Archive for October, 2008

Oct 22 2008

Voices Singing, Let’s Be Jolly, My Arse

Published by under Blog

I Hate ChristmasAfter my glass of white and some tasty seafood chowder, I left the Hairy Lemon (I refer to the bar and not Darragh) and headed towards my DART. I have been listening to the one album pretty much non-stop for two weeks, so today I decided to throw my iPod on shuffle and see what happened. This morning’s If You Could Read My Mind was a lovely surprise. This evening I heard a nice short piece from Carmen, a decent track from the Buffy soundtrack, Lucky by Bif Naked (no, I’ve never heard of them either), and then Brenda Lee came on singing Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.


I was standing on the platform, there was a clichéd chill in the air, the wind rustled stuff (crisp bags and bits of tin foil) and I wondered…is it that time of year again already?

The streets around where I work will be taken up with busy idiots. There will be fights and tears and 24 hour drunkenness. The TV will abandon anything resembling quality broadcasting and all we’ll hear from radio DJ’s is “Sure, you can never have too much Fairytale of New York”. I hate the shallow adverts and the amount of debt we invariably accrue. I hate seeing hurried mothers and their nagging brats shouting “I want, I want, I want”. I hate the vomit on the footpath as I walk up to work. I hate Christmas work parties. They’re uncomfortable, boring and ultimately end in tears. And I hate that the ‘season’ seems to start earlier every year. Debenhams are selling their Christmas stock already. There is already an increase in ‘must-have’ toys ads on TV. I have already been asked far too many times what my Christmas plans are. Bah bah humbug. It’s October 22nd and it’s already irritating me.

20 responses so far

Oct 22 2008

Maybe The Students Are Right

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Maybe the students have the right attitude. They arrive en masse and take over Molesworth Street. They beat drums, they scream, they shout, they dance. Then they depart leaving a huge mess in their wake. But where are they going? Where will 10,000 hyped up students go? To the Purty Kitchen, of course –


Recession Session


These flyers are strewn all over the streets.

Let’s turn this Recession into a Session” – Genius!

Every Drink Now €1.99” – More genius!

12 responses so far

Oct 22 2008

Go Away People!!!

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There’s somewhere between five and twelve million people outside the door of my office protesting about the budget. I can’t get out to get my lunch. Make them go away please!!!


Update: Feckin’ students are out there now. Thousands of them…with drums no less!!!

16 responses so far

Oct 22 2008

If You Could Read My Mind

Published by under Blog,Music

If you could read my mind, love,
What a tale my thoughts could tell.
Just like an old time movie,
‘Bout a ghost from a wishing well.
In a castle dark or a fortress strong,
With chains upon my feet.
You know that ghost is me.
And I will never be set free
As long as I’m a ghost that you can’t see.

If I could read your mind, love,
What a tale your thoughts could tell.
Just like a paperback novel,
The kind the drugstores sell.
When you reached the part where the heartaches come,
The hero would be me.
But heroes often fail,
And you won’t read that book again
Because the ending’s just too hard to take!

I‘d walk away like a movie star
Who gets burned in a three way script.
Enter number two:
A movie queen to play the scene
Of bringing all the good things out in me.
But for now, love, let’s be real;
I never thought I could act this way
And I’ve got to say that I just don’t get it.
I don’t know where we went wrong,
But the feeling’s gone
And I just can’t get it back.

If you could read my mind, love,
What a tale my thoughts could tell.
Just like an old time movie,
‘Bout a ghost from a wishing well.
In a castle dark or a fortress strong.
With chains upon my feet.
But stories always end,
And if you read between the lines,
You’ll know that I’m just tryin’ to understand
The feelin’s that you lack.
I never thought I could feel this way
And I’ve got to say that I just don’t get it.
I don’t know where we went wrong,
But the feelin’s gone
And I just can’t get it back!

– Gordon Lightfoot


And here’s Johnny Cash‘s great version from the Hundred Highways album:


6 responses so far

Oct 21 2008

Blog Post Of The Month?

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Maxi Cane

Maxi Cane, a man of many words, most of them foul, is also a man of depth, a man who tells a good tale well. He is usually funny, even satirical. But it is in his more personal posts that he lets his best writing shine through, ahead of the imagery, ahead of the unique descriptions, ahead of the comedy.

The first post of his I ever read and love was Memories, in the corner of my mind… and much as I loved the hilarity of it, I was amazed by the next post I read, Snap, which was startlingly honest.

But it is his recent Blog Pound post, No, I’m Not, that has really given an insight into the man and his life. Written with such brutal honesty, without losing any of his usual entertaining descriptiveness, it is the story of how family can really mess your life up. His frankness when talking about his aunt’s alcoholism and the effect it had on him, his brother, his parents and their lives is both shocking and brilliant.

I am nominating No, I’m Not for Blog Post of the Month and I would ask you to do the same.

2 responses so far

Oct 21 2008

Apprentice Live Blogging Week 6

Published by under Blog,TV

Orla FiredAJ over on leCraic has been chronicling the Irish Apprentice and each week we’ve been live blogging the show. AJ kicked it off and then Debz picked up the reigns. The Lovely Lottie (ably assisted by her sidekick, eh, me) did a fine job before passing it over to Gav. We had a lot of fun on Anto‘s blog last night and next week it’s my turn to attack it.

I hope you can join me. 🙂

4 responses so far

Oct 20 2008

The Race Is On

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Who will have the 2,000th comment on my blog? There’s a prize for whoever does it.


(Oh, and I’m not telling you how far off 2,000 the count is) 🙂

32 responses so far

Oct 19 2008

This Isn’t Meant To Sound Like I’m Complaining

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Is it any wonder I don’t have any time for blogging. In the past week or so I’ve had a house party, been to the Web Awards, seen dEUS in concert, been to the incredible Duke Special vs Divine Comedy gig, watched copious amounts of The Wire, been to a gallery exhibition and a Codes gig, hopped on a train to Limerick, saw Jack L in concert, spent a weekend with the other family, and sat up chatting with a bunch of teenagers until 4am while watching Fraggle Rock. All of this is coupled with one of busiest and most annoying weeks in work ever. So, it’s not surprising that all I want to do in my spare moments is curl up on the couch and zone out for a few minutes.

Anyway, posts to follow will be about a few gigs, Jack L’s new album, the gallery in Greystones and my thoughts on abandoning my childish ways. I’m also going to try find the video I made of our last trip to New York… Ah, nostalgia. 🙂

8 responses so far

Oct 16 2008

“Duke, I Am Your Father”

Published by under Blog,Music,Music Review,Night Out

Neil HannonIt annoys me that I wasn’t in the best frame of mind going in to see the Duke Special and Divine Comedy gig. I had just had a bad few days and, if I’m honest, if someone had told me that the gig was cancelled, I wouldn’t have been particularly upset.

But it was not cancelled and I had bought 12 tickets, all of which were in my inside jacket pocket, so there was no possibility of skipping off home. I lifted my head up, grinned a grin and went for it.



At first, I was afraid,

I was petrified,

Dave Couse was on piano

And we nearly cried,

But then he wasn’t all that bad

Depending on the drinks you’d had

And we grew strong

We learned to ignore his songs……


Ahem, yes, we survive the support act Dave Couse (formerly of A-House), which began with promise but ended up delivering to us an irritating man on a piano with two underused band members at either side of the stage. Still, we weren’t waiting long for the main event.



Neil HannonDivine Comedy is one of the first bands I was truly fanatical about. Neil Hannon‘s quirky powerhouse vocals hypnotised me and his mixture of incredible melodies, colossal orchestral pieces and very funny, clever lyrics showed me that there was far more to modern music than boyband pop, sampled dance tracks and heavy metal head banging, all of which I saw too much of in the early nineties. His was a fresh, intelligent sound and I lapped it up.

Neil Hannon & Duke SpecialJump forward to the early noughties (or is it naughties?) and we were in the bar in the Olympia Theatre waiting for Juliet Turner to kick off. We were skipping the support act, as we were expecting Juno Falls (Lottie is NOT a fan), but then heard a frenetic vaudevillian sound emanating from the venue beside us. I poked my head in and was instantly transfixed by Duke‘s look, the music and the energy that was bounding off the stage. Beer in hand, we cheered and clapped like devoted fans. And from that moment on, we were exactly that.



So, when I first heard that the pair would do a joint concert, as part of the Amnesty International Small Places Tour I made sure to have good seats. On Tuesday night, our group took up one front row table and two second row tables in Vicar Street, and I think it’s fair to say that none of us were disappointed (no Maxi, you cannot have a refund).

Duke Special and Divine Comedy

It was billed as a duel between Duke and Hannon, but I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Both artists are known for being theatrical, so it was unlikely to be dull, at least.

The evening alternated between duets and solo tunes, interspersed with a lot of fun light banter between the duo. Beginning with Duke’s song Everybody Wants a Little Something, it was great to hear their voices complement each other so beautifully. Neil Hannon & Duke SpecialThe set up of two grand pianos placed opposite each other was reminiscent of the ‘duel’ between Daffy Duck and Donald Duck in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Okay, Neil Hannon didn’t fire a cannon ball at Duke, but both did try to outdo each other, first through music, then through arm wrestling. The swashbuckling was a disaster but their lightsaber fight was nothing short of brilliant.

They challenged each other to do one another’s songs. Duke Special did a fine rendition of Mastermind, while Hannon’s No Cover Up actually added to Duke’s already sublime tune. But it was two cover versions that stole the night. A dazzling version of What Becomes of the Broken Hearted was charming and sweet, while You’re So Vain was performed so uproariously and skilfully that I don’t want to know hear any other version again.


Duke Special vs Divine Comedy from darraghdoyle on Vimeo.


Neil HannonThroughout, Duke on piano far outplayed Hannon. While Hannon’s mistakes were endearing and very funny, there were too many to allow them go without comment. After a disastrous Festive Road (a Divine Comedy song) he said it wasn’t about accuracy but about feeling. Funny and full of feeling as they may have been, Hannon could only show his brilliance when allowing Duke to take the lion’s share of the piano work. Then he could concentrate on his singing and worry less about the technicalities of chords and hitting the right notes. Songs like Our Mutual Friend and Everybody Wants to Be A Cat really let him shine.



And now he’s back

From outer space

He just walked on

With that big stupid ugly grin upon his face

We should have all got locked

We surely dropped the ball

But how were we to know he would come back on stage at all……


Yes, they actually allowed Dave Couse back on stage. Strangely, it wasn’t awful. In fact, they all combined to deliver a fantastic version of Couse’s Endless Art. The song’s theme is something that means a lot to both Hannon and Duke. Artists first and foremost, putting the music before fame and fortune, both will have far reaching legacies for some time to come.

They finished the night with the duet they recorded together last year Our Love Goes Deeper Than This, and Hannon’s Songs of Love from his Short Album About Love – he also reminded Duke that it was from Father Ted. 🙂

Duke Special

It was a superb gig – innovative, witty and full of joy. The showmanship and differing but collaborative style made it so much fun. I am already looking forward to seeing Duke play again in November when his tour kicks off. Maybe he’ll bring Neil along for the ride. We live in hope.

Neil Hannon

Duke Special

Neil Hannon

7 responses so far

Oct 14 2008

Smiling In The Face Of Adversity

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Sometimes it’s easier to don the fake smile, the fake swagger and force your head up out of your chest rather than wallow in self pity. What does whining and self loathing get you? Nothing. At least if you fake it, you can make an effort at convincing yourself that everything is going to be alright. Throw doubt to one side, dispense with despair and embrace the world as if it wasn’t just a cesspit inhabited by zombies.


So, World, when you see me smile today, it’ll be a bright one.


10 responses so far

Oct 10 2008

The Songs That Go Like This

Phantom of the OperaI‘ve mentioned once or twice (or three times or four times) before that I like musicals. I’m a huge fan and am already looking forward to New York in January when we will get to see Wicked and Avenue Q on Broadway. So, I was very excited to hear that my local theatre in Greystones (just 32 seconds walk from my apartment) was putting on a night of music from Broadway and the West End.

Music of the Night, featuring some of the best songs from the biggest shows, was performed by Paul McGowan, Ben Morris, Aisling Sullivan, Niall Morris and Róisín Sullivan. Each of them brought something different to the table, whether it be Niall’s quirky tenor or Róisín’s sweet and flawless vocals. In the packed theatre, all the patrons both young and old, had a great time.


The first half of Act One was nice. That’s as far as I can go – it was some nice singing of some nice perennials. It opened with a selection of old style Hollywood classics such as Oh What a Beautiful Morning, The Street Where You Live and Over the Rainbow. Then it changed pace a bit with the crowd-pleasing Grease numbers, Hopelessly Devoted and You’re the One That I Want, along with Any Dream Will Do from Joseph. But it was Ben Morris’s rendition of Gethsemane that really got the evening started for me. He was truly fantastic. Jesus Christ Superstar is one of my all time favourite musicals and Gethsemane is in the running for my favourite song from a musical. I have heard countless different versions of it over the years, some had me transfixed (particularly when it last played in the Point) and some had me reaching for the sick bucket, but Morris nailed it. It was the perfect combination of great singing and a fine acting performance. That marked the start of a spellbinding run of songs.

I Know Him So Well from Chess was beautiful, the Sullivan sisters’ voices complimenting each other perfectly, and the three songs from Les Mis, On My Own, Bring Him Home and One Day More, brought the first act to a triumphant close. One Day More sounded like there was an entire chorus on stage rather than just the five singers. Wonderful.


A light refreshment later (the Guinness in the Theatre is of good stock :)) and we were back for some excellent Phantom numbers, followed by a song a song that was new to me – Princess from A Man of No Importance about a girl from Roscommon destined for the lights of the big city. It was a great surprise and I look forward to hearing more from that musical.

It was a shame that they did only one song from Wicked, For Good, because the voices were great for the roles and I was shocked but thrilled to hear them do a fantastically hammed up The Song That Goes Like This from Spamalot and then an Avenue Q song (a musical known for its puppets), Purpose.

The only shadow on the evening, for me at least, was the finale. It’s understandable that they would do a couple of tracks from Mamma Mia! but it is a musical that I really don’t like. Still, a pleasantly silly encore of Any Dream Will Do left me leaving with a smile on my face.


Overall, it was a fun night. Though not groundbreaking, there were a few moments of perfection throughout. I look forward to their return around Christmas and I hope to drag a few more people along with me next time.


2 responses so far

Oct 10 2008

What A Great Day

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Jack LThis morning I are be mostly listening to Jack L‘s new album, Burn On, a collection of covers of Randy Newman songs. First impressions – it’s a wonderful collection of tracks that truly shows how strong and beautiful Jack’s voice can be. I’ll try get a full review up over the next few days.

In other but no less exciting news, Duke Special‘s new album is out next week and have the album streaming on their website. I now love the Irish Times. I’m listening to the album as I type and it sounds fantastic. I’m sure I’ll have the opportunity to hear some of the tracks live on Tuesday, when we go to Dukes concert with Neil Hannon in Vicar Street. Until then, I’ll be content with this lovely widget that Duke provides for free:


Last night I was at Music of the Night, a collection of songs from the musicals in Greystones Theatre. I’ll talk more about that later, but I may stick my head in the doors of the Theatre again tonight where The Flaws will be playing. It’s only €10!!! If you’ve nothing else on, go there – it’s sure to be a great gig.

Although, I think the majority of people who read this blog are busy tonight – they’re at Lottie‘s cocktail night in our apartment (with optional Flaws gig). If anyone didn’t get an invitation – you don’t need one. Just come on down (seriously, drop me a mail if you need directions). Lottie will be finished her exams for this term at 1 o’clock today and then her recent stresses should hopefully be alleviated. Go congratulate her!!

On Monday night, thanks to Andy, we’re going to see Deus in Tripod. They were the first band I saw at Oxegen this year and I’m really looking forward to catching a full set.


What else? Ah yes, is everyone ready for the Web Awards tomorrow night? I’ll offer a premature congratulations to Damien on what I’m sure will be a great event. Looking forward to seeing a lot of Bloggers there.

4 responses so far

Oct 09 2008

Love And Marriage

Published by under Blog


Love and Marriage

Love and Marriage

Go together like a horse and carriage…

I was on the phone to an old work colleague earlier and she asked when I would give her the opportunity to buy a new hat. I told her she’ll be waiting a while.

So, let’s hear your thoughts on marriage. In an age where the divorce rate is ever increasing and the average age when people tie the knot is going up and up. Since 2002 the divorce rate has gone up 70%. Is Ireland turning its back on marriage, now that ‘living in sin’ is now the preferred choice? In a state where those who can’t marry are campaigning for it and those who are married are trying to get out of it, where do you stand on it?

I personally have no problem with it, but don’t think it’s for me. I grew up seeing many of my friends’ parents separating and it became common place very quickly. More common however was the number of clearly failed marriages that stayed together out of apathy, fear of change or ‘for the kids’. I never saw marriage as a positive option, something to look forward to, and I still don’t. It always seemed to me to be part of a forced and institutionalised system and never about love, commitment or loyalty.

I understand what marriage is for. I do know that some people get married so they can publicly declare their devotion to another person, but it seems now to me more about the ‘big day’ than all the days that come after it. If marriage is so important to people then why don’t more people have smaller private ceremonies. Instead, we have ever aggrandised titanic weddings (I’m using the word to its fullest) – weddings that are bigger and bigger and increasingly doomed to hit the proverbial iceberg.

I don’t think I’m being particularly cynical here. I don’t understand the huge expense that goes into these events and I definitely don’t see how they can ever symbolise what the marriage is supposed to be – a long term commitment to someone you love. I know a few married people and while some of them seem very happy with married life, more do not and have actively sought divorces. And yet this does not put them off the institution.

I don’t know. I haven’t fully formed my thoughts on the subject yet, but I do know that I would rather spend all of that money on doing up the apartment, taking a long holiday, buying a new car, anything rather than forking out thousands upon thousands for one day of drunken dancing (fun as it may be).

I’d love to hear what others think on this. Am I a cynic? Am I wide of the mark? Enlighten me.

33 responses so far

Oct 09 2008

Why Can’t All Porn Be Like This?

Published by under Blog

(I think Maxi will like this)

Buffy, Firefly and Serenity‘s Nathan Fillion in a porn movie directed by James Gunn. Ah, pass the Kleenex…


Nailing Your Wife

6 responses so far

Oct 08 2008

Does Anyone Have $45,000 They Could Spare?

Published by under Blog

Please, please, please, please someone buy me this. It’s on Ebay.

Ecto 1

6 responses so far

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