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Dreadful Dylan's concert proved he's past his sell-by date

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Bob Dylan played Dublin on Thursday

Bob Dylan played Dublin on Thursday

Bob Dylan played Dublin on Thursday

The Bob Dylan concert in Dublin on Thursday night was one of the worst musical experiences of my life. Dylan's descent to has-been status was reflected by the large number of audience members who walked out en masse before the concert was over.

Dylan's expressionless interaction with the audience was absolutely zero; not a hello, a thank you, a goodnight or even a wave of the hand…nothing at all. He and his band walked off stage after just 90 minutes.

They came back and did two songs but many people had already left.

However, there are many who appear to be happy to continue elevating this man to god-like status and find whatever he does or doesn't do totally acceptable.

My position is that since there was no greeting from him at the beginning, during or at the end the concert, I couldn't be bothered applauding as I normally would at a concert at which the artist respects the audience. If he wants no interaction, it can work both ways.

His choice of material was dreadful and his rendition of standards made famous by Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole sounded like a drunk singing on a bus. Dylan's voice is fine for his own catalogue of beautiful songs, but it is not suited for the music of others.

The only highlight was his excellent band of musicians who did a great job propping him up; without them, his performance would have collapsed - yet he didn't once introduce, acknowledge or thank them.

One could forgive Bob Dylan for delivering a poor performance if he just had the graciousness to acknowledge in some small way his loyal audience, who had paid hard-earned money for tickets which were by no means cheap.

Many had travelled very long distances to see his show. He delivered pitifully few of the songs these people had come to hear.

Sad to say, the concert highlighted the fact that Bob Dylan is well past his sell-by date.

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David Bradley

Drogheda, Co Louth

 

Ridiculous to fine us over CO2

Ireland is apparently liable to incur substantial fines from the EU for failure to meet its CO2 emissions targets. This is an extraordinary outcome as Ireland is actually extremely efficient in its use of energy and in its productivity in terms of CO2 emissions.

This is because we do not have any large energy-intensive industries and our economy is based on service provision, tourism and agriculture. Nevertheless, we should not be penalised on this account.

Figures for 2015 show that Ireland ranks second in the world in energy efficiency per unit of GDP at $20,754 per ton of energy consumed expressed as BOE (barrel of oil equivalent), a considerably higher figure than Germany and substantially better than the EU average, with only the non-EU country Switzerland doing better than us.

We are also extremely efficient in terms of CO2 emissions, which stand at $7,850 of GDP per ton of CO2 emitted. Only Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and France are more efficient than us on this measure, largely because they have very high levels of non-CO2 emitting electricity generation from hydro power and nuclear, while Denmark imports large amounts of hydro-generated electricity from Norway.

Again we are considerably better in this regard than Germany and the EU average. So why are we being penalised?

David Whitehead

Kinvara, Co Galway

 

Charles's cúpla focal

During his latest visit to Ireland, Prince Charles apologised for his poor grasp of Irish. He needn't have bothered. The vast majority of those present wouldn't have had a clue either.

Niall Ginty

Killester, Dublin 5

 

Secret to Eurovision success

Surprise, surprise, we've missed out on reaching the finals of Eurovision for the fourth consecutive year. I'm gutted and all, but seriously - what do we have in common with the likes of Serbia and San Marino?

If we want to be competitive again, we must recruit the best songwriter in the land and pay them a fortune to write a quality song. Ccouple this with a solid singer and we have something decent. It's as simple as that.

Or actually, anyone have Bono's number?

Sam Curtin

Co Cork

 

Turning the tables on danger

Given the potential exposure of restaurateurs to injuries caused by table legs being concealed by tablecloths, is it time to amend the Special Restaurant Licence (Standards) Regulations, 1988, which currently state: "Dining tables shall be solidly made and either:

(a) Completely covered with good quality and suitable tablecloths; OR

(b) Surfaced with polished hardwood or a good facsimile thereof or with material of a comparable quality, and have good quality place mats."

Some US restaurants are losing the tablecloths to appear modern and save money. One such restaurant is Masselow's at Northern Quest Resort & Casino outside Spokane, Washington, which undressed its tables when it rebranded as Masselow's Steakhouse this spring.

"A big part of it was to make the restaurant more approachable, but the bonus was the money saved," says Bob Rogers, the restaurant's executive chef. Even though the tablecloths were washed in-house, the resource, labour and replacement costs added up.

"I'd rather put that money toward something that will enhance guest experience," he said.

Caroline Fanning

Caroline Fanning Solicitors, Dublin 18

 

In defence of secular atheists

Nick Folley (Irish Independent, Letters, May 11) bemoans the contributions of "secular atheists" - as if all secularists are atheists.

For example, he makes no mention of Jewish, Muslim or for that matter Christian secularists. In an interview with 'La Croix' last year, the Pope said: "States must be secular…I believe that secularism accompanied by a strong law which guarantees religious freedom provides a framework for moving forward."

No group should receive favourable treatment or be penalised by the State. A secular outlook is one that advocates the separation of Church and State, which is a fundamental doctrine of democracy.

I can only presume that Mr Folley opposes separation of religion and state in all countries, including countries where Christians suffer state-sponsored prejudice and discrimination and where the freedoms of speech and expression are suppressed.

By sheer co-incidence, these countries tend to be places where blasphemy laws exist. I wonder if Mr Folley is aware of the sentencing of Jakarta's Christian governor to two years in prison on blasphemy charges this week?

Rob Sadlier

Rathfarnham, Dublin 16


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