David Bowie songs being performed in Irish at Dún Laoghaire gig

David Bowie Image copyright Reuters
Image caption David Bowie was an inspiration to the artists performing the concert

David Bowie, who died earlier this year, will be remembered in a very unique way in Dún Laoghaire on Friday evening.

Liam Ó Maonlaí, the lead singer of the Hothouse Flowers, will perform some of his songs in Irish along with the Brad Pitt Light Orchestra.

Those watching a group of musicians rehearsing for Friday night's gig in a hotel ballroom would almost certainly recognise the tunes.

However, the words would probably have seemed a little different.

That's because they were listening to Space Oddity in Irish, or as Gaeilge, as is said in the Irish language.

And while David Blake was doing main vocals on the song, the best known of the performers was Liam Ó Maonlaí.

He said all the performers were greatly influenced by the musical and visual artist that was David Bowie.

None of them needed encouragement to honour his memory, although Ó Maonlaí also had personal reasons for doing so.

"A girlfriend of mine introduced me to his music and unfortunately she's no longer with us," he said.

Image caption Rehearsals have been taking place in a Dún Laoghaire hotel ballroom

"There's one song, Win, which we perform and that has a special connection with me for this person. I had many reasons for wanting to do this show. So, when I got a call I just said yes."

The songs, with their many metaphors, were translated into Irish by the poet, Gabriel Rosenstock, to whom the musicians and Liam Carson, the director of Imran, the Irish language Literature Festival, have paid tribute.

Mr Carson, who helped organise the concert, said the songs will cover Bowie's many changing phases.

"We're doing a range of songs all through Bowie's career, from the very early albums like Space Oddity and Hunky Dory," he said.

"We're zoning in on the Berlin ones like Heroes, Station To Station and Low.

"We have two songs from his last album. We've got some of his soul period and China Girl. So we're covering all the bases."

Liam Ó Maonlaí said Bowie's work is so perfect it doesn't need translating, but as a Gaeilgeoir or Irish speaker, he adds, he couldn't pass up on this opportunity.

Image caption Liam Ó Maonlaí said he also had a personal reason for paying tribute to Bowie

"Some say Irish is a Sanskrit language in that it relates to the shape and sound that the sound creates and the language evokes the land from which it came," he said.

"It's an indigenous language. So, it's always interesting for me to do anything in the Irish language. I always find it inspiring."

Although there are no dates yet the musicians and organisers hope to be able to bring the show north of the Irish border in the not too distant future.

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