Wednesday 13 December 2017

Loaded

Fred
Fred

The latest series of Love/Hate concludes on Sunday night and while everyone from writer/creator Stuart Carolan to actor Tom Vaughan-Lawlor (who portrays the fearsome Nidge) have been getting their due, it is high time that the contribution of Ray Harman is recognised. Harman is responsible for the music that is such a part of the Love/Hate success story. From the show's striking signature theme, through to the wonderfully atmospheric music featured throughout, the Something Happens guitarist helps shape the viewers' appreciation of a drama that's regularly described as RTE's finest since Strumpet City more than 30 years ago.

Q In the rash of celebrity memoirs jostling for space in bookshops everywhere, Morrissey's Autobiography is continuing to hold its own against Alex Ferguson's angry tome and Sven-Goran Eriksson's bonkbuster (psst: the Swede's book easily wins in the battle of the football managers). In fact, Autobiography's first week sales in Britain of more than 34,000 – is 6,000 more than Rolling Stone Keith Richards managed with his acclaimed memoir, Life, which was published in 2010.

Q The first YouTube Music Awards took place in New York on Sunday night and are likely to give MTV's VMAs a run for their money. Directed by Spike Jonze and presented by Hollywood hipster Jason Schwartzman and the comedian, Reggie Watts, it delivered some big names, including Lady Gaga, Arcade Fire, MIA and Eminem. The show's USP was the fact that it was (reportedly) completely unscripted, although this anything goes approach looked messy and self-indulgent when compared to television's careful control.

Q After 15 years and four albums, Fred have called it quits. Their most recent album, Leaving My Empire, was part recorded in Canada – a country they had made considerable headway in.

Before putting down their guitars, Fred will play Whelan's, Dublin, on December 5 and – in what's likely to be an emotional farewell – Cork's Pavilion on December 28.

Q Wingnut Records have shown that record stores can survive these trying times. And they're doing just that by cultivating a loyal customer base the old-fashioned way and by taking calculated gambles, such as releasing intriguing left-of-centre projects such as the debut album from Galway experimental instrumental duo It Was All A Bit Black And White. Retro Futurism boasts the most impressive artwork of any Irish act this year.

Irish Independent

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