Siren Volume 23 Issue 6

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College Tribune Entertainment Supplement 17.11.09

the Siren

The Return of

Kasabian Tom Meighan speaks candidly to the Siren Don Letts Ardal O’Hanlon Harry Brown Katy Perry’s Style The Cribs



17.11. 09

The Scoop


Dates Announced

American electro act Passion Pit have announced a date in Dublin for next March. After stand out performances in festivals like Oxegen and Electric Picnic, the band will play in the intimate surrounds of the Olympia on Saturday 13th March 2010. Tickets priced €21.00 including booking and are on sale now. After the release of their second critically acclaimed album “Cosmic Egg”, Grammy award winning Wolfmother return for a January date at Dublin’s Olympia Theatre on Wednesday 13th. Tickets are on sale now and are priced at €25 inclusive of booking fee. Former X-factor winner Leona Lewis has confirmed a date at Dublin’s O2 on June 27 as part of her first ever Irish and UK tour. Tickets go on sale at 9.30am on Friday November 27.

Don Letts preaches to Jim Scully Page 5


Ardal O’Hanlon speaks to Katie Godwin following his UCD appearance Page 11


Cathal O’Gara ponders to beard or not to beard? Page 9

The Siren 17.11.09

New Releases Scottish tunesmiths Biffy Clyro have released their fifth record “Only Revolutions”, the follow up from their hugely successful album “Puzzle”. The album was released November 9th on 14th floor records. The highly anticipated supergroup “ Them Crooked Vultures” self-titled debut album is set for release in Ireland on November 6th. The Band made up of Josh Homme (Queens of Stone Age), Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters, Nirvana) and John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin), have released the album’s first single, ‘New Fang’, worldwide on November 2 as a free

download, and fans have also been able to listen to the album in its entirety on the band’s YouTube page since November 9. ‘This Is War’ is the upcoming third studio album from American rock band 30 Seconds to Mars, due to be released on December 7 in Ireland. Apart from being the Bands first album since 2005, This Is War will also feature 2,000 different album covers featuring individual photos of fans from around the world. Viva las… Tipperary? A 460 million euro cultural, sporting and leisure development has been proposed to be developed in the bleak wasteland that is Tipperary. For music fans, a 15,000 seater arena with a retractable roof shall be constructed to facilitate open air gigs, many people have welcomed the move - a venue outside of Dublin seems like an exciting change from the 02. Located on an 800 acre site, the miniature Las Vegas shall delight locals as it contains a large swimming pool (a perfect opportunity to test their webbed feet and hands), a Vegas styled casino, golf course, equestrian centre and weirdly a perfect reconstruction of the original Washington D.C white house. A chain of high-end retail outlets shall also be built, the likes the county has never seen. The brains behind the operation, Richard Quirke, said that he drew inspiration for his idea after a wild night out in Thurles, “What happens in Tipp, stays in Tipp!

New noise Jenna Toro Jenna Toro is a breath of fresh air on the Dublin music scene that is destined for major success if her songs up until now are anything to go by. She is one of a few alternative rock performers to use a piano as her primary instrument which stems from her adoration of Tori Amos, naming Winter “as the most amazing song to me”. Jenna is a Dubliner, hailing out of Kiliney, with Spanish roots (hence the name Toro). She has been playing piano since she was four and wrote her first song at the tender age of eight after her dog died. “I write to express myself and to sort out my own problems. It’s how I deal with personal issues”. Jenna has an extremely broad range of influences from Radiohead to Rachmaninoff to Lykke Li and Regina Spektor which adds to her off-beat, quirky sound. There is a huge buzz surrounding the 21 year old and it’s easy to see why with the quality of her voice giving so much more to the emotionally charged lyrics of her songs. Electric City, her debut single, is released on iTunes and Amazon on November 20th. It has been getting radio play recently and was named download of the day by Tony Fenton on Today FM, with him proclaiming “she has the looks and the voice; I think we’ll be hearing a lot more from this girl”. Jenna will be giving an interview and performing a live studio session on the Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show on Today FM on November 23rd (for all you early risers sitting the train/bus). Oxegen was brilliant for Jenna as she played the IMRO stage bringing a huge number of

soaked festival goers into the tent she was performing under and from the response she received, I think a lot of people were converted . She has also played Tripod, the Trinity Freshers Ball in the Academy, The Waterfront, Ulster Hall and The National Concert Hall in the last year. Keep an eye on her website and Myspace page for upcoming gigs which should be experienced. In the meantime, you should indulge yourself in the snippet of the brilliant Electric City (and the remix by Hubie Davison if that’s more suited to your taste) on her Myspace. Electric City, released 20th November on iTunes and Amazon

The Siren 17.11.09



The Cribs Ignore the ignorant Philip connolly Let it never be said that The Cribs don’t know the power of a good collaborator. After employing the not inconsiderable talents of Edwyn Collins and Alex Kapranos respectively to produce their last two albums, this time they’ve gone and installed a brand new member - Johnny Marr. Yes, that Johnny Marr - formerly of The Smiths, fully paid up legend and certified guitar genius. It’s a mouth-watering prospect: the Jarman brothers were good before, so just how good would they be with Morrissey’s erstwhile song writing partner in tow? The answer is clear from the opening notes of their fourth album, very good indeed. The recruitment of Marr is no stunt casting, for he’s co-written every track here. His influence is clear, but he hasn’t hijacked The Cribs sound; rather, he’s enhanced and added to it, while adding some unmistakeable touches of his own. Marr’s influence is all over We Share The Same Skies. That jangly guitar introduction could almost be a lost Smiths song, and the bouncy chorus makes it one of the best songs on the album. There’s also some lovely slide guitar on the single Cheat On Me. Ignore the Ignorant is full of pretty moments that take a while to savour fully, especially compared to the fistlike immediacy of the Cribs’ earlier work. However, they also push their sound in more challenging directions, like the slow-motion finale “Stick to Yr

The Time of Our Lives Miley Cyrus

Roe McDermott Listening to music can be a deeply moving experience. Music can express feelings and emotions through inspired lyrics, connect with your spirituality through emotive melodies, and make you dream, feel and wonder and think. While listening to Miley Cyrus’ new album, The Time of Our Lives, I thought a lot. And to demonstrate the unifying power of music, I’d like to share some of these thoughts with you now: Oh dear God. Please God, make it stop. Words such as “If I have to listen to another album full of pre-pubescent overproduced pop shite, I’m going to throw the CD at someone’s head so hard it

Up to now lodges in it like a music-hating Frisbee of death.” There are so many other things I’d prefer to be doing than listening to this crap. Like trick or treating at Gary Glitter’s house. Or eating tinfoil. Being babysat by Pennywise the Clown. Playing hide and seek with the Fritzls. Brushing my teeth then downing a carton of orange juice. Living in a third-world country that’s dependent on Mary Harney’s dessert leftovers for survival. Getting a makeover á la Susan Boyle. Watching Brian Cowen’s home sex tapes. Having my eyeballs pulled out of my head, ironed flat, stretched across a wide area, smeared in honey and covered in bees that are suffering from a bad case of PMS. Wait a second, are the bloody Jonas Brothers on this too? That’s it, I’m out of here.

Snow Patrol Yasmin Lehmann Pre-Christmas time comes with the blessing of various ‘Best of ’s and ‘Greatest Hits’ Albums, often rather braggingly titled as such. Gary Lightbody thus pointed out that ‘Up to Now’ should be realistically received as merely a statement by Snow Patrol to mark their artistic history spanning over fifteen years. A portrait of the artists, “warts and all”. The compilation offers thirty songs ranging from upbeat power hymns like ‘Hands Open’ to melancholy tunes, most notably ‘Set the Fire to the Third Bar’ featuring Martha Wainwright. We also get a disappointing cover of Beyonce’s ‘Crazy in love’ as well

as the newest single ‘Just say Yes’. A version of the latter has also found its way onto Nicole Scherzinger’s new album. As for the other two new releases ‘Dark Roman Wine’ and ‘Give me strength’ Lightbody and Co. have toned it down a notch and it almost appears as if Snow Patrol would rely on their patent lyrics to work their magic against the weakish sound effects which inspire odd associations with clerical music. Pleasantly different from the Just Say Yes’s ride on the electro pop wave, yet nothing out of the ordinary. If the intention was to introduce a new sound, this just proves that you can not force an evolution. ‘Up to now’ delivers lots of decent tracks, ticking all the boxes for a ‘Best of ’. With the jolly season coming up band fanatics out there will not be disappointed by this mix of old faithfuls, a few b-sides and three solid, albeit less than mind blowing new releases.

Guns” and the epic “City of Bugs,” a rangy six-minute workout that uses the band’s dual-guitar line-up to its fullest and recalls “Be Safe,” Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever’s standout collaboration with Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo. While Ignore the Ignorant isn’t perfect -- Gary and Ryan Jarman’s guileless vocals don’t always jell with their slick surroundings; it is unquestionably some of the Cribs’ most accomplished and diverse music. Marr is a welcome addition; whereas the former Smiths man’s principal significance in guesting with Seattle’s Modest Mouse was in shining some star factor on an unfairly overlooked band, his new role is one of enhancement. The record’s title track is the moment where ‘Panic’ and The Cribs’ traditional lo-fi stomp align, while his playing on ‘Last Year’s Snow’ is chiefly concerned in wrangling the six-string beauty befitting a title so evocative. You imagine a man as humble as Marr would never wish to take credit for a band who were beloved by those of a certain disposition long before his arrival, but it is telling, that closer ‘Stick To Yr Guns’ swaggers with a grace befitting his unparalleled portfolio of work. This is The Cribs’ best album to date. But surely the more pertinent question is who on earth are they going to collaborate with next?

Believers never die Fall out Boy

James Grannell If Fall Out Boy are for some unfathomable reason, your style, then their latest album, Believers Never Die will have you sizzling in your skinny jeans. The Emo/Pop-punk bands latest contribution to the world of soppy teen vomit will be sure to induce copious amounts of nauseating emotion, for anyone with the mental strength to listen to more than four songs in a row. The album is a formulation of what are described as “greatest hits”. This is a way of saying, songs taken from their previous albums put together in no logical order and marketed to the hapless fools who are just wetting their pants in anticipation of

hearing the two new tracks among the otherwise regurgitated tripe. “From Now On We Are Enemies” is one of the new tracks which have fans hot and heavy with anticipation. Not wanting to burst any bubbles, but this song sounds about as good as a cat coughing up a fur ball while shitting a firework on Halloween night. There is neither style nor art to the music, while the arrangement of the album is illogical; in fact the only redeeming quality is the artwork on the front cover, which is somewhat impressive in its simplistic symbolism. Undoubtedly however, there will be people somewhere in the world who will show excessive and frankly worrying enthusiasm for this latest installment of musical diarrhoea. If however you actually care what you subject your ears to then this is not for you, though it might just make the perfect gift for your fifteen year old sister.



The Siren 17.11.09

They’re Always Right With many a student being an expert on music, Conor McKenna delves into the deep, murky and always irritating world of music snobbery

It’s hard to find a topic that is more hotly contested than that of music. On a daily basis musicians are battling for the title of best band in the world in the grand competition held by their fans in pretentious coffee shops, Radioheadpostered bedrooms and artsy schools (not to mention the countless other arenas). These heated debates are surely a good thing for society? By allowing us to judge music makers past and present, we open ourselves to the world of musical expression. For some however, music is beyond a fascination or obsession. They’re the kind of people who get into arguments over when the first Bruce Springsteen single was recorded or why the drummer from The Shins was so unceremoniously booted out. We all know them, there’s one in every group of friends. I give you the musical snob. It’s like being kicked in the teeth when you’re told something horrible about a band that you never wanted to know, like in The Simpsons when Marge is told The Monkees don’t write their own songs or

play their own instruments. It’s just not fair being the one who’s musically illiterate. Is it really that important to everything about every band ever? Well it depends who you ask. It’s great to be in the know, but I think certain musical aficionados could do with a few lessons on how to put it across. I think anyone can understand that certain people get worked up about certain things. Maybe music should be the exception because there’s nothing worse than having your own knowledge thrown back in your face. Or maybe what the rest of us need is a good kick to go out and read more about something if we’re going to be privy to these conversations? In this case would we fall into the trap of becoming as bad as the musical snob? Do we dare give up our God given humanity to become the devil we so deeply despise? And what of the bands we like? Musical snobs never give us a break there either. ‘You like U2, what a cliché; you may as well like Beethoven!’ Music is a form of expression, what we listen to and what we

e d i u G GIG

ter initiation into their world than in a live situation. Prepare to be thrilled.

GIVEAMANAKICK – November 20th, Whelan’s, €12.50

Irvine Welsh said of Alabama 3, “This is the first band I could ever dance to in the daytime hours without chemical assistance...and that says a lot”. With endorsements like that you don’t really need to know much else, however, for the sake of filling page space I will continue. This London army can’t really be described in terms of genres given how many styles of music they embody. If you haven’t heard or seen this group before, there is no bet-

to hear a collection of the band’s hits, old and new. PROPAGANDHI – December 3rd, The Village, €18 Canada’s anarchist hardcore heroes Propagandhi make their way to Dublin, bringing with them Strike Anywhere and Protest the hero. Protest the Hero, I couldn’t care less about. However Propagandhi and Strike Anywhere are two of the most exciting and enraged, politically charged bands on the hardcore scene today. Why Strike Anywhere are the opening ahead of Protest the Hero is beyond me, as they a band of much higher quality. However, regardless of all that, this is sure to a rip roaring night.

Limerick rock act GIVEAMANAKICK are rounding off seven years as a band with one final tour before disbanding. This nationwide tour is more of a thank you and goodbye for fans than anything else. With the band themselves saying, ‘That’s it guys n’ gals. We’ve have one last tour coming up, and it’d be great to see you all there for a final hoopla.’ You can be guaranteed the band are going to give these shows their all for one final send off. ALABAMA 3 – November 21st, Tripod, €22.50

like says a lot about the kind of person we are, unfortunately for some. As Nick Hornby once wrote, ‘It’s not what you’re like, it’s what you like’. We tend to put people into two brackets when we think about music; those who like so called ‘good’ music, and those who don’t. What we should do, is break down these barriers, is there really a need to separate the struggling Busted fan who love them past their prime from the MGMT fan who gets them at the height of their popularity. Everyone’s musical taste differs. It is something that we should relish in sharing rather than shying away from for fear that someone will judge us for liking the least cool band in the world. Music is just a collection of sounds organised in a way that we can sit back and enjoy them. Listening to the soundtracks of friends, I’ve found musical tastes not to be as static as I once

ASH – November 25th, Button Factory, €23 As the Downpatrick native’s novel A – Z tour winds to a close, it’s fitting that they would bring their touring year to an end with a visit home. The band have been releasing singles online throughout the year in an attempt to find some stability in the current tumultuous world of record sales. So far, the releases have shown an interesting change in sound for the band. Always a great live act, this will be a great chance

thought, but constantly changing. It’s fair to say certain music just sits well in a time and a place. The way that you’re feeling at the time you’re listening to it too has an impact. So maybe we need to see that musically snobbery isn’t just

confined to the guy from your group who knows way too much about every single band. As music listeners we need to sit back and imagine a world where everyone hated our tastes. We could be better off that way.

CLub Night

What? Pogo: Twisted Pepper’s first birthdaycelebrations. Where? Twisted Pepper naturally enough. Middle Abbey Street. When? Saturday 28th of November, doors open at 23:00. Why? Because, you’re pretty much guaranteed a good night. Imagine the usual pogo fun and frolics, then double it. You shouldn’t need

much convincing after reading the blurb on their website. “We’ll be celebrating one year of survival on Saturday 28 Nov with an early evening to late night session featuring Carl Craig, Dead Cat Bounce, Dark Room Notes, Barry Redsetta, Jim Carroll & On the Record, Shortie, Six Foot Apprentice, Silent Disco, Eoin Cregan, Tayor, Dazboy, Banter & You!” Price? €15 on the door, €10 if you by them in advance from bodytonicmusic.



The Siren 17.11.09

THE WOrd of The DOn Taking time out of his busy Schedule of filmmaking and broadcasting, cultural icon Don Letts speaks with Jim Scully about the state of music today Having been lucky enough in the past to speak with some of the most influential musicians of the early punk rock movement, conversation on those occasions usually stayed focused on that early period. Partly due to the fact that the early works they created had a major impact upon me personally, but quite often it seems as though these people continue to live in the past, re-thrashing the old material to audiences who were around at it’s birth. This is understandable as it was a fascinating period in time, a time when a sonic revolution was sound-tracking a rapidly changing world. Few people can claim to have had as much of an influence on the culture of that time as Don Letts. He is a man who introduced reggae to the punks, while djing at the legendary Roxy club, and inversely brought punk to the people like his late friend Bob Marley, something which Marley documented on the track ‘Punky Reggae Party’. Don Letts personified this culture clash that resonates throughout music today in its influences. However Letts has a refreshing outlook on the music world today and strong feelings on the future, dwelling on the past the furthest thing from his mind. “It was about moving forward and

embracing new ideas and concepts. I mean, like the difference between The Clash’s first album and ‘London Calling’, or ‘Never Mind the Bollocks’ and Public Image. There was a movement there to embrace all the world has to offer beyond just music. Punk was the first rung of the ladder of expression, but you weren’t supposed to get stuck on that rung, you were supposed to keep climbing.” “I’d hasten to add that I think if people have anything like spiky hair and they’re playing loud fast guitar riffs and they’re screaming pseudo ideological slogans at you, they’re kind of missing the boat. You’ve got to be smarter than that now.” Anyone who has listened to his weekly show on BBC Radio’s 6 music will be well aware of how Letts has managed to embrace the past while always looking for that new exciting sound. Although he himself is the first to admit that in the current musical climate it is becoming increasingly difficult to see through the haze of mediocrity. “It’s almost like punk never happened. People, they’ve got very low aspirations these days, between X-Factor and wanting to be on MTV and walk the red carpet. It’s not half as exciting as it could be, not from my perspective anyway. I mean even musically, the rock’ n’ roll attitude and spirit seems to have been

castrated to me.” “It’s become consumerism; it ain’t really about changing lives or changing things any more. It no longer has become the voice of young people any more. It’s been corrupted by somebody else.” This is where Letts does consider the influence of the past, particularly punk rock. When comparing the state of our society today and the one in which he grew up in there are many similarities, yet as young people we have failed to take advantage of this opportunity to create the soundtrack of our generation. As a man who grew up in a turbulent society, and someone who worked with The Clash throughout their existence, it’s no wonder that Letts is struggling to fathom the state of youth culture today. “It’s interesting that when people harken back to the last big sub-cultural movement it is punk rock, which is a sad indictment of the last thirty years.” Given the absence of a strong musical force over the last thirty years, it’s no surprise that the Letts is somewhat concerned over what this current generation is, or is failing to bring to the table. “What I think is interesting about this recession and doom and gloom shit, the upside of it is that, in times of social crisis that’s quite often when you see a rise in creative spirit. That’s how punk happened, that’s how hip-hop happened, and it’s surely overdue in this climate.” While he does expect something creative to come out as a new soundtrack of this generation, Letts is does not fool himself that it will come via the current big business mediums which are so unfortunately present in the music world we know today. “All those movements, the birth of reggae music, hiphop itself. It all had

aspects of social commentary. It wasn’t just about music. We did take time out to bring things to the table and raise debate. Obviously, theses aspects have been castrated. Where are the Chuck D’s of these days, where are the KRS - Ones, where are The Clash. There are people that understand the form and the possibilities and are clever enough to use it, but invariably they won’t be in the top 20.” Having spent most of his life working with music and musicians alike, Don Letts naturally knows that there are always people out there with the right mind-set and the creative edge to produce something exciting. “Beneath the radar there are a lot of people operating outside of this bullshit, which keeps me optimistic. But you do have to look harder and further I think… The attitude and spirit that turned me on, it’s still out there, it’s like the force in star wars you can’t stop it, you just have to look in new places.” While he does hold out hope for the future of music, Letts is understandably concerned about the mind-set of a large proportion of young people today and youth culture in general. It can at times be difficult to see any kind of culture present among the youth of today outside

of consumerism and television, and talking to ‘The Rebel Dread’, his concerns are well grounded, “It’s a general apathy, its interesting that back in my day we got into music because it was kind of anti-establishment. Now people get into it to be part of the establishment. I mean something like X-Factor… That’s not what it was supposed to be about. It was about shaking up a place, tearing down walls man. Creating a new soundtrack for a new generation. And like I say it doesn’t celebrate individuality or attitude, which is my biggest problem with it.” But with all these concerns over the current state of music and sub-culture, Letts still holds confidence in the creative instincts of today’s youth. “I have been lucky enough to travel a bit and because of the Internet I do think there are people out there who are trying to do new things outside of all that stuff. The 21st century from my perspective, it’s all about new values. If you don’t want all that shit, then the world’s an exciting place. But the minute you want to be on MTV or whatever, then how radical can you really be?... There are punk type things going on, but its nothing to do with guitars and Mohawks.”


Music music

The New Kings of Britain Kasabian front man Tom Meighan talks Q-awards, asylums and football songs with Philip Connolly ahead of playing the O2 later this month

The Siren 17.11.09 You can’t help but admire Kasabian’s brash confidence. Even in interview they carry the swagger of a litany of Northern English bands before them, and seem happy to assume the mantle of the fallen giants of Oasis and The Stone Roses. “We never actually said we were the biggest band in the UK but what we did say is that now with Oasis splitting up, there aren’t many proper rock n roll bands left. Can you name one? There are only us and the Arctic Monkeys. All the rest of them have released shit albums or didn’t care enough in the first place” guitarist Serge Pizzorno observed earlier this week. After two weeks and four postponed interview attempts I found Tom Meighan in fine form following their triumph at the previous weeks Q awards, receiving the best album award. As a band Kasabian are becoming known for their cocksure arrogance. As they embark on a stadium tour it’s hardly surprising that they’re brim full of the same swagger and confidence that attracted so many people to their mentors Oasis. “Posh fucking skier, Julian Casablancas. Fucking tramp, Doherty. Midget with whiskers, Justin Timberlake. Looks like my old gym teacher … Madonna. And a tranny who forgot the wig … Britney” is a sample of some of Meighan’s opinions of members if the music community, but he is in a much more positive mood today.

“look at the state of modern Britain, all these fucking politicians with all their shit” It’s been a big year for Kasabian. Their third album, West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum, went straight to number one in June. But, while reaching out to a large, mainstream audience, the album’s rather wild spirit of musical adventure also forced a critical reappraisal. It was shortlisted for the Mercury Prize and voted best album at last month’s Q Awards. The band is on a sold-out tour of UK arenas, and spent the summer playing stadiums with Oasis. The strange thing is that, in many respects, Kasabian are not really a rock band at all. For their third album, they went to LA and recorded with hip-hop producer Dan the Automator. Their sound relies on looping and sampling technology and is initially constructed by Pizzorno on his computer. Meighan speaks like a man with much to say and not enough time to say it, racing enthusiastically through sentences, and was still on a high after the Q awards; “Fucking hell mate yea, we were ecstatic man, we made a fantastic album man; the best album we can make. I think it absolutely obliterated anything up against us and it went to the best album for once. It was wonderful, absolutely over the moon with it. We never gave a shit about awards and that but it’s nice to be known now.” “We’ve just got back from Europe so we had a nice Pint,” one suspects it may have been more than a quiet one, “I was in bed by three which ain’t bad, actually its really early.”

One imagines that Kasabian’s tour bus may be a little less civilised than many more vanilla rock bands currently clogging up the charts; “You put 12 blokes on a bus and it’s all going to kick off. In the back lounge, it’s usually just people watching The Wire or something – a spliff and a film. But downstairs is debauched nonsense, a fucking jungle of people going insane. And then we have our special guests, like Lars [Ulrich] from Metallica. Serious amounts of fucking narcotics. You name it, we’ve done it. We used to be right little terrors towards the end of Empire. It was brilliant. But we choose our battles now.” It would be easy to dismiss Kasabian’s bravado as that of an over-enthused punk band without rhyme or reason, but musically the band takes their craft very seriously. So where did the bizarre name of their latest album West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum come from? “It’s an asylum in Wakefield or somewhere in Yorkshire; it was called West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum, which



The Siren 17.11.09

is crazy. We picked a mental name because we just wanted something different, something that would freak people out. We wanted to come back with something mind-boggling. We never make it easy on ourselves. I like the dangerous side of this band. We’re fucking rebels – our music and everything about us.” “I still believe we’re semi-underground. I think we’re the coolest underground band out there. I thought it was great; it was something that 60’s bands used to do, put mental names on their albums. I thought it was a good homage to them.” ““I like the idea of madness and music kind of entwined. If you call an album that, it pretty much gives you the freedom to go wherever you want. That’s what I was interested in” “One night, Serge watched a program on a mental asylum on TV, and he had this thing to make an album that’s really out there,” With dark, electronica songs “Underdog,” “Vlad the Impaler” and “Fire,”

the album is nothing like the rock music their fans are used to. “It’s an album with 12 really good songs on it, that’s all it is to me. It just throws it into another world and it’s completely different to the first two records, which is what we’re about,” Outside of the normal Oasis and Stone Roses comparisons, Meighan’s influences come from much more eclectic sources. “There is a lot of a band called Pretty Things in it, and other 60’s psychedelic influences; Decca records. We like the urban dark aggressive sound, lots of hip hop influences, but with lots of flavour. We also listened to lots of movie scores”. “I really thought that Kasabian found ourselves in our skin. People compare us to other bands now, we’re Kasabian, we’re happy in our own skin now. Which is wonderful.” Lyrically and tonally, West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum, shows a darker representation of Kasabian, which is timely considering the mood of the English nation; “look at the state of modern Britain, all these fucking politicians with all their shit, and all the wankers, the horrible aristocrats that come with it. ‘Where did the love go’ reflected modern day Britain, how different it is from ten years ago and how things have changed.” The album also heralds a bizarre guest appearance in the form of Hollywood actress Rosario Dawson, star of Sin City and Deathproof, singing on the album track “West Ryder Silver Bullet”. “I have no idea man,” states a bewildered Meighan when asked

about where the collaboration arose from, “we met her at the Isle of Wight a few years ago, Serge asked her and that was about it really.” Kasabian take to the stage in the O2 on the 27th of November, following their appearance in at the Guinness brewery on Arthur’s day last month. “I’m really looking forward to the O2; the tickets went really quick, it’s fantastic.”

“I wake up every morning and think, Wow, what a fucking great life”

Kasabian formed in 1999 and by 2000 had taken Britain by storm with their mix of Primal Scream-Stone Roses- Oasis- injected music, fusing every influential period in British rock music from the last two decades. Their eponymous 2004 debut shifted 700,000 copies in the UK alone and their success since then has simply rocketed. With a unique confidence and vocal style synonymous with the bands of the ‘Madchester’ scene, Kasabian went on to win the hearts of the British press winning Best Live Act award at the 2007 NME Awards. For all his self-belief and bravado, Meighan unmistakably has the zeal of someone who can’t quite believe his luck, who still has some difficulty working out exactly how a chance teenage meeting with Pizzorno in a Leicester park - he can’t remember whether he was drunk or “just being me”, but he was singing and the guitarist overheard him - led to a couple of million album sales and selling out Earl’s Court. “I wake up every morning and think, ‘Wow,

what a fucking great life.’ We’re making music and people give a shit, you know? I love being Tom Meighan. I am a little bit hyper,” he notes, a master of understatement - but it would take an almost superhuman effort to dislike him. The album’s first single, Fire, sounds pretty improbable among the rest of the commercial radio playlist, with its sudden lurches in mood and tempo and rhythm. Meighan describes it as flipping out; if the song were a person, he would be nice, “then he’s got a hammer in his hand the next minute”. It bears the influence of DJ Shadow, late-60s electronic pioneers the Silver Apples, and a variety of krautrockers, or as Meighan colourfully puts it, “those, German experimental bands dressed up as fucking wizards and kings”. “We’ve put drum’n’bass with guitar over the top of it and called it Swarfiga, man,” he says. “I’d expect someone like Radiohead to do that. Fucking serious. That’s something Thom Yorke would do.” But no one would ever mention Kasabian in the same breath as Radiohead, although their music has always been a bit weirder than the bands their fans tend to like. They’re named after Linda Kasabian, the Manson family’s getaway driver turned star witness at the Tate-LaBianca murder trial. They spent two years living “like a cult” on a communal farm outside Leicester. On the cover of West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum they appear in fancy dress: Meighan as Napoleon, Pizzorno as a priest. Part of the problem, Meighan thinks, might be to do with the improbable collision of Kasabian’s more outré influences with a certain earthiness born out of their geographical roots. “Bands from the Midlands, they’ve got this sort of balls-out thing - there’s this DNA of really loud fucking bands. Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Slade. It breeds absolute fucking monsters.” “People think we’re lad rock. People think we’re rowdy guzzlers, man. Beer guzzlers.” It doesn’t normally bother him, he says, but he had a recent encounter with a journalist who suggested that, given their beery, blokey, football-crowd following, the kind of fans Kasabian guitarist Sergio Pizzorno once proudly characterised as “people who would fight in a car park over you”, it was unwise for Meighan to wear his Paul Smith union flag shirt on stage. He brought up the unwelcome spectre of the furore Morrissey caused waving a union flag when supporting Madness in the early 1990s. Meighan was hugely offended. “He was going on about Morrissey being perceived as rightwing and I was like, ‘Fuck off! My dad’s an Irish Catholic, so you’re wrong there.’ I wore the shirt because it represents the Who, Keith Moon, Pete Townshend, the Pistols, all the great things that have come out of Britain, Noel Gallagher with his union jack guitar. It’s not a fucking Glasgow Rangers thing. He perceived us so wrong. It’s horrible, I was really pissed off.” Nor will Kasabian, be writing a song made for the terraces at English games at next year’s World Cup, although Trappationi may be well advised to give them a call if all goes well in Paris; “Normally the songs are shite, ain’t they? Embrace did one and it was horrible and I like Embrace. I support the Republic of Ireland anyway. My dad’s Catholic Irish so I root for Ireland in a family way. I still want England to do all right. But I don’t want to do their song.”


arts Fashion

Riches from Rags For this week’s dose of couture, Jennie Moles gives us the low down on an affordable, yet chic, night out in Dublin It is a known fact that student life brings with it minimal funds and financial strain. In order to survive the college years, economical tactics in penny-watching become an essential. However, there are two things even the most cautious scholar cannot resist splurging on: Socialising and fashion. The bar is never empty and there is a noticeably high number of this sea-

sons corsage head warmers c r o p ping up all over the UCD campus. A telling sign that students will indulge in a round at the bar, a bargain on the

The Siren 17.11.09

A group of Dublin students are hosting a charity fashion show in the Russell Court Hotel on Harcourt St. in aid of the Irish Cancer Society. With the Ireland V France match on Wednesday this event offers a more salubrious night out to students who are not drawn to the overcrowded rowdy pub scene a big match night can create. The content of the show is diverse but affordable. Clothes will be modelled from high street shops ranging from Pennys to Urban Outfitters and outfits will create a variety high street or a thrifty student night of looks with casual items from Diesel out. This Wednesday November 18th Jeans and evening dresses from Lara. Organisers have described the conis a chance to do all three.

The bitch is back

1940s Starlet

With all the catwalks glamming it up this season, Aoifa Smyth looks back to the effortless elegance of the forties


This season we see the return of 1940’s fashion on our catwalks. This style exudes an ultimately sexual iciness and places an emphasis on tailoring and the hour glass shape. The 1940s starlet possess a confidence and understated sexiness. The style is classically feminine without, being overly girly. Skirts were past the knee, leaving more to the imagination, and shoulders pads were commonly donned. Silhouettes were austere, with nipped waists and sophisticated suits. Despite the simplicity of the decade, clothes were subtly seductive and the was a large air of classiness attached to women’s clothing. With World War Two taking place from 1939 until 1945, With fashion reality shows ever multiplying, Kellie Nwaokorie looks women were taken out of their domestic settings and placed at the compound the fashion industry and bitchyness have become into the workplace to take over from men who had been Being a fashion editor, a super model or a Models are disappearing before our eyes with sent to war. With this in mind, fashion put an emphasis on clothes designer are the ultimate aspiration of the average size plummeting to zero. There practicality and formal work wear. many a young girl these days. The glamour, the are numerous campaigns out there highlightSkirt suits were often worn by women working in offices. celebrity and the image that comes along with ing this problem and even ANTM supported High heels were rationed, and heels limited to one inch and it is appealing beyond belief. the campaigns in their own way by taking on were only available in six colours. High-waisted trousers Not to mention, writing and editing pieces a plus size model here and there which they on designers, beautiful clothes, shoes, bags proceeded to bang on about for the duration became popular with working women and were worn in a or stepping onto a catwalk wearing what will of her stay. loose, almost flare-like style. Separates became popular, due eventually end up on thousands of clothes We have heard it all before, but nothing has to economic situations. racks across the globe, would be a dream- changed or will change when we have bitchy They gave the illusion of women owning a more varied come-true for many a little girl. attitudes from the designers themselves. Ralph wardrobe, by mixing and matching. But then, that little girl switched on her tele- Lauren recently fired one of his models bevision to Americas Next Top Model, changed cause she did not fit his imaging any longer. A style emerged in the nineteen forties, known as Rosie over to The Hills which was followed by The “We consider her an important part of our the Riveter. This was another form of the working girl style, City, after which was turned to Ugly Betty imaging and branding,” the designer said in but was aimed more at women who took over poat which point she gave up and delved into a statement to the media. “We regret that our sitions in manual labour. a nearby fashion magazine and finally her relationship has ended as a result of her indream was shattered. ability to meet the obligations under her Women sported overalls l ki n g a b o Caddy bitches, huge egos, image scrutinisa- contract with us.” The 23-year-oldut … or dungarees with sturdy s ta nt i tion and a year round drama compilation with model, has worked for Lauren since ne All I wa as... boots and trousers with o hems lined with even more drama. This today she was fifteen. At 5’10 and 120 m hrist e f No shirts tucked in. Head is what symbolises the Fashion Industry. A pounds, she adds up to a size 4. for C y, 12th o ased thre nd, a ursd land rele ly Rowla scarves, bandannas, thick skin, not to mention a pair of thin skinny Fashion will always have its Th n s l I O y Ke ixie iver jeans and the legs to go with, is what you’ll own way; that’s what makes it ruby red and ruby er, R esigned b one by P fabulous b m ve sses and need to survive. unique from every other indusne d red lips gave the es, o a Dixon three dre the girls s s e r d The media’s interpretation of the fashion in- try. We will always be the ones sh se but y Ale e e the son, dustry has been largely dramatised on popular darting for the remote to turn one b t only ar party sea ith all th rust Pop trend a masculine T No sw ng American reality shows, yet the fine print that on The City or subscribing to a Lott. upcomi ed t-shirt e Prince’s out, the meets feminine feel. e n th h g m t s i e s r d attaches itself to the credits allows the bitchi- yearly contract of Elle magazine, e h r o f t Lipstick was seen as a d eck t also y no g tow ness to perhaps be attributed to the, ‘some because with fashion it’s a lovehave eds goin d and ch and wh part of the war effort, yet n e e a l c l l pro stil scenes are scripted.’ hate relationship. er Is onab style was not a big part of o Riv are reas d, while t n i It is obvious that to a certain extent, this dra- So with an industry upheld by bitchy, s ee price a good d g chic? the equation for these girls. matisation is based on the reality loosened immoral views yet with beautiful handdo mainin Towards the end of the nineteen threads of the industry. It is undoubtedly clear bags and shoes, it is hard to ridicule such an re that fashion is no longer just about, fashion. It industry that helps form our world without forties, in 1947, Christian Dior emerged with is something greater, fashion now extends to a developing a soft spot. However the pervadthe ‘New Look’. This involved the use of more fabric than way of life, a certain image one must uphold ing worry that asks are we willing to maintain had been allowed during the rations of the war. Skirts were to be considered, according to the fashion a bitchy attitude and a tiny body mass to be fuller and a-line and some were as long as ankle length. Bodhouses, as stylish. called fashionable, cannot be forgotten.


tent of the show as being “affordable clothes, showcasing student fashion.” Entertainment will include an experienced DJ who has performed in many Dublin clubs favoured by UCD students including Tripod and Wax. A raffle will be held with prizes ranging from sportswear to jewellery pieces and concessions at the bar will be available. Tickets are extremely reasonable at only €5 and are available directly from the organisers. Tickets will not be sold on the door. If you are looking for a different, more sophisticated night out, with maximum entertainment but minimum cost this is definitely worth considering. As all proceeds will go to the Irish Cancer Society, this event is a great way to mix fashion and socialising while helping a truly worthy cause. For further details on the show or to purchase tickets contact Dara McNally on 0862666829.

ices and petticoats were seen, and there was an emphasis on luxury. Many women protested this initially, due to the over use of fabric on single items. It is even said that models were attacked by onlookers, during a street photo shoot in Paris, as a form of protest against the extravagant nature of this fashion line. To achieve the sexy, sultry style of the 1940’s woman, channel high waisted, over the knee pencil skirts with blouses. Blouses often had puffy sleeves, bows and peter pan style collars and often came in gingham or patriotic colours. Tailored dresses can be picked up in vintage shops or on e-bay, but don’t always come at a low price. High street shop Zara, often stock forties inspired body con dresses as well as floral tea dresses and Retro in Georges street arcade stocks reproductions of sexy, figure hugging dresses from the era. Hats were a big fashion statement of the decade. Vintage shops such as Jenny Vander, The Harlequin and Lucy’s Lounge often have an abundance of chic 1940’s style day and night hats. Pick up netting in material shop, Murphy Sheehy, and sew onto the hat for an elegant, lady like style. Grab a pair of short gloves, some ankle strap shoes, some red lipstick, tights with a visible seam at the back and a vanity case handbag and you could give Katherine Hepburn a run for her money.

b o t e t a o r n d r o ? , d r a To Be

oks , Cathal O’Gara lo it in s t’ a th th on eing the m With Novemberndb cons of sporting facial hair over the pros a While featuring a fresh, closely shaved visage will never truly go out of style, the option to sport facial hair of all types and variations is becoming very popular amongst men from all age groups and walks of life. Most men will spend at least one day a week in the bathroom with a razor, even great men like Chuck Norris. This is because many men feel that they need to keep their facial hair under control. For many cultures, a long, bushy beard is a sign of wisdom and all round manliness, think Marx or Gandalf post-Balrog. For many others, it’s a sign you’ve just been kicked off Survivor. The extent to which some women are obsessed with the hair on their heads is nothing when compared to the level of obsession some men have with their facial hair. While generally speaking, most women prefer a clean-shaven man, many women (and many more men) find facial hair to be very attractive. And the up-and-coming generation of young men seem to have founded a renewed interest growing and grooming unique facial hair designs. A beard may have been groovy in the 60’s, but these days men prefer a cleaner look. Many alternatives have sprouted in-

Channel the Style of...Katy Perry


arts Music Fashion

The Siren 17.11.09

cluding, Elvis burns, Chin jungles, Magnum P.I’s, handle-bars and the horrifically popular Goatee. But don’t laugh off beards just yet. Growing one means you don’t ever need to shave - only trim it into shape every now and then. A beard also provides extra protection for your skin, but needs to be washed regularly to avoid unwanted visitors. Whatever you choose to do with your beard ultimately leads to one thing: a change in your style. Consider it a free accessory that can be sculpted at your whim on a weekly basis. Not all men can sport a perfectly trimmed face-mane, as the growth rate, thickness, colour and shape of your beard is purely reliant on genetics. So while you may closely resemble ZZ Top, the guy next to you may not even be able to bud a puny moustache. The standard moustache is perhaps the most stereotypical and common example of facial hair and grooming for men. The moustache is typically worn by more conservative members of society and those featuring in silent films. However a recent annual phenomenon called ‘Movember’ has occurred around the globe bringing back the style, if only for comedic and phil-

anthropic purposes. The soul patch, that is, a strip of facial hair that is manicured and kept just beneath the lower lip, is a very popular choice amongst musicians, artists, and writers. Very rakish and bold, the soul patch implies an extroverted and fun-loving personality that is immensely attractive to the ladies, while also creating a sense of intelligence. Manicured stubble is another increasingly popular trend amongst young men, most likely owing to those all-nighters. Go a few days without shaving, though some experts will insist on shaving the neck, it is not altogether necessary. Ryan Seacrest and Russell Crowe are the best known ambassadors of this look. Manicured stubble is an excellent compliment to a very sharp and modern suit, and can add a sense of maturity and rugged flair to an otherwise youthful countenance. Sideburns add a nice touch to a man’s face, but again, make sure to keep your sideburns short and trimmed. While you may want the X-Men Wolverine’s claws, you certainly don’t want his sideburns.

Winter Woollies

November has arrived and it’s time to dig out your hat, scarves and gloves yet again. Snug and stylish, it’s time to get coordinated ladies so head to Pennies for a broad and colourful selection.

Wavy hair An effortless, easy style and one which also leaves your locks singe free. This look is perfect for those who are constantly on the go and whose schedule finds it hard to fit morning preening in. Just put hair in loose plaits while half dry beIf you didn’t see the movie, just think fore heading to bed and enjoy of Elvis Presley having an affair with a your wavy results. werewolf -- avoid the King’s sideburns at all costs. To keep your sideburns trimmed and short, an electric razor would be most effective. Facial hair grows back, so any change you make can be repaired within days. Don’t be afraid to try out new styles with your facial hair, since no change is permanent. Just remember, whichever style you choose, you need to maintain the neatness and length of the hair so it doesn’t look like your best friend is a football named Wilson. Have fun trying different styles and remember, variation in the style of your facial hair always makes for a refreshing change.

This week, Aisling Kennedy shows us how to achieve Katy Perry’s playful and sexy style, without having to lay one on a girl Katy Perry is definitely a girl whose fashion choices spark heated style debates, or, perhaps more rightly, divides fashion lovers in an all out fashion war. Her looks can either leave you hot and wanting to see more or freezing cold. Despite the media junk that surrounds Katy, such as her motor-mouth spats with enemy Lily Allen, questionable air headed-ness or the ‘What in hell does she see in Russell Brand?’ mantra, all of this aside, she sure can rock and outfit, and not just any old piece - I’m talking outrageous designs with a great shock factor. At this years European Music Awards ceremony in Berlin, Katy, as the host of the night, rocked no less than twelve different outfits, all extreme, beautiful and daring. The costumes were a cabaret inspired combination of dark and sexy with a romantic twist. Katy wowed the audience with retro corsets and electrifying two-pieces, the outfits included a raunchy nude corset with a conical bra and add on ‘nipples’, black knickers emblazoned with a silver heart and every type of sequin, sparkle and glittery beading you could possibly imagine. Forgetting her more eccentric style assets for a second, Miss Perry has some serious glamour credentials. Only a limited few can pull off a unique take on vintage chic and get away with it. Her stage style of one off designs might prove tricky, but I think anything can be done and adapted. Let’s start with makeup, Katy’s skin always looks matte and flawless, so a good powder is essential.


More often than not Katy’s makeup is as inspired as her style, which usually veers from retro 1930/40’s to urban and wacky all rolled into one. So try to focus on one look in particular, or you could end up looking like a complete disaster. Now let’s talk clothes. How do you channel Katy’s wardrobe? Well at the moment Katy has been seen out and about wearing a collection of cute pop or cartoon inspired tees for her casual day-wear and was spotted front row and centre at the ‘Castelbajac’ Spring/Summer 2010 fashion show, sporting an old-school Muppet inspired dress. Yes, you read correctly- The Muppets. You remember Kermit and the gang don’t you? Her look is surprisingly achievable, when you think of Katy, it’s more about focusing on a sense of fun and glamour, rather than succumbing to the mass swoon of fashion following that can quickly make any aspiring fashion savvy starlet a very sad looking fashion victim. A good old reliable haunt for style goodies is, and will forever be, fashion’s high-street favourite Topshop, which presents you with an endless supply of style possibilities perfectly packaged and ready. Channeling Perry can be a bit risqué; even the most fashion forward fashionista could make one whopper style mistake. But, for true Katy attitude, you don’t have to kiss a few girls, well unless you want to, but more importantly with whatever you wear feel confident, do your very best Katy Perry pout and show off in style. She hasn’t quite reached style icon status just yet, but she is well on her way.

Hairbands We’re talking Blair Waldorf style. Wear them with your hair up or down. Hairbands are the ideal finishing touch to perfect your do.

Eek Cheryl Cole’s recent style

Eh, why exactly are you wearing pyjamas in your latest video Ms. Cole and that dress on the x factor, with those socks. Might be time to sack the stylist. Let’s hope Cheryl gets back to her usual stylish self soon.

Structured Dresses Why would I want the bottom half of my body to look like some sort of weirdly shaped triangle/pentagon? Answer me that Jessica Alba.

Laddered Tights Be careful with the nails while you’re putting them on ladies. Always have a bottle of clear nail varnish close at hand to stop the ladder from growing, or even better, have a spare pair just in case.

By Laura McNally



The Siren 17.11.09 5 films to get you in the rough and tumble, Vigilante mood Ashling Maguire 5. Dirty Harry “You’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya, punk?” Clint Eastwood stars in this classic film about a cop who goes rogue in his attempt to stop a serial killer. Scorpio is a sniper who threatens to kill more and more people from the rooftops of San Francisco if his ransom demands are not met. He leads Harry on a thrill filled wild goose chase across town and hijacks a bus full of school children before the two finally come face to face. Body count: 7

A merciless campaign Harry Brown

Directed by: Daniel Barber Starring: Michael Caine Reviewed by: Ashling Maguire

Law Abiding Citizen

Directed by: F. Gary Gray Starring: Gerard Butler and Jamie Foxx Reviewed by: Aisling Kennedy Gerard Butler stars as Clyde, a man who watched his wife and daughter die at the hands of two thugs. Mitigating One of the murderers testifies against the other leaving him on death row while the other walks free. Ten years later, when the time comes for the incarcerated killer, it goes horribly wrong and both of them are murdered. The trail of blood leads right to Clyde. Clyde is taken into jail but he won’t

Daniel Barber’s directorial debut, “Harry Brown” is a dark, violent and at times disturbing film. The title character, portrayed flawlessly by Michael Caine, is an elderly ex-Marine who finds himself living alone in an extremely rough council estate after the death of his ill wife and, soon after, the murder of his best friend Len by a gang of youths. After the police prove to be of no help, he snaps and decides to take justice into his own hands. All the ruthlessness he had repressed after leaving the Marines comes back to him as he becomes a vigilante and starts to brutally kill off the various criminals in the area. Caine’s performance is of course bril-

give a confession and begins to use leverage through threats. Mysteriously, he is managing to murder other inmates in jail, mostly using explosives and carefully assembled sequences of chemicals. It is very satisfying watching Clyde’s devices kill people; easily the best aspect of the film. This is where, despite being incredibly entertaining, the film is lacking a bit. The audience will know the ending from the start. As a view, the outset makes it clear that justice and truth and morality will always prevail. This film very obviously tries to bring this simple, happy thought into the spotlight. The court system is corrupt so you can’t help but side with Clyde and delight in him killing people throughout. Other than the morality struggle the film puts the audience into by encouraging us to cheer for the villain, it’s great entertainment but don’t expect to leave satisfied with the outcome.

liant as always. His character is believable and poignant, making the audience pity him even as he stoops to the level of the criminals he wants brought to justice. The atmosphere of the film is one of pure tension and each scene will have you holding your breath in anticipation of what will happen next. Most notably the scene where Harry attempts to buy a gun from some particularly shady dealers draws out just long enough that you’re on tenterhooks throughout the agonizing wait for the gunshot that will inevitably break the hostile silence. The bleakness of the situation is shown expertly through the colourless landscape in which the story takes place. Atmosphere and Caine’s performance

Glorious 39’ Directed by: Stephen Poliakoff Starring: Bill Nighy, Christopher Lee, Romola Garai Reviewed by: Aisling Kennedy The bulk of the movie is set against a backdrop of the idyllic English countryside in 1939 were the ever-looming possibility of Britain’s entry into the war in Europe seemingly imminent. ‘Glorious 39’ is told in the classic flashback format as a young boy in the present day visits elderly brothers Oliver (Colin Redgrave) and Walter (Christopher Lee) in search of answers as to what became of his relative Anne Keys (Romola Garai). In 1939 Anne was a beautiful, young actress who had been brought up in the utmost of plush privilege in a wealthy aristocratic

aside, the film is genuinely disturbing and upsetting. The violence and gore involved in the many shootings, stabbings and riots are extreme but realistic enough to turn your stomach. It is difficult to see what point Barber is trying to make with this film as there is no reason or solution given to the situation of the criminals and Brown ends up just the same as them, a remorseless killer. In fact, although some characters, whether criminal or police officer are intriguing, none are given any satisfactory back story or development apart from Brown himself. This film is definitely one to avoid if you are in any way faint hearted.

family, and whose father (Bill Nighy) was also a highly regarded and well-respected conservative MP. However events begin to unravel with suspicious suicides and with Anne’s discovery of old gramophone records that appear to be recordings of incriminating secret service telephone calls. The plot explores the truly dark and deep secrets that can lie at the heart of a seemingly perfect family and exposes them in all of their vilified ugliness. With an outstanding cast of respected, famous thesps from Bill Nighy to Julie Christie, stunning cinematography, and ‘edgeof-your-seat’ thrills this is a movie not to be missed. Admittedly though it has to be said some of the suspense techniques are more than a little well worn, the director Stephen Poliakoff uses predictable spooky, suspicious characters, intense music and somewhat unsurprising suspense moments; were we have more or less figured out the outcome of the suspense scene before we are shown so on screen. Having said this the movie is still well worth a watch.

4. Batman Begins “And there is something out there in the darkness, something terrifying, something that will not stop until it gets revenge... Me.” Everyone’s favourite vigilante, Christian Bale, dons the bat suit to rid a corrupt Gotham City of the crime that has taken it over. The husky voiced hero finds himself facing some kick-ass ninjas, some guy with a scary mask and terror inducing drugs and of course, Liam Neeson. Body count: 18 3. The Boondock Saints “This guy takes out a whole family; wife, kids, everyone… Like he’s ordering fucking pizza.” The McManus brothers accidentally kill some thugs connected with the Mafia, with a falling toilet. After they are released without charge they take it as a calling from God to rid the world of evil and begin killing off mafia members all over Boston. The people investigating the murders are unsure if the boys are doing the right thing and whether or not they should be stopped. Body count: 33 2. Death Note “The law has its limits.” Light Yagami, a model student, finds a notebook dropped by a Shinigami (God of Death) which allows him to kill anyone in the world by writing their name in it. He decides to use it to rid the world of crime and injustice by killing off criminals but things soon get out of hand as he turns power mad. Cue “L”, an eccentric genius and the only match for Light’s intelligence, to try and bring him down. Body Count: Too many Japanese criminals to count. 1. Kill Bill “Those of you lucky enough to have your lives, take them with you. However, leave the limbs you’ve lost. They belong to me now.” The mother of all vigilante films sees Uma Therman don some questionable yellow leathers as the vengeful bride and only survivor of the massacre which took place on her wedding day. She sets out to make those responsible pay. Quentin Tarantino’s characteristically eccentric style makes this the go-to film for all appreciators of over the top violence and unbelievable gore. Body Count: 95

The Siren 17.11.09

Down with that sort of thing With a new RTE sitcom on the way, Ardal O’Hanlon takes time out to chat to Katie Godwin about being a father, Obama, the joy of sandwiches and playing Ireland’s best loved priest


Music arts “I’m playing a TD in the new show and I’m hoping to do for Irish politics what Father Ted did for the Catholic Church.” explains Ardal O’Hanlon, one of Irelands most loved and well known comedians, about his part as Val Falvey TD in his newest sitcom. Ardal O’Hanlon began his career as a stand up comedian and along with Kevin Gildea and Barry Murphy, founded the international Comedy Cellar upstairs in the International Bar as Ireland had no real comedy scene. It wasn’t until Graham Linehan spotted the comedian as a young man and cast him as Father Dougal in Father Ted that he rocketed to celebrity status. O’Hanlon commented regarding his new sitcom, that he hadn’t been expecting anything to come up after Father Ted so the show was a pleasant surprise; “You always think you’re never going to work again. If you’re expecting a kick in the ass and you get a slap in the face, it’s a victory. I don’t dream about future shows, I just plough on and do my thing.” O’Hanlon also recently played a role in the E4 teenage drama, Skins. His character was a physics teacher who had more of an interest in one of his students than the subject. O’Hanlon describes his experience on the racy show as ‘good craic.’ However, if he could choose his ultimate show to be on, without a doubt it would be Match of the Day, he reveals with a chuckle. “I always loved soccer; I was alright but I a bit lazy” Ardal is best known in Ireland for his role as Father Dougal in the popular, Irish TV comedy show Father Ted. The show followed the exploits of three Roman Catholic priests who presided over a parish on Craggy Island, located off the west coast of Ireland. Fr. Dougal’s simple minded nature provided many a laugh and has been seen in many of O’Hanlon’s roles since then. When asked if he’d ever consider playing a more serious role, he responds enthusiastically; “I’d love to but nobody would give me a job.” O’Hanlon explains honestly with that ever present twinkle in his eye. “I don’t think people want to see me in a serious role. I think they’re used to me as I am in Father Ted so they just see me in that way and it’s hard to get away from that.” It’s been over ten years since the hit series was made but O’Hanlon sill has very fond memories of Father Ted and hi costars; “I do kind of miss it; it was a really fun thing to do and I was tremendously happy with how it went.” “I was really sad when Dermot died but I suppose, all good things have to come to an end. It was going to end when it ended anyway. The writers had decided that. But the end was overshadowed by Dermot dying.” Dermot Morgan who had played the title role of Father Ted died from a heart attack he suffered during a celebratory party the day after filming the final episode. O’Hanlon finds he doesn’t like watching old

episodes of the show now; “I find it hard to watch myself,” he admits, “but the kids watch them and sometimes I walk in and see a bit and say ‘oh yeah I remember that’ but in general I don’t really like watching them.” Even though he played a priest, O’Hanlon is not very pious in real life but hugely respects the entity that is religion; “Because I did Father Ted, people think I’m a real priest and people think my stand up would be kind of odd.” “I actually don’t believe in God; I agree that God is a delusion, but I think he’s a brilliant delusion and that’s why I’ve no time for atheism. I think that is utterly bogus and the delusion is bogus as well. Everything is bogus but you know God is brilliant. You couldn’t function if you weren’t deluded that’s the point I mean we’re not actually people are we?” Since the show O’Hanlon has mainly been focusing on stand-up comedy which was where he began his comedic career. His favourite topics revolve around anything he can rant about; “I like to grumble almost very subject under the sun. There are a lot of things bugging me at the moment like vampires and football and Obama winning the Nobel Prize for Peace.” “He should get Oscars and tons of other things but not a prize for peace for the simple reason that he’s presiding over a pointless war. I’m more peaceful than him. I’m not at was with anyone, it’s like giving the prize for science to John Travolta its ridiculous”

“I like talking about sandwiches as well. I’m always thinking about sandwiches from the moment I get up, I’m thinking what am I going to put in my sandwich and I talk about the kids.” “My daughter is concerned about the environment and whenever I’m in the toilet, she’s there banging on the door telling me not to flush unless it’s a poo and I say, ‘but what if it’s a runny poo, or a hard wee?’ Life’s to short to be worrying about things like that.” I wander aloud if his family mind when they feature in his jokes. “My parents used to be confused and sort of wondered why I was saying stuff about them but they didn’t really understand for a long time that you’re really talking about an alter ego; your imaginary family that does kind of resemble your real family in a way and that can be a bit annoying.” Sometimes I talk about my wife. She doesn’t care; in fact I’d run everything by her before the show, not to see if it’s offensive but just to check if it’s funny.” When asked about his parents’ attitude and how they reacted when he told them he was going to be a comedian, he explains that it was quite a traumatic experience for them. “They got really upset. They couldn’t understand it and for the next year or two sent me various brochures for Law College. It wasn’t until Ted come out that they started to see there was some merit in it.” As this was the environment, comedic aspirations were received in, role models had no place in his house. “I grew up in a political environment my dad was a politician so there were people like Alexander the great, but not any comic role models.” “I came from an environment where there was no singing and dancing or sudden movements. So it certainly was not expected that I would turn out to be a comedian.” Despite this, he had been heading in this career direction from a young age. “By the time I was in 4th or 5th year at school, I knew I didn’t want a conventional career. I wanted to be a writer and me and my friend used to go down to the bridge and write really crude poems and smoke.” “I used to write when I was younger and get stuff into magazines so I kind of new I wanted to get into that kind of stuff and one thing led to another.” When asked about what other Irish comedians he likes, he exclaims jokingly; “I hate them all. Ah no, in Ireland I like Dylan Moran. I used to like Tommy more than I like him now. You just cant keep producing brilliant stuff but I know he’s going to come back with something good.” He concludes cheerfully. O’Hanlon will be touring again in Ireland this coming April.



The Siren 17.11.09

Being a fan of the movie, certain hopes for this musical were inevitable. However, in terms of comparing the two, a film buff would not be too disappointed. It did an excellent job capturing the story and many of the characters, but where the difference came was in its use of humour. Not that it lacked it, but a lot of the style of humour from the movie was lost. In terms of the overall production it certainly deserves credit. Costumes were excellent, especially that of the band, credit has to be given to hair as well. However the score was disappointing; far too clichéd and still stuck in that formulaic mode of what works in Broadway. Some of the songs were well written, however, none of them were ringing in my head after the performance. Besides that, the cast and musicians performed them excellently. Some of the singing, at times, was really as good as you will get. The acting itself was excellent with the American accents holding up all night. Choreography was top notch and high level of energy was maintained throughout the night. The scene where they did the Thriller dance was hilarious and couldn’t have been pulled off any better. It doesn’t compare to the more heavy weights and even though the audience certainly loved all the jokes, a lot of them were often cheaply thought out. Any of the problematic issues are contained within the text and score; the production itself cannot be flawed. Musicals often stick to that formulaic method of what works but I think this concept had the potential for much more. By Charles O’Donnell

e d i u G Event Tuesday 17th Nov Christmas Tree Lighting Grafton Street Free

Saturday 21st Nov Draíocht exhibition The Blanchardstown Centre

Wednesday 18th Nov Ireland Vs France The Sugar Club, Free Thursday 19th Nov Bill Bailey UCD Free

Friday 20th Nov Opening of play: Strandline Project Arts Centre

Sunday 22nd Nov National Prison Art Exhibition Kilmainham Jail

Love and Summer William Trevor Reviewed By: Frank Mac Bride Long listed for this year’s Man Booker Prize, Love and Summer is Trevor’s first novel since the much-lauded novel, The Story of Lucy Gault in 2002. It follows the story of a sleepy Irish town called Rathmoye during a sweltering summer and the budding romance that occurs between Ellie, a farmer’s wife and town stranger Florian Kilderry. As their relationship develops, a recently bereaved daughter called Miss Connulty, takes a keen interest, afraid that the romance will bring disgrace on the girl and the community. What follows is a long summer in which Trevor chronicles the fears and desires of an Irish town and an elegy for the past as depicted especially through the lonely nostalgic Protestant Orpen Wren. Trevor is better known for his finesse as a short story writer, however, he displays a craftsmanship possessed by few other Irish writers in creating this taut and precise novel. One sentence demonstrates this convincingly; “Compact and ordinary, it was a town in a hollow that had grown up there for no reason that anyone knew or wondered about”. In a prose that is lucid and simple, Trevor has written a novel that is one of the best novels to come out this year.

Rings a Bell

Long running soap actress, Fiona Bell, chats to Aisling Kennedy about her new play, Strandline, which has been hailed as the must see theatre production this November The Scottish accent, the warm and engaging conversation and a wonderfully contagious laugh make this very busy actress a pleasure to talk to, even on a mad day. Casualty and Eastenders actress Fiona Bell, can barely spare the time between long rehearsals for her new play, a much delayed lunch, not to mention buying her daughter’s Halloween costume. “She’s dressing up as Ladybird.” Bell chuckles. All in a days work apparently. Happy to talk about anything, Bell divulges the details from her up and coming show to her deep love of theatre acting. Her latest production, Strandline will be held in the Project Arts Centre in Dublin from the 17th of November and runs until the 5th of December. With plenty of intrigue, secrets and mystery, the play has been hailed as a mustsee. Fiona sounds enthusiastic about the new production and states her love for working on newly written plays as it is “a much more on the edge experience”. The play I might add has been written by one of Ireland’s most exciting new playwrights Abbie Spallen. It is centered on the character of Máirín, an artist who lives in a little coastal town. One month after the death of her husband, three woman gather at her house, and what unfolds next is a chasm of dark secrets

about the women, her community and the man she loved. When quizzed about her preparation for the role of Eileen in Strandline, Bell jokes that “not much preparation was needed for the role as, it is more important to get into the script, to find the rhythms of the character and find out what is going on in her particular journey.” Regarding her character, Fiona asserts that Eileen is a woman from the wrng side of the tracks; “She comes from a pretty rough background. She’s not got a lot going for her, except for the fact she’s hanging out with a woman who’s got a bit of power. [Eileen] does all of the dirty work. It makes you wonder what it is that is going on in her life, its all she has.” To all of the theatre critics out there Fiona states it is wisdom and experience that really change your view on critiques good or bad; “I tend not to read them anymore.” Fiona’s love of the theatre is a topic on which she becomes most animated; “It’s in the moment and it can’t be captured, its something shared, time stands still when you’re on stage at night and there’s not many things that make time stand still. There’s nothing like it. There is humanity in the room.” She concludes wistfully.

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