The Siren, The College Tribune Volume 23 Issue 10

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College Tribune Entertainment Supplement 23.03.2010

the Siren

Come with us on a journey through time and space Rain Machine The Courteeners Debbie Harry David McSavage Whip it




The Siren 23.03.10

The Scoop

Alex Chilton 1950 – 2010 The music world is mourning the loss of Indie icon Alex Chilton after he died of a heart attack in New Orleans last Wednesday, March 17th. Chilton’s music career with both the Box Tops and Big Star influenced the lives of innumerable artists throughout the music world. His contribution to the shape of modern music is characterised in the famous song penned by Paul Westerberg of The Replacements, simply titled “Alex Chilton.” The lyrics of which are perhaps the greatest tribute to one of music’s most underappreciated Big Stars. In a fitting Tribute to his hero, Paul Westerberg wrote in Saturday’s New York Times of Chilton, “The great Alex Chilton is gone — folk troubadour, blues shouter, master singer, songwriter and guitarist. Someone should write a tune about him. Then again, nah, that would be impossible. Or just plain stupid.” The one positive that can be taken from the passing of Alex Chilton, who had a deep fondness for his home of New Orleans, is the fact that it was there he was when he passed. In the words of that song by The Replacements,

Philip Connolly meets Brit-rockers The Courteeners

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Amy Walsh catches up with Irish Comic Dave McSavage Page 11


Aisling Kennedy checks out Debbie Harry’s style

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“If he died in Memphis, then that’d be cool.”

Dates Announced The New York Dolls have just confirmed a special Dublin Academy show on 20th April. Tickets are 28 euro including booking fee and go on sale Now from Ticketmaster and usual outlets nationwide. A gig not to be missed! Following his sold out Dublin show last March, Chicago’s Felix Da Housecat returns to Dublin on Bank Holiday Sunday May 2nd. Tickets are on sale now from usual outlets nationwide. With a new album reaching our shelves later this year, Faithless have announced a date in the Olympia theatre. Tickets are on sale now. Paramore have also been announced as support act to Green Day when they play Dublin’s Marlay Park on June 23rd. Mod Icon Paul Weller has been announced for a run of five dates in Dublin’s Olympia theatre beginning on the 16th of November. He is also confirmed to play The Sea Sessions festival in Bundoran, Co. Donegal on June 26th and the following night in The Marquee, Cork.

New noise hoarsebox Just in time to provide the upbeat soundtrack to your summer months, Hoarsebox return to Irish soil fresh from recording their debut album in Mississippi. The band’s myspace page describes them as, “Four guys from varying backgrounds (Peruvian / Indonesian amongst them), and are essentially Dublin guys with an international outlook. The band combines artful instrumentation with extraordinary four-part vocal harmonies, bucket loads of energy and insatiably upbeat melodies.” That pretty much hits the nail on the head. The band not only have a fresh sound but a refreshing attitude as well, drummer and vocalist Max Carpio stated in a 2008 interview, “We don’t have to worry about money, because we’re not making any”, “In a way that gives us the freedom to just go be creative and enjoy our music.” Hopefully as things begin to take off for the band, that refreshing approach will remain. After the release of the band’s 2008 EP Cuckooland, big things began happening for Hoarsebox. With two successful visits touring US stages, including New York’s Arlene’s Grocery and the Mercury Lounge, the hype began to build. Nothing symbolised this more

than media giants Clear Channel featuring the band as April 2009’s Artist to Watch. The industry frenzy which ensued resulted with exciting album prospects for the band. The band were paired up with producer Dennis Herring to start work on their debut album. With production credits including Modest Mouse, The

Hives, Counting Crowes and Elvis Costello, Herring is sure to bring the best out of this already exciting band. Having spent time cooped-up in Herring’s Mississippi studio the band are no doubt eager to get back on to the stage as they push the release of this long awaited album, and with a Meteor award nomination for the most promising act

of 2010, the public is undoubtedly eager to hear what the band have to offer. With the release of their latest single ‘Work Party’ just behind them, the band are back on the road for a mini tour around Ireland. Kicking off last Friday in Cork, the Hoarsebox show is making it’s way to an April 1st Dublin date in The Button Fac-

tory, stopping off in Galway and Kilkenny along the way. With the prospect of hearing some tracks off an album that could well be one of the highlights of the Irish year, these shows are not to be missed. www.myspace. com/hoarsebox Hoarsebox play The Button Factory on April 1st. By Jim Scully


The Siren 23.03.10



Plastic Beach

Philip Connolly So what odds would you have gotten in 1995 for the lead singer of one of Brit pops leading lights to be making a record with Snoop Dogg or Bobby Womack? It’s been 12 years since Blur songster and Britpop poster boy Damon Albarn first sat down with comic book artist Jamie Hewlett to draft their response to the decaying state of the music industry, and yet there’s never been a time where the message of their avant-garde virtual band was quite so pertinent. Forget the cartoon characters. Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett’s animated misfits have always been mainly interesting as a concept, and on much of the third Gorillaz album, Plastic Beach, it feels like Albarn and co. are ditching the idea of writing pop songs a cartoon band might front anyway. The one-time Blur frontman has transcended some of the post-modern artifice of this project, and created the group’s most affecting and uniquely inviting album. Joke’s over, Gorillaz are real. Though it’s only to be considered “pop” in the most obscure sense, and it goes to show Albarn has a pretty warped concept of the term, Plastic Beach provides the almighty shakeup that pop music has needed for some time. This is an album where the mind-boggling and the mind-blowing are wall to wall. Its brilliance adopts many guises throughout its sixteen tracks, taking the form of unruffled cool one minute and raucous thumpers the next, all somehow woven together seamlessly to fit this outlandish adventure. Though it’s only to be considered “pop” in the most

Sugababes Sweet 7

Ryan Cullen If you feel like a pop-tart then shag a Sugababe. Twelve years, seven studio albums, numerous number one hits and has had more members in it than Paris Hiltons vagina. ‘Sweet 7’ is the latest addition to the compilation of tripe aimed at the underage teenager lining up outside XXIs on a cold, Saturday night hoping to get their cherry popped. Sugababes 4.0 like their predecessors possesses nothing in the way of musical talent, all songs written by random writers that would be too embarrassed to put their own name on this sexually driven crap. Although the new members appear to be getting younger, they hardly fall into the ‘babe’ category. “Cause I’m too sexy in this club,

too sexy in this club, So sexy it hurts” - If they were the last females on earth, I would use them as a trap to catch wild animals that I would gladly rather procreate with. On top of this, lyrical ineptness is to be expected; “Girls bring the fun of life, sugar like apple pie, let’s have a party-oh!” With the live vocals of a screaming otter and containing none of the original members, in my eyes they’re no better than the average wagon on a hen night slurring the words to Gloria Gaynors “I will Survive”. Also to add displeasure, the music-lover’s most hated studio aid, the “auto-tune” is present, each and every song makes you wonder that they may be the aborted children of Timbaland and Lady Gaga. “Moving up through your spine, You know it’s gonna be the last thing on your mind…” – hopefully it’s Cystic Fibrosis.

Drive By Truckers

The Big To Do

Jim Scully The Drive By Truckers are hard to categorize, and that’s a damn good thing in my eyes given how formulated and fashionable things have become in the world of music. These Southern boys (and girl) have been kickin’ out their hybrid of rock and country since 1996, sitting happily in the crawlspace separating both genres ever since. Whether this has been a disadvantage of the band or not, I have no idea. But what I do know is, that the Drive By Truckers manage to crossover a number of genres introducing something new to otherwise unassuming sets of ears, and in doing so cre-

ate a truly original sound for themselves. I like to think of this band as the thinking man’s country. Think Lynyrd Skynyrd without the Texan pride… and with a little more balls. The band’s last studio album 2008’s “Bigger Than Creation’s Dark”, was a fine piece of work and probably their best to date. That is up to now. “The Big To Do” is every bit as good if not a little better. This album is a little more polished than some of the band’s earlier works and a result loses some of it’s raw appeal, but the songwriting is as good as ever as is the musicianship. Tackling issues which matter to the ordinary man, not the artsy indie types hanging around Brooklyn only makes me like this album more. The story-telling lyrics are instantly relatable and charming as ever.

obscure sense, and it goes to show Albarn has a pretty warped concept of the term, Plastic Beach provides the almighty shakeup that pop music has needed for some time. Handling most of the production himself, Albarn has reversed the good fortune of the first two Gorillaz albums. With Dan the Automator on their 2001 self-titled debut and Danger Mouse on 2005’s Demon Days, the group was adept at fusing giddy pop with hip-hop, inserting De La Soul, Del the Funky Homosapien, or a yippy Miho Hatori into some of their best songs (“Clint Eastwood”, “Dirty Harry”, “Feel Good Inc.”, “19-2000”). Those songs crashed in from all places with little mind to sequence or balance, and the result was two fairly unfocused records saved by some decent alt-rap. On Plastic Beach, things are the other way around. The rap moments here feel almost needlessly idiosyncratic amidst the lusher treatments. Snoop Dogg’s appearance on “Welcome to the World of the Plastic Beach” is an incongruous introduction to an album that has nothing to do with Snoop Dogg. De La Soul repeat themselves on the faux jingle “Superfast Jellyfish”. Grime MCs Kano and Bashy compellingly play pass-the-baton on “White Flag”, but only after disrupting an absorbing intro and outro by the Lebanese National Orchestra for Oriental Arabic Music. Only on “Sweepstakes” is Mos Def able to assimilate into the production. It’s been years since Albarn has written anything as blatantly gorgeous. If he had to work past the animated pretence to rediscover it, all the better. Why be a cartoon when you can be a real person?

Frightened Rabbit

The Winter of Mixed Drinks Jim Scully Scotland’s Frightened rabbit have been consistently more hit than miss in the past. The band’s first two albums were beautifully minimal. The instrumentals created an atmospheric bed for vocalist Scott Hutchison to bare his deepest thoughts and emotions. Deep I know, but true nonetheless and it worked. The balance was right, honest and powerful in all the right places. So no doubt expectations were high for “The Winter Of Mixed Drinks”. It’s never enjoyable to keep repeating the old formula, and Frightened Rabbit

seem to have realized that this time around, and they did their best to branch out a little. The opening track of this album “Things” is wonderfully raw and subtly energetic, and without a doubt I could have loved this album if all other tracks were like this one. But sadly it’s not, there is little exciting or truly original about this album, instead it sits somewhere between the sight of the band’s past and where it see’s itself heading. There are some great tracks on here but there are a lot which are just average. The lyrical content is a little more upbeat, which is fine but Hutchison doesn’t do it as well as he does loneliness and sadness. This coupled with the somewhat instrumentally overcrowded tracks does the band no favors. In the few places where this album is good it’s great, where it’s not, it’s just average.



The Siren 23.03.10

This revolution will be televised As TV on the Radio’s Kyp Malone brings his solo project Rain Machine steadily to the spotlight, he talks to Philip Connolly about music, food and politics

It’s a strange thing for a rock star to suggest that one of the highlights of his European tour will be a meal in Dublin’s Cornucopia restaurant but then Kyp Malone is not a stereotypical rock star. Though he’s known for spreading surrealist socio-political surreptitiousness in Brooklyn’s praiseworthy TV on the Radio, bespectacled woolly-bearded natty-haired singer/guitarist Kyp Malone strove to delve deeper, mining tearful expressions of the heart under the stormy nom de plume, Rain Machine. But it took the urging, benevolence, and planning of respected producer, Ian Brennan, to get Malone’s solo project as Rain Machine off the ground instead of staying on the backburner forever. “TV on the Radio is five people. All our ideas go back and forth between one another, going through different filters to end up being what it is. Most of it is pretty consistently reliant on lots of samplers, drum machines, and processors. The Rain Machine record is one voice with not nearly as much resources behind it. I feel it may have more reliance on traditional instruments” “It’s a pretty privileged concern to have.

The band became its own entity beyond anyone’s expectations, and stopped really belonging to us because it succeeded by a lot of definitions. I feel like everyone in the band was wondering when they were going to do other work, even though it’s awesome that people are interested enough in us that it would take that much time.” “Still, life is short. There’re a lot of other avenues of exploration and things to do. I in no way want to seem ungrateful. I can’t stress enough how blessed I feel to have found that creative family. I look forward to doing another record in the future. I’m preparing to do the live thing, but I’m happy to have a break, for sure. I know I’m not alone. It’s been a long time.” As a youngster, Malone studied violin and viola, developing a liking for printmaking and drawing along the way. He initially encountered fellow Pittsburgh native (and future loop sampling partner) Tunde Adebimpe prior to heading Westward seeking artistic exposure in an unheralded ‘90s improv duo. Then, by sheer happenstance, the two were reacquainted at a now-notorious Brooklyn coffee shop around 2000. He quickly hit it off with Adebimpe, whose

specialized art skills led to a job shaping “claymation” characters for MTV’s Celebrity Deathmatch. Together with producer Dave Sitek (guitar/keys/loops), the versa-

who has ever seen this band live will know not to miss this. Energy and noise are something ASIWYFA bring in abundance, to be honest, they’re probably the best live band on this island at the minute, and if you don’t

Wilhelm Scream. 2010 sees the band making their Irish debut, and about time too. Outspoken Bassist and vocalist Brendan Kelly recently stated in an NME article, “For three guys named Kelly, McCaughan and Hennessy who have traveled all over the world for a decade, it’s shameful that we’ve never made it to Ireland.” Chicago’s Lawrence Arms are a gritty but clever punk rock three-piece that trace their beginnings back to 1999.They have released five full-length albums and tour extensively. Their music and lyrics juxtapose references from history and literature with American pop culture. Their involvement in bands and the punk scene goes back many years prior however, as the members were involved in Windy City What? mainstays Slapstick, The Broadways, and Baxter. Support on the night comes from Proudfoot local acts Under Stars and Gutters, Chewing On Tinfoil, The Upgrades and Apes Of Where? Wrath.

e d i u G GIG

WALLIS BIRD/ March 24th/ The Academy/ €19.45 An impassioned performer, ‘New Boots’ captures much of the live energy of her shows. A 5 ft 2 bundle of white heat, Wallis throws herself around the stage with willful abandon, breaking strings, shredding her fingers from the sheer force of her playing, urging the crowd into a collective sing-a-long and throwing her entire soul into each performance with often breathtaking results. Having impressed everyone with the intensity and passion of her live shows, Wallis has nurtured a gig-going following whose admiration borders on the devotional. Her live shows and album release have garnered her rave reviews from all quarters, with 4* reviews being given by national publications. This year’s winner of the Best Irish Female Meteor Award is sure to please on this date after her incredible Irish tour in October. ASIWYFA/ March 26th/ ALT/ €10 Choice music prize nominees And So I Watch You From Afar return to Dublin for the release of their “Letters” EP. Anyone

tile and talented threesome decided to put their musical interests first and foremost. Upping the fuzzy sonic dissonance while broadening the scope of their brooding cavernous fugues, ‘06’s Return to Cookie

Mountain continued to expand outward, traversing a wider emotional landscape. Eerily creeping through perplexingly offkilter beats, strobe-light electroclash jittering, and spastic contrapuntal cadences, this sanguine second set sought rejuvenation. Malone’s involvement and influence increased as he helped refine and reshape Sitek and Adebimpe’s “piecemeal collaging” by opening up the arrangements—which, at times, recalled the downbeat psych-pop of Brian Wilson’s Smile (whose echoed church harmonies get indulged). On the precipice of worldwide indie-rock acclaim, the extended trio came back even stronger with ‘08’s awe-inspiring Dear Science. Reaching ahead of euphonic postmillennial futurism, TV On The Radio proved the frothy underground hyperbole was completely palpable. Jazz-induced brass and string sequences adorn the fleshed-out harmonic interplay and luxurious textural flourishes of their best fully-formed well-integrated tunes. While Rain Machine is a very person re-

cord, it doesn’t shy away from comments about the American political landscape, and while the record is nowhere near as overt as some of T.V on the Radio’s previous outings, Malone believes that most music has a political element, and is obviously not a Simon Cowell fan. “I try not to think about it because you just get depressed, but it’s there and it’s real. I don’t believe that there is any such thing as apolitical music. A popular song right now here is Lady GaGa’s latest song, and I saw the video, there is overt corporate product placement in it. The song is lyrically vapid and it’s hard to paint any political stance on it, but that act is highly political, it’s a song that’s an advertisement for virgin radio, that’s a highly political thing to do.” “The music that reality TV shows produce is frustrating, but no more than the society that makes it a viable form of music. It’s a perfect reflection of the values of our society, I’m not mad at someone like Lady GaGa; I think she’s probably pretty smart. I feel like even the musicians that I have the least respect for, those are not my enemies; at the same time what they represent, that plastic cancerous world, that is my enemy.”

CLub Night

believe it you’ll just have to see it. The bill is rounded off with two of Richter Collective’s finest exports BATS and jogging.

UCD Student Bar When? Wednesday 24th March 8:00 PM

THE LAWRENCE ARMS/ April 4th/ Whelans/ €16 In the last few years The Lawrence Arms have toured with everyone from NOFX, Alkaline Trio, The Draft,Lagwagon and A

Why? Dublin-based eight-piece band formed in autumn 2008 to put the soul into rock ‘n’ roll! Since their debut gig in

January 2009, Proudfoot have been electrifying audiences with their renowned stage performances. Playing original songs that combine the best of soul, rock and funk, Proudfoot are led by charismatic frontman Gerard Proudfoot. Boasting one of the tightest rhythm sections in the capital and a show-stopping brass section, Proudfoot make music with a distinctive, soulful vibe. Price? Entry is free

The Siren 23.03.10



The court is in session Liam Fray of The Courteneers, takes time out to chat to Philip Connolly, who finds out that this frontman is a much nicer guy than he would like to admit

“Sorry pal just getting the dressing room clear. I had a couple of guys having a scrap over who was having the last cheese sandwich.” And such was the strangest start to an interview I have experience. When The Courteeners released their debut album St Jude in April 2008, they did so amid a flurry of articles about frontman Liam Fray being gobby, outspoken and fond of spitting out insults about other bands. In the great tradition of Manchester guitar bands he proclaimed, free of irony, that his band were “the best new band in the country”, if not the world, and that St Jude was going to blow his contemporaries out of the water. It was a divisive stance that on the one hand captivated the hearts and minds of lads in their mid-to-late teens looking for rock ‘n’ roll excitement, while on the other, bored older music lovers who’d seen and heard it all before. Yet proved right he was, December 2008 saw the band crowned inaugural winners of the Guardian’s First British Album Award and a sold out tour followed. There were those who wrote The Courteeners off when they emerged in 2007 because of Liam’s Gallagher-esque demeanour, but it would be unwise to hold on to that

opinion now. New album Falcon will surprise anyone who hears it. Where St Jude borrowed heavily from The Libertines and blended it with the much-talked about Mancunian simian swagger, the forthcoming record showcases what a talented songwriter Fray has become. It all began on the wet, dark, gloomy streets of Manchester with just Fray and his guitar. “I just used to go round bars, doing acoustic stuff. I never took it very seriously but then I started to get a positive reaction. So I fucked uni off and formed the band.” With a date in Dublin and a sell out tour approaching how are preparations going?

“We’re almost like athletes in training for the Olympics, you know. The reaction to our new stuff has been for want of a better phrase fucking phenomenal so yeah I think ill leave it as fucking phenomenal I have to say. It’s been great. You’re kind of unsure, I think every band is, I think they’d be lying if not, when you bring a second record out you don’t know what the reaction is going to be like. Are people going to go you know mental for the new stuff and not the old stuff and whatever and vice versa.” Coming from a Mancunian musical tradition of cocky, bolshie swagger it’s hardly a surprise that Fray is no shy of self-praise, but he is also a chatty affable and good humoured character. Thus far, he has also backed up his bluster with two impressive albums and a burgeoning reputation as a live band of note. Yet it was not always such, and The Courteeners rise was meteoric in Indie terms; “it wasn’t an adjustment because we’ve always kind of like believed that we could kind of do that. It wasn’t lie never felt like we were there on anybody’s gratuitous invitation. And its testament to us, when

people say arctic monkeys and other stuff like that we’re like, I just think it’s like because there’s no bands that are as musically tight or as lyrically adept you know what I mean. They’re the two things that we’ve got going for ourselves and so do the Arctic Monkeys. Bands either seem to be have great lyrics and be boring as fuck or the music’s alright but they can’t write for shit, because we can do both people are like yeah he’s alright.” “You do any job for three years you are going to get better at it, no doubt about it. And I think it would just be a case of we’d be in the studio and we’re just be trying different things, you know cross my heart for an instance was the first song I properly wrote on the piano and it worked. And I was like fuck this is great, right let’s do backwards piano loop, let’s do a vocal, just experiment in little bits.” “Once it works in the first couple of tracks it fills you with so much confidence trying do new stuff. It’s crazy, the difference in sound between the first and the second album. Yet you know we’re still the same four guys, we still eat and drink the same stuff you know go out to the same places, still wear the same clothes, there’s not been a massive kind of PR shift or anything. We just got better at writing

songs you know that’s what we do.” Yet in a surprising break from the Manchester-Liverpool rivalry Fray is happy to give praise to a rival; “The Bicycle Thief ’s from Liverpool, amazing band they are really good. I think everyone plays up Manchester Liverpool rivalry; it never existed in our world. I’m not sure what bands from Manchester, we got told you know to expect a bad reception in Liverpool when we first started our tour, we just did a gig there last Saturday.” “I tell you what bar Glastonbury in the John Peel tent I’ve got to say I think it’s probably the best gig we’ve ever done. The atmosphere was, at 2400 people from front to back there wasn’t pair of still feet or one pair of arms that weren’t in the air for two hours you know they’re unbelievable. To be honest we get that reaction everywhere, were very lucky, it’s very humbling. Not all band do get that, not all bands are guaranteed that you know they might get for two of the singles or whatever. Turns out were getting it for twenty songs a night. It makes you pretty happy.” And with that Fray belies a thus far hidden humbleness, he is actually a much nicer guy then he would ever admit.

VIVE LA REPUBLIC Guitarist of One Republic Zach Filkins takes a break to chat to talk Jim Scully about the new album, the life of a musician and his two cents about Ireland I’m going to be completely honest about this one. The only thing I knew about One Republic was that they sang that song what was in the charts with the man what wears the Timberland boots. Timbaland, that’s the one. Not really my bag, but a catchy tune nonetheless. Albeit a little depressing but still, catchy and isn’t that what pop’s supposed to be? Anyway, bands need press and papers need words so this was a match made in… an office somewhere. With a little research I realize that these gentlemen have had a number of hits to their name and will probably have a few more by the time the year is out. So anyway, I’m going to do my service to these boys and how could I deny them that when Mr. Zach Filkins was so terribly friendly in his phone manner. I catch up with him over the phone lines from his base in L.A where Filkins reflects on the band’s latest installment, Waking Up;

“The reception has been really good for the new music. I think people are really enjoying the second album, I think they’re understanding it was going to be a little bit different to Dreaming Out Loud because that was a couple of years ago. It was very important for us to be motivated not to just write another Apologize or another Stop and Stare. I think we’re very proud of it, I think we love this album more than the first one.” One Republic are making their way to these shores in support of their latest album, and he has a few kind words to offer to you all on that as well, “Everyone’s so nice, and it’s such a beautiful musical country.” Why thank you, don’t blush public! Undoubtedly, whether you like the band’s music or not there’s no denying that it takes a lot of hard work for any band to reach the heights that One Republic have, not least for a man who began by model-

ing underwear. You can check up on that one if you so care. But seriously, for five friends it’s a long way to come, “I think probably the biggest thing for us has been just the crowds we’ve been able to play for. We played the Isle of MTV concert I think it was two years ago in Malta with Enrique Iglesias, Lady Gaga N.E.R.D, about 50,000 people singing our songs, that was pretty incredible. There’s moments like that where you have to pinch yourself.” As the band prepare to make their way to Europe, Filkins has a little more time to reflect on his band’s sudden success, “We did have massive expectations as to what it would be like, and I think that happens with anything. It’s a human thing to say, as soon as I get to this point then everything will be perfect, I think we’re beginning to take it a day at a time and enjoy the ride.”



The Mightiest Mouse

The mighty Boosh’s loveable Naboo aka Mike Fielding took time out to chat to Philip Connolly about being in his brother’s shadow, boosh beginnings and worryingly enthusiastic fans

The Siren 23.03.10

“I might transform myself into a mighty hawk. Either that or work in Dixons - I haven’t decided.” The immortal words of the weird and wonderful Naboo, played by Mike Fielding; shaman, enigma and voice of reason in the comedy sensation that is the Mighty Boosh. “It’s strange a lot of people come up to me and say Naboo is their favourite character. I think its cause I’ve never trained as an actor and I’m the rawest of the Boosh. There’s no pretence it’s just me milling about going hello where’s bollo.” Its twelve years since south Londoner Noel Fielding and Leeds-born Julian Barratt became friends after appearing on the same comedy bill at a pub in north London. Fielding had studied Fine Art at Croydon Art College while Barratt had dropped out of an American studies course at Reading University; both had fathers who loved Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart, and who encouraged their sons to avoid getting proper jobs. The story goes that when they first met, Barratt asked Fielding if he had his hair on backwards. Barratt was also intrigued by the large gaggle of girls who went everywhere with Fielding. Both wanted to get their material heard; neither had found anyone to work with who remotely understood what was going on in their head. It was a huge relief when they chanced upon one another and decided to be the new Goodies. Which, of course, they’re not. What they take from the classic Seventies series is more the spirit of psychedelic, silly and surreal comedy. It’s part of a lineage that includes The Goon Show, Tony Hancock, Monty Python, Vic and Bob. If Fielding is to be believed, the new friends went back to Barratt’s place that first night and while the host played around on his Akai sampler, the guest made an eye patch out of a ping-pong ball. A decade on, the Mighty Boosh are on the verge of breaking free of their cult status and edging into the mainstream, but their approach to comedy hasn’t really changed. Stage shows feature monsters made out of Jiffy bags. Theirs is a homemade, DIY, punk humour that knows few boundaries. For those of you not savvy with the ways of The Mighty Boosh, the comedy programme on BBC2 has rocketed in popularity over the last years with its clever mix of surreal characters – principal among them Vince Noir, Howard Moon and Naboo the Enigma – and adventures. The television show graduated from a series of stage shows and then a Radio 4 programme, co-written by Fielding and his comedic partner Julian Barratt. While it is certainly not obvious from seeing the two, Noel and Mike are brothers, and when the Boosh needed some support Naboo was an instant hit. “Obviously I’m his brother, but he’s always said I was funny. But it’s hard because there was a bit of pressure when I was growing up. Although everyone said I was funny as well I was always trying to be funny, as funny as Noel and like that he could sort of see he was a stand up comedian and he’s funny and I

could be funny as well. It was good Noel got me into show and it acknowledged that I can be funny.” Mike Fielding is a very unlikely celebrity. It wouldn’t be a stretch to describe him as a truly lovely bloke, and he gives off the impression of someone who couldn’t be happier where he ended up. Yet in spite of its unrelenting popularity the show remains a family affair. “It’s great, the good thing about it is we get all the family involved so my mum and dad were in the show and close friends rather than getting actors in that we don’t really know. Its great cause everyone is really comfortable and it pays off because you can see it on screen when you watch the series you can see how close we all are and how much like a big family we are.” So how did he handle the transition to being a full blown celebrity? “It’s strange. I kind of try not to think about it. I mean, people

“he used to call it the mighty bouch, like my hair so it came from there really” say- oh you’re famous and that but I don’t accept it really so it’s good in a way cause I’m still grounded you know and it hasn’t gone to my head and it never, I don’t think it will. Some people it goes straight to their head and they become really horrible but not me. I’m like hey you know and just kind of hang out with people. It really kind of freaks them out I think cause they’re thinking well why, you should be horrible to me, why are you hanging out with me? Why are you giving me your time?” “It’s all a bit crazy. The second tour was a lot more intense than the first tour but in a way it was kind of, the first tour it was all new to us so you have that hurdle to get over as well as doing the show but the second tour you know what to expect so it’s kind of a bit more chilled although the fans are more intense, you’ve just got the fans and the show to deal with and not that first hurdle of going on tour. It’s strange, very strange.” “It’s a strange life because you do the show, you know you have a few drinks after and then you kind of wake up in the hotel, get on the tour bus and travel. It’s just a circle you do. Wake up in a different hotel and you can’t make it your own. It’s really odd, because I’m


quite homely person I can’t get my head around living out of a suitcase.” The sophisticatedly, silly Mighty Boosh have achieved the closest thing to pop star status the comedy world has probably ever seen. They have one best TV show at the NME awards for three years running and recently picked up the best DVD award. So did the success come as a surprise? “Yeah it was strange, it’s totally different. I mean the Boosh started live anyway, the roots go back to them doing the Edinburgh festival and doing live stuff and then from there doing the T.V. It’s crazy because you’ve got the good thing about doing the live shows is you haven’t got the high lights

and the cameras in your fact all the time. That can get a bit much after a while every day.” “The cult fans that saw it the first time round and then you’ve got the new fans, the new kind of fans that have seen the last series and that. The first lot of fans and the new fans they kind of clash and they’re like: well we liked it first you can’t come in and like it now and there’s a lot of fights” “We have a lot of crazy fan. Some of them a quite scary as well, camping outside your hotel room door and stuff. You know you go to check out in the morning and you find people asleep in the hallway, what’s going on there?”

With hair being a running theme throughout the show, it seems fitting that the name originated from it. “When I was at school, I used to have really big curly hair. There was this little kid that I was friends with he was Spanish, he lived next door to my grandmother and he used to call it the mighty bouch, like my hair so it came from there really. He used to “ah the mighty bouch”” So with a film in the pipeline the future seems bright for the Boosh, but for the moment Mike Fielding is filling his time with a DJ tour. He recently played Propaganda at the academy, the popular UK indie club night which was recently imported to Dublin. “Well I’ve always been into mu-


sic; I used to make compilations when I was younger. My dad rubbed off on us I think, my dad was always great at making mixes, he was always making tapes for the car and that, they were great tapes. So yeah I’ve always been into it. I did it as a favour for a friend, he had a club night and then I just went ah I like this it’s really good and then I kind of got into it seriously. I’ve been lucky to travel all around the world so yeah it’s been good.” “The thing is what I tend to do in my sets is I don’t plan anything I just kind of get there, read the crowd and just play live. So many people turn up with iPods’ and they just press play and everybody’s done a play list. That’s not playing live that’s just you know that’s cheating. I take it seriously because it’s my work.” “I’m doing a mini DJ tour around Australia in April. It’ll be good, bits and pieces, doing a bit of writing of my own as well. Just stuff for T.V. just some ideas I’m getting down. I might as well, I’ve been writing for a while so now it’s the right time, you know while not doing Boosh, just to kind of get my own stuff out there” So what would Mike be at if he hadn’t ended up in the Boosh? “I don’t really know, I’m not sure really. I wanted to be a camera man when I was younger but I hurt my back at work and I can’t lift anything heavy now so that’s out the window. The thing is

I’ve always been into comedy as well. I’ve been writing sketches and things since I

was in high school with my best mates, so it’s always been there and I’ve always been influenced by my brother and yeah music and that.” So given his status as comic has he had the chance to meet any comedy hero’s? “We went over to America in the summer to do a bit of press for the live DVD and the series as well, it’s mad out there. We did some live shows as well and it’s crazy. Robin Williams came to our show, he’s a fan and some of the people from curb your enthusiasm. I’ve loved Robin Williams’ work, so do Noel and Julian as well. Like to meet him, and he was doing impressions of the crack fox from the Boosh when we met him was really bizarre, it was really strange, really mental.”



Don’t make it up

Laura McNally provides us with advice on how to condense our make up collection, to the essentials Essential make up pieces: Whether you’re heading away on a holiday, and want to keep your luggage to a minimum, or simply just want to cut down the amount of products overflowing in your everyday make-up bag, here is a handy guide to the most essential makeup bag pieces. Every look needs a strong base to begin with and build upon, which is why foundation is an important product to always keep in your make-up bag. If you prefer a lighter, more natural looking base, opt for tinted moisturiser instead. To add some colour to your cheeks use blusher to create a happy healthy glow. Cool tones such as pink suit fair skinned complexions while warmer, deeper tones suit darker complexions. To keep your eye shadow to an

absolute minimum, you don’t need to carry around a large sized palette. Keep a small neutral coloured palette for day time use, and a small darker coloured palette to deepen your colour for night time. No look is complete without a slick of mascara to lengthen your lashes and open up your eyes, so mascara is definitely another must have item. With regards to eyeliner, the one colour that is essential is black. Use a small amount, sweeping the pencil lightly along your lash line for a daytime look, and layer it up heavily for night time. Tweezers are another important item which you should always carry around to keep your eyebrows in trim and take up very little space in your make-up bag. Vaseline is a must have item in


your make-up bag. It’s cheap, compact and has a multitude of uses. It can be used to keep eyebrows in shape and also on the eyelids for a natural looking, barely there sheen. For those who dislike lip gloss, this is a perfect alternative for luscious, shiny lips. For those who prefer lip gloss, add a clear gloss to your make-up bag. Moving on to nails, there’s no


The Siren 23.03.10 need for 50 different nail polish shades taking up room in your make-up bag. When keeping it to a minimum, the one essential item you need to keep your nails in tact is a nail file. Again, this is a small item which takes up very little room. With these simple guidelines, you can look forward to your college bag feeling a lot lighter and a neater, tidier looking make-up bag.

The Unessential items We’re all guilty of hoarding useless items in our make-up bag, so it’s a good idea to have regular clean-outs. Here are some items which should definitely not be in your essential make-up bag: That ten year old nail varnish that you bought in the euro shop in the early days of your make-up obsession; the one that you can barely open because its so crusty at the top and is gloopy and lumpy when you eventually manage to open it. Get rid of it now! The black lipstick you purchased last Halloween for your frightening witch/ angel of death look is hardly suitable for an essential make-up bag. Put in the Halloween box with the rest of the crazy items for next October. Ten tubes of pink lip gloss. We know you like them all, but you don’t need to carry ten around at the same time. Pick your favourite and keep it with you at all times.

The A-Z of fashion

D is for Denim

By Danny Lambert

Elizabeth Martin 1st Law 20 a Style Icon: Helen Bonham Carter

Fiona 1st Arts 18 Style Icon: David Bowie

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Orlagh Thompson 2nd Law 19 No style Icon

It would appear that over the last few months, the 90’s are making a huge comeback. Denim has appeared back on our shelves in every shape and form, yet we do not look on in distaste as it is back and better than ever before this Spring. Torn up, worn out and then put back together again, the “treat em’ mean” denim look is one of the hottest new takes on the trend. Distressed jeans that look like they’ve had a few rounds in the ring are a must. Top to tail is the ultimate 90’s flashback. Double denim is a spring must-try, teaming jeans with a denim shirt or jacket, however it would be a call for the fashion police if the denim shades were matching, the entire point of the look is to mix up the denim tones, if you don’t - FAIL. Jeans are the staple of denim. This season sees the power the pastels; washes with a lighter shade of pale. You can ease yourself into the trend with classic baby blue, or if you prefer the more feminine approach try one of the new sugared-almond shades, or even pink, white, lemon or lilac for the best angelic feel. Having said that, dark shades of denim are still on the radar. Put yourself or the bffff (boyfriend or best

friend, or best boy-friend) in a colour-todye-for, this spring it is indigo. The great thing about denim jeans is that you can create a new look with an old worn pair. Right now, the happiest ending for any pair of jeans is a softly rolled turn-up. This small difference can change a pair of skinnies or slim-fit boyfriends - just roll with it. But if you are sick and tired of seeing skinnies and slim fitting jeans, why not spice things up by throwing some shapes into the equation. This denim obsession comes in all shapes and sizes - from as tight-as-you-like and super-stretchy jeggings to low-slung, hanging-from-the-hip-harems. Choose any shape you like, as long as it’s denim. Then there are those who avoid jeans like the plaque, or those who are ever in blue jeans and want to widen their style horizons, well look no further than this season’s new key pieces - a denim play suit, a ruffled mini, dungarees or drop pocket hot pants, all equally as part of the denim craze. Whatever your fashion passion, discover the hottest ways to rock out in this season’s new denims. By Kellie Nwaokorie

The Siren 23.03.10


x e o r B s r o ? s f e B ri al eone’s joke, Cath m so of tt u b e th be ? Not wanting to a s to brief or to box te ig st ve in ra a ’G O that’s what his mother bought for instance

The eternal question lingers: what should you wear under your Dolce suit, wrangler jeans or stubbies? Should you hang loose with the boxers or sit tight with the briefs? It’s a big question and some spend years of their life oscillating between the options trying to find a good fit. First is the attire made famous by Batman and Robin. Skin tight, form-fitting, body hugging and rarely worn on the outside, is the brief. A guy who still rocks his tightiewhities can be seen as the ultimate momma’s boy, refusing to let go of his childhood says. Moving from briefs to boxers has traditionally been seen as a passage into manhood, but does this mean that Boxers are the way to go? If you catch a guy wearing boxers, you can assume that he’s the more traditional type, a real “man’s man”. He wears boxers because he’s always worn boxers, and because

for him, along with polo shirts and baggy American Eagle jeans. You can spot this guy on gamedays, when he’ll be wearing his Cal shirt, or in lecture, where he’ll be watching Failblog non-stop. Boxers go really well with suits and with other loose fitting pants like cargoes and khakis. Interestingly, boxers are the only kind of men’s underwear which can be tailored. Boxers do tend to bunch up sometimes, however they give precious little ‘support.’ Boxers are a poor choice when it comes to physical activities. However, boxers are known for their versatile designs and patterns, coming in an array of wacky and colourful designs. Perhaps the best of both worlds is found in the ‘boxer-brief ’. As the name says, boxer briefs are middle ground between boxers and briefs. The underwear has a cut like tapered boxers, but it fits tightly, just like briefs. Boxer briefs have great advantages;

they give coverage and support in a way which sculpts the lower trunk also. This kind of underwear works under with all kinds of clothes, but is especially valuable during athletic activities and under tighter pants. Dark-coloured boxer briefs look especially good when you have a little extra ‘weight’ to hide; the dark colours give the shorts slimming abilities For the first time ever, four men will be the face of Calvin Klein Underwear. Actors Kellan Lutz, Mehcad Brooks and Athletes Fernando Verdasco and Hidetoshi Nakata are headlining the upcoming “Mark Your Spot” global advertising campaign for the



Henry Holland at Debenhams

Finally we see the arrival of Henry Holland’s high street collection. The range is typically Holland with cheeky florals, fun prints, preppy blazers and oodles of fun accessories. It also happens to be extremely reasonably priced, perfect for fashion lovers on a student budget.

Temporary Tattoos

launch of Calvin Klein X underwear line. Model and actor Kellan Lutz, 24, best known for playing the vampire Emmett Cullen in the popular Twilight films, is possibly the most famous of the four new faces giving you an impression of the target market for Calvin Klein: hot guys surrounded by crazed girls. You could do worse, no?

Style Icon: Debbie Harry Iconic singer and stylish rocker, are just a couple of ways of describing Debbie Harry. How about edgy punk-rock sexuality, two-toned blonde hair and vampy pout? It could go on like this, but these are just some of the characteristics that define this style icon. Debbie is, as most of you know, the lead singer of the 70’s/80’s new wave punk rock band Blondie. With her fierce stage persona, quirky sense of style and penchant for striking, and sometimes bizarre, outfits, Debbie was rocking some very stylish and bizarre outfits long before the likes of our modern pop stars came along. Lady Gaga and Katy Perry eat your heart out, Harry did it first. The wide spread popularisation of Debbie’s style can partly be attributed to the massive exposure the band gained from the music video revolution and her association with Studio 54 and a friendship with Andy Warhol didn’t hurt either. Debbie was definitely the pin-up of a generation and her style inspired a whole range of leading indie pop and punk stars. You know you look good when Madonna and Gwen Steffani copycat your style. Debbie was definitely the ultimate maven of punk cool. Her street style look was wearable, quirky and has been imitated and reinvented ever since that killer blonde bob appeared on their album cover. Her stage presence seems to also mirror her style- strong, daring

and empowering, not vulnerable or meek. This fashion rebel was never one to conform, and as a teenager Debbie dyed her hair bright blue while the rest of her peers were happy to wear flares and part their hair down the centre. With her figure hugging short shorts, wildly patterned jersey dresses and hard edge beatnik berets and sunglasses, her style was a mix of laid-back daring, a bit of a paradox I know. To get the Debbie ‘look’, hunt for eclectic prints, leopard prints are a great choice, slinky mini dresses, electric colours and cool tees, for a mixture of punk and glamour. A typical daywear Debbie outfit would be something like; knee high boots, a bright blue or acid orange mini jersey dress, a trench coat and a leopard print beret. Always complete the look with an in your face bright pink or red lipstick. As all of you style aficionados know, style icon status isn’t a title given to any old celeb that happens to wear a nice outfit now and again. You have to work for it. Debbie is still seen out and about in her stylish wardrobe, having slightly toned it down, for obvious reasons. Although now hitting pension-age status this style icon shows no signs of slowing down and is still as glamorous and cool as ever. By Aisling Kennedy

Make a statement, which won’t leave you regretting it five years from now, with playful temporary tattoos. Inspired by Chanel’s limited edition temporary skin art, which come in the form of the signature interlocking C’s and chains. Available from Brown Thomas for seventy five euro (and totally worth it!)

Lookbook.Nu This is a Ridiculously addictive blog on which people post pictures of themselves dressed in their best finery. A great site for style inspiration. Click on to join the addiction and never ending scrolling.


Gaga’s vaga

Please Gaga, put your vag away. Lady Gaga decided to bare all in her new video, Telephone, and that just isn’t what anybody wants to see. Double eek.

Being in between seasons The weather is just confusing at this point. Too mild for winter woolies, but too chilly for macs or denim jackets. Blame it on the weather man.

Bushy eyebrows As much as we love Topshop, there is no way that we will be sporting the over grown mono brow look, which they showed at their Autumn/Winter 2010 show. Leave that to Frida, thanks very much by Aoifa Smyth



The Siren 23.03.10

Whip it good!

5 Films to get you in the mood for travelling… by Katie Godwin

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas This is a psychedelic movie that you should definitely watch if your planning to embark on one of those crazy (and illegal) holidays this summer. It’s about a whacko journalist and his lawyer and the bizarre adventures they have on their journey to Vegas and during their stay there. They steal a car brokers pen, try to kill a bat with a fly swatter and cause a hitch hiker to jump out of their car in terror but these things are nothing compared to the strange things they see when the drugs really start to kick in… tripping much? Priscilla Queen of the Desert

Whip it

Starring: Ellen Page Directed by: Drew Barrymore Reviewed by: David Ryan

Bliss Cavendar (Ellen Page) is a 17 yearold from Bodeen, Texas with a kind of shy, rebellious streak in her. Her mom (Marcia Gay Harden) is a former beauty pageant queen and wants to guide her daughter through societal’s poise contests. Bliss blows one opportunity when she dyes her hair blue and sheepishly goes on stage to give a standard answer about feminine admiration. While her best friend, Pash (Alia Shawkat) is riding good grades to her ticket out of town, Bliss never vocalizes any definitive ideas about her own future. That’s when a flyer for a roller derby exhibition in Austin comes her way. Taken with the kind of carefree punk-like attitude of the all-girls sport, Bliss is hesitant but open to the suggestion of tryouts by one of the

Hurl Scout stars, Malice In Wonderland (Kristen Wiig). Strapping on her old Barbie skates, Bliss gets to practicing and soon becomes the leading speedster on the track, a benefit where lapping your opponents score you points. Earning the name Babe Ruthless, Bliss joins fellow teammates Smashley Simpson (Drew Barrymore), Bloody Holly (Zoe Bell) and Rosa Sparks (Eve) on the Hurl Scouts and almost instantly supplants their satisfaction with being the worst team in the league. Their coach, Razor (Andrew Wilson, brother of Luke & Owen) can’t get them to learn plays. But who cares? It’s all about having fun and those frequent bruises aren’t going to stop them. What might though is rival

A transit van loaded with drag queens, ribbons and ABBA music driving around Australia, what could be any more fun? Three men/ women(?) journey into a homophobic world, performing 80s dance routines and battling those who frown upon them with a powerful, humorous wit as well as a few unexpected punches. Although for these drags it’s more than just a fieldtrip but a journey on which each of them have to combat their loneliness and exclusion. This is a really heart warming movie and captures the closeness that people feel towards each other when holidaying together.

Dinah Might (Juliette Lewis) who sees her team’s undefeated dominance overshadowed by this new poster girl. There’s also the fact that Bliss is lying about her age, lying to her parents and has a new indie rocker boyfriend in Oliver (Landon Pigg) that might strain her relationship with Pash. It’s not nearly as melodramatic as it sounds but you can begin to see how expansive this simple little sports movie gets as it goes along. These complications are what slowly begins to drag Whip It from being a borderline lovable little coming-of-age story for Into the Wild girls into something that needed probably another 45 minutes just to satisfy its own If you feel like your living in a world full of ignorant demands. hypocrites then this movie might inspire you to take a break away from it all and find some peace and quiet like its main character Christopher McCandless did. Christopher is angered by his dishonest parents and seemingly meaningless life and decides to give up everything and try to find himself by journeying to Alaska without money or supplies. While his parents start to miss and truly care about him back home, Christopher meets a string of different characters who shape his life and destiny. Borat

SHUTTER ISLAND Directed by: Martin Scorsese Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo Reviewed by: Ryan Cullen Martin Scorsese is commonly referred to as one of the most prolific film directors to ever grace our screens. His latest installment “Shutter Island”, adapted from a novel by Dennis Lehane, sees the Queens born filmmaker collaborate again with Leonardo DiCaprio, a pairing that have been described as ‘hit and miss’ during the past decade and never hitting the heights of the Scorcese/ DeNiro era. This Re-union may be the finest between the two and certainly hits such heights as ‘The Departed’. Shutter Island is the story of two U.S. marshals, Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo), who are summoned to a remote and barren island off the cost of Massachusetts to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a patient from the island’s fortress-

like hospital for the criminally insane. Teddy pushing for an assignment on the island for personal reasons mixed with his shrewd investigating skills soon provide a promising yet confusing lead. As a hurricane cuts off communication with the mainland and leaving the island impossible, Teddy discovers many twisted sinister secrets combined with flashbacks of the traumatic past of his wife making him question and doubt everything from his memory, his partner and even his own sanity. Despite mixed ratings from critics, Shutter Island will be one of the strongest films of the year. Di Caprio plays in his most haunting and emotionally complex performance yet with an impressive performance from Ben Kingsley along with the reliably superb Mark Ruffalo. At times it loses its suspense and the plot becomes a little predictable but some riveting and disturbing scenes, beautiful cinematography and haunting music more than make up for it. A refreshing change and impressive performances from a number of people make this a great addition to the Scorcese collection. tional 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.

The Bounty Hunter Starring: Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler Directed by: Andy Tennant Reviewed by: Fiona Dunne Milo Boyd (Gerard Butler) is a down-on-his-luck bounty hunter, who jumps at the chance to apprehend his ex-wife, reporter Nicole Hurly (Jennifer Aniston), who has jumped bail after a traffic infringement. Not only will he earn his $5,000 bounty, he is also looking forward to getting some sweet revenge. But Nicole gives him the slip so she can chase a lead on a murder coverup and things become even more complicated when they both find themselves on the run, chased by criminals. The plot? Who cares! That’s what the script writer probably said as she cobbled together the con-

trived, far-fetched scenarios that form the backdrop for the battle of the sexes between shapely Jennifer Aniston and macho Gerard Butler. It’s pretty much what you would expect, as Aniston and Butler play out their love-hate relationship in a romantic comedy with cop, action and road movie elements, although it reeks of being manufactured and lacks wit, subtlety or imagination. The film’s most sincere moment comes during the dinner scene at Cupid’s Honeymoon Cabin when Nicole and Milo, dressed in borrowed clothes, reveal their true emotions. It’s a charming scene but there’s plenty more fluff before the predictable resolution and the inevitable kiss that does come, but not as you might expect. Fans of the two leads may enjoy the banter and foreplay, but it’s slim pickings for discerning movie lovers and is never smart enough, sexy enough or funny enough to be memorable

Borat may not be the stereotypical holiday-maker movie but it reminds you of the weird and hilarious people and customs you encounter while travelling abroad. The film is a sort of mockumentary which voices, in the extreme sense, stereotypical (and usually incorrect) views people have about foreign culture Borat, a representative from ‘The Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan’ travels around America, meeting with people who try to teach him how to be ‘civilised’ and teach him American etiquette unfortunately for him, he ends up unintentionally offending everybody that tries to teach him when he voices the stereotypical views of his homeland… chaotic culture-clashing brilliance! How Stella Got Her Groove Back On Beautiful people having sexy fun in Jamaica was never going to make an-Oscar winning picture or give us anything to debate about. What it really tells us is to get our sorrowful selves out of Ireland and go somewhere nice like Stella did. Starting out in the movie as a stockbroker in San Francisco, Stella holidays to Jamaica and begins to revaluate her life and her concepts of love, sex and motherhood after an exotic relationship she has with a toy boy whilst there. As a movie though, it ain’t got much groove.

The Siren 23.03.10 David Andrews is the brother of Fianna Fáil TD Barry Andrews, his father David was also an Irish politician and his cousin Ryan Tubridy, hosts The Late Late Show. And what of David Andrews himself? He is an Irish comedian, acting under the pseudonym David McSavage. And this new name, like his act, couldn’t be less related to his political heritage. Mc Savage broke into the comedy scene performing on street corners, where his one man guitar act gained popularity. Controversially, his routine is mostly made up of a running commentary on passersby. McSavage’s style is haphazard and improvised with a witty penchant for impersonation. At the top of Grafton Street he sings, “Hey Mister taxi man, hey mister taxi man, you failed all your exams, that’s why you’re a taxi man.” When I ask him whether ripping it out of total strangers is a dangerous preoccupation, he sums it up. “Rule number one of comedy - never make fun of people who look like they want to kick the shit out of you for no reason.” Seemingly it works for him. His guitar accompaniment is not unlike an unrefined Stephen Lynch. Nothing new, nevertheless the man can pull a crowd. A cynic would say that he draws on the classic comedic pull factors, guaranteed to get a laugh but relies too heavily on crossing the line. This he does regularly. “It doesn’t require much talent to piss people off, that’s an easy thing to do being controversial, but the thing is to be controversial and funny. Usually when people are complaining about jokes being distasteful, it’s because they are also not funny, but if a joke is genuinely funny people tend not to complain.” “So the line is really, is it funny or not funny? If you can handle even very delicate material, or very delicate subjects, if you can take an angle on them that is funny or charming, I think you can get away with most things.” During one of his street acts at Edinburgh Fringe festival, the comedian was arrested for breaching the peace. The cause was the obscene nature of his material, drawing on male genitalia for inspiration. An offended bystander called the police but in typical McSavage fashion he was led away to the crowd chanting “penis”. As he pointed out himself, it was great publicity for his show. McSavages’ set is not confined to the street. He began his relationship with RTÉ doing a warm up act for “The Late, Late show” and was later asked on the show by then host Pat Kenny. His interview with Pat is worth a look. He makes a point of breaching interview protocol by making provocative personal comments and impersonating Kenny. “Pat Kenny is a lovely man, he’s a beautiful man, he’s heterosexual, he’s horny, he’s natural, hey Pat Kenny has a penis.” He finishes up by singing a song about having sex with a pigeon. Despite his preoccupation with male genitalia and his crude techniques, his act has gained momentum. This is indicated by his current involvement with RTÉ as the creator of a six programme comedy series called “The Savage Eye”, which aired in January 2010. Written by McSavage, the show is directed by Kieron J. Walsh (When



A Tough Act to Swallow

David McSavage takes time out of insulting strangers to chat with Amy Walsh about being judgmental, his preoccupation with male genitalia the comedic gap in the market when it comes to the church

Brendan Met Trudy, RAW), and Damian O’Donnell (East is East, Inside I’m Dancing). Each show poses a question inspired by Irish society, such as “Why are the Irish so bad in bed?” The inhibited sex lives of the Irish are blamed on the climate, the media, the proliferation of porn and sex education. Invariably, British Rule and the Catholic Church feature as scapegoats in the satirical series. These answers present themselves like an anthropological documentary, drawing on skits by popular actors and comedians as well as vox pops from the general public. The shows’ parodies feature notorious impersonations of Irish celebrities and figure heads, notably, Mary Robinson, Bono and Des Bishop. As the “Savage Eye” is cast around Irish society, the result is a humorous take on Irish culture. McSavage maintains that it is all in the name of a good laugh, “I actually admire Mary Robinson....she’s somehow like a superhero.”

Highlights of the show include the cynical ranting of fictional character Mick “The Bull” Daly, “Publican of the year and family man”. ‘Ireland’s president for life’ offers humorous advice while a skit on the Irish Government introduces the ‘Minister for laughing inappropriately’, ‘Minister for breathlessness to convey sincerity’, ‘Minister for the use of three similar words’ and the ‘Minister for the awareness of problems.’ Other shows are centred on hot topics such as property, the Arts and alcohol. McSavage stars along with Declan Rooney, Aidan Bishop, Pat McDonnell and Gerard McSorley. The show very much reflects Irish peoples’ current contempt and frustration with the government and institutions. I ask McSavage what fuels his social portraits. “I think all the major institutions that everybody looked up to and held in great esteem, like the bankers, the government, the church, I mean the church is over....

it’s over. It’s so over it doesn’t even know it’s over, the Catholic Church is running on the fumes of over.” The provocative nature of McSavage’s material is evident throughout “The Savage Eye”, but unlike his street act, is evaluated by a national audience. It was received well, enjoying a respectable position in the top five most popular shows on RTÉ’s iPlayer. More telling perhaps is the fact that he is creating another series for RTÉ. McSavage is currently looking at ‘Why the Irish are such natural criminals’. He says “I’m going to be dealing with subjects like rape, obviously you’re not making fun of that but you’re making fun of the conditions in society that allow stuff like that to happen.” David McSavage’s comedy is an acquired taste. Frequently without limits, his material is often perceived as obscene and offensive. Despite this, projected onto a national stage, his popularity is evident. His witty perspective infiltrates and chal-

lenges Irish society. As the bankers, the government and the church are cast into the limelight McSavage has seen the gap in the market. “It’s open season for comedians and whatever you want to do, because nobody can complain about me or what I’m saying, I’m just holding up a mirror to what’s happening.” What is initially deemed as inappropriate is in fact, quite the opposite. This Irish comedian will continue to crack open and crack up at the failings of Irish society. Sometimes you just have to laugh. David McSavage is performing at Vicar Street on the 16th of April.



The Siren 23.03.10

The Trial

Drama review

‘The Cruel Stars of the Night’ by Kjell Eriksson

The UCD Performance Project showcased The Trial this week. The play, which is a Stephen Berkoff adaptation of the Franz Kafka novel – was directed by Neil Pearson. Performed in The Smock Alley Theatre, the play is an engrossing and rewarding success. Told from the perspective of the protagonist, The Trial tells the story of Bank Manager Josef K. (Colm KennyVaughan) being arrested on his 30th birthday by unidentified agents for an unspecified crime. Although free to go about his life, K’s initial confidence turns to weary unease as he soon discovers that the details of his case and the ongoing proceedings are kept hidden from him. A tale involving deceased fathers, conspiracy, deceit and romance, this play delivers with professional efficiency.

The two Guards (François PainDouzenel/Pól Corrigan) give a convincing performance both sinister and humane as the entirety of their characters is revealed. The superb use of customised lighting and music make all their scenes memorable. The courts scene is well acted and leaves the audience with an intended bad aftertaste, something from which Simone Kelly delivers us with welcome mirth. Notable performances from Aisling Smith, Amy Creswell and Emily Carroll as Court Painter Titorelli and Catriona Daly as Huld inject great pace and rich humour into this immersive and ominous tale. Katie Keane delivers solidly as the ambitious colleague while Colm-Kenny Vaughan does Kafka’s K justice, illustrating his flexible range in this difficult role throughout the course of his performance.

Smock Alley’s open stage plan and minimal set pieces gives this play a palpable atmosphere, its dark sides providing shelter for those not in the scene. Haunting lighting coupled with well timed musical pieces ensures this Play’s success. K’s encounter with the Priest (Rob Osborne) gives the audience an intriguing reprieve, as we hear Kafka’s timeless parable Before the Law. Following both characters’ interpretation, the gravity of the Priest’s words prepares the audience for an unpleasant ending. Altered somewhat for the stage, the final scene helps epitomise the lead’s position in this peculiar and dark story. The parable within Kafka’s masterpiece highlights perfectly the essence of his philosophy. Assigned unique roles in life, individuals must search deep within the apparent absurdity

e d i u G Event Wed 24th March Women on the MBA – UCD Smurfit School 18:00 “Women on the MBA” will provide an opportunity to meet and network with female MBA alumni who will be sharing their experiences with you and highlighting the importance of the MBA in the workplace.

of existence to achieve spiritual selfrealisation. The Priest, therefore, is the symbol of this universal search inherent to mankind. ‘The Trial’ is not simply a story about the potential disaster of over-bureaucratisation in society; it is an exploration of the personal and, particularly, spiritual, needs of human beings. The cast and director deserve high praise for the obvious effort they made in making this play a success. The inclusion of Pink Floyd and Lady Gaga in certain scenes give the play a novel breath of contemporary fresh air while the cast give a beautifully succinct interpretation of their characters that is evident in their performance. Encore! Eoin Anglim

Monday 29th March ‘Hugh Cooney Don’t Like Monday’ 20:30 A cabaret and live visual performance by Hugh Cooney will take place every Monday night from 20:30 at The Pygmalion, South William Street, Dublin 2 (formerly Ba Mizu in Powerscourt Shopping Centre). Admission free.

Arts Focus

Friday 26th March Titanic : The Artifact Exhibition 19/Dec/2009 - 30/Apr/2010 Dublin City West Hotel Sat 27th March French Frida – Bia Bar 21:00 The third French Friday of the year will take place on the 26 March from 21:0002:30 at the Bia Bar, 28 Lower Stephens Street, Dublin 2. There will be 100% French Music from 21:30-23:30.

Thurs 25th March Odeon Movie Club 20:00 Every Thursday the Odeon Pub in Harcourt Street is running a Classic Movies Club from 20:00. Admission is free. The theme is “Irish Season” and the films are 25 Mar: The General.

Reviewed by: Aaron Dolan Laura Hinderstern calls into her local police station to report her father, an elderly retired professor of Italian literature, missing. Soon after this, Ann Lindell and her colleagues in the Uppsala police are called out to discover the murder of a solitary old man, Petrus Blomgren. Blomgren was a decent chap, independent and a good neighbour to Dorotea. As the police investigate his life, they can find no reason why anyone should have killed him. In the absence of any motivation, they can’t make much progress on the crime, but it is not long before another solitary pensioner, Jan-Elis Andersson, is killed in a similar manner. Frustratingly for the police, they can’t find any evidence that the two men knew each other or ever met. Ann is dogged about the investigation, following every lead she can dream up, as she identifies with both of the men and feels the sadness of their passing. This book is very bleak; the death of Blomgren and its aftermath, in particular, is extremely sad. The portrait of Laura, her state of mind and actions, is superbly compelling - a tale told with plenty of very black humour. Despite its almost completely depressing subjectmatter, the book is appealing and involving - there is something about the imperfection of Ann and her colleagues that seems authentic and attractive. This author’s trademark seems to be to tell the stories of his characters’ lives (new ones in each book) alongside those of his detectives (regular series characters) - in such a way that the detectives, even if they solve all or part of a case, never know the full context that we, the readers, have been allowed to witness - an interesting perspective.

Short Story-Poem Competition 27/Jan/2010 - 30/Mar/2010 Alliance Francaise Sun 28th March The Temple Bar Book Market 11:00 The Temple Bar Book Market is taking place every Sat+Sun on Temple Bar Square from 11am to 6pm.

Aquisitions Exhibition – National Gallery of Ireland Tuesday 30th March Acoustic rock’n’roll open mic night 21:30 O’Briens on Dame Street (next to the Mercantile Pub) is the venue for a further Open Mic event of acoustic rock’n’roll organised by the band The Mighty Stef. Admission is free.

Titled; ‘Taking Stock: Acquisitions 2000-2010’, this show is an Acquisitions Exhibition at the National Gallery of Ireland. Over 100 paintings, prints and drawings reflect the diverse and different areas of the Gallery’s collection. The exhibition features additions by infamous and well-known

European masters, dating from the seventeenth to the early twentieth century. Some of the names among them are Guercino, Boucher, van Gogh, Renoir, Bonnard, Pechstein and Feininger, complemented by a range of important works by many of the most sought-after Irish artists such as John Lavery, William Orpen, Jack B. Yeats, Louis le Brocquy and William Scott. The exhibition is open in the Beit Wing and Print Gallery until 25 July 2010. Admission is free.

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