RuthAnne Cunningham: Streetwise songstress who has penned songs for Britney Spears and One Direction
RuthAnne Cunningham talks about the immense satisfaction her career has given her and she is reminded of the gloriously strange path she has...
RuthAnne Cunningham talks about the immense satisfaction her career has given her and she is reminded of the gloriously strange path she has...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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 was an achievement that JD Flynn once thought impossible - and it happened two weekends ago.
It may be just a short drive from Carlow town, but the village of Tinryland feels as though it is from another world.
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...
The benefits to being in a critically adored, globetrotting, Grammy-winning band have been exhaustively chronicled, but it's probably fair to...
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.
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 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...
Online access for children is the thorny subject that has to be negotiated in the vast majority of cases that come before Joanna Fortune.
It has been a momentous week for campaigners on both sides of the great abortion debate as it was finally confirmed that a referendum would be held this summer.
Ian Katz, the head of programming at Channel 4, was shown just one episode of Derry Girls and he green-lit the second series immediately. The short, snappy comedy has been a sensation since it first aired in early January.
When Pat Kiely decided to move jobs and take up a senior sales position at a new television broadcaster that had yet to launch, he couldn't help but be struck by the suggested start day.
Jonathon Ng truly began to realise that his music was reaching a wide audience when Lorde left a sweet message on his Facebook page that espoused just how much one of his songs, 'Sex', had moved her.
In December 2015, Sky Arts broadcast a documentary that felt like an outlier compared to the usual cultural films it shows. The hour-long programme, A Wreck Reborn, followed Shane MacGowan in his pursuit of a more palatable smile.
Raheem Sterling has been having the season of his life. The 23-year-old striker has been a key component in Manchester City's superb run in the Premier League, and the runaway leaders are keen to ensure he stays put. One of his goals could well deliver victory in tomorrow's clash away to his former club, Liverpool.
Craig Fitzgerald might just be the youngest looking 24-year-old you'll ever meet. He's as fresh-faced as someone planning to sit the Leaving Cert this summer, but he's already a veteran when it comes to fronting bands.
The interview hit a nerve. Conor Skehan, the chairman of the Government-initiated Housing Agency, was suggesting that some of the many thousands of homeless people in emergency accommodation were "gaming the system" in order to be moved up the list for social housing.
The excitement had been growing for weeks. When Pope John Paul II touched down on Irish soil for a heavily scheduled three-day visit on September 29, 1979, it was at fever pitch.
From Father John Misty to Taylor Swift, our music critic looks back over the most outstanding sounds of the year
For our round-up of the biggest news of the year, we are highlighting the people who were at the centre of the most talked-about stories of 2017, in politics and beyond.
To her supporters, Alice Glenn was one of the most formidable politicians of her era, but to the liberal wing of Garret FitzGerald's Fine Gael in the 1980s, she was a harbinger of doom.
Samuel T Herring is in a playful mood. He is, he tells Review, enjoying the rock and roll lifestyle right now - from his room in a faceless hotel at Heathrow Airport.
The words of the report could hardly have been starker. "Ireland's natural heritage is being steadily whittled away by human exploitation, pollution and other aspects of modern development. This could represent a serious loss to the nation."
It's just another afternoon in the life of a veteran rock star. Brian May is in his tour bus in Sweden having played a Stockholm enormadrome the night before. Next stop Copenhagen.
It was hard to escape Fun in the early months of 2012. The US trio, who had had little impact on this side of the world until that point, suddenly were responsible for a massive crossover indie-pop hit. 'We Are Young' featured the vocals of Janelle Monáe and would go on to win the Grammy for Song of the Year.
'I shouldn't be here," Bono sings on U2's new album, "cause I should be dead." It's a stark opening line from Songs Of Experience's second track, 'Lights Of Home', and one that will beg more questions about the frontman's unspecified recent "brush with mortality".
It is one of the greatest love songs ever written, and it was penned for Peggy Seeger. Now 82, this icon of the folk revival, and stalwart of the protest song genre, remembers hearing 'The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face' for the first time.
Susie Hall remembers the occasion like it was yesterday. It was 1971, and she had just got engaged and could hardly wait to show off her engagement ring to her teacher colleagues at the fee-paying girls school, Loreto Foxrock, in south Dublin.
David Shire cut his movie composer teeth on some of the great paranoia thrillers of the 1970s. It was his spooky, piano-based score that helped elevate The Conversation - directed by his then brother-in-law Francis Ford Coppola - into one of the great films of the decade. And he also was instrumental in shaping the sound of two of the era's defining movies, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three and All the President's Men.
November was supposed to be a special one for U2. These weeks would be all about building excitement for the release of their 14th studio album, and first in three years.
There was a genuine sense of excitement when the brand new Páirc Uí Chaoimh opened its gates this summer. Almost 11,000 went through the turnstiles for an intermediate hurling match between two local clubs - a 'dry run' before the stadium opened for inter-county business. They were there to drink in the surrounds, not least the imposing three-tier South Stand that has quickly become one of Cork city's most prominent landmarks.
Declan O'Rourke flashes a rueful grin. "It is a difficult subject to get people interested in," he says. "Some just don't want to know and others will say, 'There's no way I'm going to listen to that'."
Halloween may be celebrated the world over, but it was here — in Ireland — that the tradition first got under way. It was through the ancient Pagan festival of Samhain that the modern-day idea of trick or treat first emerged.
Betrayal. It's the first word that Dr Marie Keenan thinks of when she considers the overriding emotion experienced when a family member is revealed to be a sex offender.
I'm a few minutes into my interview with Benny Andersson and he seems like such an agreeable sort that I decide to share with him my very earliest memory.
In a world of cookie-cutter pop stars, Grace Jones continues to stand apart. For more than 40 years, this striking Jamaican has enjoyed a special place in that crossroads where music, art and fashion all meet.
Mark Breen is not one to soften his words when it comes to safety - and he found himself increasingly annoyed earlier this week when considering that some people were suggesting there had been an overreaction to Storm Ophelia.
Andy McCluskey could hardly be in cheerier form. He has spent the day with his son, who's also a musician, but rather than slave away in the studio as they had originally planned, the two have repaired to senior's home for a spot of baking.
Oscar-winning actress Brenda Fricker has joined the growing band of high-profile figures in condemning the disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.
It was September 2013 and the setting was the plush Patria restaurant in Toronto. Dublin film-maker John Carney had just screened his latest movie, Can a Song Save Your Life, at the city's renowned film festival and all involved were enjoying the aftershow party.
It's been many years since I last interviewed Josh Ritter, but he greets me with a hug. It's charming and disarming and a reminder that a man long considered to be one of music's nice guys hasn't changed.
It is not difficult to imagine how awful it must have been to be locked up in Spike Island's Punishment Block.
It was the summer of 2015 when Luke Reilly and Dave Anthony faced a significant dilemma. Having completed their degrees in medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, they could either accept junior doctor jobs in a hospital - or sign a contract with a record label. They had two weeks to decide.
It is easy to miss Peter Coonan. The image of Fran from Love/Hate is so indelibly imprinted in my mind that I almost don't notice the smiling figure, bedecked in knee-length shorts and T-shirt messing on his phone in the back of the coffee shop-cum-pub that we've arranged to meet in.
2007 There are signs that all is not well in the property market - new developments aren't selling out, buyers are pulling out of sales and a daft.ie report indicates a slowdown in prices in the second quarter of the year. But vested interests are still talking a buoyant game and not everyone is happy with those who question the strength of the market. Taoiseach Bertie Ahern puts it bluntly: "Sitting on the sidelines, cribbing and moaning is a lost opportunity… I don't know how people who engage in that don't commit suicide."
Forty years ago this month, David Bowie released a new single. 'Heroes' was an epic anthem underpinned by a spectacular guitar line courtesy of Robert Fripp of the progressive rock band King Crimson.
Paul Brady's recording studio is to be found at the bottom of his leafy garden. There's a busy road outside, not far from Sandyford, in south Co Dublin, but when you're in his studio, looking out at a wealth of trees, shrubs and flowers and absorbing how quiet it is, you might as well be in the heart of the countryside.
Thirty years ago, in the wake of the enormous global success of The Joshua Tree, the record industry descended on Dublin in a bid to find the next U2.
It is the morning after their first show in two years and Danny O'Donoghue, Mark Sheehan and Glen Power are still on that postconcert buzz. They debuted four new songs at Dublin's National Stadium - the home of Irish boxing and once, long ago, the venue for fabled Led Zeppelin and Thin Lizzy gigs - and were relieved that the fans lapped them up so enthusiastically.
It was one of the publishing sensations of the decade. In 2006, it was impossible to escape talk of the self-help manual, The Secret. Penned by former Australian TV journalist Rhonda Byrne, sales rocketed thanks to the endorsement of Oprah Winfrey.
It is 1pm on a weekday afternoon and the line of people queuing outside The Happy Pear is snaking on to the street outside. There's nothing unusual about this - the healthy eating restaurant that first opened its doors on Church Road, Greystones, in 2014 is an institution and they come from all over to sample its salads, falafels and meat-free burgers.
Twenty years ago this weekend - Oasis released one of the most anticipated albums of the 1990s. Be Here Now would become the fastest-selling album in UK chart history (based on first-week sales) but the critical brickbats weren't slow in coming. It was, most seemed to agree, a bloated, over-the-top collection of stadium-baiting anthems where stupendous amounts of money were swishing about...
It may be our national emblem, but you're more likely to see a hurdy-gurdy played on stage than a harp these days. Outside the realm of the National Concert Hall, this remarkable instrument - which has been a symbol of Ireland for centuries and was played by the country's first music superstar, Turlough O'Carolan, in the late 17th and early 18th centuries - is almost never seen.
On the second-last day of 2010, the body of a musician was found in a St Petersburg Hotel. It was Bobby Farrell, a singer from the Dutch colony of Aruba. Farrell had been a member of Boney M during their massive-selling heyday at the end of the 1970s, but few would have recognised the 61-year-old discovered by hotel staff in the old Russian capital.
Hoa Hoa was a Swedish weightlifter who was inescapable in his home country in 1974. This arrestingly monikered figure was the focal point of an advertising campaign to introduce paternity leave there - and over the next 40-odd years, Scandinavia's largest nation became a world-leading model for equality.
So this is what a crowd-pleasing U2 show looks like. From the moment Larry Mullen enters the stadium, strides to the secondary stage in the mosh-pit, takes his seat at the drum kit and bashes out the famous opening beat of 'Sunday Bloody Sunday', you sense this show will be different. And so it is.
The sight of carloads of surfers driving into Lahinch is a commonplace one. Nobody bats an eyelid when yet another vehicle with surfboards strapped to the roof pulls into town.
It is almost 10pm on a July midweek night and the light is fading over Liscannor Bay. The waves are rolling to shore, but there's still lots of activity on this Blue Flag beach at Lahinch. Scores of surfers are still out, catching those waves and riding them home. A few start to pack up their things and make their way to cars and vans parked off the promenade. Others are, as yet, undeterred by the oncoming blackness as they paddle out to sea to ride one last wave.
It may not always be reflected in the summer music festival line-ups, but this is something of a golden age for Irish female musicians. Our reporter meets six of the brightest young talents the country has to offer
In the middle part of the last decade, every music critic worth their salt was espousing the greatness of Canadian music. And there was so much of it. Arcade Fire had delivered the incendiary, glorious Funeral, Feist were capturing hearts with a beautifully realised pair of albums and Stars were working admirers into a lather thanks to their spirited torch songs.
Charlie Fink isn't the only musician to look to the theatre to refresh their sound - and the 'gig theatre' phenomenon will be coming to a stage near you soon. Here are three of the latest.
Billy Bragg is sitting in the bar of a swish boutique hotel in Dún Laoghaire, glorious summer sunshine and the sparkling Dublin Bay waters outside. But his mind is quite far away. Grenfell Tower in London is a smouldering ruin and he can't stop thinking about it.
It is a question that encourages Damien Dempsey to break out into the widest grin. Is he happy, I venture, with how his career has panned out?
Several years ago, around the time that Franz Ferdinand released their much admired debut album, I interviewed frontman Alex Kapranos and quipped that it wouldn't be long before the band would be fending off the groupies.
The green fields and high hedgerows in the Wexford countryside around the villages of Castlebridge, Screen and Curracloe must have felt utterly alien to Joseph Maskell.
She dropped out of school at 15 and took a factory job before finding her calling in animation. Now, Cork's Nora Twomey - one of the founders of the Oscar-nominated Cartoon Saloon - is working with Angelina Jolie and has been hailed by Variety as one to watch. Ahead of the release of her passion project The Breadwinner, she meets our reporter.
Brian Byrne is a great believer in the far-reaching potential of a chance meeting. The Golden Globe-nominated film composer has become one of Hollywood's most in-demand music men and it might not have happened had he not met Tom Petty's road manager in his home town of Navan, Co Meath, 15 years ago.
For almost a century, it was one of the most celebrated pubs in Dublin. Its striking exterior boasted six miniature monastic round towers that jutted into the sky and its façade had elaborate stucco work featuring such homegrown heroes as Daniel O'Connell and Henry Grattan.
It sold out in just five minutes. Even those who were convinced that Electric Picnic tickets would be in demand when they went on general sale in March were stunned by the speed with which they were snapped up. And that was before a single act had been announced.
The line of people outside the shabby looking house in hip Dublin 8 snakes on to the street. They are here to view a one-bedroom flat with a monthly rent of €1,300. Twenty two people - some of them coupled up - wait for the estate agent to arrive.
Six months ago, in the run up to Christmas, it was impossible to get away from 'hygge', that Danish concept of contentment. A whole industry seemed to have sprung up to sell us the dream of living close to nature in gorgeous and expensive Scandinavian homes, of having unlimited candles at the ready for when our beautifully dressed and photogenic friends call round, of eating exquisitely presented food that's been foraged half-way up a mountain. It was hard not to be thoroughly sickened by it all.
Is the arts world obsessed with youth? All those features seeking out the best new talent seem to focus exclusively on young bands and young writers. If you're creatively minded but have not published your first novel or recorded that debut album before turning 30, you might be forgiven for thinking the opportunity has passed you by.
There are times when it is easy to forget that Oberstown Youth Detention Centre is a prison. The new buildings are so architecturally pleasing and the elevated view across the rolling farmland of north Co Dublin so captivating on a summer's day that you might feel as though you've stumbled across the Scandinavian ideal of an Irish school.