Tuesday 22 October 2019

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Miles Davis in 1969

Unforgettable fire of Miles Davis burns 

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.

Jenn Murray. Picture By David Conachy.

Exclusive 'It was like a front row seat at a masterclass' - Jenn Murray talks working with Angelina Jolie and Michelle Pfeiffer on Maleficent sequel 

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.

Hozier will headline Electric Picnic. Photo: Alex Lake

'I am a very silly man in a lot of ways - I'm not a serious person' - Hozier talks fame and love songs ahead of Electric Picnic 

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...

Roisin Murphy

Roisin Murphy sings it back to the Electric Picnic 

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."

Man of great faith .... Singer Daniel O'Donnell, seen relaxing this week in Lyrath Estate, Kilkenny, tries to pray every day. Photo: Mark Condren

'I've more memories of my father's death than his life' - Daniel O'Donnell on losing his father when he was six 

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...

Noel Gallagher (Matt Crossick/PA)

Exclusive 'I did a runner on Bono one night’ - Noel Gallagher talks quitting cocaine, leaving London, musical evolution, and a life less ordinary 

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...

Florence Welch

Florence, the nightingale of ethereal song 

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.

Philomena 10 years ago at the opening of the Phil Lynott 60th birthday tribute. Photo: Arthur Carron/Collins

Barry Egan: 'Philomena Lynott was one of the great characters of Irish life - with charisma in spades and a rock'n'roll heart' 

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...

Robert Smith and The Cure played Malahide Castle on Saturday night

The Cure - the ultimate fantasy setlist for Malahide Castle concert 

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.”

Roisin Tierney Crowe got married. Photo: Brian McEvoy

Radiant Roisin makes Mark on Templederry 

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?

Iconic: Bobby Gillespie

Primal Scream succumb to Pier pressure 

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...

Kilkenny Castle is a destination for those who love history, a sense of grandeur, and outdoor fun

Easy walks through our ancient worlds... Kilkenny 

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;...

Comedian Deirdre O'Kane is gearing herself up for a charity night on March 1. Photo: Marc OSullivan

Deirdre set for Gaza while Holly in Enfield 

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.