In the 1991 movie that chronicled the rise and fall of the Commitments, the greatest Irish soul band that never was, band manager Jimmy Rabbitte carefully explained the score to his assembled group of aspiring protégés. “The Irish are the blacks of Europe. Dubliners are the blacks of Ireland. North Dubliners are the blacks of Dublin.” In that context, the thought of a bunch of pasty-faced Northern Dubliners busting out Wilson Pickett and Otis Redding covers with sincere, gut-busting bravado not only made sense but also felt right. As the band’s saxophonist Dean Fay proclaimed in the flick, “I’m black, and I’m proud.” Many members of the original Commitments cast have moved on, though there’s talk of a follow-up to the cult hit. No definite plans have been made, but these soul survivors, including original guitarist Ken McCluskey, drummer Dick Massey and keyboardist Michael Aherne, perform their own sweat-stained sequels every night.

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