'Milestones is a new song about how dogs have more rights than women' - Sinead O'Connor
In an industry long marked by casual misogyny and the oppression and domination of women, a young singer from Glenageary in Co Dublin broke the...
In an industry long marked by casual misogyny and the oppression and domination of women, a young singer from Glenageary in Co Dublin broke the...
Do you have dependants? Margaret Atwood employs her trenchant gaze on me as she gives the question considerable thought. She takes a deep breath...
He sat beside me on a couch in a flat in North London ten years ago. He spent two hours playing reggae, crying and spitting endlessly into a bucket on the floor beside him.
Early last Sunday morning I was driving along a leafy, deserted road in D4 when a beautiful, mystical-looking woman, all in black, with her raven hair tied up, flashed by on a scooter.
Into the West. In the mystic. Sinead O'Connor's show last night at Róisín Dubh in Galway was...
In early 2017, Nick Cave sized up a writer who was interviewing him for a magazine profile in a restaurant in Athens and began dictating what he thought he should write...
Birthdays used to be occasions where GBH of the liver was expected.
When Oliver Callan was a child growing up in Co Monaghan, someone might say to his six-foot tall father Tony: "Is this your son?"
They say it takes a village... but what do I know? Last Friday in Dublin a village - the Kildare Village installation - on Culture Night came to the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Royal Hospital Kilmainham, to mark the opening of the museum's newest exhibition Desire: A Revision from the 20th Century to the Digital Age.
"When I was growing up," Bjork Guomundsdottir, who grew up in Reykjavik, Iceland, told i-D magazine in 1993, "I always had this feeling that I had been dropped in from somewhere else. That was how I was treated at school in Iceland, where the kids used to call me 'China girl' and everybody thought I was unusual because I was Chinese.
Those looking down from outer space last weekend would have seen an absolutely giant glass marquee in Dargle Valley in Enniskerry last Saturday.
In Matt Tyrnauer's new documentary Where's My Roy Cohn? we are treated to many stories about Donald Trump's early mentor. The most entertaining one...
A druggy night in Georgia. In 1973, before going onstage with his band The Stooges in Atlanta, Iggy Pop was passed out cold in the bushes beside the Days Inn. When he awoke, Iggy (who had some...
IT was like the boom all over again. The great and the good all gathered glamorously around the famous leather bed in Krystle nightclub last Monday night. Everyone from grand dame herself,...
A few years ago nine-time Grammy winner Sheryl Crow was asked about her heroes. She immediately went for Gandhi, before going for Keith Richards. George Harrison, Bob Dylan and Stevie Nicks. On the rollicking, anthem-like Prove You Wrong from her new album Threads, Sheryl sings with the...
What to get for the person who has everything is always a difficult one. In the early 1970s Salvador Dali thought he had solved this quandary when he gave superstar Cher a unique present, albeit by accident.
“A lifetime covered in roses/Spread your wings to fly/Don’t look down, the wings will guide you/But only through the night…” So goes Pray from Brave Giant’s drenched-in-darkness but beautiful debut album, White Pink + Blue.
The German author, Winfried Georg Sebald, once said no serious person ever thinks about anything else except Hitler. Most of us, I'd imagine, do spare a thought for other things occasionally, but you can see Sebald's point: there are times when it's hard not to think about the monster of the 20th Century. Every weekend I take my four-and-a-half-year-old daughter to her kids' yoga class in...
Bono once told me in an interview that Miles Davis listened to The Unforgettable Fire on his deathbed in September 1991. If, years down the line, the U2 singer wants to return the compliment, there are plenty of mind-soothingly beautiful albums for Bono to listen to in his last moments on Earth. Everything from 1959's still timeless Kind Of Blue, to 1960's Iberian magic Sketches Of Spain, to 1958's Relaxin' with the Miles Davis Quintet, to 1972's hip-hop-y On the Corner, to 1950's radical Birth Of Cool.
Start as you mean to go on.
Her eyes are roundly inquisitive, her skin porcelain. The face is of a pre-Raphaelite angel. The voice is lyrical in that Belfast way of every word threatening to take flight. Jenn Murray's lyricism is interrupted only by the waiter in the Intercontinental Hotel in Dublin, who insists on offering the actress endless amounts of pastries during our early morning get-together.
Callan's Kicks returns next Friday at 6.30pm on Radio 1 and runs until Christmas. Certain leading politicians might perhaps think the satirical show is funny peculiar, not funny ha ha. Or even not that funny at all...
Let's start with a bit of Christy Moore. "Everybody needs a break/ Climb a mountain or jump in a lake/ Some head off to exotic places, others go to the Galway Races/ Mattie goes to the South of France, Jim to the dogs, Peter to the dance/ A cousin of mine goes potholing, a cousin of hers loves Joe Dolan/ Summer comes around each year, we go there and they come here, some jet off to Frijiliana..."
When Michael Harding was a young child in Cavan town, he went down on his knees at the bedside every night and prayed. He whispered what he calls "little mantras in the dark":
The ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once said: "Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like." Last week, reality TV star India Reynolds would have found it tricky perhaps to see life in such philosophical terms.
The first day of school. As the columnist Glenn Collins pointed out in a 1986 article for The New York Times: "Are there five other words in the language capable of evoking as much anxiety and anticipation in children, words that trigger as many powerful memories among adults?" As a rite of passage, the first day of school is as evocative in 1986 as it was four centuries ago, when...
Perhaps less a hard Brexit than a soft boogie. Miriam O'Callaghan said she is looking forward to Florence + the Machine's headlining performance at the Electric Picnic tonight at 10.30pm.
Full disclosure: I was one of the judges at the Miss Ireland pageant in 2004 and Claudine Keane was one of the contestants.
Cara O'Sullivan enraptured audiences globally as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni and Fiordiligi in Così Fan Tutte. She also delivered many other heart-shredding arias in everything from La Traviata, Handel's Messiah, and Faust, to Mendelssohn's Elijah and Verdi's Requiem, to name but a few.
His saintly namesake was hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn in 1681 - possibly because the English thought he had a dangerous mind.
First things first. Let's begin by stating the bloody obvious. Nobody can sing like Hozier in the world right now. Name one other person. Go on, I dare you. You can't, can you?
All that's missing is the stigmata. Long of hair and unshaven, Hozier has a certain messianic look to him. It gives his deeply felt pronouncements on the world an air of something devout at work. Like they have been uttered by a rock-star born in Bethlehem, not Bray. ("The EU pulling funding for rescue boats in the Mediterranean says all it needs to say about where we are heading and how...
Sarah Murray's father took on the bank. And survived. Not many people in this country can say that, can they?
In Meet Me in the Bathroom, Lizzie Goodman's 2017 oral history of New York's alt-rock scene of the Noughties, we learned that Pete Doherty once made overtures to The Strokes' guitarist Nick Valensi. We were also educated by Goodman's classic tome in just how cool The Strokes' lead singer Julian Casablancas was. Matt Berninger, of The National, recounts this tale...
Some people can read Finnegans Wake and come away thinking it's an easy-peasy love story. Others can read the ingredients on a chocolate bar wrapper and unlock the secrets of the entire universe. Mark Cagney is a bit of the two.
The Sunday Independent’s Rock Against Homelessness concert in aid of Focus Ireland — now in its fifth year — is going into the west.
At the end of the Foo Fighters' show at the RDS last night in the rain, Dave Grohl stood on the stage before 40,000 disciples like an Aztec god of alt.rock. This is what he told them.
Like the woman who creates them, the songs of Roisin Murphy are visceral, out-of-kilter, unpredictable. On her new single, the bonkers-beautiful disco banger that is Incapable, she is keeping nothing inside. (In truth, Roisin Murphy - the voice of Moloko's timeless Sing It Back from 1999 - never kept much inside.) She sings: "Never had a broken heart/ Never seen me fall apart/ Don't know where I get the strength." And then: "And I'll go out of my head."
'A Jewish man with parents alive is a 15-year-old boy,'' Philip Roth wrote in Portnoy's Complaint, ''and will remain a 15-year-old boy till they die.'' My parents are no longer with us. Still, when I went up to Churchtown last weekend on a visit, I felt like a teenage - and very Catholic - boy again. I took my wife and two young kids for a drive around my old home town. We went to my school first.
Daniel O'Donnell is 57 years of age. He says that "the strange thing about it is I feel really young. I actually sometimes feel that people who are younger than me must be older than me. Not because of how they look, but because maybe the job that they have. You know? And then I realise, Jesus, I'm not younger than them at all! [Laughs] I don't know if you ever get to feel that you are not...
Maura Higgins sits on a chair in a crowded bar that's been roped off especially for her. Everyone here - and everyone outside - is hoping to catch a glimpse of the Longford lass off Love Island.
After Jenny Dixon married politician Tom Neville last month, another Fair City star is tying the knot.
The Smurf's up. Or she will be on Wednesday. Victoria Smurfit is jetting in from Los Angeles for the day. The star of, once upon a time, Ballykissangel and more recently, Once Upon a Time, in the role of Cruella de Vil, is on a whistle-stop tour of her former hometown.
Growing up with three sisters in the 1980s, it was difficult to avoid the music of Cyndi Lauper with songs like Girls Just Want To Have Fun and Time After Time appearing to dominate our small house in Churchtown as well as the globe.
Noel Gallagher is smaller in person than he appears on stage in front of thousands upon thousands of people. The smiling Mancunian — who prefigured Game Of Thrones’s Robb Stark as the original King of the North — once quipped: “I said we were bigger than God, but what I meant to say was taller. I believe Jesus was 5ft 7in and I’m 5ft 8 1/2.” Over the next 60 minutes, Noel will be a giant of...
Life is like a roundabout at the great existential playground, don't you know? You never know who you are going to see getting on one swing while somewhere else gets off another...
Monday was a momentous day in our house. Sort of, anyway. My baby son has outgrown his car seat and is into a new one. There is a certain sadness in seeing the old baby car seat under the stairs in the hall.
Polemic poet Lydia Lunch knows a bit about the power of the metaphor.
I'd like to think that most of us have no place in our hearts for homophobia, sexism, racism, and any form of prejudice based on a person's nationality, race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, gender, gender identification or socioeconomic status.
Twenty years ago, if I had woken up in a hotel room with a teepee in it, I'd have assumed I'd had too much of a good night on the town. And that this was simply the result of whatever madness was cooked up during the night on the tear. I'd probably be too terrified to look into the teepee - The Fear would be upon me - anxious at what, or whom, I'd find inside.
'People often say I look like Benny Hill," says Pat McCabe. Be that as it may, he was once mistaken in America for CW Moss, the tattooed half-wit gas pump attendant in the 1967 movie Bonnie and Clyde, played by Michael J Pollard. "I think it was the spud-type cheeks."
The pre-Raphaelite-looking - and ethereal-sounding - Florence Leontine Mary Welch has the words 'Always Lonely' tattooed on her left arm. You could say that she wears her heart on her sleeve or thereabouts. The opening line of Hunger - from her band Florence And The Machine's High as Hope album last year - goes: 'At 17, I started to starve myself.' "I didn't really talk about it with my mum until really recently. So to put it in a song - it's like, what am I doing?" she told The New York Times last year about her eating disorder as a young adult.
There was something in the heir last weekend in Greece.
One of life's imponderables: is it one of Bob Dylan's more mischievous jokes on the world that he tends to open his shows - as he did last night in KIlkenny - with 1965's Ballad of A Thin Ballad?
"I'VE never played in daylight before,” Neil Young joked at his Hyde Park show in London on Friday night, allegedly putting on some grunge-resistant sunscreen.
Word has it that Bob Dylan personally requested that Glen Hansard play this support slot in Kilkenny with him today.
There was something in the heir last weekend in Greece. Indeed there were wedding belles ringing out across Europe. But I digress...
In 1997, before he died, the author William Burroughs described Patti Smith (in a piece he wrote for a photographic book by Michael Stipe) as like a "shaman" - "someone in touch with other levels of reality".
Brendan Grace's ruling philosophy seemed to be: ''Stop hoping for happiness tomorrow. Have it today.''
In the late 1990s, Mr Neil Young was asked, unwisely, how he felt being called The godfather of Grunge. He thought about it for a second before harrumphing hilariously: "I prefer Don Grungio..."
The drive from Dublin to Dingle would wreck your head.
'Sometimes, I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast," goes the famous line in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.
Joy is unconfined next week for Rosanna Davison and Wesley Quirke. I know what you're thinking; joy is unconfined every week for Rosanna Davison and Wesley Quirke.
Unless you're Carl Jung, I suggest you analyse the words of Thom Yorke's twitchy third solo album Anima at your peril. You might as well as bake a cake blindfolded while dancing along to Paul Thomas Anderson's 15-minute music video for the album on Netflix as to expect to decode Yorke's abstract post-George Orwell fortune cookie wisdoms on Anima.
Adele King aka Twink has always reminded me of one of those great pioneer women who crossed the wild plains of America in the 1800s with a bible in one hand and a hatchet in the other.
Will the Duchess of Cambridge be there? My lips are sealed. Next Sunday, acclaimed Kerry-born artist Gemma Billington is unveiling her new exhibition An Duchas at Cill Rialaig Arts Centre in Ballinskelligs. Lest we forget, Gemma's pal Kate Middleton, in 2007, pitched up with her mother Carole at the opening night of Gemma's exhibition Wild Winter off Skellig at Urban Retreat, Hanover Quay in Dublin.
It is unlikely, though not implausible, that Prince Rogers Nelson would have sanctioned the release of Originals, a compilation of 14 previously unreleased compositions - some technically demos - written for other performers.
I met the one and only Mike Scott last Thursday night. There are very few rock stars like him. The energy around him is like electricity, like an aura that God stopped manufacturing years ago.
I first revealed the lovely story of their relationship almost eight years ago in this very column. So your diarist is exceedingly glad to see the incomparable Liz O'Donnell and her beau, high-flying legal eagle John White, are still going strong. Take last weekend. There was a big family soiree of 13 or so people in Rasam, Glasthule for John's birthday.
No better woman than Imelda May to headline Kaleidoscope, Ireland's first proper camping festival for families, on June 28, 29 and 30 in Russborough House, Blessington.
"I'm a singer/songwriter/teacher/mother," says Cork's own Hilary Bow, who releases Don't See Any Lines this Thursday on World Refugee Day. She explains that a lyric begins at the moment of departure from 'home' into "the journey of unchartered territory": 'Feather on my wing/Stay close, tuck in.'
It's official. Leo Varadkar does things differently. That's probably why he is Taoiseach. That's why most of us love him. Take a casual chat your diarist had with our great leader last Thursday afternoon.
Phil Lynott didn't lick it off the stones. His mother had rock star charisma in spades. She had a rock'n'roll heart. There is a lovely story in Allan Jones's book Can't Stand Up For Falling Down: Rock'n'Roll War Stories about Ms Lynott's "showbiz hotel" in Manchester in the 1970s. The young Melody Maker reporter Jones pitches up at Clifton Grange Hotel in August 1976 where Philomena...
A Bentley sits magisterially in the driveway. When the door to Louis Murray's home of nearly 40 years swings open, an opulent mansion with marble floors and art on the walls is revealed. His friend Brian Archer ushers me into the large hall.
Thunder only happens when it's raining? Neither happened last night in Dublin as Fleetwood Mac brought their classic 1970s Californian rock swagger to the Royal Dublin Society.
I don't know what you did last Sunday - something profoundly civilised, no doubt. And I hope you thoroughly enjoyed it, too.
Belfast became extra posh last week. Galen and Hilary Weston attended a special service of thanksgiving at Belfast Cathedral for Sacha, the Duchess of Abercorn, who died on December 10 in London.
'I've never met an animal I didn't like," the late Doris Day once said, "and I can't say the same thing about people."
Saturday, we’re in love. Tomorrow night, Robert Smith will take the stage for a massive show in the home town of a band he never wanted to be like in any shape or form. In the late 1980s The Cure were being touted as the next U2. They had a number one album with Wish and played two stadium tours across America. “I was congratulated and told I was amazing whenever we went,” he said in an 2012 interview with Word magazine, “and that was the most miserable year I ever had.”
Lemmy was asked in 2010 the secret of his survival. "Not dying," the Motorhead legend replied.
It's like an episode of House of Cards, shot in a former minister for justice's house in Dundrum. Sitting with a cup of coffee, a denim-clad Alan Shatter says we live in a world where truth and fake news are seen through a different prism because of Donald Trump.
Ray Darcy isn’t the king of self-doubt. That crown, in fact, rests rather more heavily on the head of Bruce Springsteen.
Last night in Cork Rod Stewart made sure that Liam Miller was in our hearts.
It can't but have been one of the most stylish weddings of the year thus far - given the bride and her credentials. Head of Communications for L'Oreal Ireland, Roisin Tierney- Crowe got married in her home village of Templederry in Co Tipperary yesterday. It is a long way to Tipperary but home is where the heart is for bride Roisin, who married beau Mark McCarthy at 1pm in the Church of the Immaculate Conception. And Roisin was the absolute personification of immaculate, wasn't she?
Boys mightn't cry - but they certainly listen to a wide selection of tunes when they're growing up.
Travelling in the company of those we love, goes the phrase, is home in motion. With young kids - even young kids we love - it is more like hell in motion. They say madness is to keep doing the same things and expecting different results. Still, my wife and I hoped against hope when we flew back from Gran Canaria. Our flight home to Dublin with the kids proved to be even worse - if such a time can be possible - than the one going out two weeks ago.
Bohemian smackhead symphonies he has written aplenty. Still, Peter Doherty, the Rimbaud/Bauderlauire/insert your own bonkers poet of his day, knows his way around a poignant if earthy lyric.
The future Mrs Day had quite a day in a certain swish St Stephen's Green establishment last Sunday. I speak, of course, of Nadia Forde.
In his wanton 1970s and 1980s heyday, Elton John was probably more rock 'n' roll than Led Zeppelin and The Who combined.
WC Fields said, wisely: "Never work with children or animals." I am going to amend that to: "Never travel with young children..."
Wearing a teeny weeny Ireland jersey, Johnny Sexton was six years of age when his dad, Jerry, took him to Lansdowne Road for the first time to see a rugby match.
"He not busy being born is busy dying", goes the famous lyric from It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) in 1965. Born on May 24, 1941, Robert Allen Zimmerman, aka Bob Dylan, has been busy being something all his life. He seems incapable of sitting still for very long if at all - 38 studio albums and counting (and, as he sang on the 2015 album Tempest: "I ain't dead yet. My bell still rings.")
It's not often this happens.
Formerly The North London Invaders, Madness formed in 1976 - six teenagers with too much energy who, as Deborah Ross put it in the Independent in 1991, had been "brought together by a north London youth club and a love of Jamaican and jazz music".
Judge him at your peril because he has long hair and dresses like one of the Twelve Apostles styled by Iggy Pop. I find Guggi - for it is he - to be one of the most reliable, and nicest, of gentleman. If he tells you he will be somewhere, there is never a last-minute text to say that something came up.
In 'The Inside Story Of Primal Scream's Screamadelica', James Brown wrote in Sabotage Times: "It was a Monday morning but it could have been a Tuesday morning as they hadn't actually stopped for sundown or sunrise for a while. The only reason they knew it was Monday was because the newspapers their agent had been reading before they left his flat were Sunday newspapers. Bobby Gillespie and Andrew Innes headed out late Friday night and just done club - club - club - club - flat - flat - flat - club - club - club - club ever since. Neither of them had been home for a while. But...
For a time, we lingered to take it all in. Walking through Kilkenny Castle it is difficult not to be struck by the history of the place. It was here in the castle’s state apartments in the 17th Century, the 1st Duke of Ormonde, received the Papal Nuncio, Giovanni Battista Rinuccini during the Irish Confederate Wars. (The latter made it known that his mission from Rome was to “sustain the King, but above all to help the Catholic people of Ireland in securing the free and public exercise of the Catholic religion”.) It is possibly one of the earliest Norman stone castles to be built in Ireland;...
Ageism never gets old. Especially when you use it against yourself like a weapon. It wasn't my first "I feel old" moment. (Hardly. I felt "too old" for going to nightclubs in my late 20s - needless to say that feeling didn't stop me going - and I felt "too old" for my mother bringing me to school when I was nine, and "too old" for going swimming with my dad when I was 12.) When I had my long...
The PR from the Gate thinks I've been thrown out of the interview. And in a way, I have. As punishment for mentioning "the Scottish play" [for the non-luvvies among you, that's Macbeth], Samantha Bond has ordered me to go outside the door in the green room and spin around three times saying sorry before knocking on the door and asking to come back in again.
Rosanna Davison went to the Spinal Injuries Ireland annual spring lunch last Saturday. It was an event very close to the former Miss World's heart. And to her mother Diane's, who accompanied Rosanna to the admittedly swish do at the InterContinental hotel in Ballsbridge.
Meghan Markle once said Sophie Ellis-Bextor's Murder On The Dancefloor was her favourite song. Upon hearing of the Duchess of Sussex's comment, the creator of the aforementioned 2001 neo-disco smash recalled another fan.
Laura Whitmore is lost in a snack-filled dream world. "Oh, I have a Tayto sandwich on special occasions," she swoons. "But not every day," she says, adding that: "I get my mum to send me over tea bags. There is a little shop at the end of my road with an Irish section. They have little things like your bags of crisps and tea bags etc." Laura then names the five things she misses...
Keith Richards and Mick Jagger's falling out, once upon a time, wasn't so much a marriage break-up. It was more a civil war between two of the biggest ego maniacs in the music industry.
Homelessness is no laughing matter . That hasn’t stopped one of Ireland’s funniest women, comedian par excellence Deirdre O’Kane from joining the cast of the Rock Against Homelessness concert at the Olympia on April 23.
I don't smoke dope. Still, that doesn't stop me believing the universe is not separate from us, with its vibrations ... that existence is a great mystery... and that we are all connected to the ever-changing flow of life. Someone stop me if I sound like I may have swallowed each and every song on Astral Weeks by Van the Man in one sitting.
We nearly didn't make it.
Bond's the name. Samantha Bond. She is one of Britain's national treasures.
Cathy Jordan was 12 years of age when her big sister Marie brought her to see De Dannan in concert in Keadue, County Roscommon. It was upon hearing Dolores Keane sing that night that made Cathy's mind up that she wanted to be a singer. Marie worked in St James's hospital as a laboratory technician while Cathy went on to be a gael force of a lead singer with Dervish...
I had lunch with a friend in The Merrion Hotel the other day. I hadn't lunched there in quite a while. But it brought back memories. The last time, admittedly, was a more than eventful repast. It was actually a brunch with the Queen of Food Kitsch herself, Nigella Lawson many years ago...
When legendary Nordie Eddie Irvine was driving like a bachelor bat out of hell for Ferrari in the 1990s, Formula 1 was far more exciting than it is now. All these years on Fast Eddie hasn't lost his fast wit, as I discovered as I chatted to him last Thursday night.
It probably wasn't the best Christmas present he ever got. But Neil Young probably laughed up his flannel shirtsleeve when he received it.
James Brown said Rod Stewart was the world's greatest white soul singer. And to quote one of James's great songs, the one-time sex machine and Jack The Lad certainly enters his suite at the InterContinental in Dublin on the good foot. Beneath his gravity-defying hairdo, he wears it well, his 74 years, in skintight pinstripe trousers, silk scarf, dapper jacket, and leopard skin brothel-...
The King of the Kop - thus named because he scored a club record of 346 goals in 660 appearances for Liverpool - made it official with his Queen two weeks ago.
Your diarist bumped into Deirdre O'Kane on Grafton Street last week. Was she tangoing? No, merely walking, sadly. The actress, comedian, and one-time star of Dancing With The Stars - hence the bad tango joke - was coming out of Martin McDonagh's The Cripple of Inishmaan at the Gaiety Theatre, with her kids Holly and Daniel. She told me she was gearing up for Paddy's Night in Support of Comic Relief at the 3 Arena on March 17 which Deirdre has organised now for the third year.