Thursday 22 March 2018

Fans go Gaga over Tricolour stunt

John Meagher

John Meagher

Lady Gaga played Belfast's Odyssey Arena at the weekend. No doubt assuming that she would ingratiate herself with the sell-out crowd, she brandished a tricolour during one of the raunchier moments. Obviously Ms Stefani Germanotta wasn't up to speed on the delicacies of Northern Irish life, because the gesture went down very badly with a section of the crowd.

"It was about two-thirds of the way through the show when she came out on stage with the Irish tricolour," according to an unnamed gig-goer who spoke to the Belfast Telegraph. "A lot of people were not impressed and there was a bit of unease in the crowd. Some people were making comments and others challenging them. It didn't spill over, but I certainly think the atmosphere suffered after that as a result."

Another attendee was similarly irked. "I just felt it was inappropriate, but maybe she didn't realise Northern Ireland is separate from the Republic."

Meanwhile, the Telegraph's article on the incident attracted hundreds of online respondents, many -- sad to say -- displaying the sort of sectarian undercurrent some might have thought had abated in the province.

Yet, there was some sound judgment among its readers. "A piece of coloured cloth attracts more attention than a near-naked women? Only in NI."

  • Speaking of Gaga, it is now possible to enroll in a course on the pop sensation at a US college. The University of South Carolina is set to offer a module called Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame.

"We're going to look at Lady Gaga as a social event," says Professor Mathieu Deflem, who has met the Poker Face singer several times. "Other people say that Gaga's the new Madonna. I see it more like there's people who have this very individual thing. Frank Zappa had it. Prince had it. Miles Davis had it. Jimi Hendrix had it. And Lady Gaga certainly has it."

The prospectus says: "The central objective is to unravel the sociologically relevant dimensions of the fame of Lady Gaga."

  • One of Loaded's favourite Swedes, Robyn, is due to play a live show at the auspicious setting of the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo on December 11. It's been quite a year for the singer, as she is about to release her third album (Body Talk 3) in the space of eight months.

Other names confirmed for the high-profile gig are Elvis Costello, Herbie Hancock and Florence and the Machine.

  • The annual Toys 4 Big Boys expo kicks off in the RDS, Dublin, next weekend. If you like Top Gear, Stuff magazine and FHM, this is likely to appeal to you.

This year, for the first time, there will be a live-music stage featuring an eclectic bunch of names from the local music scene including Luan Parle and Shadowplay, who play Thursday, November 11, and Saturday, November 13 respectively.

The biggest draw is Belfast fourpiece John, Shelly & the Creatures (whose Long May You Reign single has enjoyed major exposure this year as it soundtracks those ubiquitous Discover Northern Ireland ads) who play the event on Saturday.

  • Gentle reader, allow me a moment of smugness. Three weeks ago, while reviewing Kings of Leon's fine new album, Come Around Sundown, I suggested the Followill clan were dead certs to headline Slane next year. Well, last Friday the show was officially announced and it was a no-brainer, really. Not many acts are sufficiently huge to play to 80,000 people, a resurgent Take That excepted.

Tickets (€79) go on sale this morning at 8am for the show on Saturday, May 28, and are limited to eight per person. It will be the 30th anniversary of the first iconic concert in Meath, which was headlined by Thin Lizzy, with a lesser known U2 as support.

Irish Independent

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