Sunday 20 January 2019

Leo and Paschal go large

Leo Varadkar and Paschal Donohoe. Picture: Collins
Leo Varadkar and Paschal Donohoe. Picture: Collins
Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

Daft Punk is playing at Leo's House. Well, not exactly, But Leo went to a gig last Friday, and, Oh, My, God, where to start?

It's possibly the end of rock 'n' roll. It's possibly the end of dance punk. It's possibly the end of Leo in the eyes of anyone under 40. In some ways, it tells us everything about the place we find ourselves in right now. And it's just too funny.

I'm going to lay this out in stages for you. Bear with me and I'll try to explain some context for older readers. Not being much younger than the older readers my context will be limited. US band LCD Soundsystem are THE trendy band right now. They were a few years back as well. And then they disbanded. But they got back together again, partly because David Bowie told bandleader James Murphy they should. And it's been a triumph and all right-thinking cool people are very excited about it all. OK? That'll do for now.

The band came to Ireland last week for a three-night stand at the Olympia and The Irish Times has been wetting itself about it. It was THE cool thing to be at, for a certain type of person. So, of course, Leo and Paschal had to go. Indeed, it was a full work outing. You really need to see the selfie Helen McEntee tweeted to get the full force of it all. It's like a work outing from a sitcom about clean-cut tech workers. And, for some reason, ex-teacher Fair City star Jenny Dixon, who used to hang out at the Playboy Mansion, is in the picture.

It's like some bizarro version of Cool Britannia 20 years too late. But that's not the point. It gets way better.

So Leo and Co went backstage afterwards, to hang with the cool kids. Maybe Leo thought the lads in the band might like a jog. But the message was more "Jog on, Leo". The guitarist tweeted afterwards that Leo was a tosser. It was possibly a bit unfair, because his point was that he says Leo walked away because the guitarist was wearing a Repeal tote around his neck.

But it gets even better than that spectacular backfire.

Then Helen McEntee only decided to get in a Twitter spat with the guitarist from LCD Soundsystem. She argued, reasonably enough, that Leo was the one who was actually bringing in Repeal legislation. But who cares about the rights and wrongs of it? When you're the Minister for European Affairs and you're having a fight on Twitter with the guitarist from LCD Soundsystem and accusing him of being bitter, it's fair to say you are losing.

Irish electronic act Le Galaxie perhaps summed up the feelings of many people when they responded to Helen McEntee on Twitter saying, "Go f**k yourself".

It's fair to say John Concannon and the boys are going to be a while sorting this out. As Leo might say, #EpicFail.

Sunday Independent

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