Remembering Meat Loaf in Moate 32 years ago

Believe it or not, but legendary rock singer Meat Loaf performed a concert in Moate 32 years ago.

The Meat Loaf gig took place in Moate Community Centre on February 6, 1990, and he was accompanied by his band, The Neverland Express.

The Moate concert, and the Irish tour in general, was organised by music promoter Tommy Swarbrigg from Mullingar.

With his star status having faded at the time, Meat Loaf agreed to embark on a rather unusual tour of Ireland. The itinerary included some small venues, most of which were packed to capacity.

Meat Loaf would recall years later: “I was the first international artist to extensively tour Ireland. U2 won’t tour Ireland the way I toured Ireland.

"I spent three and a half weeks playing in these barns, in the middle of fields. I’d think ‘Who’s gonna come here?’ And there’d be 3,000 people in the barn by showtime.”

In a Westmeath Examiner article in advance of the gig, Swarbrigg explained why he chose Moate Community Centre as the venue.

He pointed to Meat Loaf’s tendency to give “a highly theatrical performance” and his ability to throw his large frame around “with great agility”.

According to the article, it was considered vital that the venue would have a raised stage to ensure all members of the audience could see the spectacular two and a half hour show.

Tickets for the show were on sale in the Auld Shebeen, Moate, along with Musicworld in Athlone and in Mullingar outlets.

In the 1970s, Meat Loaf became world famous for such hits as ‘Bat Out of Hell’, ‘Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad’ and ‘Dead Ringer for Love’.

A native of Dallas in Texas, Meat Loaf sold more than 80 million records worldwide.

The real name of Meat Loaf (yes, it is two words!) is Marvin Lee Aday, though he’s also known as Michael Lee Aday.

Meat Loaf’s song ‘I’d do anything for love (but I won’t do that)’ reached number one in almost 30 countries. Many people may remember the cinematic video, featuring actress Dana Patrick, from this 1993 smash hit.

In any case, it seems the Moate concert was a loud one. In a notes item published in the Westmeath Independent, Moate Macra na Feirme reported on a meeting two nights after the concert, and stated that most of the members had “regained their hearing and were able to participate fully in the meeting”.

Ronan Casey from Mullingar, a former Westmeath Examiner journalist, was in attendance at the gig.

Extracts of an article Casey penned about it are included on the website of music journalist and blogger Niall Byrne (