Archive for the 'Night Out' Category

Apr 27 2009

I Am A Knobhead

Published by under Blog,Night Out

DarrenI am a knobhead. Yep, I admit it. I am stupid on a level so high they call it the stupidly high level for stupid people.


While out on Saturday, rather than wait for people to move or ask them politely to ‘excuse me’, I thought the better course of action would be to walk across the table. I was ever so slightly wrong.


Down I came to a crashing halt, sending DailyDaydreamer halfway across the floor and sending my ankle in a direction it most definitely didn’t wish to go.


In all sorts of pain and with the help of Lottie, I hobbled outside. I am not sure why I went outside – as far as I’m aware fresh Dublin air isn’t known for spontaneously healing sprained ankles.


And so, I continued with my evening, limping around like a fool, occasionally pausing to check my swollen ankle and my bruised ego. I survived the night, but could not walk at all on Sunday.


Today, I can walk. I am still in a lot of pain and my foot is still twice the size it should be, but it is getting better.


So, there you have it. I am a knobhead. And I’m back. 🙂



20 responses so far

Dec 05 2008

The Swell Season In The Olympia

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

Glen HansardI think, more than anyone else, my Oxegen experience this year was nothing short of perfect. We had one of the best camping sites; I escaped every possible queue; I didn’t get attacked by drunks nor mauled by drug addled oddballs. The food was good and the rain didn’t even bother me. Most of all, I got to see all the acts I was hoping to see and was introduced to some great new performers. On the final night, we had a varied choice of final performances – The Swell Season, Rage Against the Machine, Ian Brown and Chemical Brothers. We decided to see The Swell Season, Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova‘s band, in the Pet Sounds tent and it rounded off the festival for us. Their first performance on stage since winning the Oscar for Falling Slowly from the film Once was serene, simple and superb.

On Tuesday night, The Swell Season hit the Olympia. Anthony McG sorted out the tickets for Lottie and I and, after some fine dining in Eddie Rockets, we arrived just before the support act came on stage.



The Hare’s Corner is Colm Mac Con Iomaire‘s trad band, but they are a hell of a lot more than just the diddly-eye. The 8 piece all instrumental group, led by Mac Con Iomaire on the fiddle, played an energetic and modern set that would have whipped the crowd up better with some volume. It was the only downfall. They were exciting, fresh and while they didn’t have the heavier beats of Kíla (who are playing Vicar Street on the 21st December by the way), they are a band I’d love to see again.


Glen HansardThere was a bit too long of a delay between Hare’s Corner departing and Swell Season taking to the stage, which quietened the crowd a little. Hansard et al didn’t get the rapturous greeting they deserved. Indeed, the first few songs, which were sweet and melodic, were met with applause and some polite whoops. But when they played their Oscar winning song, Falling Slowly, the mood turned and it became a night to remember. Falling Slowly was delivered with such passion and gusto that it was hard not to be drawn into the performance. From that point on, we they had us in the palms of their hands.


Kevin and Mark


Kevin and MarkOne of the greatest spontaneous moments from a gig that I have ever witnessed – Hansard began to tell the story of two young guys they met over dinner earlier in the day, who were going to be at the concert that evening. He fluffed his way through telling us, mixed up the lads names and eventually blurted out that the two lads, Kevin & Mark, played a bit of music. One sings and the other takes to the guitar. Half joking, he called Kevin and Mark up on stage and with some cheers and cajoling from the audience, the pair finally make it up. Hansard and the band leave the stage and the two lads are left wondering what song they should do as we all look on, slightly embarrassed for them, praying they wouldn’t make fools of themselves. We need not have worried. They belted out a brilliant version of Bob Dylan’s You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere. Half way through the song the band slowly emerged back on stage to join in. It must have been such a special moment for Kevin and Mark. They got the first standing ovation of the night went and deservedly so. Fair play to them for having the courage and confidence to pull it off.

I asked Kevin what it was like playing with Hansard and the band and were they expecting to be asked up on stage:

Meeting Glen before the show itself was brilliant. He was really sound and actually had an interest in our music. But when he said during the gig to come up and play with him, on his stage, to his audience and with his guitar, my heart plummeted. The spontaneity of it all was just so much! –

Kevin and Mark


If You’ve Gotta Go, Go With Happiness


When I first heard Happiness at Oxegen, I wasn’t over-awed. It was a quiet song and felt too raw and simple. Hearing it again on Tuesday night and I wonder is it the same tune. This time it has a haunting feel to it. Played it total darkness, except for the heavy drumming moments where the stage lit up with the drum beats like cracks of lightning, this was one of the finest moments of the night – a great spectacle.


Marketa IrglovaIntroducing the song Once, we find out that John Carney is hiding in the wings. Too shy to play bass on stage, Swell Season play on without him and the crowd love it. Hansard’s banter throughout added so much to the night. It helped create a sense of intimacy that a venue like the Olympia struggles to provide. The tight seating, the high stage and the formality of the old theatre prevent the closeness that other venues, such as Vicar Street, The Academy, Whelan’s and even our own Greystones Theatre, can provide.

And yet, Hansard managed to bridge the divide somewhat. Introducing the song Lies, he says it is the story of “the guy who tells the truth about things that didn’t happen”.


Marketa IrglovaIt would be easy to dismiss The Swell Season as just being Glen Hansard’s band. He does all the talking and most of the singing. But there is so much more to the band than that. Marketa Irglova’s incredible piano skills aside, her voice takes the harsh edge from his and provides perfect and hypnotic harmonies to compliment Hansard. It is only when she is left alone on stage though, that we discover how truly beautiful her voice is. A stillness came across the Olympia as she sang. You begin to think that we are getting two acts for the price of one in Hansard and Irglova. His voice is about passion, her’s sounds lovelorn and heartbroken. Gorgeous.


The Swell Season


The Swell Season



7 responses so far

Dec 01 2008

8 Years Later And Still Playing Dress Up

Published by under Blog,Night Out

Lottie at BurlesqueEight years ago, Lottie and I kissed at the back of UGC cinema’s screening of Charlie’s Angels. Despite this inauspicious beginning, we have stayed together for eight years. From the early stage where no one (including ourselves) believed we would last right through to today where our friends seem to view us as that annoyingly lovey-dovey couple in the corner, I am proud to say the passion has never died.

Darren at BurlesqueLottie has supported me through some of the darkest times of my life and she has been there at my side through all of it, when anyone else would have turned their backs. Equally, she has held my hand and laughed along during some of the greatest moments, many of which have been as recent as this year. I don’t care how mushy and loved up this post sounds, I want to tell her how much I love her and how important she is to me.


On Saturday night we were surrounded by some of our best friends and there is no better way we could have celebrated our anniversary. It was the second Burlesque Night we’ve been to and we’ll definitely be returning…



Burlesque Night

Tanya at Burlesque

Darragh and Rick at Burlesque

Burlesque Night

Burlesque Night

Burlesque Night

Lottie and Brian at Burlesque Night

Liz and Niamh at Burlesque

Burlesque Night

Burlesque Night

Burlesque Night

Burlesque Night

Cait and Darren at Burlesque

Lottie and Rick at Burlesque Night

Burlesque Night

Tanya and Lottie at Burlesque

Sinead at Burlesque

Liz at Burlesque Night

Anthony McG and Lottie at Burlesque

Burlesque Night


Look, I know I took too many pictures, but I just got a new camera and I was having fun with it. 🙂




19 responses so far

Nov 25 2008

Drunken Businessmen

Published by under Blog,Night Out

DrunkIt happens every year around this time (okay, maybe it’s slightly earlier this year). As the evenings draw in and Christmas nears, Christmas lunches begin. And come 5.30pm, roaming the street like zombies are lone business men, in expensive suits, staggering from side to side as they desperately ponder where they may have parked their car.


I love seeing them. Their faces are all squirmed up in a weird expression, presumably their attempt at looking sober. They confidently put one foot in front of the other, but unfortunately their body doesn’t want to follow, so they hobble backwards a few feet. Walking in a straight line is not an option.


The first sign of Christmas is not the Budweiser adverts, it’s not the Christmas lights on Grafton Street, it’s not the first Christmas card you receive, it’s the drunken businessman with a bit of tinsel in his hair, staggering towards home.

12 responses so far

Oct 31 2008

It Was Only A Halloween Tale

Published by under Blog,Night Out

No, I’m not telling another existential horror story. Your bejaysus will remain inside you, unscared.


I was thinking, firstly about how strange a time Halloween is, how people behave differently, dressing up and embracing the macabre, and that led me to thinking about other times and festivals throughout the year – the chocfest of Easter, the romaniticed February 14th, the consumer mad joydom of Christmas. We’re a mad lot really!


But surely that’s what life is all about – embracing the wild and mad, the good and bad, the happy times and sad. Tonight, we’re going to the Rocky Horror showing in the Sugar Club and…what will I be wearing?


Yesterday, I tried on six different types of high heeled shoe in Miss Fantasia’s on South William Street, including knee high hooker boots. Last night, to try out my costume, I wore Lottie‘s fishnet tights and corset. I wore suspenders!!! How’s that for embracing the mad?


I have brought a more conservative outfit with me too, in case I chicken out -0 the thoughts of being seen in public looking like Frank N Furter frightens the funk out of me. But we’ll see…


The Rocky Horror Picture Show


What’s everyone else doing this weekend?

11 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

Sep 22 2008

A Night To Remember John Brogan

John Brogan at the OlympiaLast night was a special event and I am lucky to have been in attendance. John Brogan, stage manager of the Olympia Theatre for over 30 years, celebrated his retirement with an amazing night of music.

Over the years, whether loved or hated by the thousands of acts he told “don’t put that there”, it’s clear that he left an indelible impression on everyone he met, helping bring their performances to life on stage. Many of those performers were delighted to return to the stage last night in his honour.


PantiI‘ll admit to being somewhat concerned when the larger than life drag queen, Panti, catwalked onto the stage to MC the proceedings, but I needn’t have worried. Her cynical charm and no bullshit commentary provided the balance the otherwise congratulatory evening required. Flirting with a collection of non responsive performers, she was very much in control of the night.


The first act brought on was the Coronas, an unusual but very welcome set. Unusual because they have not had a full performance at the Olympia yet and welcome because I’m a fan and my appetite is now whetted for their night in Greystones Theatre on October 5th. I found myself wondering if they set the tone for the night. I doubted it – and what came next proved it.


The Coronas


Twink and John BroganPerhaps the only thing more camp than Panti came on next – Twink. Thankfully, she didn’t sing. However, mad as the woman may be, she does give good theatre and her very heartfelt and genuine reminiscence of John Brogan was a note perfectly struck. Funny and warm, she was the ideal person to introduce the man of the hour, John Brogan, to a standing ovation.

Dustin the TurkeyUnfortunately, John was not given the opportunity to regale us with ancient anecdotes, as he was interrupted by a turkey. No, Pat Kenny did not show up, Dustin did. Slight but fun banter swiftly gave way for the return of Panti to introduce one of the beauties of the evening.


Francis Black has an Irish angel’s voice and she used it to its fullest performing two of her classics, Christy Hennessy’s All the Lies That You Told Me and the heartbreaking Wall of Tears. Perhaps it did bring a mushy element to the proceedings, but I loved it. Truly beautiful.


Brian KennedyNext we saw Brian Kennedy, AKA Mr. Cringe, so much so that I welcomed the distraction of the loud skangers behind me being kicked out of the theatre. He performed You Raise Me Up that brought tears to a lot fo people’s eyes. I was in tears because he seemed to go on forever. He pranced round the stage worse than Daniel O’Donnell. He was Eoin McLove without the humour. The man has a voice, but why he needs to girate his hips while using it is beyond me.


Declan O’Rourke may have been a little off form singing Gallileo, but his words about Brogan came from the heart. Brief and poignant, he simply said, “I‘m going to miss him“.


The Dubliners


This was the first time the remaining members of The Dubliners have come together for a public performance since the passing of Ronnie Drew. Indeed, yesterday was Ronnie’s month’s mind mass. It brought a sombre but respectful note to the evening Barney from The Dublinersand John Sheahan‘s poem to Ronnie made up for in pure emotion what it maybe lacked in eloquence.

The tiny leprechan on a banjo, Bernard ‘Barney‘ McKenna too was a treat. His rendition of The Dubliners classic I Wish I Had Someone to Love Me was one of the highlights of the evening. Overall the four members of The Dubliners (including just two original members) were wondeful, warm, funny and enthusiastic. Having whipped the crowd up, it was a shame the evening took a break after their set.


Though Tom Dunne looked surprisingly uncomfortable up on stage, Something Happens got the whole of the Olympia going again. Loud, abrasive and very tight, the eighties/early nineties Irish pop act proved they still have it. The now classic Parachute sounded fresher than ever.


Something Happens


One surprise of the evening was how fantastic Mary Coughlin was. Looking great and sounding rough and ready, but better than ever she teased us with I Wanna Be Seduced, before bowling me over with a fabulous I Would Rather Go Blind. Ireland’s original cabaret belle is back.


Mary Coughlin

One wonders if Declan O’Rourke, Barney McKenna and Sharon Shannon are drinking from the same water supply. Shannon’s diminutive frame came out on stage and we all got our binoculars ready. Her set was more an exercise in showing the band’s prowess than her own. The Penguin was flawless and though not as well received by the audience as some of the Dubliner’s songs, it was, for me, proof that Traditional Irish music isn’t going anywhere.


Camille O'SulivanThe ever wonderful, always spectacular, painfully sexy Camille O’Sullivan performed just three tracks, but stole the show as far as I’m concerned. In These Shoes, her perennial signature tune, introduced the band and set the tone. Here was the reason John Brogan did this job for as long as he did – to see truly great performers make the fullest use of his stage, to witness spectacles and to fall in love with the show.

For John, she dedicated Nick Cave’s The Ship Song:



Brian Whitehead, current manager of the Olympia and just one of the many John has worked with over almost 40 years, brought along Maureen Grant, the bar manager, to present John with a photograph of all the current staff and a Waterford Crystal commemorative bowl. A man of few words, John Brogan was clearly moved as he thanked everyone for making his time in the Olympia great. He begins his speech with “I‘d like to tell Brian Whitehead, I’m not leaving.” Laughter all around, but there was a slight hint of apprehension – afterall, he’s threatened retirement before.


John Brogan, Brian Whitehead, Maureen Grant


The Fleadh Cowboys, a band who were regulars in the early days of Midnight at the Olympia, finished the night. Their final song, Bob Dylan’s May You Stay Forever Young, was a nice sentiment, but judging by the respect and reverence everyone holds for this great man, I think John Brogan will forever be remembered, fondly and respectfully, as the old man of the Olympia. Have a good and long retirement, John.



5 responses so far

Sep 04 2008

Quick, Call The Lynch Mob

Published by under Blog,Music,Night Out

I think the first Stephen Lynch song I heard was Baby. It begins beautifully – a sweet song about his newborn child, and his glee “as my lady gives birth today“. All is going well until he looks at his newborn and says, “Damn that’s an ugly baby; Damn that’s an ugly ass baby“.

And so goes the comic musical stylings of Lynch. Having seen so many of his grainy YouTube videos (again and again and again). I was delighted to be able to see him live in the Olympia, not once but twice. On Monday night, Darragh and Niamh brought us along to see the American comedian and we coaxed Andrew, Anthony and Little Miss to come too. On Tuesday ngiht we went with Mr Rick and an old friend of his.

The support act on both nights, Ruth-Anne Cunningham, was woeful. She was woeful mostly due tot he fact that she did not fit in there. Somebody high up in the Bulmers Comedy Festival organisational hierarchy thouhgt it would make perfect sense NOT to put a comedian on a Lynch’s support act, but instead a young pop singer. Argh! What were they thinking? Anyway, Andrew speaks more on this moronic decision here.

Stephen Lynch

Once Stephen Lynch came on stage the ‘oldest Porno Theatre in Dublin’ erupted with cheers. On the first night I was one of the whoopers and screamers. However, being that I was in one of the boxes in the Olympia for the first time on Tuesday night (gloat, gloat, gloat), I was able to look across the audience and see the cries, the hollers, the adoration. It was particularly impressive to look out at the crowds and watch them sing along to every word of almost every one of his songs.

Audience at Stephen Lynch at the Olympia

And, of course, this is one of the great things about the Internet – the global community. The only way the vast majority of the audience would have ever heard Stephen Lynch’s music would have been on YouTube or through not-so-legal downloads. He has only ever been in Ireland once before for a short time,and he has never appeared on TV over here. And yet, so many people knew every word of Little Tiny Moustache, a song about his Nazi ex-girlfriend.

Stephen Lynch

I, of course, was one of the many singing my heart out. I delighted in hearing Lullaby, his sweet song explaining to his young daughter why Mommy is divorcing him.

He also brings a bit of an entourage with him in the form of his friends Rod Cone and David ‘Joberg’ Josefsberg. The chemistry between the guys on stage is electric. It seems so natural and spontaneous even though seeing the show twice proves otherwise. Joberg wrote one of the best songs of the night, which I was lucky enough to catch on camera. It’s called Dirty Sanchez:

Stephen Lynch

Stephen Lynch

Rick has more videos.

Darragh has some great pictures.

For further insight check out Andrew and Lottie‘s posts.

3 responses so far

Jul 01 2008

Trainspotting – A Play By Devious Theatre

Published by under Blog,Night Out

According to the Devious Theatre Company:

The Devious Theatre Company was formed in May 2006 by some theatre loving Kilkennyians who had a desire to bring fresh and different works to the local stage.

After our first meeting, our objective was crystal clear: Accessible and alternative theatre for young people. And by young people, we meant the people who frequent cinemas, pubs and gigs on the weekend and who mightn’t even consider heading along to catch a piece of theatre. The people who consider theatre to be a little academic or a little too boring or even too expensive, coonsidering you could spend that money on a few pints. We wanted to show how exciting theatre could be, how worthwhile an endeavour it is and most of all, how entertaining it is.

And as for the people who already loved theatre? Well, we wanted to stage productions that would excite them. Productions that are new, fresh, different and, well, devious.

Last week, they staged a highly ambitious version of Irvine Welsh‘s novel Trainspotting, which looks at drug use and depression in the poverty stricken Scotland of the 1980’s. When I first heard that Devious Theatre were putting this on, I was both excited (at the prospect of seeing one of my favourite movies transfered to the stage) but also very nervous (I didn’t see how they could possibly pull off some of the more harsh and difficult to watch parts of the novel). I was concerned about how they were going to get around showing people shooting up, I was worried about the scene in which a baby dies, I was terrified of the prospect of seeing Spud throw his faeces covered sheets open to the room. I made sure to book tickets and gather a group to come with me.

BegbieA couple of people in our posse had never seen Trainspotting before, nor had they read the book, so I was curious to see how they would perceive it too. Thankfully, we were all completely overwhelmed by the production. The clever set (the repeated use of one couch, moved around the stage to change the seen, worked brilliantly) was not too sparse but not heavy on props, which helped the audience to focus on the actors. The lighting was very effective, a tribute to the excellent Watergate Theatre and to the lighting director, Gerry Taylor.

The music was one of the most impressive things in the show, however. As important and pivotal as it was in the movie, Devious Theatre have put their own slant on it and made it integral to the success of the show. Three moments of perfection stick out. The introduction of uber-drugdealer Mother Superior to the Beatles’ Happiness is a Warm Gun ensured the character was seen as epic and near iconic (as he was to Renton and his compadres). The brilliantly frightening scene when Begbie drags Renton out of his rehab malaise singing Talking Heads’ Road to Nowhere (incidentally, this song seems to be following me this week. It was playing in the bar on Thursday evening; it appeared during our 90’s music night; then it was in the play and again at the aftershow party. Yesterday it was on the radio at some point in the afternoon. Strange!). Probably my favourite scene in the entire play was the moment Tommy shoots up for the first time. It’s sad, it’s depressing, contained in one tiny corner at the front of the stage. All the while Portishead’s Roads is playing, punctuating the loneliness of the moment.

Music, direction, set design, lighting – all this aside, the true measure of this play’s quality was in the acting. These supposed amateurs deserve a multitude of awards for their performances. A cast which shared some roles, the eleven strong troupe, directed by Niamh Moroney and John Morton, were nothing short of brilliant.  Morton, in addition to his acting duties, played Sick Boy. Stephen Colfer played a quirkily pathetic Spud, while the iconic Mother Superior was played by Paul Young. Maria Murray, as Alison, had one of the toughest moments on stage where she lost her child during a drug fueled stupour. Tough to watch, it pulled the heartstrings.

But the three performances which stood out were Niall Sheehy’s Begbie, Ken McGuire’s Tommy and Ross Costigan’s Mark ‘Rent Boy‘ RentonNiall‘s performance was nothing short of terrifying. As the addicted-to-violence Begbie, he scared everyone he met. When he moved into the audience shouting (not singing) Road to Nowhere, it was one of the high points of the play. As I said above, Ken, in the role of Tommy, was the focus of my favourite scene of the play. It was depressing to see this formerly healthy sporty guy descend into a drug addled and then disease addled junkie. Very sad.

But the star of the show was Ross as Renton. He is in almost every scene and nails every moment. His dialogue is tough but he delivers it perfectly, especially the famous ‘Choose Life‘ speech which actually made my hairs stand on end. His incredible mix of brutal emotion with stark comedy epitomised Welsh’s novel. Ross, my hat goes off to you – you are too talented. Here he is, in character, after the play:

An incredible night overall, it’s is just a shame it didn’t have a longer run. I would have returned and I would have dragged dozens of people with me. Well done to everyone who was involved and I’m already looking forward to Devious Thetare‘s next production, an original piece, by John Morton, chronicling life in Kilkenny. See you in Kilkenny in August.

5 responses so far

Jun 30 2008

Back To Kilkenny

Published by under Blog,Night Out

My hectic social schedule continued unabated this weekend. I had a day off work on Friday which helped in my recovery from Thursday night (Jay Z concert in the RDS and random blogger drinks). Or should that be Thursday morning? Andrew and myself, listening to 90’s tracks from some old Now! albums until four in the morning, clearly needed some time to recover.

Friday was a little less frenetic, but we did get to see Wanted. A very modern action thriller with Angelina Jolie, Morgan Freeman and James McEvoy, Wanted has a brilliant mix of original action and surprisingly effective acting, for a throw-away actioner. But, of course, like many Hollywood movies today, they aren’t pitching a one-off throw-away, they are sowing the seeds of a franchise. Personally, I loved the movie and, while there were plenty of questions that remained unanswered, the essential story played out perfectly to conclusion and I don’t really see how a sequel could add anything to the mix. For a fun, intelligent action movie, give Wanted a go.

Saturday saw us hit Kilkenny again (for the second time this month and the second time in my life). We seem to have fallen for the town. It’s big enough to lose yourself in it’s winding streets and ample bars, but small enough that the natives are pleasant and friendly and you can keep your feet firmly on the ground. From its funky hostel to its endless number of live venues, Kilkenny is a town that rivals Galway for a fun night out.

Apart from finally grabbing a few drinks with Mr Ken and Rossa (for the first time since meeting them at the Blog Awards), the main reason we were down was to see Devious Theatre‘s production of Trainspotting in the Watergate Theatre. I’ll try to post my review later today, but, in short, we were blown away – they staged an amazingly professional production, with solid acting, clever set use and perfectly utilised music. I would have gone down just to see the play alone.

After the show, we hit the infamous Cleere’s for a few beers, some cheers and there was no fear of it being too dear with four beers a mere score and furthermore we let out a roar as more was poured, which struck a chord and no one was bored. From there the night soared.

The ‘we’ of the piece was Lottie and I, Anthony, Mary, Andrew and Tanya, but we wasted very little time in adding to our group, recruiting from the cast of the play.

We left the bar and trekked to Ken’s house for a house party like no other. Every room in the place was crammed with cast, crew and friends. Music blared (strangely a lot of old 90’s tracks were heard first – perhaps Ken was on a similar 90’s nostalgic trip to myself and Andrew). We befriended Begby, from the play, also known as Niall (apparently pronounced Neil) and danced the night away. Niall’s air guitar skills are unparalleled.

I may have mentioned it before, but I really do love meeting new people – it borders on being a hobby. So many unique points of views and opinions on everything, so many differing personalities, so much variety in how people react to different situations. In the space of two minutes on Saturday night, I found myself going from head banging away with a few randomers to listening to one of the sweetest voices ever from the Maggie Gyllenhaal lookalike, Jess (a member of Devious Theatre Group) as she serenely played the piano at the back of the sitting room.

One of the sadder parts of my weekend: I broke my camera. I really loved that camera. 🙁 But, I did manage to get a few nice photos of Tanya and Lottie before it broke:

Sadly, I managed to get  similar picture of Andrew:

There's Something About Mary

We were still going at 7am 8am 8.30am before heading back into the city to get 45 minutes sleep. Although, we did manage to add to that 45 minutes when we went for food and hair of the dog…

10 responses so far

Jun 24 2008

Mr Rick, Jay Z And A Band Of Bloggers

Published by under Blog,Night Out

I was one of the bloggers plucked from Rick O’Shea’s hat to go along to the Jay Z concert on Thursday evening (we may partake of a few light beverages also). Thank you very much, Sir.

He describes the event as an experiment, which inspires an element of nervousness in me, but the man looks trustworthy enough, so I guess we’ll be fine. Ahem! We can only assume that this will play a part in the night. It should be good fun and I’m looking forward to meeting a bunch of fellow bloggers: Mr Rick, of course, but this bunch are also attending:

Pedro Monscooch

The Great Green Ink

The Mysterious Someone Living

Annie Rhiannon


Some chancer called Andrew

Wish us luck in Rick’s experiment.

Note: Rick Photo by Rymus

5 responses so far

Jun 23 2008

Darts, Discussion And Delirium

Published by under Blog,Night Out

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While Lottie went to college on Saturday, I dropped into work to catch up on some paperwork (this always sounds like some awful euphemism, but I truly was doing paperwork). Sometimes work loses interest for periods of time and this last few weeks my heart hasn’t really been in it. I’m trying to turn that around and inspire in myself a renewed interest in my number crunching and PR duties.

We were home in time for food and, most importantly, Doctor Who, prior to heading out to a house party in another part of Wicklow. I have to have a big raving rant at this point about Doctor Who – it was an amazing episode. Catherine Tate has proven herself to be, not only an excellent actress, but also a perfect iconic figure to settle into the annals of Who-dom. I find it odd that I mention Tate and her character Donna Noble before mentioning the return of Billie Piper as Rose Tyler. For those who don’t know, Rose became as big a part of the Doctor Who universe as the Doctor himself in the two seasons she appeared. And her return has sparked goosebumps time and time again. The two part series finale over the next two weeks is likely to be epic.

But this week, a precursor to the finale, was Donna’s week. She carried the episode without David Tennant‘s Doctor and showed how great she could be. I was never a fan of Catherine Tate‘s comedy, but she has convinced me to give it another chance and I am really looking forward to seeing what she comes up with next.

So, to the house party. Rain may have poured upon the BBQ element of the evening, but that didn’t stop us having fun. Hosted by Andrew‘s far better half, T, we had a great meal, some fine beverages and brilliant conversation.

Andrew and I were good friends in school, but when I hightailed it out of Dodge, we lost touch (I actually lost touch with everyone from that time in my life – in order to start afresh in Dublin). Over the years we crossed paths once or twice, but only briefly. More recently however, we got back in touch and have gradually become even better friends than we ever were in school (from my point of view at least). It helps though that his girlfriend and Lottie get on brilliantly too and anytime the four of us have met up has been a lot of fun.

Saturday was no different and, along with Andrew’s brother and two friends of T’s, we ended up drinking, laughing and talking shite until 7am (MarioKart on the Wii made a brief appearance too). There really is no better way to spend time than in the company of friends.


Sunday was less about recovery and more about relaxation. We made it home for about 3.30pm and just vegetated on the couch, watching Gossip Girl. Just what II needed. In one of the episodes there was a band playing in the background, The Pierces, and we immediately went in search of their album, Thirteen Tales of Love And Revenge. Here’s the track, Secret, from the show. Lottie has more about the band here – enjoy!

16 responses so far

Jun 20 2008


Published by under Blog,Night Out

A huge thank you to Paul Walsh and his minions for a fun night out at the Firefox 3 Launch Party in Cineworld. The event was sponsored by Segala, Wubud, BT, and Blacknight Hosting and it was brilliant to meet so many great people.

One of the highlights of the evening was the Photo corner, sponsored by All the bloggers got together to make the most it:

Then came the great boyband, New Kids on the Blog:

After that, things took a strange turn:

Check out and EventPhotoIreland for more.

Firefox 3

15 responses so far

Jun 18 2008

Bloomsday In Davy Byrne’s

Published by under Blog,Night Out

Bloomsday took a decidedly odd turn when Sheila accidentally left her camera behind her in the pub.

Mr Doyle went on an adventure around the bar and got to know everyone. EVERYONE!!!

Alcohol may have played a part in some people’s appearance:

This was actually the first willing participant:

Some were less willing to be seen on camera:

Some people had other things on their minds:

Some of us were just thrilled to be there:

Myself, Anthony and Niamh had such a fun night and thank you Darragh for making it brilliantly unusual.

For more Hello Sheila pics, check out

Note: I would greatly appreciate that because this was done for fun and with the willingness of so many nice people, that these photos are NOT COPIED and used to make fun of any of the participants. I hope you’ll understand and respect this. Please contact Darragh regarding using the photos, and if you’d like any taken down, just let him know.

One response so far

Jun 09 2008

Being Pissed On At The Radiohead Gig

Published by under Blog,Music,Night Out

Sadly, the weather was incredible and the title of this post does not refer to raindrops on my noggin. Instead, it relates to the middle-aged weirdo who was high on god-only-knows-what at the Radiohead gig on Saturday night. He will thus forth be known to us as Pissy Guy.

Maybe I’m wrong (I’m notoriously naive when it comes to these matters) but it definitely seemed that there was far more than alcohol coursing through Pissy Guy’s system to make him dance in a disturbingly writhing manner, to make him profess his hatred and then his unending love for Andrew, to make him wear his dark sunglasses well into the night (maybe he was being cool – it was hard to tell) and lastly, to make him relieve himself in the middle of the field outside Malahide Castle, surrounded by other concert-goers. Why are drugs such a significant part of Irish culture (and world culture) today? Are our lives so miserable and uninteresting that we need to fill our systems with a variety of life threatening chemicals. It is here that my own hypocrisy shines through – I’m a big drinker and while I could attempt to explain and excuse my drinking habits, all explanations and excuses would fall flat on their face – I am aware, like many Irish people, I drink too much. But I digress, this post is about my ire for the ever-expanding drug culture in Ireland.

In addition to Pissy Guy, there were a number of other strung-out oddballs at the gig. Bug-eyed Boy who repeatedly asked me if I was enjoying the gig was particularly bothersome as the gig hadn’t started at that point. My trek to the bathroom passed two separate blokes who had passed out (and received swift medical attention, to the credit of the gig organisers) while surrounded by their equally high-as-kites friends.

I have lost one of my best friends to drug use. No, he is not dead, but he is most definitely lost. In recent times, he has apparently got his life in some semblance of order – he doesn’t do as much drugs as he used to – but this guy had so much potential, was loved by so many around him and could have done so much with his life. Instead, he wasted the potential and is now wasting his life. It’s very sad that whenever he comes up in conversation these days, the best anyone can manage to say about him is “he’s not looking too bad” or “well, he’s looking better than he used to“. I referred to my naivety earlier: this best friend of mine was well known on Wicklow’s druggy scene and yet, I knew nothing about it. I can’t even look back and retrospectively pretend I was in denial. I truly didn’t know, didn’t imagine and didn’t see that my always-hyper best mate was taking any illicit substances. That’s more than naivety – it’s stupidity.

Drug use in Ireland today, is on the increase and this will not change. Even someone as blind to it all as me can see it in every bar, at every gig, on every street corner. If I decided right now that I wanted to get high, I’m fairly confident I could ‘score a hit’ fairly easily. Is it the economic downturn that is making people turn to drugs to ease the pain? Unlikely, as the upsurge began in more prosperous times. So, is it the ready money of Celtic Tiger Ireland that explains the increase? Possibly – Justine Delaney Wilson‘s book, The High Society: Drugs and the Irish Middle Class, controversial and over-reaching as it may be, does educate the reader to Ireland’s drug culture and it definitely shows the connection between wealth and drug use, but it doesn’t sufficiently explain it, as drug abuse is still a predominantly ‘lower-class’ (perhaps ‘poverty stricken’ may be a better choice of words) problem. Or is it simply the worldwide drug culture filtering into the lives of the Irish. Regardless the reasons for it, it’s sad, it’s scary and it’s here to stay.

Incidentally, the gig itself was excellent. It’s the first Radiohead gig I’ve been to and I’d love to see them again (perhaps at a different, smaller venue though). Andrew gives his review of the gig here, with a little more emphasis on the actual music. 🙂

11 responses so far

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