Jimmy Rabbitte’s merry band of chancers, The Commitments, are getting back together for a handful of live shows next year to celebrate the 20th anniversary of one of the best-loved Irish films of all time. Today, the original cast/members (well, most of them at least) gathered in Dublin’s Liberty Hall to announce their grand reunion. The band recently met up in Dublin and once they had consumed enough alcohol, had a jam and talked about the possibility of doing something. Paul Bushnell, the music director of the original film, was on board and they all agreed that something great could be achieved. The band played two songs live in the theatre; “Treat Her Right” with Robert Arkins (Rabbitte) on vocals and then “Mustang Sally” with Andrew Strong belting out his character Deco’ trademark roar. Maria Doyle Kennedy was busy filming in LA, but the vocals of Bronagh Gallagher and Angeline Ball were more than capable of winning over the crowd. Afterwards the band spoke a bit about how and why it all came about.
Andrew Strong explained that after 20 years, people are still talking about the film, so they “want to put on a great, great show so people are still talking about it in another 20 years”. Angeline Ball spoke of how they had thougt they were making a small, little movie and didn’t realise until afterwards what a big deal it was. “Not a day goes by that someone doesn’t mention the film” she said and went on to explain that getting the old gang back together for a few shows was “kind of cathartic” for them all. They all spoke fondly of their rollercoaster experience when most of them were still quite young. Glen Hansard recalled touring with Wilson Pickett in the States and having him shout at him, “Kid, you’re playing too white. You gotta hang onto me!”. When asked about future plans, they said there were no plans to tour further or to do any recording, so these four dates are your only chance. At least until their 50th anniversary tour.
All tickets go on sale next Friday 15th October at 9am through Ticketmaster. A donation from every ticket sold will go to the Irish Cancer Society, hopefully raising €30,000. So, the all-important info is:
Monday 14th March 2011 – The Royal Theatre, Castlebar, Co. Mayo
Tuesday 15th March 2011 – INEC, Killarney, Co. Kerry
Thursday 17th March 2011 – The Odyssey Arena, Belfast
Tickets: £36 & 40
Saturday 19th March 2011 – The O2, Dublin
Tickets: €55.80 & 59.80