, but it won the Irish Country Music Record of the Year in 1982.
Brendan’s latest big hit is Where did you Meet Her (I Met Her in the Galtymore). A friend, Cyril Curran from Peterborough, wrote the catchy tune. Shine says: “Where did You Meet her is very nostalgic as I remember playing The Galtymore in Cricklewood, many, many times.
November 2016 TOUR DATES
Mon 14 Regal Theatre Stowmarket