Tuesday 26 September 2017

LOADED: At the Meteor Awards

pictured here at the Meteor
Awards, also appeared on the
Tubridy Tonight show
OVER EXPOSURE: Westlife, pictured here at the Meteor Awards, also appeared on the Tubridy Tonight show
John Meagher

John Meagher

It was very good of RTE to broadcast the Meteors a day after the event last Saturday. A few thoughts immediately sprang to mind. The RDS Simmonscourt -- a horrible barn constructed in 1975 -- was cleverly filmed to make it appear glamorous. The camera really does lie.

Host Dara O Briain left his funny bones at home. What a dull presenting job.

Which is more toe-curlingly awful -- the Sawdoctors receiving a lifetime achievement award or Aslan winning best Irish band? Answers on a postcard, please.

Aslan are now such a big act that Christy Dignam didn't even turn up to receive his award. Now, that's star quality -- or something.

Instead, two randomers from Aslan go on stage to accept their gong, slobbering kisses on the dainty cheek of Charlize Theron who was handing out the award with boyfriend Stuart Townsend. Methinks she will never return to Ireland again.

n And while we're on the subject of Aslan, they have been chosen to appear at this year's St Patrick's Day parade in London.

Londoners passing Trafalgar Square on March 17 will be treated to an, ahem, eclectic selection of music including Roisin Murphy (who will, after all, be playing Wednesday's Choice Music Prize show), Luka Bloom, the 12 Irish Tenors and Celtic Masters.

n Ash are slated to play a St Patrick's Day shindig in New York. The trio -- who have vowed not to release albums any more -- will play the Music Hall Williamsburgh, Brooklyn.

n The photo on the top right of this page shows Louis Walsh bonding with Cillian McDonnell, member of the talented Dublin-based Halfset. The pair met in the green room of Tubridy Tonight the Saturday before last -- Walsh was a guest on the show and McDonnell was there in his capacity as publicist for rising septet Los Campesinos! Walsh was so taken with the chirpy indie band that he conducted an interview with them for the NME. Which we think is nice.

While Walsh is one of the funniest people you could spend a few hours with -- his gossip-mongering is the stuff of legend -- I think he must know where the bodies are hidden in RTE. Just why does the national broadcaster have such an obsession with the Mayo man and his various acts? The week after his Tubridy appearance, Westlife were on the couch exchanging non entities with the dapper Ryan. And they had the run of the place at the Meteors too.

n It's being billed as the World's Greatest Music Collection, and now it's up for sale. Pittsburgh native Paul Mawhinney is owner of three million vinyl records and 300,000 CDS -- from Elvis' Sun Records 45s to "the first CD ever produced".

The entire collection, indexed and catalogued, will be sold to the highest bidder.

Mawhinney values the collection at more than $50m but he may end up selling it for a good deal less. It is for sale on eBay and its starting bid -- at the time of writing still unmet -- is a mere $3m. More importantly, as the listing underlines, "This is a NO RESERVE auction. High bid wins."

n Massive Attack, the Bristol band whose first album became one of the most influential of the 1990s, are set to follow in the footsteps of Jarvis Cocker, Patti Smith and David Bowie and curate the Meltdown festival in London this summer. It is the first time a group will have masterminded the arts festival by the banks of the Thames. In previous years, well-known individuals from the world of music have brought their own eclectic tastes to the festival, including John Peel, Morrissey, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Robert Wyatt and Scott Walker.

n It's set to be quite a year for Bristol. Advance reports on Portishead's third album, imaginatively titled Third, have been glowing. The album is due at the end of April and will be their first in a decade.

n You've got to hand it to the Kiwis. A song that is inaudible to humans has become a top-selling hit in New Zealand and is set to be released worldwide.

A Very Silent Night, said to be recorded at a frequency that can be heard only by dogs, was issued as a charity CD by the Royal New Zealand Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals. To widespread surprise, it rocketed to the top of the charts. Now distributors in the US and Australia are vying for the rights to international sales. Although dog owners sit through several minutes of silence while the disc spins on the CD player, the dogs they own are reported to wag their tails, prick up their ears, and even dance in delight.

n Am I the only one who wishes John Waters would stop pretending to be a songwriter and concentrate on what he does best: writing daft columns for The Irish Times? Waters has penned a charity song for the mother of his child, Sinead O'Connor. "It sounds amazing," he told former employers Hot Press. "It's called Baby, Let Me Buy You A Drink, and it's an attempt to catch the idea of Ireland and the Irish being both hound and hare in history, specifically in relation to Africa, and that we owe both friendship and reparation."

The fruits of his labours will be released on World Water Day (March 22).

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