Monday, October 20, 2008

blog! a rhythm?

I was reading the newspapers that built up over the weekend and I stumbled across a feature on Gerry Anderson. Not to be confused with the talented tv producer and writer, Gerry Anderson, the one I'm talking about is the not quite as talented bloke who always turns up on BBC Northern Ireland or BBC Radio 4. He's apparently courting controversy these days by claiming that Gary Glitter is a decent old skin.

The picture of Gerry served to remind me of a time about 15 years ago when the trad/folk band I was in entered the Opportunity Knocks talent contest held in Ballyshannon. I considered us a supergroup of sorts. We had a singer who went on to voice the character of Shadow in Bear in the Big Blue House. We had an accordion player from Cavan who was the only person I ever heard make that particular instrument sound good (Welcome to Hell! Here's your accordion!). We had a wonderful guitarist from Rossnowlagh and another talented bloke from Clondalkin and then there was yours truly on percussion. If my memory serves me correctly we won and collected a grand in prize money. Our win came courtesy of three independent judges: the aforementioned Gerry Anderson, the then Late Late Show in-house pianist Frank McNamara and someone else I can't remember. Needless to say we went on the batter with all the judges and other contestants afterwards and ended up in a boozer called Eoin Roe O'Neills I believe. The gargle flowed all night (probably at our expense) and Frank kept banging out tunes on the piano until the small hours of the morning. As the sun started to rise I realised that we had to get to Sligo to make a train back to Dublin. I distinctly remember the scornful look on my mates's mother as she collected us to bring us to the airport. Three drunk smelly blokes sitting in a car at about 7.30 in the morning pretending to be sober. I had some kind of lucid moment around Ben Bulben as that's the only part of the journey I remember. I think I kept calling it Ben's Bulb. That kind of stuff counts as funny when you've been drinking all night. What wasn't funny was the trip home on the train when we were collectively blanked by a clearly hungover Frank McNamara. That's stars for you. They're your best buddy one night and then your yesterdays news.

What the fuck all of that has to do with the rest of this post is beyond me. I'm banging on about that kind of nonsense when ther's things happening on the music and blogging scene all around me. In Dublin news a couple of new places have opened in the city. The first is actually new. It's some boozer called Le Cirk on Dame Street and it has some notions about being a jazz lounge. It appeared from behind hoardings some weeks ago and is trying to find its feet. I sent my wife and her mates to it the other night but they were having none of it and left after one drink. Maybe jazz isn't their thing. Apparently the music bookings are being taken care of by ex-Jazz FM boss, Ollie Dowling. The former pirate radio mogul will hope that this return to jazz promotion is more successful than his efforts with the Bleu Note on Capel St. The other new, but actually not new, venue is The Twisted Pepper on Middle Abbey Street. This was previously Traffic and for some reason I managed to never go there when it open. As such I've no idea if Twisted Pepper is any different. The Wobble Crew were promoting a night downstairs and it featured my old junglist muckers Don Rosco and Naphta. I only hung around for a while to check out Don Rosco and T-Woc weave some dubstep madness and missed Naphta as a result. The lure of my slippers and a hot cup of Ovaltine was too much for me. I legged it.

The DEAF weekender draws ever closer and I'll remind you again that the only place to be this Thursday evening is in The Sugar Club for the Sweettalk with Steinski, Maser and Alan Gilsenan. I'll be there. Carrying a copy of the FT under my left oxter and with a pink carnation in the lapel of my sports jacket. Another event worth checking is the White Noise gig being promoted by Mici Durnin and his cohort Darren of Maximum Joy promotions. I only met Mici at the tail-end of the summer. We had some oldschool football kickabouts with a motley crew of participants from the likes of The Jimmy Cake, Dave from Road Records and Claude from PIAS distribution. It harked back to those football games on the local green that would go on until it got pitch black. If someone had arrived with an empty glass milk-bottle full of water it would have completed the picture. Anyhow White Noise play The Sugar Club at 8pm on the 26th October. A DJ Set from Broadcast will follow.

I have it on good account that Twenty Majors forum is the place to be this weather. I went over just after it opened and it asked me to register. I hate to admit it but I'm a lazy auld shite when it comes to registering on websites, so I didn't. In any event, I have it on good account that it's working out nicely.

I'd read about the Casino in Marino way back in school. It featured in our art history studies back in secondary school. Yesterday we went en famille over Donnycarney way and visited the Casino. You can imagine my disappointment when I found there was no blackjack table there. Instead you're treated to an architectural wonder of symmetry, creativity and trickery. It's the bleeding business. We went on the tour with a German mother and daughter and some bloke who looked like he'd been forced there by his mother. We all had to put on slippers before they allowed us walk on the nice parquet floors. Freaky buzz but a top buzz.

Finally, it pains me to say it but the fabulous Blogariddims series has come to an end. Fifty blogariddims later, Droid, Slug and the rest of the weareie cru have called a halt to proceedings. These guys have achieved huge admiration for crafting podcasts for general consumption to anyone with an interweb connection. I for one believe they have covered themselves in glory. Well done chaps. You can check out the hugely convoluted but higly entertaining series of posts by all 10 contributors to the final blogariddims over on And here is the very first post by Droid


Anonymous said...

really enjoyed this, full of useful topical info and great story about the Ballyshannon gig.

Matt Vinyl said...

cheers. i ended up living in Ballyshannon for a short while after that. They're as mad as a box of frogs up there.

Anonymous said...

Mabe you could comment about Le Cirk if you had actually been there...... Sending people who don't like jazz music will have an obvious result!

Matt Vinyl said...

@Anon - I've been there myself since. As it turns out my good lady wife and her mates had it spot on.

I assume you have an interest in the place. You're more than welcome to highlight here any good points that I may have missed about the place.