Mick Flannery - Alive: Cork Opera House 2019 (2xLP Vinyl)

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Recorded live at the Cork Opera House, September 26th 2019.

A cliché has it that you have to beware of the quiet ones, because most of the time their voices speak sharper and with more range than the loudmouths. Every cliché, however, has a grain of truth in it, and so it’s fair to say that while County Cork singer-songwriter Mick Flannery is outwardly reserved, his songs are fluent in expressing layered aspects of the human condition, its flaws, triumphs, and general uncertainty.


There’s something about live music that captures an artist’s essence in a way that an album recorded in a studio can’t. In a fleeting moment of connection between an audience, the artist and the hardworking crew, the music feels even more honest in its instantaneous form. Mick Flannery’s Alive, recorded during a live set from the Cork Opera House in 2019, breathes new life into his already powerful moment, serving as a testament to live music that feels more welcome than ever as the live industry is put on pause.

Each track, while ringing true to its original sound, feels reworked in the setting. Opener ‘Wasteland’, one of Flannery’s most poignant tracks from last year’s self-titled, takes on a more powerful rock sound than ever before, culminating in a guitar solo that feels as if it could shake the entire room. ‘Star to Star’, another stand-out from Mick Flannery, once again becomes more powerful than ever with a full backing bang on stage, the addition of saxophone becoming truly chill-inducing. Not every track becomes a full-blown rock track, but even slower songs like ‘I’ll Be out Here’ feel more layered and complete than ever before, strong emotion clearly taking over Flannery’s powerful voice.

‘Christy Skulls Hits’ is something new that can only be captured in a live setting, a combination of comedic interludes and impromptu stand-up. Flannery’s personality shines through in these spontaneous moments, supported by roaring laughter from an intensely attentive group. While the powerful live versions of already-released songs are incredible on their own, moments such as these make Alive feel truly special.

Alive is not only an example of the immense talent of Flannery as a songwriter, rather one of the impact of touring as a full band. With all proceeds evenly split among the band and engineers, it’s an amazing dedication to the spontaneity and energy of playing a sold-out hometown show. The best way to take it all in is by closing your eyes, blasting the album, and picturing yourself in your favourite venue, surrounded by like-minded people and one of the hardest-working touring artists in Ireland.

By: Ingrid Anglo

A1 Wasteland
A2 There Must Be More
A3 Take It On The Chin
A4 Get What You Give
B1 One Of The Good Ones
B2 I'll Be Out There
B3 Boston
B4 How High
C1 Christy Skulls False Start
C2 In The Gutter
C3 Christy Skulls Hits
C4 Come Find Me
C5 Star To Star
D1 Red To Blue
D2 No Way To Live
D3 Small Fire
D4 I Own You

Catalogue Number: RRV003

Record Label: Rosaleen Records