Seven Drunken Nights – The Story Of The Dubliners Review – Empire Theatre, Liverpool

Seven Drunken Nights
Image Source: Empire Theatre

This is our review of Seven Drunken Nights – The Story Of The Dubliners at Liverpool‘s Empire Theatre. So, let’s take a look at The Seven Drunken Nights – The Story Of The Dubliners!

Description Of Seven Drunken Nights – The Story Of The Dubliners

This show charts the rise to fame of Ireland’s most famous folk band. It’s a musical journey through the career of its legendary members, Ronnie Drew Luke Kelly, Barney McKenna, Ciaran Bourke and John Sheahan.

The show takes its title from The Dubliners’ 1967 song. It was so controversial that it was banned from the radio in Ireland. Despite this (or maybe because of it?), the group were catapulted into a global success.

Analysis Of Seven Drunken Nights – The Story Of The Dubliners

This was a welcome return to Liverpool of a firm favourite show. The pub set was ready for a “session” with our musicians. And we also saw videos of legendary gatherings from the past in pubs across Ireland. The most important, of course, concerns The Dubliners and how they started off in Donoghue’s Bar in Dublin.

All of the cast got a rousing ovation with short excerpts of their songs. As Ireland’s favourite sons, the band sold over 30 million records. And their last official performance was on The Late Late Show in 2012, though they would perform again.


We heard The Black Velvet Band and Wild Rover to start off with. The group, which has had various members for over 50 years, then sang a local favourite, The Leaving Of Liverpool. Tell Me Ma went down a storm for the band, which also played at the Royal Hotel. Meanwhile, McAlpine’s Fusiliers tells of Irish men that went to work on English building sites.

I should note that the musicians are experts at everything from tin whistles and violins to guitars and bongos. There was then a lovely tune with All For Me Greg. Amidst this, the story continued with references to Ronnie Drew’s integral role and their name changes. Never Wed An Old Man, Finnegan’s Wake and The Rare Auld Times concluded the first half.

Second Half

A delighted audience was treated to Dirty Old Town, particularly for their chance to participate. The fiddling here was particularly exceptional. Meanwhile, Scorn Not His Simplicity was beautiful, as was The Town I Loved So Well, which was sentimental and emotional. The story covered health issues causing original members to leave. But the great music continued with Carrickfergus, The Dawning Of The Day and The Fields Of Athenry.

The finale gave us Whiskey In The Jar, Irish Rover and, of course, Seven Drunken Nights. These tunes rounded off a great night of the craic, with exceptional singing, music and dancing. It was also lovely to see a godfather and godson playing music alongside one another. The only slight issue concerned audio, as it was occasionally difficult to hear the singing itself.

Summary Of Seven Drunken Nights – The Story Of The Dubliners

On the whole, I highly recommend this show. If you love Irish music, it’s an absolute gem of a show. But even if you’re new to the genre, you’re in for a tremendous evening of live entertainment.

Overall Rating: 8.5/10 – Excellent