September 3 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, May 8, 2014
The foyer of the Ipswich Regent was thronged last night with fans eager to see the Irish country-singing legend Daniel O’Donnell.
The singer took to the stage at 7.30pm alongside long-term collaborator Mary Duff for his only show in Ipswich before progressing with his tour which also includes performances in the US and Canada.
Many of those who attended last night came from far afield. One woman called Mary had come from Soham in Cambridgeshire but said it was “worth every mile” to see her hero.
“He’s the best; his persona, his style, the songs he songs, it’s easy listening but he can be upbeat as well, he suits all ages and all people really,” she said.
“You won’t find a nicer guy anywhere, if you travel this world you won’t find a nicer guy. He always has time for his fans, I was speaking to a lady the other day who had lost somebody very close to her and Daniel had taken the time to phone her.
“It’s the personal touch he gives them, and he remembers everybody’s name. I remember the first time I ever met him, he was told my name, the second time I met him, he called me by my name.
“It’s not just me it’s all his fans, if you see him with his fans at the end of the evening when he’s saying hello to everyone he calls most of them by name.”
Mary added: “I don’t mind what he sings because whatever he sings I love to hear.”
Almost all of the fans who packed into the Regent had seen Daniel perform many times before.
Val Johns from Wisbech in Cambridgeshire, said she’d “lost count” of how many times she’d been to his concerts.
“I was only saying the other night I wish I’d taken down everywhere and every time I’ve been to see him,” she said. “He’s very down to earth and very genuine, what you see is what you get.”
Val and her friend Marlies Hurst had travelled to Daniel’s native Donegal, visited the church where he married, and stayed at the hotel he used to own.
The crowd also included newcomers to the Daniel O’Donnell scene as well. Jane Ismail from Halstead came to the Regent last night with her mum Sue Shingles.
She said she was “excited” to be there, adding: “Well I’ve seen my mum’s DVDs and he’s a very professional performer and he’s got a nice wide range of songs.”