30 years since Like A Prayer: pop masterpiece that captured the real Madonna Louise Ciccone
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...
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...
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...
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...
The rising hip-hop star and in-demand producer and songwriter Maverick Sabre - or plain old Michael...
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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...
Even today, it still happens. Ian O'Reilly will be walking down the street when a stranger shouts...
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...
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,...
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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It is a curious fact that has not gone unnoticed by Johnny Sexton's international teammates. On every single occasion that Ireland has won the Six Nations championship this decade his wife, Laura, has been pregnant. In August she will give birth to their third child and, unsurprisingly, the couple have had to take a good-natured ribbing.
It may be just a short drive from Carlow town, but the village of Tinryland feels as though it is from another world.
The benefits to being in a critically adored, globetrotting, Grammy-winning band have been exhaustively chronicled, but it's probably fair to say that getting to take your octogenarian father on the adventure of a lifetime isn't one of them.
It is a beautifully sunny Tuesday evening and Dalkey is looking especially resplendent. Shops are closing on Castle Street - the prosperous coastal town's main drag - and crowds are gathering outside The Queen's Bar and Restaurant to enjoy an al fresco drink.
Musicians decamping to another country for tax-saving purposes is nothing new. Ireland welcomed a slew of big-names in the early 1990s and all those years David Bowie spent living in Switzerland in the '80s wasn't simply because of the alpine scenery.
It was meant to be a compliment, but Review's opening gambit to Chrissie Hynde gets her riled up. A few days before our interview, she appeared on stage in London with Canadian band Arcade Fire and the performance has been posted by many fans on YouTube. It makes for compelling viewing and I tell her that. But the Pretenders founder is none too pleased.
Even in an industry as given to hyperbole as music, we've never seen the like before. Kicking off tonight in Cork, Ed Sheeran plays nine sold-out shows in stadia and parks on this island and more than 400,000 tickets have been shifted. That's one tenth of the entire population of the Republic and he could probably play another few dates at the Phoenix Park and they'd still be clamouring for more.
In 1996 a reformed Sex Pistols played London's Finsbury Park. They thought it would be a smart idea to goad the crowd by playing decidedly un-punk songs before they came on stage. But the plan withered as soon as Abba's 'Dancing Queen' blasted from the PA. There was no booing; instead, the ageing punks in the audience heartily sung along, word perfect.
The cover artwork of U2's least-sounding U2 album, Pop, features close-up photos of the four band members with each famous face treated in a different colour.
Earlier this week, Alva O'Sullivan made a vegetable soup for her family from scratch. The Dublin-based fitness trainer and health coach takes the food she puts into her body - and that of her children - very seriously, so she was dismayed when one of them suggested that pleasant as the soup was, it didn't taste nearly as nice as the supermarket-bought soup she had had the week before.
Doing Pana sounds like performing an exotic South Sea dance, but to residents of Cork city it involves ambling down Patrick Street, window shopping and talking to whomever they might meet along the way as the traffic trundles by.
It is busking of the high-end variety. John Sheahan, the last living member of The Dubliners, takes to the balcony at Bewley's, Grafton Street, and serenades the shoppers below with a rendition of one of his own beloved compositions, 'The Marino Waltz'.
It is Thursday night, a day after the so-called 'Rugby Rape Trial' has concluded, and Brigid Mae Power is thinking of the young woman in Belfast who took the case. "This is for the victim," she says, seated at the piano at Dublin's BelloBar, before launching into a song about resilience in the face of oppression.
Cathy Davey is in the 19th-century Unitarian Church on Dublin's St Stephen's Green, ready to record her debut live album - but the circumstances are far from ideal. She is smothered with a cold and a succession of hot drinks and lozenges are on hand to help get her through it.
For anyone born after, say, 1995 the appeal of the NME - which has just ceased printing after 60-odd years - may be impossible to fathom. There's a chance that even music-obsessed early twenty-something digital natives may have had no cause to peruse its pages or even look at its online edition.
The concert has finished at the Olympia and two young female attendees can be heard talking about the show they've just witnessed as they make their way to the exits. "In years to come we'll be able to say we saw him play here," one says. "Somewhere as intimate as this."
Paul Redmond was 21 before the shadow that had been following him for his entire life started to take shape. It was then that he discovered the name of the woman who had given birth to him in the Castlepollard Mother and Baby Home, Co Westmeath, in 1964.
It is 45 years since the release of Planxty's self-titled debut album but it remains one of the most influential Irish records ever. If The Chieftains helped ensure the survival of traditional Irish music in the 1960s, Planxty would demonstrate just how versatile and forward-looking it could be in the 1970s.
A cursory glance at the Irish singles chart of 1978 demonstrates the global appeal of disco. The Bee Gees, Boney M and John Travolta/Olivia Newton-John all enjoyed number ones. Abba had a couple of chart-toppers and fellow Eurovision winners Brotherhood of Man also reached the top spot.
Shayne Phelan is one of the country's leading authorities on bushcraft and survival. He runs courses at Ridge Eagle Survival Co Wicklow.
It was crude cameraphone footage that went viral. In the days before the Beast from the East and Storm Emma were set to hit - and with Met Éireann warning us to take every precaution - customers in a Dublin convenience store were filmed alighting on a trolley of sliced pans like seagulls attacking an overflowing bin.
There was a decidedly strange mood outside the Four Courts on Monday afternoon. The contrasting sentiments of elation and dejection were nowhere to be seen as both sides appeared to claim victory.
Brett Anderson has written a wonderfully evocative memoir, but Suede fans hoping for Morrissey-type score-settling will be disappointed.
For most fledgling bands, the business of recording an album together means arranging mutually convenient times, hiring a studio, getting a producer involved and being mindful about deadlines. For Ships, the reality could hardly have been more different.
On the day that Review meets rising Wicklow trio Wyvern Lingo, yet another actor has been accused of inappropriate sexual behaviour. This time, it's Aziz Ansari, star of the Netflix comedy series Master of None.
This day 30 years ago smoking was banned on Dublin Bus. Shay Healy took to the 48A for RTÉ to gauge opinion and he encountered several passengers who were furious at the 'nanny state' intervention.
It was hailed as one of the finest wildlife television series ever made and at the end of the final episode of BBC's Blue Planet 2 last December, David Attenborough issued a plea: "The future of humanity - and all life - now depends on us."
It can be a tricky business telling an artist why you like their new work, especially if the word "commercial" pops up, but Alex Kapranos seems remarkably pleased when it's put to him that while the new Franz Ferdinand album may sound completely different to anything they - and he - have done before, it's still capable of mixing it in the charts alongside the Taylor Swifts and Justin...