Monday 15 January 2018

RIP Dolores, Thank You For The Music

It was a shock on my commute back from office today to hear that Dolores O'Riordan has died. At only 46, the loss of the lead singer of the Cranberries is very sad, and it was spooky considering that I had visited their website just this lunchtime to see if there were any plans to reschedule the European Tour that was cancelled due to her health problems.

I first saw the band live in the mid 90s and was a big fan, I can honestly say that there is no song they have produced that I didn't like. Like many I have seen online this evening, I also have very positive memories of meeting them purely by chance in around 2002 (I think).

The future Mrs P and I had tickets for a show at the Astoria in London and had decided to make a day of it with an afternoon visit to a restaurant prior to the show. We looked at the menus in a number of places in Greek Street and Frith Street before deciding to eat in an independent Italian. As we walked in, the place was fairly dark so I wondered if it was closed, I asked the question of a table near the front - the only one occupied - and they looked at me startled and motioned to a waitress reading a newspaper at the back of the place. She came over and seated us and while we read the menus I had a look around, only then realising that the table we had spoken to were the Cranberries! We were both wearing tour T-shirts from an earlier time so they must have been terrified that we would interrupt their meal.

We didn't of course, and left them to it. However, once they had finished, Fergal the drummer pulled out a few notes from his wallet and put them on the table as they jumped up to leave. I had to say something so went over and wished them good luck on the show. They were very warm, smiled widely, chatted briefly to us both, thanked us for coming and said they thought we would enjoy it.

Needless to say we did.

Most of the talk today has been about hit tracks such as Linger, Zombie and the much-used-in-adverts Dreams, but they are more of a band than that and Dolores was a master performer. Her live rendition of the doleful Ode To My Family could rouse any audience and their catalogue spanned from the raucous through to the pop-like. They produced happy anthems like Sunday and Just My Imagination, could get loud and angry with Ridiculous Thoughts and Salvation, be inspiring with Free To Decide and Analyse, yet still deliver heavily haunting and emotional stuff like Daffodil Lament and Dying In The Sun.

It's very sad news, but if there is anything good at all to come out of Dolores's death, it will be that more people might delve into the music they produced and discover just how good it is. As a taster, if you find any music videos as heart-warming as this for Animal Instinct, please do let me know.

Rest in peace, Dolores, and thank you so much for the great music and memories.

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