Loaded: Milk set to cream in the punters
Claiming to be Europe's first music and arts festival aimed at the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, Milk takes place tomorrow in the sumptuous surrounds of Ballinlough Castle, Co Westmeath.
Some 5,000 people are expected to attend and 70 acts are set to ply their trade, including the wonderful Roisin Murphy (below) who will be playing a DJ set, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Bananarama and Martin McCann, who used to front the hotly tipped, but far from prolific Dublin band, Sack. Sadly, for anybody keen to know if Right Said Fred are still too sexy for their shirts, the tiresome two have just cancelled due to illness.
The non-music aspect of the event will be provided by the mystifyingly popular Katherine Lynch, who will front proceedings in the comedy tent.
And those in need of food that bit different from the usual festival fare can avail of a menu designed by the so-called "enfant terrible" of Irish 90s cooking, Conrad Gallagher.
Tickets cost a steepish €99 and are available from usual outlets. Camping is free -- of course it is, darling -- although those wishing for comfort with their frolics can, for an extra €26, reside in "boutique tipis" containing beds, bedding and "unique interior decoration".
Let's hope Milk passes off more smoothly than the inaugural Indie'Go World Music Festival last weekend, which was abruptly cancelled on its second day.
The event at Ballydarton House in Fenagh, Co Carlow, kicked off as scheduled with John, Shelly & The Creatures (whose music on those ubiquitous Discover Northern Ireland ads has won them many fans), but was brought to an end at 4pm.
"It was a series of events really," according to Festival Director Margaret McMonagle. "Ticket sales weren't great and we thought we'd have more of a walk-up than we did. The security company pulled out, which is what set everything in motion. It all spiralled out of control. The rumour went around that no one was going to be paid, which wasn't the case. What happened is that everybody started demanding money upfront, which is impossible to do, and that left us in a position where we had to make a decision.
"Anyone who's bought tickets online will be refunded straight away. We then need to sit down this week and sort out refunding other people. We're all gutted here -- the atmosphere on Friday night was great."
McMonagle also revealed that a private investor had pulled out a few weeks ago, but that they felt they had sufficient funds to carry on.
Good news for Arcade Fire fans. The band are set to play Dublin's O2 on Sunday, December 5, with Vampire Weekend supporting. There is likely to be a second date the following night.
The bad news is the rumoured ticket price -- around €70. That's a long way off the very reasonable £26 for their one-off show in London's Hackney Empire in July.
Meanwhile, the Win Butler-led septet's fab third album, The Suburbs, is sitting pretty atop the Irish and UK charts this week.
Ash have announced a September 13 release here of A-Z Volume 2, a 16-track gathering together of their recent download singles plus two previously unavailable originals, Spellbound and Nightfall, as well as an arresting cover of David Bowie's 1980 song, Teenage Wildlife.
If it's anywhere nearly as good as Volume 1, which was unveiled at the beginning of the year, it will be a must for all fans of Tim Wheeler et al. After suffering something of an artistic slide some years ago, it's great to see the Downpatrick boys in such good form.
Their latest single in the A-Z series, V: Carnal, is out now.
The ever-quotable Kanye West has been talking about his forthcoming fifth album, tentatively called Good Ass Job.
"I try to compete against the past," West said. "I think Michelangelo, Picasso, the pyramids. That's the reason I put like 5,000 hours into a song like [new single] Power. What we're doing in this era is light work compared to ... past monuments.
"Hopefully this album -- if not this album, then the next album -- will be my masterwork. That Avatar-level work."
Can't wait, Kanye.