Saturday 25 November 2017

Loaded: Introducing Larry the movie star

John Meagher

John Meagher

Not content with being the drummer for one of the world's biggest rock bands, Larry Mullen is about to unveil an unexpected new talent. I give you Larry Mullen, movie star. The Dubliner's big-screen debut is among the films hoping for good reviews at the Cannes Film Festival, which starts on Wednesday.

Mullen is starring opposite the venerable Donald Sutherland in Man on the Train -- the remake of the acclaimed 2002 French crime thriller, L'Homme du Train. A labour of love for Irish director Mary McGuckian, Mullen takes on the role of the small-time crook, memorably played in the original by Johnny Hallyday, the Gallic rock star.

Let's hope Mullan's acting venture fares better than previous U2-involved movies. The Rattle And Hum feature-length documentary directed by Phil Joanou looks like even more of a vanity project than it did on release in 1988.

Meanwhile, The Million Dollar Hotel (2000) -- directed by Wim Wenders from a Bono screenplay -- was a career low for the German director and an embarrassing mis-step from the frontman. Only U2:3D -- which captured the band in three-dimensional glory on the Vertigo tour -- attracted upbeat notices from critics.

  • Last week, I attended the first of six sell-out Peter Kay shows at the O2. Everyone else seemed to be doubled up with laughter, but even a grinch like me saw the funny side of a closing routine in which the comic "played" guitar on a mocked-up shovel.

Should Kay find himself at a loose end this day week (May 13), he might wish to employ his skills at the Irish Air Guitar Championships. I kid you not -- such an event exists, and it's an ideal forum for those of us who tried to learn the instrument and didn't stick with it.

Those among us with uncalloused fingers will be packing our imaginary Flying Vs and Rickenbackers and high-tailing it to the Button Factory, Dublin. All proceeds go to Alzheimer's Ireland and if you want to get an idea of the ridiculous fun in store, YouTube "Irish air guitar" ...

Incidentally, the air guitarist deemed the winner on the night will win an all-expenses paid trip to Finland to fly the flag at the World Air Guitar Championships. Get practising.

  • RTE Lyric FM is set to air a brand new series on the history of song starting on May 16. High Fidelity will be presented by two of the country's most singular vocal talents, Julie Feeney and Jack L, and will air every Monday night at 7pm.

The series is produced by former RTE radio head Helen Shaw, and will examine the development of song from Hoagy Carmichael to Robbie Williams.

"Both Jack and Julie have a deep personal commitment to the story behind the songs we love and know, and to the fascinating back-story of recording from Edison's phonograph to today's web-based music stores," Shaw says. "We want it to be fun and want the listeners to get involved via social media, particularly Facebook, by sharing their beloved songs of the century.

"We want the final episode to be shaped by the listeners and their top-10 songs of the century as a playlist of the most influential and memorable recordings of the past century."

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