The songs remain the same for Dublin folk veterans with an updated identity
Playing guitar is akin to breathing for Dubliners' veteran Eamonn Campbell. That's why you will find him up on stage at Truro's Hall for Cornwall on Tuesday, just weeks after major surgery for cancer.
"I have never done anything else with my life," he says. "Say lung cancer and everyone thinks you're dead and buried. But I'm still alive, so this is what I want to do. My wife and kids are great, but I get fed up sitting at home.
"It's a privilege to do something you love and make a living out of it; very few people that I know get that chance."
This current outing – part of a UK-wide run of 15 consecutive shows – represents another chapter in the history of the Irish folk heroes, who are now going out under the title The Dublin Legends.
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The group that began life 51 years ago is now without any original members following the sudden death last year of banjo player Barney McKenna, and John Sheahan's subsequent decision to retire.
So the name has been changed, but the music remains the same – classic songs and ballads known the world over like Whiskey in The Jar, Dirty Old Town, The Wild Rover, Seven Drunken Nights, The Rare Auld Times, Finnegan's Wake, Molly Malone, The Monto, Hand Me Down Me Bible, The Irish Rover, Black Velvet Band and dozens more.
This repertoire is in the safe hands of Eamonn and fellow guitarist and singer Sean Cannon, who have each clocked up 25 years Dubliners' service.
Joined by Patsy Watchorn (with more than ten years in the band) – and newest recruit Gerry O'Connor (who has played with Sharon Shannon and Shane MacGowan and tours with guitar wizard Joe Bonamassa), they are continuing the legacy started by Ronnie Drew, Luke Kelly, Ciaran Bourke, Barney and John back in Dublin in 1962.
As Barney himself said last year on accepting the band's Lifetime Achievement Award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards... "It's too late to stop now."
"It's the same in everything but name and we play what everyone wants to hear," says Eamonn, who picked up a guitar aged 13, inspired by the rock and roll of Elvis, Eddie Cochrane and Buddy Holly, and the skiffle of Lonnie Donegan.
He ended up becoming a freelance session guitarist and record producer, working with all kinds of Irish artists, including folk groups like The Fureys and Foster and Allen. He says he fell into the Dubliners by accident.
"I met the lads in 1967 when I was 20 – a lifetime ago – and we were always good friends," recalls Eamonn.
"They asked me to produce their 25th anniversary record, and I got them involved with The Pogues, recording The Irish Rover.
"I went over to Germany when the two bands were both playing. I played the weekend with them, and Ronnie asked me to stay for the rest of the tour... and that was it, then.
"I'd had no intention of going back on the road, and I never would have thought I'd still be doing it all these years on," adds the father-of-six.
The Campbells are quite a dynasty. His three sons and three daughters, from two marriages and a long-term relationship range in age from 47 down to 18, and all live within striking distance of Eamonn's home in Dublin.
He confesses to missing his grandchildren when he's on the road. There are ten of those now, the eldest 21, the youngest just a year.
Curiously none of Eamonn's offspring have shown any desire to make music their career.
"They could if they wanted to, but they have probably looked at me being away on the road all the time and thought it's not for them," he says.
For Eamonn, however, there is no choice: "I might as well get in that hole in the ground now if I can't play my guitar."