Category Archives: Music

‘Cornucopia’ – under the sea with Bjork


The Bjork concert at the Point Depot last night was quite unlike any gig I have ever been to. On the way in to the vast arena (which currently styles itself as the 3Arena) I had no idea what to expect. My companion had warned me that there was no support act and that apparently the show (which is called ‘Cornucopia’) would start on time at 8pm. Glancing around I could guess that most of the audience was – like myself – of a mid-season vintage. We took our seats in block H which is located slightly to the left of the stage and waited. Continue reading ‘Cornucopia’ – under the sea with Bjork

‘In the end’ with Noel Hogan


The town of Dun Laoghaire was the host this weekend, to the Dun Laoghaire Vinyl Festival. While I remember my first ever vinyl record – the 7″ single of ‘The Riddle’ by Nik Kershaw as a child way back in the 1980s, I wouldn’t be a collector of vinyl. I was aware of the festival because I follow an old sociology lecturer of mine from my University of Limerick days – Eoin Devereux – on social media. He announced that he would be interviewing Noel Hogan from the Cranberries, about the recording and release of the Cranberries final album ‘In the end’, after Dolores’ untimely passing. Continue reading ‘In the end’ with Noel Hogan

Sinead O’Connor at Vicar Street – utterly brilliant


Sinead O’Connor performed in Vicar Street on Sunday night – the fifth night of her 2019 Irish tour, and her first in her hometown of Dublin. I was in attendance, having hauled my old bones from bed early on the morning the day the tickets went on sale, to ensure I got one. Some people had said there was no need to be so keen, as surely it would be easy to access tickets. I knew otherwise. Having seen her on three previous occasions (twice in Paradiso Amsterdam and once in Melkweg Amsterdam) I knew that these tickets would be like gold dust. Anyone who has witnessed Sinead live previously would be back for a repeat performance. Of this I was sure. Continue reading Sinead O’Connor at Vicar Street – utterly brilliant

Theatrical: ‘Redemption Falls’


When I read ‘Star of the sea’ by Joseph O’Connor earlier this century, I was astonished. That brilliant book concerned a murder committed on a coffin ship sailing from Famine-stricken Ireland to the New World. A semi-sequel ‘Redemption Falls’ was published some years later in 2007. I was in the American Book Center in Amsterdam on the day of release such was my anticipation. To my horror I loathed it – finding it turgid, incomprehensible and very, very dull. It was a huge disappointment – thankfully it was only a blip on O’Connor’s illustrious output and I loved his subsequent books ‘Ghost light’ and ‘The thrill of it all’. Continue reading Theatrical: ‘Redemption Falls’

Theatrical: ‘Kinky Boots’


Last night for the second night in a row I was at the theatre– my fourth trip in the past fortnight. Sadly, in this instance I had to actually pay for my ticket – unusual having developed a cunning skill of sourcing freebies. As one would only hope – I go so often to the theatre, that my diet would consist of congealed bread and dripping with a side order of gruel, if I had to pay for all these tickets. Last night I went full Broadway, attending ‘Kinky Boots’ in the unfortunately named Bord Gais Energy Theatre (which thankfully has been re-christened as the ‘Bored Gays Theatre’ by some wags thanks to the fact that it shows big West End shows – in RingsEnd). Continue reading Theatrical: ‘Kinky Boots’

A night at the opera: ‘The Hunger’


The Irish Famine of 1845 to 1849 is one of those catastrophic events whose aftermath is still felt in the modern day – Ireland remains one of the only countries in Europe (perhaps the only country?) whose 2019 population remains considerably lower than it was in 1840. Its effects still resonate. Modern day Ireland speaks English as a native language thanks to the almost fatal blow dealt by The Famine to the Irish language – the tongue remaining on state subsidised life support ever since; with only a tiny percentage of people who still speak it as their mother tongue. It is a difficult subject to discuss neutrally because of an ongoing discussion on how much the effects of the natural disaster of the potato blight, are directly attributable to centuries of English colonialism – a subject which seems largely swept under the rug in that fair land. Continue reading A night at the opera: ‘The Hunger’

Concert review: The wondrous kd lang


After my recent shenanigans in Canada I was happy – on the week of my return – to have a concert by kd lang to look forward to. Don’t ask me why kd uses the diminutive to spell her name as I have no idea – but as she has always done so, I will follow suit. Last night was the second night of her Irish engagement in the National Concert Hall. I was in like Flynn. It’s lucky that I even heard about it. The National Concert Hall does not sell tickets through Ticketmaster – an automatic plus for the venue – so it was by chance that I heard about the shows on the tram when I bumped into a friend and her wife, who informed me. Continue reading Concert review: The wondrous kd lang

Frankie Says Relax


An email was distributed to all staff last week. Was anyone interested in a complimentary weekend pass for the inaugural Forever Young Festival, being held in the grounds of the Palmerstown House Estate this weekend? This was a festival that consisted of music acts from the 1980s. That was partly my era – well I was only five years old when the decade began so I’d be more of a late 80s kind of musical child. I was a bit ambivalent as I was already seeing Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott from the Beautiful South on Friday evening in Trinity College.  Nevertheless I expressed my interest. To my surprise I received an email to state that I could have one pass – no companion pass for me. Even going to bed after the fantastic concert on Friday night, I was unsure of my movements on Saturday. Continue reading Frankie Says Relax

Sophie Ellis-Bextor: The most electrifying night in the history of show business


Lost in a YouTube loop some months ago, a Sophie Ellis-Bextor playlist began. She’s had some banging tunes I thought to myself (not actually true – the phrase ‘banging tunes’ has never once crossed my pursed lips in my time on the planet). But some really excellent pop songs. And so many of them (a quick search revealed that she is now on her seventh album). So when I heard some weeks later that she was playing a gig in my favourite concert venue in Dublin – Vicar Street – I immediately bought a pair of tickets. I didn’t know who I’d be going with, but finding a partner in crime for gigs or theatre isn’t usually a problem. Continue reading Sophie Ellis-Bextor: The most electrifying night in the history of show business