Wednesday 18 September 2019

Great piano man Billy announces Aviva show

Singing sensation Billy Joel, who has sold a staggering 150 million records throughout his long musical career, will play the Aviva Stadium in Dublin next summer for a one-off Irish date. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Singing sensation Billy Joel, who has sold a staggering 150 million records throughout his long musical career, will play the Aviva Stadium in Dublin next summer for a one-off Irish date. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Artist Michael Mulcahy. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Fiona Foy Holland hosted her eighth Fashion Exposure
Barry Egan

Barry Egan

If Tubs can go to Chappaqua, New York state, to interview Hillary Clinton, then I can go too. Right? Albeit, I wasn't jetting stateside to interview the First Lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001, and failed American Presidential candidate.

No, this was far more interesting than that. I flew to New York last Friday to meet the man behind Piano Man, Uptown Girl, Tell Her About It and It's Still Rock And Roll To Me; and who has sold 150 million records over the past 40 years and has six Grammys on the mantelpiece at home in his mansion in Long Island.

Cue drum roll... the one and only Billy Joel.

So - today this column makes a Manhattan transfer and comes to you live from the Big Apple.

I'll tell you more about meeting him in my interview which you can read next Sunday, but your diarist is delighted to be able to exclusively announce today that Billy will be returning to Ireland in June.

He will play the Aviva Stadium on Saturday, June 23, 2018 and tickets go on sale next Monday, (October 9), at 9am.

This will be the first time Billy will be back in Ireland since he played here in 2013. More than that, Billy's Aviva date will be his only Irish appearance in 2018.

I went to see the piano man perform in front of a sell-out crowd of 21,000 fans at Madison Square Garden last night.

Billy in New York is admittedly something of an occasion. This is primarily because, as for nearly four years now, he has held a "residency" at Madison Square Garden, performing monthly gigs that are set to last, "as long as there is demand". Watching him perform, it is not difficult to see why.

Literally off the Aer Lingus plane at JFK, Billy had me whisked by limo to his converted old Ford dealership in Oyster Bay, New York, to see his vintage motorcycle gallery and motorcycle museum, 20th Century Cycles, to begin our New York adventure.

Artist Mick Mulcahy's other half Vera suffers loss

ist Michael Mu.jpg
Artist Michael Mulcahy. Photo: Gerry Mooney

My favourite Irish artist - after Guggi - Michael Mulcahy was in Germany last week representing Ireland at Euro Expo. (Sure, isn't that globally feted character Michael (pictured above) always representing Ireland wherever he goes, anyway?) His soulmate and muse of seven years, Waterford artist Vera Whelan, didn't join him in Trier, sadly.

Sadly, because Vera's lovely mother Mary passed away three weeks ago and Vera was feeling, as she told me, "too vulnerable''. It is a tough one when you lose your mother.

"She was ready to go and then she just died in her sleep. So that helps to know that my lovely mum died a peaceful death.

"A week before she died, she had a dream she was very happy in heaven with her beloved Joe."

Patronistas pitch up for Fiona Foy Holland

Fiona Foy Holland hosted her eighth Fashion Exposure

A question for you. What do you call a patriotic fashionista? A person with incredible style and impeccable taste, that's what. Though I like to call them the patronistas. It's that time of year again, the moment the patronistas await with bated breath - last Friday was Fashion Exposure time, one of the few catwalks in Ireland showcasing exclusively Irish designers.

And what a line-up Fiona Foy Holland, whose eighth Exposure this was, lined up.

The Hibernian Club on St Stephen's Green played host to the hottest labels - those of Don O'Neill, Delphine Grandjouan, Claire O'Connor, Caroline Kilkenny, Niamh O'Neill - to name but a few. (Fashion Exposure is one show where every single cent of the proceeds goes to the charities nominated by the Order of St Lazarus.) Naturally, the front row was sprinkled with the good and the glamorous, with annual attendees like Nuala Carey and Senator Catherine Noone, who pitched up along with many other noted and glam members of the patronistas.

Someone who is no stranger to glamour - or indeed the patronistas - is Bill Kelly, proprietor of Kelly's hotel in Rosslare, Co Wexford.

His resort came home with the 'supreme prize' at the Gold Medal Awards last week, as well as scooping Ireland's Family Friendly Hotel.

No wonder Bill and Isabelle - his tres belle wife from Chateauneuf-du-Pape in the Rhone wine region in France - looked so pleased at the awards in Kilkenny's Lyrath Estate.

Goldin girl turns to Diamond while Bergin away

Robbie Keane and his wife Claudine are certainly creatures of habit. They enjoyed dinner a deux last Saturday at their regular haunt, the very swish Roberta's Restaurant, Bar & Terrace in Essex Street, Temple Bar.

Post-dinner, the couple du jour decamped to their even more regular haunt, 37 on Dawson Street, arriving at 10pm.

They had the occasional cocktail in the VIP area upstairs before leaving the emporium at 2am for Malahide (and later this month, China.)

Another couple du jour, Patrick Bergin and Helen Goldin, were at the IFC last weekend at an event with President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabine. The Goldin girl also turned up at the Abbey last week to watch her thesp beau read the poetry of Josephine Hart.

While Patrick is filming in London, his Goldin girl is going to see Neil Diamond at the 3Arena in Dublin on October 10.

(Helen is so fashionable that you could never accuse her of being forever in blue jeans.)

Three days later she is going to her VBF Andrea Hayes's book launch of Dog Tales.

At this stage Patrick Bergin should be gamboling around here again.

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