Brian Eno's 1983 album Apollo: An ethereal soundtrack to lunar loneliness
In 1976, four years after the last manned space flight to the Moon, the US documentary maker Al Reinert began interviewing astronauts who had...
In 1976, four years after the last manned space flight to the Moon, the US documentary maker Al Reinert began interviewing astronauts who had...
For most right-thinking people, the thought of sitting in a confined space, in an aircraft strapped to a rocket, and waiting for take-off would be the stuff of nightmares.
Glen Hansard ponders one of the big questions. "What happens to a spirit," he wonders, "when...
Thirteen years ago, I stood awkwardly in the dressing room of Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena and attempted to interview a quartet of nervous men before they took to the stage.
Live music: have we ever had it so good? There's such a huge number of acts to see in festivals and stand-alone shows in any given year, and this...
If you want a neat description of what Bruce Springsteen's first studio album in five years is like, you might as well pay attention to the man himself. "This record," he recently said of Western Stars, "is a return to my solo recordings featuring character-driven songs and sweeping, cinematic orchestral arrangements."
The flugelhorn - for those not in the know - is a brass instrument that looks like a small trumpet. It is probably fair to say it hasn't played a significant role in Irish music up to now, but that might change if Conor O'Brien has anything to do with it.
The 19th-century Gothic writer of the macabre, Edgar Allan Poe, once said that "the death of a beautiful woman is, unquestionably, the most poetical topic in the world".
In an airy rehearsal room on the top floor of the Samuel Beckett Theatre at Trinity College Dublin, actress Deirdre Donnelly is putting every sinew of herself into a performance of a Mick Flannery song. At its end, she looks drained.
Mike Scott had a milestone birthday in December, but The Waterboys frontman is not letting it get to him. "I'm 60," he says, "going on 17."
In an extensive newspaper survey on sex some years ago - featuring more than 12,000...
Claire Beck visible bristles. She and fellow DJs Sally Cinnamon and Kate Brennan-Harding are chatting...
Of the countless shows The Cranberries played in their 30-year history one, in particular, stands...
There are few double-albums released nowadays and certainly not from bands that are largely...
What a difference a month makes. Back in February, Boeing was leading the tributes to its 747 airliner - long dubbed the 'Jumbo Jet' - on the occasion of its 50th anniversary. The world's...
The summer of 1979 was notable for a few things in Ireland. There were marches at the Viking settlement of Wood Quay - in vain, as it turned out. Aer Lingus gave its first female pilot her wings. And nothing could dislodge Brendan Shine's hokey, cheery and as-ghastly-as-its-title 'Do You Want Your Aul Lobby Washed Down' from the top of the charts.
Eileen Flynn started work as a history and maths teacher at the Holy Faith Convent in New Ross in 1978. She was regarded as a gifted teacher, who loved her job and imbued a sense of passion for the subjects among her pupils.
There were great celebrations in the Dublin home that Elaine Cohalan shares with her wife Jenny Synnott this month. Their baby daughter, Cate, turned one and the couple marked the occasion as any family would - with pride and joy and an acknowledgment of the great pleasure that the child has brought.
The Poor Clare's convent in Ennis may not, on the face of it, have much in common with a Dublin actress, reality TV contestant, entrepreneur and social media influencer, but it was to nuns that lead a life of prayer and poverty that Aoibhín Garrihy turned in May 2017.
It is one of those universal truths that makes retirement from high-level sport all the harder to bear. Not only does the star have to step out of the limelight but his or her carefully honed body quickly begins to soften, to pad out, to weaken.
This year was supposed to be very different for Matt Berninger. He might have been concentrating on working on the Cyrano de Bergerac musical that he and wife Carin Besser have been obsessing over. Or he might have been trying to get a scripted reality television project off the ground...
For a certain generation it was just as significant as David Bowie and Mick Ronson playing 'Starman' on Top of the Pops. It was November 1989, and The Stone Roses were making their debut on the distinctly high-brow The Late Show.
I live in Islandbridge, next to the Liffey, and a few minutes' stroll from the Phoenix Park. I spend part of virtually every day in this gloriously verdant oasis, removed from the rush of city life, and it never fails to captivate.
It is the day after the killing in Derry of journalist Lyra McKee, and David Holmes is angry. The proud Belfast man abhors the violence that marred the daily lives for so many during the Troubles and he is desperate for all the bloodshed to be left in the past.
Upstairs in the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre, on the Ashtown side of the park, there is an exhibition that is a bit different to the norm. The subject is the 357-year-old park itself - and what its future might be.
Although it may not have seemed remarkable at the time, the 1970s was an era of prodigious output for the world's most significant acts. Releasing an album every year was common. Some brought out two albums per annum in rare purple patches. And a handful, Elton John included, saw fit to release three albums over the course of 12 months during especially hyper-productive periods.
It is news that alarms Ciarán Hughes. The electric scooter retailer, based in Killiney, Dublin has heard some reports of commuters being stopped by gardaí and asked to show both licence and insurance - and when neither are produced, their scooter is confiscated there and then. Some have had to pay €125 to get them back - the same fee to retrieve a car from the pound.
The Dubliners and Dubliners. Both the great trad band led by the inestimable Ronnie Drew and James Joyce's masterful short story collection have left their mark on Fontaines DC.
It was news that barely caused a ripple in the US. Walgreens, the country's second largest pharmacy chain - with more than 9,000 stores across the 50 states - announced this week that a significant chunk of its outlets would be stocking CBD products.
When Madonna went into the studio in September 1988 to begin work on what would be her fourth studio album, she was the biggest pop star on the planet. Although not an overnight success - having toiled hard until landing a deal with record label Sire - her career experienced a meteoric rise from the moment she released her debut single 'Holiday' in 1983.
Standard Oil was one of the largest companies the world has ever known. Co-founded by tycoon John D Rockefeller in 1870, it grew in tandem with the rise of the motor car, and by the second decade of the 20th century, its dominance looked unshakable.
It is no easy task finding the spot where Maurice 'Moss' Moore's strangled body was dumped. You drive along the narrow, undulating road that takes you into the wind generator-festooned north Kerry townland of Reamore, turn right at the 'cross' and continue up the hillside until you can see woods just ahead. You need to park near here and retrace your journey a couple of hundred metres on foot, until you can hear the babbling of a stream.
The rising hip-hop star and in-demand producer and songwriter Maverick Sabre - or plain old Michael Stafford to his former classmates in New Ross, Co Wexford - is chatting about his impressive new album, when the B-word raises its ugly head.
It has been a bad few weeks when one thinks of musicians that have died far too soon. The passing of The Monkees' Peter Tork and The Prodigy's Keith Flint caused great sadness for admirers of both men and on the day that Review catches up with David Gray, he is reeling from the death of another artistic great - Talk Talk's Mark Hollis.
There is a cliché that Stephen Travers is keen to dispel. The notion that survivors of great trauma experience flashbacks is simply not true, he believes.
The notion of the 'grower' is one of the clichés of music criticism, but few recent albums fit the bill as neatly as John Grant's latest, Love is Magic. I wasn't the only one who felt decidedly lukewarm about it on its release last autumn, but the songs have crept up on me by stealth, and when Grant says it's the favourite of his albums, you feel that he isn't just saying neat little soundbites for the...
Lisa O'Neill has got her first smartphone. It's the second day she has had it, but she's none too pleased about it. "This thing," she says, picking it up and looking at it with thinly veiled disgust, "I just hope it doesn't ruin everything."
Glenageary is the embodiment of that loaded phrase 'leafy south Dublin'. One needs especially deep pockets to afford a home in this suburb next to Dún Laoghaire.
If Bobbie Gentry is known at all to the casual music fan, it's for her 1967 single 'Ode to Billie Joe', and for her debut album of the same name which has the distinction of knocking Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band from the top of the US charts.
Tracey Thorn first started to keep a diary in 1975, when she was 13 years old. Many of the entries were scant snapshots of life in the so-called Green Belt that surrounds London, but they would prove invaluable when the singer started writing a memoir about her teenage years.
Springtime may have arrived in Dublin city, but just half an hour away by car - at the Captain Noel Lemass Memorial in the Dublin Mountains - it feels decidedly wintry. Snowdrifts remain from last week, a strong wind blows along the side of the mountain and the steady rain exacerbates the sense of cold.
When young bands talk to the media about their forthcoming album, the conversation tends to zero in on how obsessed they were about music growing up, how recording songs and playing live are the dreams they had early on.
In October 1981, a week before their second album, October, hit the shops, U2 released a rousing new single. 'Gloria' connected with many and its video, filmed to appeal to the fledgling MTV, featured Dublin's Grand Canal Dock, a part of the city the young band had long been drawn to.
The striking cover image of Sharon Van Etten's new album shows a young child's bedroom. It looks wildly messy with all manner of detritus to be found - including, if you look carefully, a Sharon Van Etten album. It's the sort of space that would horrify anyone, with the exception, maybe, of cleaning guru Marie Kondo.
Tomi Reichental has many distressing memories from the time that he and his family were incarcerated in a Nazi concentration camp, but a couple of them remain indelibly etched in his mind; as vivid to him today as they were when he saw them as a boy.
She may have dedicated her Dublin show on Tuesday night to "all the beautiful Irish women", but Azealia Banks will forever be remembered in this part of the world for her robust views on Ireland's female population.
She may have dedicated her Dublin show on Tuesday night to “all the beautiful Irish women”, but Azealia Banks will forever be remembered in this part of the world for her robust views on Ireland’s female population.
A slew of engrossing television drama series snared us over the past 12 months with the adrenalised spy thriller Killing Eve standing especially tall.
Ciara Kelly noticed a curious phenomenon during her years as a mentor on RTÉ's popular weight-loss show Operation Transformation. Every January, without fail, there would be complaints from members of the public about at least one of the 'leaders' hand-picked from the population. Their problem, it seemed, was they didn't think such and such a leader had a weight issue at all.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Cranberries’ formation, but what should have felt like a celebration is anything but. It’s a year since the band’s focal and vocal point, Dolores O’Riordan, died unexpectedly and tragically and their eighth album, In the End, will be their last when it’s released on April 26.
For generations of shoppers in Dublin, the electronics store Peats was part of the city's retail fabric. Peats of Parnell Street - as it was affectionately known - was the place where many of us bought our first Walkman or turntable or in-ear headphones.
It was July 14, 1974, and thousands of people were enjoying the glorious sunshine at Lake Sammamish State Park in Washington state. Many of them were sunbathing on the beach, including young local women Janice Ott and Denise Naslund.
Even today, it still happens. Ian O'Reilly will be walking down the street when a stranger shouts "Moone Boy!" at him from across the road. It's always affectionate and the young Mayo actor says it's a testament to the enduring appeal of Chris O'Dowd's semi-autobiographical TV series of the same name.
Liam Finn had got used to seeing his famous musician father on stage from his earliest days. He was born when Split Enz were in their pomp, after all, and he was still at primary school when Crowded House were touring the globe. But last year, he tells me, was something else entirely.
From June 1, a 'one host, one home' model for short-term letting will apply in areas of the country, including Dublin, where there is deemed to be a high housing demand.
The bike rental operator has had a quiet day. It's been an uncommonly wet afternoon in Amsterdam and the tourists have left the cycling to the natives. "The summer was epic," Dirk says. "Everybody who comes here wants to cycle and experience life as a local. We had queues out the door."
There are times where you would be forgiven for thinking that we're about to kick off 1999, rather than 2019. After all, two of the biggest gigs of the year will feature Westlife and the Spice Girls and there's a farewell tour from Boyzone as well as a new album from The Backstreet Boys.
It is Saturday, November 2, 2019, and the entire island of Ireland is fixated on events in faraway Yokohama. It's Rugby World Cup Final day and Joe Schmidt's boys in green are on the verge of winning the Webb Ellis trophy. A nation holds its breath.
Our critic picks the 50 records that stood out from the crowd in the last 12 months
It was a year when we looked out in different directions from our small island in the Atlantic and found reason to tut-tut self-righteously at the erratic behaviour of others.
The 'debate' around whether or not to censor 'Fairytale of New York' led to a predictable war of words between avowedly liberal types with a worrying predilection for book-burning and those of us who feel you can't mess with art, no matter how unpalatable it might be for future generations.
Paul Cleary is looking back some 40 years, to a period when his band were seen as one of the country's brightest prospects. It was, he insists, all about the music for The Blades.
It was described as 2018’s great rock ’n’ roll swindle. Threatin, a metal band from Los Angeles, had booked a UK and Ireland tour on the strength of its sizeable online fanbase. But only three paying punters turned up at the 500-capacity Underworld venue in London and, despite claiming that 180 tickets had been purchased in advance for their Bristol show, the audience was made up exclusively of the support band’s guestlist. A date for Belfast was quickly cancelled.
Matt Healy is so disarmingly open you almost feel like telling him to keep his guard up. He is chatting about the addictive aspects of social media when he drops a line - "I was a heroin addict, you know" - into the conversation.
It was described as 2018's great rock 'n' roll swindle. Threatin, a metal band from Los Angeles, had booked a UK and Ireland tour on the strength of its sizeable online fanbase. But only three paying punters turned up at the 500-capacity Underworld venue in London and, despite claiming that 180 tickets had been purchased in advance for their Bristol show, the audience was made up exclusively of the support band's guestlist. A date for Belfast was quickly cancelled.
On Monday morning, John Trainor turned up at the office and fielded one phone call after the next. His phone didn't stop ringing all day. The calls were from brand managers wondering just how they could get their company on to the Irish rugby bandwagon.
In a sea of manufactured pop clones, Héloïse Letissier stood out like a beacon. It was 2016 and her debut album as Christine and the Queens had its international release. It was already a sensation in her native France, and now the rest of the world was getting to hear what all the fuss was about.
When Damien McClean talks about college life - about the happy years he spent as a mathematics student at Trinity College Dublin - his words may fail to register with former students of an older hue.
Pat Kelly had been a referee for two years when he discovered just how precarious the occupation could be. It was a junior soccer game in Cork and a player, unhappy with a decision he had made, chose to let him know in the strongest possible terms: he broke Kelly's nose with a punch.
Few albums have been subject to the sort of praise lavished on Astral Weeks. Van Morrison's second solo album, which was released 50 years ago this month, was described by Bruce Springsteen as possessing "a sense of the divine" while the late, influential and hard-living rock critic Lester Bangs said it was "a mystical document... a beacon, a light on the far shores of the murk".
Almost 30 years ago, Bono stood on stage at the old Point Depot and announced that U2 would have to "go away and dream it all up again".
It has long been hailed as one of the greatest ever break-up albums, but the version of Blood on the Tracks that we have known for the past 43 years isn't nearly as heart-rending as the one that Bob Dylan recorded just a few months earlier.
On a rainy Saturday in September 1988, a large group of elderly men and their families made their way to Islandbridge, just south of Dublin's Phoenix Park, for a commemoration many may have thought they would never see in their lifetimes.
Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin left such an imprint on the world of academia, and was so devoted to unearthing new talent, it is sometimes forgotten just how innovative a musician he was in his own right.
The year was 1977 and a new magazine was shaking up the then fusty Irish media. Hot Press had arrived - and at a perfect time, too, considering punk was sweeping all before it - and among its writers was a young journalist called Julian Vignoles.
It is a comparison that has been made time and time again. Monty Python, it's said, is to comedy, what The Beatles are to music. If the Fab Four forever changed the pop and rock landscape, it is surely fair to suggest that television comedy would look very different if a bunch of whip-smart and super-funny young men hadn't appeared on the BBC in 1969 with a show that still generates belly...
If David Bowie was a critical darling in the 1970s - and, in hindsight, few artists had such an extraordinarily fruitful and creative decade - he was determined to be a globally recognised pop star in the 1980s.
There are more than 63,000 Muslims in Ireland at present - and, within that community, the Halawa family are among the best known. Ibrahim's father Hussein Halawa is the Imam - the spiritual leader - of the country's largest mosque, the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland. The sprawling complex is situated on a large site in the south Dublin suburb of Clonskeagh and it attracts hundreds of devout worshippers every day.
Ireland’s music, cultural and entertainment landscape is a much poorer place today. John Reynolds made a massive difference and it’s only now, after his untimely death at just 52, that we can fully appreciate how he forever changed the game.
It is a chilly midweek evening in October and Philly McMahon arrives early at Ballymun Kickhams, the GAA club he has served with distinction for the best part of 20 years. The Dublin Gaelic footballer - a six-time All-Ireland winner who will be among the galaxy of stars hunting for an unprecedented five-in-a-row in 2019 - may have one part of his mind on tonight's training session, one of the last of a long season, but another part is thinking about a subject that's long occupied him: drug abuse.
On that fateful morning of September 11, 2001, young married couple David Hein and Irene Sankoff were living in New York, dreaming of making it as, respectively, a musician and actress. They were sleeping when the first plane hit the World Trade Centre, but were woken by a call from Sankoff's father back home in Toronto telling them that there had been a terrorist attack and to turn on...
The sight of scores of young Irishmen brandishing tricolours and travelling all over the world to support our sporting stars is not a new one. Ever since Jack Charlton's football team qualified for Euro 88 in West Germany, the green-clad hordes have splashed the cash to go to places as far flung as Orlando, South Korea and New Zealand.
If the housing crisis is the topic most on Irish people's lips, especially now that the abortion referendum has come and gone, it's also a subject that has cropped up with grim regularity when it comes to artists and musicians trying to make ends meet.
It's funny how first always trumps last. Have you ever heard anybody enquire about the best final albums ever made? I can't recall ever reading a listicle featuring the likes of the Smiths' Strangeways, Here We Come or David Bowie's Blackstar. But there's never a shortage of discussion about great debut albums, the ones where the likes of Lloyd Cole and the Commotions' Rattlesnakes is pitched against the Ramones' eponymous debut.
If the Ryanair story has felt like a rollercoaster ever since that first flight left Waterford airport for London 33 years ago, then this week alone must have felt like a funfair ride, too.
Roseto is a small town in Pennsylvania and in the middle years of the 20th century, it was seen as an outlier in the United States. People lived much longer lives there, cardiovascular disease was rare, degenerative illnesses that were common elsewhere were virtually non-existent in Roseto. So what was its secret?
John Niven should come with a Parental Advisory label permanently attached to his forehead, such is his Gallagher-esque enthusiasm for swearing and for speaking his mind in the most forthright way possible. For those of us who weary of interviewees saying very little and saying it as inoffensively as possible, the Scottish record company man turned author and screenwriter is bracingly, compellingly different.
Google was in its infancy when a Stockholm teenager called Daniel Ek went looking for a job. The tech firm advised him to go to university and come back when he had completed his studies.
There's a world of difference in the musical landscape between that first Féile in 1990 and today's reincarnation. Everything from the genres that are most popular, to the way we consume music, and what we're willing to spend on it has altered in enormous ways.
With Suede making a comeback, Kylie touring a fresh sound and slew of new albums, there’s plenty to look forward to this autumn
This time last year the much admired electronica musician, DJ and producer Daithí Ó Drónaí packed his instruments and some of his most treasured belongings into his car and embarked on the long drive - via ferry - to a remote location towards the south of France.
In the darkest winter mornings, when Sean Moore would board the Dublin-bound train from Portarlington, he came to believe that his entire college life would be spent commuting to and from Dublin. He ended up spending the first year-and-a-half of his four-year photography degree at DIT Grangegorman travelling to the capital every morning and back down to the family home in Offaly every night.
On the second floor of the old Jesuit house in Milltown Park in leafy Dublin 6 there's a window at the far end of the corridor. The Spire can be seen from here and several other city landmarks.
It was a honeymoon period that lasted from the start of his papacy in 2013 until January of this year. Pope Francis had captivated Catholics and the non-religious alike with his compassion for the poor and concerns for the environment and when he was named Time magazine's Person of the Year, few quibbled.
The telephone call came out of the blue. Ronnie Tallon was one of the country's most distinguished architects and the firm he co-owned, Scott Tallon Walker, had designed several of the country's most famous modernist buildings, including RTÉ's headquarters at Montrose.
Brendan Butler remembers the visit of John Paul II like it was yesterday. He can visualise the lengthy walk to the Phoenix Park, the sense of excitement that was in the air, the thrill when the pontiff first appeared on the altar in front of the masses. He was a minister of the Eucharist on that September day, 39 years ago, and he savoured every moment.
RuthAnne Cunningham talks about the immense satisfaction her career has given her and she is reminded of the gloriously strange path she has taken in the most random of places. She will be in a spin class in London when the Britney Spears' single, Work B**ch, booms from the speakers and she allows herself a secret smile knowing that she part-wrote the smash hit and not a person sweating...
When a musician opts to call an album after themselves well into their career, it's an attempt to show that they feel a particular kinship with the new music. It's rare, though, that an artist will self-title an album 47 years after their first, but that's exactly what Gilbert O'Sullivan has done.
It was the first time an Irish field sport team had reached a World Cup final and if the capacity at London's Lee Valley stadium was limited to 10,000, there was an impressively large audience back home watching the exploits of the Irish women's hockey team.
Let's play a little self-assessment game. Do you find yourself returning to the same old albums? Have you found yourself moaning about "modern music all sounding the same"? Did you glance at the line-up for this year's Longitude festival and struggle to identify any of the artists?
Danny Sutcliffe does not like to look back. It's a fool's errand, he believes. He shrugs his shoulders when it's put to him that he and his comrades in Dublin hurling were fantastically unlucky to have exited the championship so early.
It seems hard to fathom today, considering his prodigious recording career and fondness for touring, but David Bowie's first show in this country was as late as 1987.
Hilary Woods comes to the interview proffering a gift. It's a vinyl copy of her album, Colt, and it's the way she likes music to be heard.
It was 1991 and heady times for Gaelic football. Down had become the first Ulster team to win an All-Ireland title in 23 years and Dublin and Meath had played an epic four-match tussle in the Leinster Championship.
Gavin Glass is talking about the challenges of being a musician in Ireland today. His words would likely be echoed by all but the most commercially successful, but Glass is determined never to have to return to a soul-destroying job selling insurance policies to people who don't need them.
Kilmacthomas used to be a sleepy little town midway between Waterford City and Dungarvan that was best known as the home of the Flahavan's porridge factory and for its spectacular stone viaduct.
It may be a secluded part of the Phoenix Park but there's still the odd runner and mountain bike enthusiast who takes this verdant route and all of them look at me with a mixture of amusement, bemusement and - maybe I'm kidding myself here - admiration.
When you think of synchronised swimming - that's if this most arcane of pool disciplines ever crosses your mind - you'll likely think of toned young women bearing full make-up and rictus smiles throwing bizarre choreographed shapes to classical music.
For a duo who first made a name for themselves when they were teenagers, the Söderberg sisters, Johanna and Klara, are remarkably grounded. Not for them the clichéd business of going off the rails, of succumbing to alcohol and drugs and all the other trappings of musicians thrust into the limelight while still so young.
It is hard to believe it now, but the prime plot of Dublin 4 real estate currently occupied by Google and its international workforce of thousands used to be home to a meat factory with an industrial-scale abattoir.
Muriel Thornton first learned that the fine dining restaurant she had run for years with her chef husband Kevin had lost its Michelin star when a food critic tweeted in disbelief that the new list of starred establishments did not include Thornton's.
It is a quiet Wednesday afternoon on Knock's main street. Incessant rain and the gusts of what will soon become Storm Hector are keeping pilgrims away. Those who have ventured to the Mayo village take refuge from the elements in the Apparition Chapel or the basilica, currently undergoing something of an internal facelift.
Think you know all there is to know about the greatest show on earth? Here are some nuggets to impress your most World Cup-obsessed mates.
Vladimir Putin has made no secret of the fact he is not a devoted football fan. His sport of choice is judo - and he is said to be gifted at a discipline that requires brawn and brains.
It was an achievement that JD Flynn once thought impossible - and it happened two weekends ago. But it wasn't just completing the gruelling Ironman triathlon in Barcelona that made his heart swell with pride, it was the fact that he was able to fly to the competition - and back home - without a loved one or friend to keep him company on the plane.