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Showing posts from March, 2024

2024-03-27 Mothers Against Genocide Protest - RCS Dublin

Another week, another protest against the destruction, devastation and genocide that is taking place in Palestine. How anyone can look on and think that the indiscriminate murder of innocent children is okay and say it's just collateral damage, I will never, ever understand. Those who do this have no heart, have no soul, have no compassion and have no mercy. That night, outside the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, Irish Health Workers and Mothers Against Genocide held a vigil to honour their brothers and sisters who have died in Palestine, most recently in Al-Shifa, and to protest against the barbaric destruction of Palestine. Later, as I stood watching, a drunk man came rambling by, muttering to himself.  He stopped to speak with me, he said "The babies, the poor babies, the poor innocent babies.  Do they have no compassion?" They being the IDF.  He then went on to tell me that he'd buried his first grandchild, just 5 months old, 3 weeks previous.   No one deserv

2024-03-24 Arlene Bailey - Moat Theatre, Naas

I've known Arlene for a few years...  Without being too exact, we are talking about the pre-grunge times, so yeah, a few years. I'm quite lucky to count among my friends, many musicians, performers and singers and there is something quite magical about watching them perform.  I get an immense feeling of pride in them, and, watching Arlene perform tonight, was no different. It's no easy thing to sell out the Moat Theatre in Naas, and, contrary to what you might believe, being a local artist doesn't make it any easier, but the theatre was packed tonight with friends, family and fans, all out for a good time. I suppose the main question is, did they have a good time?  Well, the answer is yes, oh yeas indeed.  From the moment Arlene ran on stage in a straight jacket, to a duet with Niamh Strong and onto the final encore, the audience sang, clapped and toe tapped along. A great night! Just a quick word on supporting your friends in the arts.  If you get the chance to catc

2024-03-23 Bandamonium - Judge Roy Beans, Newbridge

I headed over to Judge Roy Beans in Newbridge last weekend for the inaugural Bandamonium show.  What's Bandamonium I here you ask. Well, on Saturday night, it was all about three young bands, The Hex , Barrfite and Ritalin .  I'd heard of The Hex before, but the other two bands were totally off my radar and I'd no idea what to expect.  The stage, normally at high level, was moved to the floor to allow the crowd interact more easily with the bands, and it worked out a treat!   So, the bands, were they any good?  They were indeed.  They were all loud and rocking, but I think my favourite were The Hex and their fantastic track, Ethanol . All in all, a good night of Rock n' Roll, and I'm looking forward to Bandamonium 2! The Hex Barrfite Ritalin

2024-03-16 Ciaràn Moran - The Grand Social, Dublin

It turns out that it's been almost a year to the day since I last caught Ciaràn Moran live.  That was at The Cobblestone in Smithfield back in March 2023.  There were a couple of gigs I meant to get to, but for one reason or another, I just couldn't get there.  This time though, the gig was in The Grand Social, a great venue just over by the Ha'penny Bridge, and I was not going to miss this show! I've spoken in a previous post about how myself and Ciaràn came about, so I'll not rehash it here, but it's been an absolute joy to watch him progress the way he has.  I thought he was good when I saw him in the Underground, Dublin back in 2019 and I'm happy to say I wasn't wrong! Tonight, in front of a packed house of adoring fans, friends and family, he put on a great show.  The setlist featured. amongst many others, Follow Your Soul (my favourite), Too Hard on Myself , Life Inner City and the beautiful Mother .  Also in the mix were covers of Irish standa

2024-03-15 Wake The Show - The National Stadium, Dublin

So, how did I end up at Wake The Show ?  Well, that's simple.  A friend of mine called and was telling me about the show and how I really should go see it and how it was very photographic and that I'd love it.  I was sold on it, so, as soon as I hung up the call, and not knowing anything more about the show, I went and booked a ticket. It's strange going to a show or a gig these days without a camera, but that's what I did last night.  I think the last time I did it was for Bono's show, " Stories of Surrender ", on Broadway.  Mind you, that was an enforced policy, tonight's show was a personal choice! Now, had I known that the audience were actively encouraged to take photos (no flash photography though, and definitely no video), I might just have brought my small Sony DSC-HX60 , but I didn't, so I didn't. Anyway, what was Wake The Show all about?  Well, they explained that is was based on the Irish Wake.  Now, I've been to many a wake and

Why did I cancel my Spotify account?

Earlier today, Mark Graham , Podcaster. Music Lecturer and ex of King Kong Company, posted on his socials some reasons why you might stop supporting Spotify, and it reminded me why I made that decision back in 2020. So, why did I cancel my Spotify account 4 years ago?  And, just what did I do to fill its space?  Let me explain... In 2020, I'd read an interview with Daniel Ek, Spotify CEO, and in it, he made some rather disparaging remarks about musicians.  I thought to myself, why would I give my hard earned money to Spotify, if this is how they feel about musicians, my friends, who continuously feed Spotify with new music. I did, however, keep my free Spotify account.  I used it to pre-save and share music from my musician friends. Then, in 2021, it was found that Ek, via his investment company Prima Materia, had invested €100million into European Defence AI company, Helsing.  Whilst I do understand the need for defence, I'm just not a big fan of profiting off the war machi

2024-03-02 Mothers Against Genocide - Dalymount Park, Dublin

I'm not much of an activist.  In my youth, I was involved with a campaign to shutdown Sellafield, I joined Greenpeace and Amnesty International , but as I grew older, I became more self-centred.  It was Celtic Tiger times, all we cared about was the next bottle of champagne, the next foreign holiday and spending money stupidly. Those times are gone now and I'll be paying off that Champagne till the day I die, but thankfully, now that the stupidity has ended, it allows me time and space to think about others.  I'm still not much of an activist, but I will do what I can. I have, for many years, had a stick in my arse about Israel and it's behaviour in Palestine.  The two tier society, the savage beatings of children and the elderly, the constant stealing of land...  All in the name of Israel and under the banner of "we must protect Israel".  We watched, from afar, as destruction rained on the people of Palestine.  It very much reminded me, and indeed many Irish