Category Archives: Music

In the lounge with Father John Misty

The concert was in Vicar Street – one of the world’s greatest performance venues, for an audience. It is relatively new, so lacks the smell of despair and stale vomit, that older venues can possess. It has a capacity of 1200 people which is ideal – large enough to feel like an event, yet compact enough that you are never too far from the stage, and you are guaranteed a good vantage point. Continue reading In the lounge with Father John Misty


Morrissey at the 3Arena


The Morrissey concert on Tuesday night was very impressive. The man remains in fine baritone voice, with effortless charisma and stage presence.

Upon arrival in the 3Arena we were greeted by a huge white, cloth screen covering the stage. On it was projected the image of Peter Wyngarde – the recently deceased lothario actor who was renowned for his suave, sophistication, as well as playing the TV detective Jason King in the late 1960s / early 1970s. His television career ended with an unfortunate series of cottaging incidents in Gloucester Bus Station in the mid-1970s. He never officially came out. Continue reading Morrissey at the 3Arena

Drag my bad name down


I am a creature of habit. On December 30th last year I went to see The 4 of Us in Dolans Upstairs. I had an excellent time in spite of (or perhaps  because of ?) being on my own. I wrote an account of this gig in my final blog post of 2016 – HERE.

When I saw that the band were playing in the same venue on the exact same date this year, I decided to give it a miss. Much as I enjoy a solo gig, there’s something better about having a buddy with you when at a concert. Continue reading Drag my bad name down

What’s the time Mr. Wolf?


Every few months (on a day close to pay day) I will go on a concert ticket buying binge. I will look at the schedule for the coming twelve months; purchase any that look promising – which are not outrageously expensive or sold out; mark the date in my diary and forget about them. Until that handy little reminder pops up a few days in advance to warn of the impending event.

So it was with Patrick Wolf, whom I saw in the Sugar Club last night. I had seen him previously in the Melkweg (Milky Way) in Amsterdam in April 2011. I can remember this date as while at that concert a friend was in the audience (of which I was not aware) took a picture of me from a height, looking very moody and artistic. Having a healthy ego, I have used this picture as a Facebook profile picture, which serves as a precise reminder of when I saw the gig. Continue reading What’s the time Mr. Wolf?

Workers of the world unite: the Mariah Carey edition.

‘All I want for Christmas’ by Mariah Carey ought to have a subtitle. The subtitle would read ‘Workers of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your chains’.

Not only is it Mariah’s magnum opus – in fact her only good song – it is simultaneously extremely catchy, and a clear criticism of the excesses of festive capitalism. It’s basically the ‘Das Kapital’ of Christmas music. Continue reading Workers of the world unite: the Mariah Carey edition.

All kinds of everything in Helsinki. With the Finnish Al Porter


In 2006 Finland won the Eurovision Song Contest, when the band Lordi romped to victory with ‘Hard Rock Hallelujah’. At the time I was firmly embedded in the Finnish tribe of Amsterdam, so I was aware of the intense celebrations. This was Finland’s first victory. I, being Irish, was much more blasé about the whole thing. Ireland had won it seven and a half times previously (Linda Martin’s second place position in 1984 with timeless classic ‘Terminal 3’, is the half victory – she may not have won the overall contest, but the moral victory was hers).

As is always the case, the following year the winning country hosts the competition. So Helsinki in 2007 was the glamourous location for the Festival.

I would describe myself as a mild Eurovsion fan – perfectly amenable to watching the show, and particularly the results if it is on television, and I am at home.

Naturally I love ABBA – and although they are the very essence of Eurovision, they have sort of transcended the competition – but I would not be a huge fan of the pageant itself. A fair-weather fan maybe?

Not so some of my friends. One such friend from Amsterdam would probably be able to tell you who came 9th in 1997, without thinking about it. He downloads and listens to each country’s entry, months prior to the main event, and can predict with an almost uncanny certainty that song’s  position in the final.

Some old friends from Dublin would have been equally fanatical.

They were all traveling to Helsinki to witness the serious business of cheesy music. I was tagging along – more anxious to see Helsinki and Finland for the first time. We arranged to meet up with the Dublin contingent.

Five young men on a trip. And not a wife or a girlfriend between us – all of us being confirmed bachelors (same sex marriage didn’t exist then). Continue reading All kinds of everything in Helsinki. With the Finnish Al Porter

Steps: the most electrifying night in the history of show-business

‘So I can’t go to the Steps concert next week, do you want my ticket?’


‘I’ll give you a knockdown price for it.’

SOLD! To the cheapskate from Limerick.

I was going to the 3Arena in Dublin, to see 1990s sensations Steps! (proudly supported by classical violin quartet The Vengaboys). Continue reading Steps: the most electrifying night in the history of show-business