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The Commitments arrive in Whistler

Who: The Commitments

Where: GLC

When: March 31

For the heartbroken, the luvved up and the musical, an embellishment of soul, the Irish version, comes your way this weekend via The Commitments.

The Dubliners play Whistler for the first time, and you can expect a whole lotta soul.

"The best part about playing in the band is that we have fun on stage," says Dick Massey, who played Billy Mooney in Alan Parker’s classic film, The Commitments.

"Sometimes it’s difficult to know on stage whether you’re having a good show," he adds.

The film’s screenplay was based upon the first part of Roddy Doyle’s Barrytown Trilogy, set in a ’90s working-class area of Dublin.

"Playing live shows is the best part, being on stage, with the crowd looking up at you, enjoying the music," says Dave Finnegan, a.k.a. Micah Wallace.

Expect classic covers like the tearjerker Dark End of the Street, as well as Can’t Stand the Rain, one of Finnegan’s favourites.

And of course, the classics.

"We always play Mustang Sally, of course. We can’t drop that or we’d be lynched!" laughs Finnegan,

A new LP, Committed to Soul , will be released this spring. The live album features Clarence Clemmons and Steve Cropper of the Blues Brothers, and was recorded live at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London last year.

Robert Arkins, who played band manager Jimmy Rabbitte in the film, occasionally joins them on tour, as does Joey ‘the Lips’ Fagan.

The British Film Institute ranked the film the 33 rd best British movie of all time, and now cast members are in talks with Miramax with regard to a new project. Warren Leight will write the screenplay. He has met with the cast both in London and in Dublin. No timeline for production has been released.

As portrayed in the original comedy, the link between Black music and Irish soul may seem at odds, but there are closer ties than one might think. Rabbitte tells his band members to repeat "I’m Black and I’m proud," as often as possible to get them into the spirit of the music. He summarises: "The Irish are the Blacks of Europe. Dubliners are the Blacks of Ireland. North Dubliners are the Blacks of Dublin."

Since the film The Commitments have toured the Middle East and Brazil. After a week of performing soul for Italians starting April 7, it’s back to Bahrain.

Their tour schedule is truly testament to the world-wide draw of the band, and its music.

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