Sunday 21 January 2018

The Pleasure List: Batten down the hatches, there's a Storm coming

Genre defying: Musican, actor and singer Storm Large will perform at the National Concert Hall on Tuesday
Genre defying: Musican, actor and singer Storm Large will perform at the National Concert Hall on Tuesday

'How do you describe a tornado or earthquake to someone who's never been through one?" asked one critic of performer Storm Large, a genre-defying musician, actor, author and singer, with a smouldering voice and far larger-than-life stage presence (she admits that she struggles to keep the stage banter "clean" at times). Equally at home singing cabaret, rock anthems, classical or interpretations of the Great American Songbook, Storm has mixed singing with stints as an actress, fronting rock bands in clubs, competing in CBS reality show Rock Star: Supernova and touring with mini pop orchestra Pink Martini. And now, on Tuesday April 14th, Storm will appear at the National Concert Hall as part of the RTE Concert Orchestra Signature Series.

Following her Carnegie Hall début with the Kurt Weill/Bertolt Brecht masterpiece, The Seven Deadly Sins, two years ago, Storm will bring her particular version of this complex, satirical 'ballet chante'. She will also inject a rock-ballad slant into Cole Porter's I've Got You Under My Skin, as well as offering her unique interpretations of The Lady is a Tramp, Total Eclipse of the Heart and more.


Competitive cooking of chowder in Kinsale

This is the fifth year of the All-Ireland Chowder Cook-Off, held in Kinsale and hosted by the Kinsale Good Food Circle. A thriving fishing port, well known for its gourmet restaurants, and an anchor destination of the Wild Atlantic Way, Kinsale is the natural home for this entertaining competition; an annual opportunity for chefs from the 32 counties to assemble and show off their stuff. The Cook-Off takes place next Sunday 19th April at Acton's Hotel, and, in what is a quirky and unusual twist, is judged by members of the public, who buy tickets for €10, and get a voting card in return. This entitles them to sample all chowders from the individual stalls, before casting their vote. And yes, there is plenty of room for subjectivity here, depending on individual preferences - a lobster-stock base? Topped with a swirl of cream? Or a spicy bowl laden with mussels and an exotic hint of coconut and chilli? The great Irish public will decide.


Couture cushions by Jean Paul Gaultier

Exciting times for fans of the original enfant terrible, now become a French fashion institution, Jean Paul Gaultier, as the Grand Palais in Paris opens its doors to a retrospective exhibition of his life and work, The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier, From Catwalk to Sidewalk. The exhibition shows his considerable influence on clothes, lifestyle and culture in general, along with plenty of wonderful pieces from across the years. To coincide, interiors company Roche Bobois have launched a new collection of cushions designed by Gaultier himself, celebrating the successful creative partnership the two have enjoyed over the last five years. The cushions, which come in 24 different colour and pattern combinations, of which we love the petrol-blue with 'Gaultier' scrawled across the front, best.


Designs for modern life

CA Design was established nearly three years ago, on the principle that affordable, design -focused furniture, with a particular emphasis on pieces inspired by 20th Century design classics, would find a ready home in this country. And so it has proved. The carefully edited collection of stylish, sophisticated furniture has broadened out to include home accessories and modern original furniture designs. The store has also evolved from a purely on-line shop to having a physical space, in Ringsend. The latest collection, for spring-summer 2015, landed recently, and includes collaborations with European designers Hertel & Klarhoefer, David Caspar Schäfer, Thomas Merlin and Jonas Wahlström, to deliver a beautifully crafted collection, showcasing a mix of solid oak and lacquered metal that is contemporary and multifunctional, with an industrial edge. Something that works in both a modern home or office space.


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