Review: The Corrs leave Hagley Park crowd breathless

Review: With The Corrs, Toni Childs and Natalie Imbruglia performing at Hagley Park this weekend, I was happy to feel my age and wallow in 90s nostalgia.

It occurred to me recently that I might not be the young man I had, up until now, pictured myself to be.

It happened while I was listening to a nostalgic radio programme and one of my favourite 90s songs was introduced as "30 years old today".

Pushing aside the realization that the things I grew up with are now "vintage", I found myself with tickets to The Corrs - Ireland's famous family band.

Also on the bill, Toni Childs and Natalie Imbruglia - 90s nostalgia it seems is in. I only wish I still had my turtleneck jumper.

Opening act Germein, made up of three sisters from Adelaide, was a sparkling appetiser of playful indie pop.

Georgia, Ella and Clara Germein worked the crowd and their set list as effortlessly as their more experienced peers and had the crowd warming up to what would be an excellent afternoon.

Toni Childs took the stage next, sitting quietly at the front with her guitarist at first.

"Kia ora," she said softly, before talking about her memories of Christchurch and paying respect to the strength of the city's people.

Opening with I've Got To Go Now, Childs' iconic voice remains as halting now as it did when we first heard it 35 years ago.

We were blessed to hear it shine over several of her classics, including Stop Your Fussin' and Don't Walk Away.

As the sun started to dip, Natalie Imbruglia came out to remind us what continues to make her so popular.

The singer entertained and connected with the audience, making her impossible not to watch.

What It Feels Like from her recent album Firebird was an easy way to get the crowd up and dancing, before she moved through songs old and new.

These included Wrong Impression and Build It Better before landing on the hit, Torn, as a tasteful finale.

Sharon Corr, Caroline Corr, Andrea Corr and Jim Corr at Spark Arena in Auckland. Photo: Dave...
Sharon Corr, Caroline Corr, Andrea Corr and Jim Corr at Spark Arena in Auckland. Photo: Dave Simpson / WireImage via Getty Images
When The Corrs took the stage late in the evening, they did so with a drum solo that thundered through the gathering at Hagley Park, tearing the lid off an hour and a half of some of the best pop songs of the 90s.

Opening song Only When I Sleep showcased The Corrs' incredible talent. Four skilful siblings effortlessly playing drums, guitar, fiddle and tin whistle with four-part harmonies, clever hooks and easily relatable lyrics, it is no surprise they continue to draw crowds with songs written three decades ago.

The hits kept coming. Give Me A Reason, Summer Sunshine, Forgiven, Not Forgotten, and What Can I Do To Make You Love Me all landed to rapturous applause, before the band performed their tribute to Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac - a cover of Tell me Lies.

A smattering of traditional Irish jigs, including Toss The Feathers and Haste to the Wedding, as well as covers of Jimi Hendrix's Little Wing and Fleetwood Mac's Dreams were included.

With more hits - Runaway and Breathless - as encores, it was an evening that won't be forgotten.

And if growing up in the 90s means I am indeed an old fella, at least I can happily say we had good music.

*Dan Buchanan is a music reviewer based in Christchurch.