Sunday 17 December 2017

Loaded: Gadaffi’s costly penchance for western pop

John Meagher

John Meagher

Muammar Gaddafi has been ever-present in the news of late, but did you know that he has a penchant for western pop?

Apparently, the dictator has paid eye-watering sums to some of today's biggest names to perform private gigs for him. Now, one of them, Nelly Furtado, has done the honourable thing and donated her $1m fee to charity. Apparently, she was paid that amount for a 45-minute concert at an Italian hotel last year.

But not every star to have performed for the Libyan and his family has been so publicly generous. Mariah Carey, Usher and Beyoncé have all sung for Gaddafi, but none has yet made any comment about their plans for the fees they received.

  • Patti Smith makes an appearance on the new REM album (see page 10) and she's also Ireland-bound this summer. Along with the great Echo and the Bunnymen, Smith is the most high-profile name announced for Cork By Southwest (CXSW) which takes place in the Liss Ard Estate, Skibbereen, on June 4 and 5.

Also announced are two of Dublin's most cherished names, Jape and Interference, and there's local Rebel County talent in the form of Mick Flannery and Fred.

The family-friendly festival also promises free camping, a "Slow Food" village, poetry, workshops, talks and exhibitions. Tickets cost €79 and are available now. See

  • Interpol have been on the slide for quite a while. After a wonderful debut (Turn on the Bright Lights) and a rather fine follow-up (Antics), it's been downhill all the way for the past four years. Last year's self-titled fourth album was utterly devoid of inspiration and a handful of shows in the Olympia in November seemed to confirm the band's loss of form.

This week, fans are having to contend with more news that suggests all is not well in the Interpol camp. Less than a year after original bassist Carlos Denger walked away, his replacement -- former Slint guitarist David Pajo -- has followed suit. Frontman Paul Banks has been keen to point out that the split was amicable.

Pajo's replacement, Brad Truax, has played with Home, Gang Gang Dance and Animal Collective. "Brad is the man," Interpol wrote. "He's got taste and he's got chops." We'll see.

  • General Election aside, Morrissey has been one of the top Ireland trending topics on Twitter over the past 10 days. The former Smiths man seemed to have been spotted by virtually everyone but me as he pounded the streets of Dublin over the weekend. And he seems to have taken in virtually every gig at the Workman's Club. Surprisingly, he also revealed himself to be a Mary Coughlan fan and a photo of the pair backstage has been doing the rounds online. I half expected to see him at the Plan B concert in the Olympia on Sunday night -- a gig that greatly exceeded my expectations.
  • Plug alert! I will be hosting a table quiz in the Grand Social, Liffey Street, Dublin, on Tuesday, April 19. All proceeds will go to the Froebel Hope Foundation, a wonderful Irish charity that helps street children in Calcutta (Mrs Loaded will be joining her colleagues from Froebel College, Dublin, in the summer to work with the Foundation).

There will be a strong music emphasis in the questioning as well as the prizes. Let's just say that some fantastic goodies have been donated by the music industry. If you're interested in putting a team together, please contact me on or tweet me @johnmeaghermuso.

Day & Night

Promoted Links

Entertainment Newsletter

Going out? Staying in? From great gigs to film reviews and listings, entertainment has you covered.

Promoted Links

Editors Choice

Also in Entertainment