College Tribune Entertainment Supplement 23.02.2010
the Siren A breath of fresh Air
Exclusive interview with the French electro legends The Bouncing Souls Charlie Boorman Alexander McQueen The Crazies
The Siren 23.02.10
Dates Announced & New Releases Superstar DJ’s ‘Groove Armada’ have confirmed a Dublin date this month . They will play the Olympia Theatre on Friday February 26th 2010. Tickets priced from €35.60 including booking fee and are on sale now. Culchie favourites ‘The Saw Doctors’ have announced a special Olympia Theatre show live on the Today FM breakfast show. Due to phenomenal demand following their sold out show at the Theatre this February 27th, the band will now also play Saturday 25th September. They also received Platinum Disks in recognition of sales for their best of album ‘To Win Just Once…The Best of ‘The saw Doctors’’ which is out now. Micheal Buble returns to Ireland in what will be a unique and historic event as it will be the very first concert to be staged at the brand new Aviva Stadium (Lansdowne Road). Tickets priced from €65.70 including booking fee go on sale this Friday 26 February at 8.00am for this fully seated concert. British electronic music duo ‘Goldfrapp’ have announced the release of their fifth album, Head First, due to be released on March 22, 2010. The album will be preceded by the single “Rocket” which can be heard on the band’s myspace on March 9, 2010. Canadian Indie rock collective “Broken Social Scene” are set to release their first album in five years. The new Album is called “Forgiveness Rock Record” and is set to be released on May 4.
Jim Scully meets punk band the Bouncing Souls
Charley Boorman chats to Niamh Hanley about what’s been happening in his world of extreme travelling, motorcycles, acting and being a UNICEF Ambassador Page 11
With magazines being discarded in favour of websites, Cathal O’Gara tells us how fashion blogs aren’t just for women
Meteor Ireland Music Awards The Meteor Ireland Music Awards celebrated its ten year anniversary with the best of Irish and International talent at the RDS, Dublin. Hosted by Amanda Byram and showboating outstanding performances from Westlife, The Script, Florence and the Machine, Bell X1, Paulo Nutini, Dizzee Rascal, Temper Trap, The Coronas, Pixie Lott and Brian Kennedy and the Dublin Gospel Choir. Amongst the winners were Christy Moore for Best Irish Male, while for the tenth consecutive year Westlife picked up the award for Best Irish Pop Act. Over the past 10 years the Meteor Ireland Music Awards along with the fans have raised 1,000,000 Euro for charitable causes both in Ireland and around the world. Rage are back Rage Against the Machine have announced their first ever show at The O2, Dublin on June 8th, 2010. The band recently hit the headlines by scooping top spot in the UK singles charts with the 1992 anthem ‘Killing In the Name’. Gallows have been confirmed as the special guests. The band will be giving another outing to their critically acclaimed album ‘Grey Britain’. A date not to be missed. Ryan Cullen
New noise The Funeral Suits Hardly a secret anymore, so does that mean they’re new, or not? I’m not quite sure. Either way, The Funeral Suits have been knocking about for a while now and have been gathering increasing amounts of interest as time goes on – and for bloody good reason too. When you listen to homegrown talent like this it makes you wonder why we give a shit about the mediocre imported trash that so often occupies our stages and radio-waves. Fresh from the stage in The Academy as part of The Shockwaves NME Awards tour, you can’t help but feel that this is a band jam packed with potential on the cusp of something great. The Funeral Suits are a band that ooze cool and have a truly distinctive sound. State.ie recently wrote of the trio, “there’s a lot of magic going on in their songs. Draped in sexy synths, distorted guitar and brilliantly robust drumming, there’s a palpable realisation that something beautiful is happening – we’re not the only ones who seem to be saying “wow”. The real beauty of these songs is that, in terms of influence, they don’t have a recognisable starting point, making their melodic journey all the more joyful to
join in. This is a band whose sound and assurance suggest they’re already earmarked for a great deal of future success. Yup. Exactly that. And if you need any confirmation of that listen to the track ‘Acid Happy’ on their Myspace page. With just one EP under their belt, last years ‘Eye Spy’, the band
are continuously working to complete their first full length release which should hopefully appear sometime within this year. Not being ones to shy away from the stage, the band have dates in Toronto and London on the horizon, adding to an impressive live C.V which boasts dates with Franz Ferdinand, Pas-
sion Pit and Local Natives. The Funeral suits show no signs of slowing down. As they continue to develop, they are a band who believe that “having fun and making friends along the way is essential to that organic growth, and that ‘if people like us then we are honoured, delighted and inspired. We know that not ev-
eryone will like our music but that’s part of the fun’”. With a refreshing lack of bullshit under one arm, and a bucket full of talent under the other, chances are you’ll be hearing a lot more from these guys. www.myspace.com/thefuneralsuits Jim Scully
The Siren 23.02.10
Alkaline Trio This Addiction Jim Scully When retrospectively viewing any remotely punk related releases of the past fifteen or so years, Alkaline Trios 1998 debut full-length “Goddamnit” appears as somewhat of a landmark. The album managed to tackle the oh-so emo issues of love and heartbreak with an air of sarcasm and a healthy dose of irreverence, while somehow still managing to sound sincere. Catchy hooks and clever lyrics captured an audience which soon became a cult following. The trademark dark tones of Alkaline Trio remained over the following four albums, as did the army of dedicated fans, for a while. If 2005’s somewhat poppier “Crimson” isolated certain sections of the band’s following then 2008’s major label debut “Agony & Irony” left them out in the cold. Almost completely devoid of past ingredients the band looked to have left all traces of their previous attempts behind them. So when talk of the band’s latest installment began it was understandable that the old die-hards were less than excited, but as time passed and rumours began to emerge surrounding details of the album even the most disconnected fan couldn’t have helped but be curious. All the ingredients were there to make this a classic Trio record. The band decided to ditch their major label deal and release the album themselves in a joint venture with Epitaph Records. Claiming a return to their punk rooots, the band returned to Chicago and reunited with Matt
HOT CHIP ONE LIFE STAND Steve Toner On their fourth studio album, electro-pop group Hot Chip have made a more relaxed and heartfelt series of tracks than they have ever created before. However, this does not mean that the album has been turned into a melancholic and monotonous affair. Indeed, there are still several catchy anthemic songs, as seems to be obligatory with Hot Chip. The usual array of synths are back in the likes of title track “One Life Stand” and “Take It In” and will keep the dance-floor enthusiasts mesmerised. The latter can easily be placed alongside favourites such as “Ready For The Floor” and
“Over and Over”. However, it is quite evident that main group members Alexis Taylor and Joe Goddard have taken a more emotional and honest approach to this album. When Alexis, in particular, draws out his familiar falsetto vocals, one can almost feel a sense of vulnerability by his lyrics. Alexis wrote his songs after becoming a new dad and this clearly influenced many of the tracks. His lyrics claim “happiness is what we all want” in the opening track and the theme of love seems to echo throughout the album. Though this love theme becomes frustrating and the album suffers from the likes of “Brothers” and “Slush” which could have been omitted altogether due to their extreme cheesiness and melodramatic nature. Overall, this is by no means a masterpiece but “One Life Stand” is Hot Chip’s most meaningful and best written album to date.
Owl City Ocean Eyes Ryan Cullen “Golf and alcohol don’t mix, and that’s why I don’t drink and drive, because good grief, I’d knock out my teeth and hafta kiss my smile goodbye”. Need I say more? Just when you think music couldn’t possibly go down any more dark and disturbing alleyways, out pops Owl City in that alleyway and totally rapes everything that is pure about music. With quite simply some of the most embarrassing lyrics and melodies that make Justin Biebler look like Joe Strummer. Although Adam Young (Owl City) classifies his music as Synthpop, after hearing ‘Ocean Eyes’ many people wouldn’t hesitate in dropping it into the ‘absolute shite’ genre. Sure, the target demographic may be the ignorant thirteen year old
indie kids that would argue that his tunes are melodic and his choruses are ‘catchy’, but I’ll tell you what else is catchy... Chlamydia. Not one song on this waste of packaging makes an iota of sense; for example, “...You would not believe your eyes, if ten million fireflies, lit up the world as I fell asleep, Cause they fill the open air and leave teardrops everywhere...”As we all know fireflies are known for their amazing ability to produce tears. Adam Young stated that ‘Owl City’ came about by turning to music as a result of his insomnia; he really should have tried a different hobby, like the luge for example. But here I sit wondering how decent bands that can string together a coherent lyric are struggling to make ends meet, while ‘fireflies’ has dominated the charts. “Is that the light at the far end of the tunnel or just the train?” –
Allison who produced the band’s first three albums. Just to really seal the deal, front man Matt Skiba went and got a divorce, stating in a recent interview “I had some things go on in my life that just brought me back to that very drunk, very angry and sad young man that I was ten years ago.” Excellent. Kind Of. Anyone who was hoping for a return to the pre-Crimson era will be a little less than impressed with “This Addiction”. Every effort is made here to please all those from the band’s past, and for that reason it all feels a little too contrived. The band make a welcome return to their trusty dark imagery and the more straight forward punk formula of guitar, bass and drums – It’s Alkaline Trio doing what they do best, or at least trying to. On the surface it hits the mark, the album title cleverly intended to draw the analogy between love and heroin addiction, and while track titles like ‘Dead on the floor’, ‘The American Scream’ and ‘Draculina’ display promise, they do nothing to disguise songs which are rarely half as sinister as their title would suggest. Aside from the themes and the more simplified sound, the songwriting is for the most part uninspired and very average. There are some decent songs on here, but perhaps they would have made for a more cohesive work on an E.P release, sparing us the filler. Long story short, fans of later day Alkaline Trio will be content, fans of early Alkaine Trio will not.
The Who Greatest Hits
Jim Scully Why anyone ever felt there was any need to release another compilation of The Who’s music I will never know. There seems to be in or around ten collections of their hits in existence already, and many more collections of different odds and ends. But then again is there ever an excuse needed to listen to The Who? Nope. There is not. Although, chances are if you like The Who you won’t be rushing to out to pick this one up. Or maybe you will if you for some strange reason were up half the night
recently watching some boring American sport and happened to spot this little known band doing their thang at the halftime show. Hmm… Marketing at it’s best. Anywho (see what I did there?), this is a nice enough one-disc collection of The Who’s hits. There are better collections of their music out there but this does give a good introduction for anyone curious about the band’s music. And if the CD catches the eye of an impressionable young person during it’s time on the shelf at the front of the shop then it has served some purpose. It’s all on there, from ‘My Generation’ to ‘Magic Bus’ and ‘Pinball Wizard’ to ‘Baba O’ Riley’. The only major problem with this album is the shortened version of ‘Who Are You,’ cutting close to three minutes off the original track.
The Siren 23.02.10
PIECES OF A MAN As Gil – Scott Heron ventures into the new decade, David Tracey chronicles the ups and downs of one of modern music’s most influential figures
Gil Scott-Heron is many things to many different people. A man who has earned the title of “Godfather of rap” and is often referred to as a legend of jazz. A respected artist who, to this day, receives name-checks from performers as diverse as James Murphy and Kanye West. A poet whose lyrical depth and hard-hitting social critiques, combined with his ability to blur the lines between numerous genres made him one of the most revered and important cult artists of the 1970’s. A HIV-positive felon who has spent much of the past decade in and out of prison on various drugs charges and who has not released a record of original material since 1994. The reason Heron is attracting media attention for the first time in quite a while is because of the imminent release of his long promised new album “I’m New Here”. The truth is though, that a reminder of Heron’s importance and influence is long overdue. Inevitably, much of what is written about Gil Scott-Heron whenever this reclusive man’s exceptional body of work is brought up for discussion centres around the “Godfather of rap” tag that is so often laid upon him. This title represents both a blessing and a curse, Heron’s influence on the birth and shaping of hip-hop was
undeniably huge but the tag also puts him in danger of being painted into a corner. True, the impact of his innovative protorap spoken-word technique, most famously represented by the immortal “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”, still reverberates today, particularly in the work of countless politically and socially conscious rappers from Public Enemy through to Mos Def. But this title could never do justice to the remarkable breadth of this visionary’s achievements during his musical heyday. In his lyrics Scott-Heron is a poet in the truest sense. Defiantly original and instantly recognisable, his songs are defined by their social-awareness, their precision in nailing controversial targets, an enviable skill of penetrating right to the bone of a serious issue, all underpinned by a fierce, indomitable intelligence and wit. The subjects of his rational, passionate and accurate diatribes were wide-ranging. Nixon, Reagan, Watergate, the waste of the U.S Space Programme, apartheid, nuclear power and the harsh realities of Black America; none escaped the unforgiving spotlight of Heron’s criticism. He was perhaps most successful in the last of those capacities, detailing the difficulties of day to day life for average black Americans. In this role his
e d i u G GIG
AIR Olympia/ Feb. 23rd + 24th/ €49.20
beautiful as the band Girls. Christopher Owens and JR White were meant to find each other, sincere rock and roll soul mates in the age of irony. And while that might sound like fancy, it’s closer to the truth than you
The legendary AIR play the intimate surrounds of Dublin’s Olympia Theatre tonight and tomorrow night. They will bring their stunning live show to Dublin for two nights. They will be joined at the Olympia by Belfast’s finest Cashier no. 9. These are two shows which no true AIR fan will want to miss out on.
GIRLS Whelans/ March 1st/ €16.50 It’s rare to find something as true and
ills of society. This is due not only to the man’s characteristic intelligence and vibrant wit in approaching issues but also to his obvious understanding and empathy for the plight of the human condition, a trait that is at the centre of his music and
can be sampled on tracks such as “Pieces of a Man” or the junkie’s lament “Home Is Where The Hatred Is”. It is not just Heron’s words that deserve so many accolades. The tunes that complement his urgent messages are worthy of similar praise. Alongside long time musical partner Brian Jackson, Heron developed a sound that melted down and seamlessly blended jazz, soul pop, blues and latino influences into a totally distinctive whole. The contrasts in style from his bare-bones percussion based debut “Small-Talk on the corner of 125th and Lennox” right through to his later work produced by Malcolm Cecil and Nile Rodgers of Chic are enormous. He is just as adept at handling a heartfelt, soulful ballad as he is at tackling a breathless jazzfunk workout, an approach best represented on “The Bottle”, his angry treatise on the destructive powers of alcohol. Despite these achievements many could not be blamed for thinking we had heard the last of Gil Scott-Heron on record. In recent years his musical exploits have mainly been confined to irregular concert appearances due most obviously to drug addiction, ill health and jail time.
(from the band No Use For A Name) & Jon Snodgrass (from the band Drag The River) performing the Irish leg of their European wide tour. 1) Drawing inspiration from the Kill Rock Stars era Elliott Smith and an upbringing steeped in acoustic acts such as Simon & Garfunkel and Cat Stevens; Cape’s acoustic efforts stand up on their own and finally introduce him as a promising addition to the pantheon of great American singer-songwriters. 2) If you think you’ve got Tony Sly all figured out, think again. For over two decades Sly has made an indelible name for himself as the frontman for No Use For A Name, one of pop-punk’s premiere acts, however those close to him also know that Sly’s musical talents extend far beyond the meWhat? lodic power chords and socially conscious lyrics that he’s pioneered via his career in Punky Reggae Party (Feat. Traycee & NUFAN. Antrophe)
Maybe, though, it was simply that this legendary artist had run out of conviction, maybe the inspiration that had driven him to create music that is still so fresh and arresting today had run out, dried up. Whatever, the reason, or as is more likely reasons, for the irregularity of his musical output since the early 80’s, it takes only one listen to “Me And The Devil”, Heron’s cover of the Robert Johnson blues classic and the first song to be officially released from the new album to realise that this is a man who has lost none of his conviction, shed none of his passion with age and who, despite the passing of the years still retains that essential drive that powered the best of his music. Simply put, Gil Scott-Heron still has something to say. On the track he comes across as a passionate, righteous preacher, his grizzled voice, torn by age and experience, is placed over hard repetitive beats, a total departure from Heron’s trademark sound. The song is grittily atmospheric and thoroughly modern, surely there are vey few people who could have foreseen Heron sitting so comfortably in such a modern context. The great man’s ability to still surprise so late on in his musical career is nothing short of remarkable.
THE MIGHTY STEF Whelans/ Feb. 25th/ €14 Hotpress Magazine described ‘100 Midnights’, The Mighty Stef ’s second album as ‘A Masterpiece’ awarding it 4.5 out of 5. Amidst a smattrering of summer festival appearences Stefan Murphy brings his live show to Whelans for what promises to be their biggest and best Dublin show to date. Support comes from folk sensation Gordon Reeves and North Dublin’s answer to the Coral ‘Git & The Tracksuits’.
achievements are the equal of other more celebrated artists such as Curtis Mayfield or Marvin Gaye. However, his work never reduces itself to mere journalism and neither does it ever come across as a self-righteous lecture on the
think. Girls’ debut album, released earlier this year, is a music obsessive’s paradise, with references dotted all over the place. Like Girls themselves, the music is the sum of many fascinating parts. JOEY CAPE, TONY SLY & JON SNODGRASS Twisted Pepper/ March 7th/ €10 An acoustic evening with US soloists Joey Cape (from the band Lagwagon), Tony Sly
10 Belvedere Court, Dublin 1 (Off Mountjoy Sq.)
The monthly Punky Reggae Party is back after yet another highly successful night. With two Special guest DJ’s, Traycee (Oi! Town Zine/Knocking Boots Promotions) and Antrophe (SoundtracksForThem.com) along with resident DJ’s (Jim Scully & Carax), the punky reggae party is sure to fulfil your punk, ska, soul and rockabilly needs.
Friday, 26 February 2010 at 20:00
Entry is 5 euro and is a BYOB event
Where? Seomra Spraoi
The Siren 23.02.10
SING ALONG FOREVER
Frontman of New Jersey’s Bouncing Souls, Greg Attonito takes some time out from his acoustic tour of California to speak to Jim Scully about inspiration, friends, fans and music Tom Waits famously sang of the New Jersey shore, “down the shore everything’s all right,” and when you look at the musical heritage of New Jersey there is no doubt that there is a mystical truth in the statement. Anyone who has ever set foot on Asbury Park’s boardwalk will no doubt have sensed the rich history of the fallen seaside holiday town. Made famous and iconic by Bruce Springsteen, the town holds a mystique that can’t quite be expressed. In the words of fellow New Jersey exports The Bouncing Souls it’s “a place where the sun warms your face, where the sound of the waves takes you away, and the ghosts on the boardwalk will keep you company, where the city meets the sea.” Speaking to front-man of The Bouncing Souls Greg Attonito, he likens that New Jersey musical heritage to that of our own Irish heritage, “Its one of those things, like Irish people and Irish music that you hear, it’s a feeling that’s just there. You’re not trying to be it, because it’s so much part of who you are that you don’t even think about it… on some level its conscious.” “We love Bruce Springsteen and listened to his music and saw how he created music in his way and definitely was a direct influence on other bands and stuff. I think that’s what culture is. You hear Irish music, it’s so part of the soul of the Irish individual, or wherever you go and
hear the expression from that place.” At this point in the band’s career, veterans of the punk scene after twenty years together, the band are synonymous with New Jersey. To band members and fans alike the spirit of The Bouncing Souls runs much deeper than just the music. “With The Bouncing Souls it’s just so deeply a part of who I am. And every year that goes by, they’re so engrained. Those guys, are as much or more than any brother could be. We lived together our entire lives, probably more than most brothers do. We grew up together, our shared experiences with so many other people around the world is really expansive. So it’s almost indescribable.” “I just read about someone who had a hugely life changing experience after going to a Bouncing Souls show, how she decided to change her life. She had a dead end job
and then it literally changed. She made that choice. It’s a mutual thing and that’s what’s great about it.” “It’s being part of life when we make
choices to live a more meaningful life and I think that’s what The Bouncing Souls has always been from the beginning and you have to keep finding that too and never end. On so many levels it’s really difficult to even explain what it’s like to be in The Bouncing Souls.” It would be easy to write this off as Attonito taking himself a little too seriously, but those who know The Souls will be only too aware of the positive messages that The Bouncing Souls music has always been about. For many The Bouncing Souls are like a support system, and the number of young bands who have tipped their hat in The Souls’ direction is innumerable. The Bouncing Souls are well aware of the influence and impact they have had on their peers and their public. For Attonito it’s a result of a strong bond between friends, “I think just when we, me, Brian, Pete, Shal and Michael just got together from the earliest days, you know that’s what we naturally went to. We all certainly had our moments being really negative and still do, but being there for each other as friends you help generate that positivity for each other and we’d all end up doing that.” “It just ended up happening and that was the chemistry that made that work.
I think any good band or group of artists or musicians, you just have a certain chemistry, you have the different types of personalities that work for each other and that’s definitely how it’s worked for
The Souls.” One of the most impressive things about The Souls is not just managing to stay together for over twenty years, but doing so completely independent of major labels or MTV types is unthinkable when you look at the attitudes of certain musicians of today. For the New Brunswick native, this has been a key factor in maintaining the unique community like bond between band and fan. “We always just followed that feeling. We never knew, it wasn’t completely clear. We could have gone on a major label, maybe that would create what we wanted but somehow it just didn’t feel right. When you create something on your own steam, there’s an empowering feeling and this sense of real accomplishment on your own. I mean people have helped us.” “We couldn’t have done it without help from a lot of people. I think we always just chose to keep that as a priority, keep that feeling between us, ourselves and the
audience to be genuine so we wouldn’t lose that good feeling. Because now knowing after twenty years for sure, more and more, making an investment in that pays off way more than anything else.” While The Bouncing Souls aren’t planning on going away anytime soon, it’s reassuring to know that they have confidence in the future generations and the lifeblood of punk rock, “I think it’s always constant but definitely redefining itself. I think the one thing that’s different, that’s really different than the late 60’s, 70’s and 80’s was that the people that were making that music then, they really had no concept, there wasn’t all these things to refer to. They were making the references. And then through the 90’s we were all just like wow, look at all this stuff.” He exclaims. “Now everything is so digitized and accessible you can see and learn exactly what the Ramones were playing. Back when I was growing up you learned to play along with records. It was just a lot simpler. So the purity of expression is always there and is always going to be there, and that moment no matter what, if it’s playing in a punk band or whatever art form it is it’s always going to be there.” As The Bouncing Souls face into the new decade their passion and commitment is as strong and in keeping with the band’s spirit as ever, “The way I see it is, whether I like it or not I will always be a Bouncing Soul. Always, those guys are my brothers, any time we get together we have a good time.”
The Siren 23.02.10
To Air is human… to listen is divine
Jean- Benoît Dunckel of French ambience-electro band, Air, speaks to Cathy Buckmaster about clichés, Oscar Wilde, girl troubles and working with Sofia Coppola
Berets, baguettes, cheese and moustaches are all things commonly associated with popular products of France, as is that Pepé le Pew accent one undertakes when affectionately impersonating a French native. However none of these things immediately surface to the forefront of your mind when chatting to one half of France’s most infamous export of the last decade, Air. With the possible exception of that oh-so-seductive, Pepé le Pew accent. The name Air is often explained as an acronym for the words Amour, Imagination, Rêve which translates to Love, Imagination, Dream. However, Dunckel explains that this originated from a passing joke in an interview; “We said that one day to a journalist but it’s not really true. We didn’t really think of that when we found the name.” “I think the meaning was a result of us trying to find a new vibration, something different, a new concept. We wanted something light and weightless. We were aiming for something that was refreshing and the name was perfect for the music.” Going on twelve years of pure French electronica, Jean-Benoît and Nicolas Godin have released nine albums which include their most recent, Love 2 as well as Everybody Hertz and Talkie Walkie not to mention the highly successful, critically acclaimed Moon Safari that featured the infamously otherworldly tracks, Sexy Boy and Kelly Watch the Stars. Another notable album was the official score to Sofia Coppola’s debut film, The Virgin Suicides which the electro-pop duo composed all the music for. With their ethereal sound, it is hard to pin down a label for their music. However, this band’s particular sound was influenced by the synthesizer sounds of the 1970s from the likes of Vangelis and Francis Lai. Psychedelic rock pioneers Pink Floyd as well as various nineties euro-dance proponents also had their influence. I catch up with Dunckel just before Air make the trip to Dublin for their upcoming show. Despite the bands indescribable frenchness, Dunckel comes across as very worldly; perhaps a result of twelve years of touring. He discusses his happiness to be returning to Ireland’s capital. “I am really looking forward to coming over; I like Dublin a lot as we’ve come here before. We will play a lot of the Love 2 tracks but of course, we will also play all the other songs that everybody likes from Moon Safari and Talkie Walkie.” As for the band’s main inspiration for their newest album, Dunckel explains that the album’s title is fairly self explanatory. “Our biggest inspiration was love, I suppose. Love stories and women in general.” “ “We are really inspired by women and I think that Love 2 is a new version of Love and we wanted to emphasise that love is going on and there can be a Love 3 too. It’s not only a matter of love for women but also of love with people and everyone.” Typical of French men, women are something the duo have used as their sole inspiration for almost every album. Their apparent wonderment for the female never seems to run dry. When asked if the two must research each album by finding women to seduce, Dunckel chuckles shyly. In jest, he comments; “For every album, there is more than one woman.” Be-
fore biting his tongue and pouring his heart out regarding his troubles finding love. “It’s really fucking hard to be in love with someone and make it work, especially when you are a musician like me. Sometimes they find out after a while that I’m a musician and I think that a lot of girls have a cliché about musician and they freak out really easily.” “I mean they don’t trust us as they know we are going on tour and blah, blah, blah. However, it’s not true; every guy working in a company has the chance to move. Sometime people who don’t move in their company meet other people anyway so I think it’s funny that people have clichés about musicians.” One of the tracks on this album, So Light is Her Footfall, is the perfect embodiment of the band’s love for the fairer sex; the woman in question is an angel who spellbinds
the boys of Air. The title of the song was borrowed from Oscar Wilde’s The Canterville Ghost which makes one wonder if the band is often inspired by literature and poetry when song-writing. Ever the conceptualists, Dunckel waxes lyrical about how his love for Wilde transferred to music. “I’ve read the Oscar Wilde chronicles and with The Canterville Ghost, I just fell in love with this sentence. I said to myself, ‘Wow, sometimes English can be so beautiful – it is so well said.’ It’s so poetic and so it matched with my love of women.” “I really like women’s feet because I like to see how women walk and how they carry their weight through their movements and across the legs. I like to see their grace in how they walk. I think it’s beautiful.” Love 2 is described as having a combination of grand tales of Armageddon as well as the all important theme of love. When
asked about the strange choice of combination, Dunckel laughs heartily; “I had not thought about that. We did not plan this combination. Armageddon came about as we wanted to convey emotional shock. Say, even when you’re really sad or really happy, it can be a good inspiration. Nothing is worse than a flat emotional affection in your head.” The album, despite big themes and agendas of love and Armageddon, focuses on melody and texture of sound over lyrics. The voices are as much about textures and sounds as they are meaning. Dunckel explains that they were to trying to concentrate too much on either lyrics or melody but simply the feeling the tracks omitted. “We can’t do complicated sentences because otherwise we make mistakes all the time. Overall, I think we wanted to create something really uplifting, something really warm and with a good sound; something really human. No harsh things; something really concerned with love and emotion.” What makes this album different from the rest is the band’s new Parisian lair. As well as dispensing with producers, the electro duo have built their own studio which is almost entirely constructed out of analogue keyboards, as if you couldn’t tell. In an enthusiastic account, Dunckel explains the reasoning behind building the new studio. “We did it because it was always a dream. We always had our equipment when we rented a room in Paris but we always wanted to have a really nice acoustic recording room. It took so long because we wanted to find the right place.” “It was hard because first
of all, in Paris, it is really expensive. When you build a studio, you have to have certain conditions. You have to take care of the neighborhood hood and as well as this, the ceilings have to be high because they’re going to put a lot of insulation on that. But it was our childhood dream.” Before the French musicians were busy creating ethereal pop from 1995, Dunckel was studying mathematics; quite the leap. He elaborates on why he made the move. “I was not that good; there are a lot of mathematicians that are so much better than me so I cannot compete but I did it mainly because I was not very good at literature. But, when I was doing Maths, it was always working and I always get good marks so I went on to university.” “I just like to understand the world with mathematical science; it’s a passion. Physics is so incredible; you understand how energy is spread across the universe. You understand how nature is organised, for life to go on and spread.” Despite the love of Maths that almost hindered the genesis of France’s most iconic electro band, it was here at college that the two met. “It was a long, long time ago when we met. It is a very classic story. We were in college and we had a friend in common and we were recording with him and then one day we met.” “So when I heard Nicolas play, I thought it was not so bad” He explains, laughing. “So we met and we did some recording. It was great as we were just recording new stuff with loads of different instruments. It was really good.” Dunckel goes on to discuss that even as there is the claustrophobic number of two of them in the band, they rarely argue. “We don’t really argue. We have arguments about music which is cool because it’s necessary. I think anyone at work has tension but it works. As you can see, we’ve lasted for twelve years which is pretty amazing as it’s so long for a band.” The band is known for many quirks but among their most prominent is the habit of getting rid of the instruments after every album so they have a fresh start with the new one. However, this is easier said
than done. “We try to change all our instruments for every album but sometimes we don’t change all of them completely. We like having new toys as we can change and improve and embrace new kinds of music before we start a new album. New equipment gives you new inspiration.” Air often works together, both in the studio and live on stage, with internationally renowned artists such as Françoise Hardy on ‘Jeanne’ , Gordon Tracks aka Thomas Mars of Phoenix on ‘Easy Going Woman’ and Beck on 10 000 Hz Legend. However, one of the bands most memorable endeavors was their collaboration with acclaimed film director Sofia Coppola. They composed the entire ethereal score for her debut film, the very eerie, The Virgin Suicides. “It was a great experience and very lucky for us. We met Kirsten Dunst and we met Josh Hartnett but it was strange as Kirsten Dunst was really young at the time. I think she was only seventeen and virtually unknown but she was really nice.” “However, I must say there was a sort of gap between musicians and actors. When you are doing musical things, it has nothing to do with cinema so people have nothing to say to you because actors are part of the movie world, no the musical world.” “So, on one hand, it is good because when you talk to someone, there is no pressure because you are not in the same business but on the other hand, you have no connection because you are in different worlds.” As the noise grows louder in the background, it is clear that Dunckel is being whisked away. We finish off the conversation with a sycophantic discussion of his musical passion of the moment. “I’m listening to Neil Young at the moment. I love the voice of Neil Young so much. I love his work too. He has some really, really good emotional love songs.” With that, Paris calls and Dunckel must run but not before thanking me for the chat leaving me thinking there really is something quite unexplainably enchanting about these chaps; a certain, je ne sais quoi I suppose.
The Siren 23.02.10
Are you fur real?
the ethics of killing animals for fur. If animals are to be killed for their fur, stricter regulations and rules need to be implemented and upheld, such as more humane methods of killing the animals. The process of breeding animals specifically to be slaughtered for their skin and caging them in dark, filthy conditions should be condemned. However, it may be slightly hypocritical to suggest this considering last season’s revival of the leather jacket saw more than a few of us sporting real leather. Where or how do we draw the line between what is acceptable fur usage in an elitist industry? What can be said is that in reality, fur is unnecessary when you can purchase a synthetic equivalent that is hard wearing, just as soft and virtually indistinct from the real thing in texture and colour? My advice is, just fake it.
With fur always being a hot topic of debate, Aisling Kennedy delves into the ethics behind wearing a dead animal carcass Checking out the array of antifur sites was a very grim experience indeed; particularly upsetting, was a certain video clip on peta.org involving a fluffy bunny rabbit, a knife and an electrocution rod. It is unnecessary to elaborate, but as you can guess it didn’t end happily. Almost all of the anti-fur websites display the same statistic, that more than 50 million animals are killed for fashion every year. It is an incredibly bleak fact to say the least. One of fashion’s most infamous pro-fur advocates is none other than Anna Wintour the editor in chief of American Vogue. Or “Cruella” Wintour as anti-fur campaigners have fondly dubbed her. Wintour regularly features fur in her photo-shoots, pens pro-fur edi-
torials and can also be spotted out and about in Manhattan rocking the odd ensemble finished off with either a real fur coat or a fur trim of some description. The backlash to her pro-fur stance is, to put it mildly, enormous. She has stated in interviews that she has lost count with how many times she has been attacked by PETA fanatics. A whole host of Alisters such as Pink and Pamela Anderson have continuously expressed their outrage that fur is still used in such a way by Wintour. As you all have probably noticed fur has been completely ubiquitous of late. I think I can safely say nearly every third person I see, is sporting a faux fur coat. Yet there is such a major dilemma
when it comes to discussing a delicate topic such as the ethics of real fur trading and use. It brings us into
The A-Z of fashion
C for Chanel Style By Danny Lambert
n Sarah Ann Jackso Age: 20 law Course: 2nd year asis Favourite shop: O end’s Style Icon: My fri Saint mum; Lucille de Michel Classic, chic and elegant, the Chanel brand is one of the most renowned designer brands in the world. The Chanel signature look can be defined as classy, flirty and feminine. The products and garments can be recognised by the trademark symbol of two overlapping, back-to-back Cs. It all began in France in the early 1900’s, when Mademoiselle Gabrielle Bonheur ir er pa ere v e t s w (later known as Coco) Chanel decided to s fir The c Martend tires. l launch her own clothes shop, designing o of D e from o d n a and creating glamorous pieces for the r m u h lases the ret how. f s ladies of her local town. ns r se New t yea D fashioetting x e Her aim was to create feminine, chic n C g r mbe orious U ested in tails to: e v o t r e clothes that were both simple and comN e no m inte ur d of th f you are email yo cdents.co fortable. Coco proved that it was possible I @u lved invo hionshow to look sexy and stylish without going overfas the-top, or wearing uncomfortable garments. Coco is also credited as the original designer Farah Courtney of the classic “little black dress.” Age: 18 The business flourished and eventually Course: 1st Law the House of Chanel was established. Over Favourite shop: Topshop or Pennys a period of years, it eventually reached its Style Icon: Kate Moss status as an acclaimed worldwide fashion
Dermot Murphy Age: 22 Course 3rd Arts Favourite Shop: Ameri can Apparel Style Icon: Russell Bran d
fashion fact s s ele
label. Women who have modelled and also acted as spokes-models for Chanel, include Nicole Kidman, Audrey Tautou and glamorous, old Hollywood icon, Marilyn Monroe. When asked in an interview what she wore to bed, Marilyn Monroe famously answered, “Chanel No5.” From clothes to bags, fragrances to makeup, the Chanel brand has gradually expanded over the course of its near century reign and now carries a wide range of items. Renowned fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld has been designing for House of Chanel since 1983 and at the recent Spring-Summer Show 2010 in Paris, Chanel models graced the catwalk wearing feminine dresses draped with lace and sheer fabric shawls and fitted blazers teamed with knee-length skirts. Chanel items are available in any Brown Thomas store, however many Chanel copies and lookalikes are available in high street stores, for those of us who find it difficult to save enough cash for the real thing.
By Laura McNally
The Siren 23.02.10
c i h C w B e l n a e c h t k s i g Blo
Think fat plaits, rather than skinny braids. This look is channelling a country and Americana style, taking notes from Little House and the Prairie
al of websites, Cath r u vo fa in ed rd women being disca With magazineshow fashion blogs aren’t just for O’Gara tells us Fashion Week, drooling over and Jill profile random street goers
The rise of the internet has given birth to a new class of fashionista. They’re sharp and witty – and so influential that these days they get front row preference at events such as the Brits, rubbing shoulders with celebrities and fashion designers alike. Blogs are reshaping public relations, news, and yes, fashion too. It’s taken a while but the fashion industry has finally woken up to the power of the internet. Online shops such as Asos and Net-a-porter are booming, with brands such as Dolce & Gabbana and Yves Saint Laurent employing short internet-friendly films as a platform to showcase their designs, and fashion designers are tweeting like it’s 2012. In the heart of this bold new landscape, are the bloggers – providing commentary at the click of a mouse. Whether they’re posting runway images direct from Paris
the latest in Prada’s collection, or writing about Russell Brand’s dress sense (or lack thereof), they have become a vital part of the industry and an outlet to give voice to a new generation of style aficionados. One of these blogs, Style Salvage, is an “open discussion” fashion blog lead by two friends, Steve and EJ, on how men could (and they believe should) dress. Initiated back in June 2007, the blog aspires to showcase up-and-coming and established design talent equally whilst emanating a penchant for quality, tailoring and a general openness to creativity and selfexpression. It features style commentary, interviews with designers, journalists and shop owners mixed in with the occasional DIY project and personal style shoot. Of course in such an opinionated sphere a variety of different fashion blogs was bound to arise. The Sartorialist and Jak
with great looks - these are considered to be street fashion blogs, such as Dublin’s own Pavement Fashion. Street style blogs are not just helping change the fashion industry, but body perception too. Over the years, fashion editors’ casting of underweight models has written an unhealthy definition of beauty. The most significant impact of street style blogs is restoring a healthy conception of body image. Photographers are taking pictures of real women and men wearing fashion savvy clothes, and the public is taking note. A blog might focus on celebrity fashion, such as The Iconic Fashion Blog and CocoPerez, or could be exclusive to certain trends from mod fashion to rockabilly. Regardless of its categorization, each blog is helping to make over the fashion industry one post at a time.
Alexa Chung’s collection for Madewell Fashion blogs are granting unlimited access to any aspiring or practicing fashionista, no matter where they are in the world. A student at U.C.D can keep up just as quickly with the current trends as an aspiring designer studying in New York or Los Angeles. Thanks to the constantly updated blogs, there is no longer the waiting in fashion which used to plague the stylish population, allowing for easier access to the everchanging crazes of the fashion world.
Last week saw the launch of Alexa Chung’s collection for label Madwell. The range, which is available in stores from August, conveyed Chung’s style through and through. One can expect vintage tea dresses, blouses, peter pan collars, and cheek skimming hemlines. So now we sit and wait.
Monsoon’s Spring/Summer 2010 underwear collection This über feminine and, for lack of a better word, delicious collection shall soon grace Monsoon stores in Ireland. The collection takes its influence from nineteen twenties art deco style and exudes a couture feel, while remaining affordable to the every day student
God Save McQueen With last week’s sad news of the passing of a fashion great, Aoifa Smyth looks back on the highs and highs of Alexander McQueen’s career They called him an unlikely star, being the son of a taxi driver. However, despite a modest upbringing, Alexander McQueen set the standards of fashion design so high, that his legacy will be hard to surpass. McQueen studied at Central St.Martins College of Art and Design in London. From there he went on to work at tailors in the prestigious Savile Row area of London, “Anderson and Sheppard” and “Gieves and Hawkes.” It was here that McQueen acquired his skill of impeccable tailoring. After launching his own label in 1993, Alexander (or Lee as he was known by his friends and family) became the head designer for Givenchy and from there the only way to continue was up. McQueen won ‘British Designer of the Year’ a total of four times, while also scooping the award for ‘International Designer of the Year’ at the Council of Fashion Design Awards, and rightly so. The sad news of McQueen’s untimely death made it to press on Thursday the 11th of February, just days before London Fashion Week.
This news rocked the fashion world and many celebrity friends and fans have paid their tribute to McQueen. Lady Gaga, a known and dedicated follower of the designer, tweeted “I am still in shock and I just can’t believe how sad it all is.” Alexander’s deigns pushed all the boundaries in the fashion world; spectators at McQueen’s fashion shows would sit, with baited breath, waiting to see how far he would push. His lavish style proved that McQueen was always one step ahead of other designers, with a risk taking gift and an imagination to defy any other. McQueen’s designs have a magical and almost eerie feeling to them. His Fall 2009 collection left fashion lovers speechless; models donned over sized alien-like lips, over the top head pieces, head-to-toe leather, bold monochrome prints, feathers, knight armour and show stopping ball gowns. Alexander McQueen will always be remembered in the fashion world for breaking the rules and bringing the element of excitement back into design. He is irreplaceable.
Courtney Love’s outfit at the Brit Awards
What? Why are you wearing the upper half of a shirt over a sequins dress? Why are you wearing a crazy floral over sized collar over this? Why are you wearing skin coloured fishnets? And why did you cease to touch up last night’s make-up?
Ed Hardy The epitome of tacky. ‘Nuff said.
The Robot Look Those of us who never felt the confidence to pull off the giant shoulder/ metal body installment combo, can breathe a sigh of relief. As Spring emerges, we can embrace our inner goddess, in florals and soft materials.
The Siren 23.02.10 Film Do’s and Don’ts for getting lucky on Valentine’s Day
By Ashling Maguire
1. Chocolat A single mother moves to rural France and opens a chocolate shop (during Lent) much to the distress of her closed-minded neighbours. Luckily, her chocolate is so lovely that it makes everyone like her. Happy days. Of course, a certain Mr. Depp makes sure the chocolate isn’t the only delicious thing about this film. 3/5 Chocolate Buttons 2. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Capitalism: A Love Story
Reviewed by: Sinéad Slattery Directed by: Michael Moore Starring: Thora Birch, John McCain, Michael Moore
Capitalism: A Love Story is a very topical documentary film, considering the current economic climate. It deals with the fact that when the top CEOs and financial powers get it wrong; when the proverbial shit hits the fan, it’s the average John and Mary that have to “bail out the bankers”. Basically, a case of stealing from the poor and giving to the rich. The film opens with the sarcastic joke of CCTV footage of citizens robbing banks. Then, using clips gleaned from an Encyclopedia Britannica educational film, modern American life is wittily compared with the demise of the powers in Ancient Rome. Michael Moore’s voiceover wonders how
we’ll be remembered in the future; for the funny Youtube videos of cats or for the forced evictions and enormous job losses during this recession. In one factory in Chicago all employees were being made redundant with just three days notice and no payment reimbursements. The workers decided to fight back and staged a sit-in. The story garnered news coverage all across America. As one factory worker put it: “I make windows and doors, not business plans. Why should I have to clean up the mess?” Moore speaks to a number of people deceived in some way by the corporations they work for. This is interesting and can make for harrowing
viewing – especially when ‘dead peasant insurance’ comes up, where the company makes money off the death of an employee. The film is interspaced throughout with black and white clips and amusing protests, (such as the yellow crime scene in front of all the banks on Wall St. hung by Moore) which help to get the point across: If we band together, justice could be served. This also cut a nice slice of humble pie for the bankers. Although this type of film still isn’t for everyone, the issues in it affect us all. So should you spend your hard-earned bucks on this? If you read Marx’s “Das Kapital” like a bible, then the answer is a resounding yes.
“There’s no earthly way of knowing / Which direction we are going / There’s no knowing where we’re rowing / Or which way the river’s flowing / Is it raining? / Is it snowing? / Is a hurricane ablowing? / Not a speck of light is showing / So the danger must be growing / Are the fires of hell a-glowing? / Is the grisly reaper mowing? / Yes! The danger must be growing / For the rowers keep on rowing / And they’re certainly not showing / Any signs that they are slowing!” 4/5 Chocolate Buttons 3. Like Water for Chocolate Set in Mexico, this film brings a new meaning to the phrase “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” Tita, a young Mexican woman is unable to marry the love of her life as he has been betrothed to her older sister. Tita decides to vent all this frustration by making really amazing meals for everyone. She discovers she can communicate with her former lover through her incredibly impassioned food. The film is full of clever cuisine related symbolism and hidden meaning, definitely one to look out for. 4/5 Chocolate Buttons 4. Blood & Chocolate
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Reviewed by: Yasmin Lehmann Director: Niels Arden Oplev Starring: Michael Nyqvist, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, based on the bestselling Swedish novel Man Som Hatar Kvinnor by Stieg Larsson, is a chilling tale of crime and punishment tied to a wealthy Swedish business dynasty. Mikael Blomkvist, a magazine journalist sentenced to prison for libel by corrupt businessman Wennerstroem, is approached by Henrik Vanger of the Vanger group to find out what happened to his great niece Harriet Vanger, who disappeared some forty years ago. It soon becomes apparent to Blomkvist that the riddle surrounding Harriet has deeper and more disturbing roots than a simple case of abduction. With the help of Lisbeth Salander, a brilliant young hacker, who discovers pattern between Harriet and other murder cases, the pair delve into an entire history of gruesome slaughter executed and cov-
ered up by members of the Vanger clan. If it were only for the investigation part of the movie, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo would be hardly more than a Swedish variant of Silence of the Lambs. The true ingenuity of Larsson’s story lies in his characters, foremost Lisbeth Salander, brilliantly acted by Noomi Repace, whose disturbing story could well surpass the actual crimes she tries to solve on a scale of violence and brutality. Despite her extremely high intelligence and a photographic memory, Lisbeth finds herself victimized and abused from childhood onwards, wherefore she withdraws into the world of cyberspace and underground punk. After being raped by her guardian, Lisbeth turns the tables on him and takes brutal revenge in finest Kill Bill Manier, not for the first time as it turns out. Blomkvist and her form an unlikely couple of lovers and investigators that add emotional depth to the story and beautifully depict the idea of a damaged soul finding relief, not in revenge but reconnection with the past and the outside world. As first part of the ‘Millenium’ trilogy, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo shows the Swedish crime genre at its best, definitely worth the watch.
The Crazies Reviewed by: Katie Keane Director: Breck Eisner Starring: Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell, Joe Anderson Sporting a questionable title, it is clear that subtlety is not exactly the angle that director Breck Eisner is aiming for in “The Crazies.” As far as jump-in-your-seat thrillers go, this film does exactly what it says on the tin. The trailer pretty much sums up the entire plot of the film. Based in a rural town in Iowa, you have a glorified zombie movie, with an added spin about a contagious disease resulting from a government experiment turning the townspeople into manic, pitchfork brandishing monsters.
All the basic ingredients are present. There is plenty of blood, fire and general gore. On several occasions when there are moments of possible safety for the principal characters, a ‘crazy’ is always placed in the background. This creates a kind of dark pantomime ‘look behind you’ situation. Although this is unquestionably charming the first few times, on the whole, it’s a bit overdone. Regardless of the obvious clichés and two-dimensional characters, the film doesn’t pretend to be anything that it’s not. It begins as it intends to continue and the audience know what they’re in for from the very first scene. If you’re going to the cinema with the intention of processing something thought provoking, this definitely is not the film for you. If however, you’re looking for some fun, mindless entertainment to distract you for an hour and a half, it will do just that.
Before there were angsty teenage vampires, there were angsty teenage werewolves. Taking the “mythical creatures fall in love with humans” genre to a whole new level of predictability, this is definitely the ‘Wispa Bar’ of horror films - there’s just no substance to it. It doesn’t even have anything to do with chocolate. 1/5 Chocolate Buttons. 5. In Search of the Heart of Chocolate This wonderful Chocumentary sees filmmaker Sarah Feinbloom explore the origins of her chocolate obsession. Along the way she speaks to fellow chocoholics or ‘chocolate enthusiasts’ as some of them prefer to be known, learns a bit of chocolate history and takes a gander at the magnificent Chocolate Covered (the chocolate lovers’ Mecca in San Francisco). If this one doesn’t get you running to the shop for a Dairy Milk or seven I’m willing to bet you’d hold up well under torture. 5/5 Chocolate Buttons
The Siren 23.02.10
ON THE ROAD Charley Boorman chats to Niamh Hanley about what’s been happening in his world of extreme travelling, motorcycles, acting and being a UNICEF Ambassador
Charley Boorman is a man in demand. His PR representative informs me that he has been doing interviews since 9am that morning, and as she escorts me to him in the foyer of a prestigious Dublin hotel, he is taking a phone call from a friend. “I have to go now, there’s a lady who’s here for an interview.” Though perfectly personable, eight hours of media interviews have clearly taken their toll on Charley Boorman, and he doesn’t exude the energy associated with his TV persona. This is his last print interview of the day, however, so the end is in sight. I struggle to activate the voice recorder as he explains he is in Dublin to see his father, director John Boorman, presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the IFTAs. Once I press ‘record’, the magic occurs, he springs into life. Many people may have forgotten, given his recent association with travel documentaries, but Charley Boorman is a professional actor, and it shows. He is fairly acceptant of the obliteration of his actor persona by recent endeavours; “I did movies like Deliverance and Excalibur in the seventies and eighties, but students your age probably wouldn’t be familiar with them” – and doesn’t hold a grudge that younger generations associate him most strongly with road biking and the documentaries made with his close friend, Ewan McGregor. “Being an actor means being an entertainer, and I’m in the entertainment business. Anyway, where the documentaries are concerned, I get a lot of control with the post-production, every stage of the process really.” The pair first met on the set of The Serpent’s Kiss, a John Boorman movie filmed primarily in County Clare, and quickly discovered their shared love for motorbikes. In 2004 they set off on a road trip from London to New York, through Eastern Europe, Siberia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Alaska, and then Canada and the northern United States, with a skeleton BBC crew along for the ride. While a support vehicle got in touch with them every
week, they were, as Charley has said, “left to their own devices.” The result was Long Way Round, a gripping piece of television, which outperformed expectations; such was the success of the show, that on the DVD release, four extra episodes were provided from unused footage that hadn’t screened (the BBC remit being for six only). Boorman followed this up with Race to Dakar, an account of his attempt to complete the brutal endurance test that is the famous Paris-Dakar motorcycle race. He escaped with both hands broken, but many others were more seriously injured, and one rider died. While he laments the loss, he is nonetheless determined to continue with the sport, as he identifies this as being “part and parcel of [the risks of] biking”. Indeed, even with his severe injuries, Boorman tried his best to complete the race. “I had to go on another couple of hundred miles, to the end of the day, just to get access to a doctor. They travel behind us with these tents and at the end of the day’s ride, put them up in the middle of the des-
ert.” After that supreme effort, and a year and a half in training, it was all in vain however. “The doctor just laughed at me [when I tried to suggest I could continue],” he relates, improvising a French accent, “Mister
Boorman, you cannot go on.” After notching up five documentaries (two with McGregor and three on his own), Charley Boorman is on the road again with a live show. Describing it as offering a “bit of everything”, he is inviting veteran motorcyclist Simon Pavey, famed for his exploits on the Paris-Dakar circuit, along for the ride. Boorman is keen to stress that he will recount many anecdotes of his life, not just the unpleasant details of his on-the-road travels (including sampling cuisine such as a stew of curried animal testicles in Mongolia) and biking anecdotes, but also his film career. Unseen footage from his travels will also be shown on a big screen. During the filming for Long Way Round, Boorman and McGregor visited UNICEF projects in the Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Mongolia. They were named honorary UNICEF Ambassadors, a title Boorman takes very seriously. He becomes very animated on the subject, citing how visiting such places put his own children in mind, on a trip which necessitated him being away from them for a long stretch of time. Boorman tries to visit at
least one UNICEF project on every documentary journey he does now, and values the organisation’s work greatly. Asked if he would consider bringing a crew to Haiti, he goes into a passionate
speech. “I don’t really think they need people like us going in with a camera and pointing at stuff right now.” He was active in helping to fundraise for UNICEF’s effort there, which he feels requires constant aid to keep going: “Even you tight students can contribute something” He exclaims. “They need everything they can get.” The recent attempted abduction of Haitian orphans into the United States is a prime example, he feels. “If it wasn’t for UNICEF and other NGOs on the ground there, those people would have gotten away with it. So thank God they’re there, really.” Apart from the live tour, Boorman has a forthcoming documentary to film this year which he will only elaborate as being “small”. He has thought about doing something in Ireland, he admits, as he has “a real affinity with here. I grew up here, I went to school here, and my dad still lives here.” Indeed, his journey in Any Other Means, travelling to Sydney by any transportation possible, started from his father’s house in Wicklow. Another documentary with McGregor, Long Way Up, is likely “in about three years”, this time travelling from South America northwards. He feels that continent is somewhere he would love to explore, particularly Brazil.
“I made a film there before, The Emerald Forest, but I’d love to go back. There are so many places I want to go to, but particularly South America, Central America. India. I only travelled through a small part of India.” If Boorman had a long weekend free to spend with his family, however, he’d take them off to Barcelona. “I’ve never been. It’s meant to be such an amazing city, so much culture. A friend of mine has a business over there and he’s always telling me to come over.” After a few days of culture however, you suspect Charley Boorman would want to be off on the road again, or out in the wild outdoors somewhere. “I like active holidays. My wife hates it when we go to the beach; after twenty minutes I’m bored, and want to drag the kids off somewhere, while she’s very happy there reading her book.” And with that, he’s off, a radio interview in the pipeline. After all, there’s no adventure in staying still. The Charley Boorman Show comes to Vicar Street, Dublin, on 28 March – tickets are €23 and available from all Ticketmaster outlets.
The Siren 23.02.10
The Original Writer’s Week
‘Paper Towns’ by John Green (available May 2010) Reviewed by Ashling Maguire Tragedy, poignancy and suicide are a few of the words that come to mind having attended a couple of Dramsoc’s plays during The Original Writer’s Week, which offer a compact summary of what the week had to offer. A number of the productions took to exploring the bad, the awful and the plain ugly truth that can occur in life’s little tragedies. Tragedy being the operative word here, three plays ended with a suicide, one detailed an abortion while another described the disturbing consequences of a secret pregnancy. It was depressing stuff to say the least but as an overall body of work the standard was very high. Marks
have to be given for originality of content and the direction was particularly innovative, seen especially in “Equanimous” a play written by Adam Jenkinson, directed by Sahar Mohammed Ali and starring Brenda Moreau (Eve) and Jack Somers (Richard). The direction of which was greatly praised at the end of the show. The play, as described by Jenkinson, was a “half hour script about two characters pushed to the brink of insanity, colliding and destroying each other, all that ties them together is that they both find themselves on the same streets.” “Faoistin”, written by Eoin O Murchu, produced by ‘Cumann na
Dramiocht’, starring Paul Fox, Matthew Broderick and Eoin O’ Cuilleainn, was a play that implied suggestions of clerical abuse. The acting and direction of this play in particular must be venerated. Broderick gave a stirring performance as the disillusioned victim, and definitely gave a balanced performance in an ultimately sad tale. Others who must be mentioned include Rob O Donoughue in Adam Jenkinson’s “Lady Louisa” he did a great portrayal of a bawdy middle aged man rearing for a fight. Jackie Murphy as Aoife gave a heartfelt performance. Aisling Flynn in “Rainbow’s End” by Gillian Greer gave an emotive performance. Re-
e d i u G Event Compiled by Aine Keegan Monday 22nd Dinosaur Encounters The Ambassador, €10 Go see: When you’re strange: A film about The Doors Cineworld 18:30 €10 as part of the Jameson Film Festival.
By Aisling Kennedy
will be completely French.) Super Extra Bonus Party Andrews Lane Theatre, €5
Quentin Jacobsen is infatuated with his neighbour the beautiful, quirky and revered Margo Roth Speigelman. Being a band geek with an equally nerdy group of friends Quentin always believed her to be miles out of his league until one night she showed up at his window to invite him on a wild night of satisfyingly evil revenge pranks involving catfish and eyebrow removal. The morning after, Margo goes missing. She leaves behind her a series of clues that Quentin must decipher if he is to find the girl he always loved but never knew. Printz Medal winning author John Green’s sharp, funny and clever writing style will have you laughing and as well as eagerly turning the pages to solve the mystery that is Margo Roth Speilgelman. Quentin is loveably awkward yet relatable and some of his witty observations will really make you think. If you’re looking for something funny but with a bit of depth to it this book is definitely one to look out for.
Saturday 27 Wednesday 24th Go see: Whip it! Drew Barrymore’s debut as a director. Cineworld, 20:40. €10 as part of the Jameson Film Festival.
JLS O2, Tickets: €39.60
Open Evening: UCD Smurfit School Blackrock campus (Carysfort Avenue) 4pm Screen Writer: John Carney talk National Library 8pm Admission free but booking essential Thursday 25th David O’ Doherty Vicar Street €25
Thirsty Thursdays XXI
Juicy Beats The Village
Thrashed Andrews Lane
gina Broderick as her unhinged mother was fantastic. The omnipresence of constant and consistent tragedy in the productions was a little bewildering at times. Although, having said this, I did not attend every production. However, perhaps a little variation of script would be better next time. When one play didn’t end in a death I was left surprised. In general however, the stories behind the plays were incredibly entrancing but it was the individual performances and directorial techniques that really captured the entire week.
French Friday Bia Bar 28 Lower Stephens Street, 21:00-02:30 (From 21:30-23:30 the music
“Screenwriter John Carney in conversation” National Library New Indie night: Propaganda The Academy, €8 Sunday 28 Francis Bacon: A Terrible Beauty Exhibiton The Hugh Lane Gallery, Admission Free. Andy White Upstairs at Whelans, €12
The National Library is this Wednesday offering a talk with screenwriter: John Carney. “Screenwriter John Carney in conversation” is the title of a Library Late event on Wed 24th at 8pm. The Library Late programme is a series of interviews that aim to explore the art of writing for not only stage but screen as well. In this three month series which stretch from February to April, some of Ireland’s most prominent stage and screen writers will
come to discuss their work. Acclaimed and celebrated film and television writer and director John Carney will be the first guest of the series. Carney is known for various other endeavors; he began his career as a bassist for the rock band The Frames and he also directed most of their music videos. His first venture into the world of film was in 1996 when he co-wrote and co-directed his first feature film, “November Afternoon” and in 2007 he wrote the much celebrated Irish film, “Once”. The event will take place in the National Library in Kildare Street. Admission is free but booking is essential. To reserve up to two places ring (01) 6030317. www.nli.ie/en/list/ current-events.aspx