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Meath | Music | Art | Culture July/August 2009 Issue 1 FREE

The Dolldrums | Henry McGrane | Daniel Johnston Dominique Davoust | Aaron Brady | Jillian Gott

Conor Heary Music & Entertainment Editor Email Phone 086 058 3564 Ciara McKelvey Art & Culture Editor Email Phone 086 151 9578

Aaron Brady Chief illustrator Aaron is a character designer for Dublin based Jam Media and is the designer of our crazy front cover.

Daniel Conneally aka Yertle Cult Corner Guru Yertle will bring us great insights into the lives of cult icons both past and present.

Welcome to the very first issue of On|V magazine. The next 60 pages are filled with news and updates on creative and musical people you should know about or people you may want to know more about. Either way we are here to inspire, celebrate and promote the immense amount of talent that has surrounded us for many years now but maybe we never took the time to notice. Our debut issue celebrates the work of local artist Henry McGrane, textile artist Jillian Gott, illustrator Aaron Brady and leading photographer Dominique Davoust along with many established musicians such as the Dolldrums, The Ambience Affair and the infamous Daniel Johnston. This is a magazine for Meath so get involved, send us your thoughts and enjoy.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or part without the written permission from the publishers. The views expressed in On|V Magazine are those of the respective contributors and not necessarily shared by the magazine. The magazine welcomes ideas and new contributors but can assume no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or illustrations. 2

Contents Credits


To Blog or not to blog




Slane 2009







Artist - Henry McGrane


One to watch - The Dolldrums


Illustrator- Aaron Brady


C’Mon feel the noise


Photographer - Dominique Davoust






Textile artist - Jillian Gott


Venue watch - The Backroom


Gig reviews


Globetrotter - South America


how to contribute


you said it

5 57 3



TO BLOG OR NOT TO BLOG For generations Irish people have been taught to be humble and never boast of their talents. If freelancing, however, whether it be writing, painting, design or music we have to learn to speak proudly about our work and deliver it to the masses. By posting your work online you are creating endless opportunities for your work to be seen by people all over the world. This will drastically increase your chances of being spotted by music scouts looking to sign the next Kings of Leon, advertising agencies looking for an illustrator to complete their campaign or simply an art enthusiast wanting to add to their collection of original art.

Websites can sometimes be expensive and a lot of work to maintain. If you don’t change your content regularly there is no reason for a visitor to ‘come again’. It can become static. Blogging is ideal for creatives to post their work, get honest feedback and network with fellow bloggers. It’s free to set up, easy to maintain, and requires as much or as little time and effort as you are willing to give.

Blogs are perfect for creating an online portfolio but make sure you don’t use it as a storage facility. Blogs have been known to disappear off the face of the earth with no one taking responsibility for loss of work. Here at On|V we use Blogger to host our blog. On it you can find links to websites and portfolios of local and international artists, YouTube clips of local musicians and lots of strange and random links to things we’ve stumbled upon on our travels around the web. On|V hope to create a hub of online networking for local artists, musicians, photographers etc. There is an endless amount of talent in Meath so why not use our resources and help each other out a little. These are hard times after all. Log on to and click on the top left corner to create your own.


on|V reveal what’s GOING ON Darwin Stars charity gig Darwin Stars will take to the stage at The Backroom, Navan on the 24th of July in aid of Temple Street Childrens Hospital. The guys are raising money in support of Edel Plunkett and Ena Tobin who are running the New York City marathon for Temple Street. Both Edel and Ena are Navan natives and are training intensely for the run in October. Best of luck to the girls, and guys, from On|V. tHE WHATMANS single launch The Whatmans are soon to release their debut single Devil Shoes. The single will be released on August 3rd through Matchbox Recordings and Universal Records. The single will be hard to miss with its beautiful western style photography and victorian floral design. Try and pop along to the single launch in The Backroom, Navan on August 14th and give the guys some support. International Psychic Medium International Psychic Medium Margaret Hurdman will be at the Venue Theatre in Ratoath on Friday 25th September. Admission is 23 euro. Check out for more details. 62

minty and the freshmen album release The new album ‘Time to Burn’… finally got it together. Here it is, a new departure, different sound. Everything from the banjo to a synth made it in there. Backing vocals from Navan’s newest sensation ‘The Oovettes’. Guest appearances from Eamonn DeValera, Al Pacino and a pair of blackbirds. Revisiting some of the old themes… I’m still obsessed with the empire. Lots of hedgehogs, bugs, people, fairytales, culture, resistance, nostalgia, ideals, love… A cd with the full songlist and a story available in the shops soon. In their words, not ours ;) Life in the lane exhibition To celebrate Heritage Week, Meath Arts Group will be holding the ‘Life in the Lane’ exhibition on Saturday 22nd August. All images displayed will have some connection to local heritage. Artists will also be holding short demonstrations and workshops for children across various art forms. Face painting will be available on the day. Exhibition is weather permitting.



Stones in his pockets

Navan indie-rockers, The Myth will play support to Aslan in The Vibe, Headfort Arms, Kells late August. The Myth have been busy lately with a recent interview with Tommy Tiernan and Hector O HEochgain on the 105-107 Breakfast show, an interview on Dame Street’s Balcony TV and an impressive schedule of gigs for August & September throughout Meath, Dublin & Louth. Catch them in The Vibe, on August 28th.

Solstice Arts Centre, Navan, September 24 - 26

simon fagan dublin headliner Navan jazz maestro Simon Fagan brings his full band and the dance to Whelans Wexford St. Dublin on Saturday August 15th for what promises to be an unforgettable show. Simon has recently been wooing crowds in the UK supporting the release of his critically acclaimed ep Hired and Fired. Tickets for the Dublin show cost E11.50 and can be purchased through Wav Box Office 1890 200 078.

Simon Delaney stars in the smash-hit play ‘Stones in his Pockets’ at The Solstice. The smash-hit play by Marie Jones will tour to Navan this September for three nights. ‘Stones in his Pockets’ is the award-winning, hilarious and sometimes poignant tale of a quiet Irish community and its change by the arrival of a big budget Hollywood movie shoot. Tickets are 22 euro or 18 euro concession rate Check out for more details

busker festival 2009 October Bank Holiday 24th, 25th & 26th Expect the streets of Navan to be aligned with all sorts of wacky musicians plying their trade on the October bank holiday weekend as Samhain Sounds, Navan’s premier Busker Festival takes place. The weekend long festivities will come to a climax in The Backroom Navan on October 30th with the buskers playing indoors in the venue. Application forms for entry to the festival can be obtained at 72

Oasis, Prodigy, Kasabian, Glasvegas, The Blizzards 20.06.09

With the decision to move this years Slane concert forward by two months to June 20th (so as not to clash with other Irish outdoor music festivals), the big day certainly came a lot quicker this time round. After no suitable headliner found last year the rumors of an AC/DC headline started to spread last Autumn before it was leaked to the press that indeed Manchester’s famous sons Noel and Liam and their Oasis band mates were chosen by Lord Henry himself to play the prestigious castle. A wise decision given Oasis huge popularity here and their nostalgic connection with the castle having played the castle stage back in 1995 after the release of ‘Definitely Maybe’. In the fourteen years since, they have grown to become a genuine phenomenon. We went down to the famous old picturesque setting to see are Oasis capable of pulling off a famous performance, and to see how The Prodigy, Kasabian, Glasvegas, The Blizzards and eighty thousand revelers would go down at this Indie fest? The Blizzards

Keeping with the wonderful tradition of putting on the crop of Irish talent to open the show, Mullingar pop rockers The Blizzards are the lucky ones plucked from the Irish live circuit by Lord Henry and given forty minutes of ‘the big time’ (although The Blizzards have played Slane Castle previously along side Ash and Director at the Red Bull X Fighters disaster show in 2007). Their two o’clock set is a deserved one as there aren’t many other acts 2

on the scene working as hard as these guys. Playing to a one fifth full amphitheatre the mid-landers certainly do their best to get the mostly seated crowd up to their feet. Most of the set is taken from The Blizzards recently released [difficult] second album ‘Domino Effect’ with ‘Buy it Sell It’, ‘The Reason’ and lead single from the album ‘Trust Me I’m A Doctor’ all being well received. Lead Blizzard Niall Breslin does his best to create a festival buzz with over use of a certain swear word between each song. It works though as a large handful up the front bounce and sing along to ‘Miss Fantasia Peaches’. The Blizzards finish big with their biggest hit to date ‘Fantasy’ a genuine top quality gem, the growing crowd showing mass appreciation for a fine polished performance from the bright ambitious Irish five piece.

GLASVEGAS Glasvegas suddenly appeared on the international scene twelve months ago from practically nowhere (well Glasgow). Since then they have had an immensely successful year with their self titled debut album battering the top ten in almost every country of its release. There is something a little bit special about this four piece on record at least; live I’m not too convinced. All dressed in black Glasvegas kick off their set with the Anthem ‘Geraldine’ though it fails to make the desired impact due to a terrible muddled lead singer James Allan sound, by the time the second number ‘Lonesome looking like Swan’ finishes no one Roy Orbison seems too bothered. if he were

Glaswegian With each song bleeding into the next their Velvet Underground meets Jesus and Mary Chain meets The Proclaimers sound becomes a bit repetitive somewhat lost in the sunny open space on a Saturday afternoon in Slane and lead singer James Allan’s (looking like Roy Orbison if he were from Glasgow) lack of banter/enthusiasm doesn’t help matters. The fantastic ‘Flowers and Football Tops’ certainly raises a few eyebrows and cheers with some nice stand up drumming from Caroline McKay (the most un-rock n roll looking drummer I have ever seen) using just a floor tom, snare, tambourine and cymbal. The Glaswegians leave us with undoubtedly the biggest indie anthem of the last twelve months ‘Daddys Gone’ and without much of a stir Glasvegas are gone too.

‘ kasabian

Now I must admit, to say I am not a big Kasabian fan would have to be an understatement. Of all the bands on the line up today this was the set I would wander off in search of some rip off beer and food. However I really was pleasantly surprised. As the psychedelic indie gang made their way onstage the venue was starting to fill up nicely (only a forty five minute wait to get served a pint at this stage). Kicking off with ‘Underdog’ and ‘Shoot The Runner’ for the first time today we get that unique Slane feeling as the crowd starts to move their dancing feet. Kasabian’s newly released third album ‘West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum’ is a throw back to seventies psychedelic rock and shinning single ‘Fire’ is greeted with mass bouncing and dancing with lead singer Tom Meighan (looking like he stepped out of the movie Dazed and Confused with his extra long locks and denim jacket) bouncing along too. ‘Empire’, ‘Vlad The Impaler’ and ‘Club Foot’ are also highlights showing a real quality across their three albums. As L.S.F (Lost Souls Forever) rings out across Slane the sizeable crowd laps up every moment of it and a deservedly huge applause is heard as the band scoot off stage, impressive stuff indeed! 2

The prodigy Dance/Industrials finest The Prodigy returned this year with their fifth full length player ‘Invaders Must Die’ their first long player since 2004s not so good ‘Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned’, and what a return to form it is. The Prodigy’s early evening set kicks off with a bang with ‘World’s On Fire’ letting everyone know in Slane (and everyone else within a twenty mile radius) that they have arrived.

Looking every bit the punk misfits that they are, Keith Flint and Maxim Reality bounce and spin around the huge stage like two out of control techno tornados. As second track ‘Breathe’ kicks in a mini earthquake in sues around Slane as seventy odd thousand gig goers bounce up and down in tandem, it really is a fascinating sight and a real highlight of the day. It’s remarkable to see how well received the ‘newbies’ are going down with ‘Omen’ and ‘Warriors Dance’ getting a huge reception especially. The Prodigy are no whippersnappers and have been at this game a while now and it shows, the sheer showman ship of their front two (Flint and Maxim Reality) is to be commended, never letting proceedings get dull and always giving a ‘C’Mon’ when needed, ‘Liam Howlett’ the brainchild of The Prodigy also doing his best to bounce behind his mountain of keyboards and sequencers and their live musicians giving it welly or two. By the time the legendary ‘Firestarter’ gets its mid set outing, The Prodigy have seventy plus thousand people eating out of their hands and fixated on their every move. Never to be one to stand still and shoe gaze singer Keith Flint decides to go AWOL for the title track of their new album ‘Invaders Must Die’ preferring to spend some time with the dedicated kids in the pit up front. ‘Voodoo People’ sounds as new and fresh as it did fifteen years ago when it was released and standing by their old material the hardcore gang finish with ‘Out Of Space’ an even older song leaving the masses sweaty, dehydrated and enthralled, set of the day by some distance!


The Gallaghers go straight for the jugular with ‘Rock n Roll Star’ an ideal song to set the tone for the night ahead. OASIS And so after months of hype and anticipation the time has come for Brit Pop’s kings to return to Lord Henry’s Manor to etch their names in Slane history alongside U2, Springsteen, Dylan and co. The Gallagher brothers have always had a special place in the hearts of us Irish largely due to their Mayo family connections and have always been well received on these shores and have always managed to sell an album or thousand. Quite rightly then that the ‘Madchester’ lads get the gong of this years headliners fourteen years after their last visit to the castle. In usual Oasis manner the band walk out to ‘Fucking In The Bushes’ a predominantly instrumental track with the array of classy stage lights flashing wildly slightly lost in the broad daylight of this mid June evening. No sign of a song from their latest album ‘Dig Out Your Soul’, as opener instead The Gallaghers deciding to play it safe and go straight for the jugular with ‘Rock n Roll Star’ an ideal song to set the tone for the night ahead. The delightful ‘Lyla’ is next out of the bag but by the time third track ‘ The Shock of The Lightening’ off ‘Dig Out Your Soul’ is played the atmosphere has gone a little flat, showing that besides Oasis B-Sides album they really have not produced a quality album since 1995s ‘What’s The Story Morning Glory’. The mood picks up again though when the intro to ‘Cigarettes and Alcohol’ rings out and eighty plus thousand voices sing along. ‘Roll With It’ is blasted out next to much rejoice and jumping but again the atmosphere is slashed with a double from D.O.Y.S. ‘To Be Where There’s Life’ and ‘Waiting For The Rapture’. The distinct lack of on stage banter (apparently Noel and Liam not on talking terms) and the over the top effects on images on the large screens making it very hard to actually see what is happening on stage, take from the sense of occasion usually synonymous with Slane headline sets.

One of the highlights from the set is aired next as Liam exits the stage for the first time tonight leaving older sibling Noel to fend for himself with the brilliant ‘Masterplan’ a true anthem from their B-Sides collection, rarely has a B-Side track ever gone on to such popularity. Liam returns to sing ‘Songbird’ ‘Slide away’ and the ultimate ‘MOD’ Anthem ‘What’s The Story Morning Glory’. The Gallaghers game of ‘Switcharoo’ continues with Noel taking vocal duties for the fabulously underrated ‘The Importance of Being Idle’ showing off Noel’s masterful song writing skills and ‘Half The World Away’ with Noel saying “I Dare Ya Not To Sing Along To This One” on its opening bars, duly nobody dares and everyone sings. A big finish follows with the very Lennon esq ‘Im Outa Time’ and three heavyweights ‘Wonderwall’, ‘Live Forever’ and ‘Supersonic’. As the band walk off the usual ‘OLE OLE OLE’ chants start as darkness starts to fall upon the venue while we wait for the encore. Noel and Gem Archer (guitarist) stroll back on stage to rapturous applause and we are treated to a monumental acoustic rendition of ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ with a nice solo from Gem with the eighty thousand strong crowd singing every word. ‘Falling Down’ is next with nice drumming from scouse stickman Chris Sharrock before Liam appears again for ‘Champagne Supernova’ and ‘I Am The Walrus’. A fine finish to a fine set and a fine day, as I watch the fireworks explode from afar on the way home (a very clever decision to do an early legger) I felt a little disappointed with Oasis. Maybe it was down to my sobriety, maybe it was down to my rapid aging or maybe it was the decision to move the date to mid June thus complete darkness never getting the chance to engulf Slane and lay a blanket of magic upon the site but I felt they never peaked to the usual monumental standard that past headliners have. Still there’s always next year!





Childhood memories and the great painters of the Cold War era may seem diverse but as Henry McGrane explains to On|V this is exactly where he Finds true inspiration for his work.


“As a teenager I remember setting up a studio in an out house at my parent’s farm. I remember the great satisfaction in selling my fIrst painting at the age of 15 for €20.”



ontemporary impressionist style painter, Henry McGrane studied at Dun Laoighaire College of Art and Design and later worked as a background artist for the infamous Sullivan Bluth animation studios in Dublin. In 1995 Don Bluth, moved with many of his team to Fox Studios in Phoenix, Arizona. When in Arizona, Henry studied oil painting and then portraiture. In 2000 Henry left Arizona and went to Norway for one year. Henry is now based in Navan not far from his childhood home. He has since had many sell-out solo exhibitions and his work has been exhibited at the Royal Hibernian Academy Exhibition in 2005, 2006, and 2007. Henry is considered by many to be one of the best and most sought-after en plein air painters in Ireland and an outstanding still-life painter. I met with Henry at his studio in Navan to find out more about his work and his source of inspiration. “Despite being inspired by wonderful Impressionists like Monet, Sargent, Sorolla or many of the great 20th century artists, I was very much inspired to take up painting when Soviet Impressionism was introduced to the West shortly after the end of the of the ‘Cold War’. ‘Working Class Impressionism’ was the most typical stylistic branches of art during the Soviet Socialist Realism era from the 1930s to the 1980s. During this period many prominent artists were funded by the Soviet Government and given the freedom to paint as they wish to further the cause and influence of Communism in the Soviet Union. Although it was somewhat propaganda these artists portrayed honesty and passion which can be seen in portraitures of working class, every day people. The greatest inspiration for me is their use of ‘bold’ and ‘confident’ brush work in their painting, many of which were painted ‘plein air’. Because of communism and the cold war much of this artwork became somewhat unique to mainstream impressionism in the Western world.


3 I grew up in the 70s were perhaps looking into Soviet impressionism gives me a more vivid recollection of my life back then and in turn inspires me to paint. Perhaps that is why I detach myself somewhat from contemporary Ireland and try to recall my way of life back then. Although it was tough and farm work was very much ‘hands on’ it was somewhat romantic. Today those ‘hands on’ recollections of farm work and rural life can be fewer and further between but when I see it, it gives me great pleasure to capture it on canvas. The scene may not have to be pretty, in fact they are quite often not but those are the scenes I remember as a child. Those scenes of muddy lane ways and hedge rows on grey rainy days always stand out. I guess that is why my palette is somewhat ‘greyed’ down and earthy. Of course these recollections and inspirations do happen only by chance and it could be weeks before those moments are captured again. This is the best time for me to stay in my studio and touch up old paintings and research or perhaps even travel further afield to seek inspiration.” 16

Like the great painters of the Coldwar era, Henry McGrane is a man of great integrity who remains true to himself and his love of painting. His humble, unpretentious ways are extremely refreshing and his choice of subject matter resembles this. Henry’s art is based on raw expressive qualities filled with energy often composed in the most remote of locations. Although Henry finds many sources of inspiration, he is an original and surprisingly unfazed by the outside world of art. Henry often locks himself away for days with the sound of Mozart as his only companion resulting in pure pieces of art that are uninfluenced by modern aspects of the art scene.

4 Have a browse through his online gallery at

1. Market Day 2. Carnation 3. Slane 4. Still life with apples 17


ONE TO WATCH “Dublin has its own scene so it’s nice to have a ‘Navan scene’ to come from with ourselves, The Whatmans, Storybooks for Small Dogs, all trying to keep the scene going, it’s brilliant and it’s great to have a venue to showcase the local talent.”


here is something unmistakably likeable about The Dolldrums. You won’t find any of them sporting skinny jeans or the latest Topman attire, you won’t find them hours before a show running their frizzed out of the shower hair through their GHDs and you certainly wont find their faces splattered in white, red and black Kiss-esq face paint! There is an innocence within The Dolldrums brought on from being sheltered away from the ‘keeping up with the Jones’s (my pair of cons are more vintage than yours are) mentality’ of city based bands. The Dolldrums are a real ‘bands’ band. No gimmicks, no ego’s just great music and bucket loads of passion. It’s an endearing quality which is becoming harder and harder to find these days. It has been over three years since The Dolldrums played their first ‘Ropey’ gig (according to sticksman Barry Fitzgerald) in the Backroom of The Lantern Bar in Navan (Now the thriving Backroom Sessions). Since then the foursome have built up quite a large following and profile around the North East and Dublin earning them top support acts with the likes of The Blizzards and Republic of Loose to name but a few and also earned them a headline slot in the well renowned Whelans of Wexford St Dublin which was packed to the rafters. Co front man, singer and guitarist Cormack ‘Beef’ O Keefe tells how it all began: “Myself and Clarkie (other co front man/singer/guitarist with The Dolldrums) knew each other through the music scene in Navan which wasn’t so thriving then. We decided to head off to Greece for two months and partake in some madness but we got sick of playing to drunken Irish people so we came home and wanted to write and play some original material.” Paul ‘Clarkie’ Clarke adds “We did some writing over there and did some original gigs” one of which was supporting the pint sized Paddy Casey. Surprisingly Beef and Clarkie made no conscious decision to go down the indie rock route as Clarkie explains “It wasn’t down to influences, it was down to who we could get into the band. Baz and Kevin Mulvey, the original bassist, already played in a band with Beef so that worked out”. So the final product of songs written naturally came out when the four members jammed together. 19

It wasn’t long after their formation when they entered the studio for the first time to record a four-track ep with the Quinn brothers in Jam Studios, Kells. When asked if they think being a band from Navan is a disadvantage Clarkie is quick to respond, “No, not really, you take what you’re given it’s no different to any other town in the country. The whole idea of getting The Backroom going was to give Navan bands a place to play” Beef adds “Dublin has its own scene so it’s nice to have a ‘Navan scene’ to come from, with ourselves, The Whatmans, Storybooks for Small Dogs, all trying to keep the scene going. It’s brilliant and it’s great to have a venue to showcase all the local talent. Simon Fagan is doing well and Eugene Donegan has an album out. It’s brimming with talent!” The future of the band is next on the agenda; Clarkie divulges some imminent plans.

“We’re going to do an album and get the Finger out. We’re going to demo some material over the next few months and try and Find a producer, we have a few in mind.”

Photography By Andrea Sheridan

In these ‘digital’ times bands don’t necessarily need record companies anymore as they can go down the independent route, recording albums in their bed rooms and then sticking the album up for download on ITunes or any other music download site. Bassist Paddy doesn’t necessarily see this as a good thing though, “I think home recording can make bands lazy. If you have to go to a studio you’re investing money into it. If you invest money then you really need to invest more of yourself into it too.”


Being in a rock n roll band can sometimes put you in the oddest most surreal situations. When asked about the bands opinion of the annual Knockanstockan Festival in Blessington a collective rupture of laughter is heard with a “Jesus” thrown in by drummer Baz. “We nearly got thrown out of it. We had an incident involving someones head and a tent, we don’t know the head but she was very grumpy. She didn’t appreciate us standing on her head. The maverick bottle of wine didn’t help!”

h c n u a L V | n O

s c i l o r f d n a n u f of t . h g h i c n n u a a l r For u o r o f n, a v a join us N , m o o r k c The Ba t 7th Augus




It`s a late summer evening sometime around the turn of the century. having loaded in a truck load of amps, drums, guitars and a PA system the size of the starship enterprise a very sweaty moi stands at the back of the now demolished Foresters lounge in Navan. The room is sparce, empty and quiet, lit up only by the late August sun shinning through the window like a giant spotlight. The stage is needlessly over crammed with stacks, cymbals, bass drums and mic stands. It’s a set up that would have belittled Pink Floyds’. The sound checks over the sound man sipping a pint, it’s the calm before the storm. I smile, a quiet moment to myself, I can’t help but smile. The excitement, the anticipation, this is it, this could be the one. A room crammed with adoring fans, moshing about like a raging sea, living on every word sang, every bass drum boom, this could be it. Roll forward five hours, midnight has come the end of our ‘Anti-Climax of the century’ set is finished. The four people who managed to turn up along with the two support acts give a polite clap. Even the sound man relieved the night has come to an end gives a condescending wink and head nod. Unfortunately back then this was a common occurrence.

Lord how things have changed. A decade on Navan and Meath have one of the healthiest 2original music scenes of the moment, one

that rivals any other cityless county in the country. From poetic singer songwriters to contemporary indie mini-stars, to metal, to folk, to punk, to funk we have it all! Who would have thought a decade ago the Royal county would have homegrown acts such as Kells Ham Sandwich and Dunsaughlins Homestar Runner denting the top 30 Irish charts on a regular basis and selling out shows the length and breath of the country and beyond. Other local stars like Simon Fagan, Kopek and Little Palace are also forging their own paths to glory. It’s an exciting time for everyone involved in the original music Meath ‘Renaissance’. So please take some time over the next few pages to read about and discover these Meath based noise makers as we introduce the class of 2009. Listen to their songs, go to their shows, buy their t-shirts and give industrial skip loads of support!

KOPEK What do John Higgins, The Italian Soccer Team & Kopek have in common? They’re all world champions!

You’ve heard it a million times, some bunch of 15 year old snot nosed kids that can jam two Blink 182 songs together tell you, “Yeah Dude were the best band in the world”. Well when Dan Jordan from Kopek tells you ‘We’re the best band in the world’ he ain’t telling no porkies, he’s got the trophy to prove it! In 2005 this Ashbourne hard hitting three piece were crowned winners of the Global Battle of the Bands competition after wowing the judges in the infamous London Astoria. A world tour followed and after coming back down to earth Kopek is set to release their debut album. The Zeppelin-esq trio play a brand of heavy, alternative rock with dancing beats and big choruses, the kind of band arenas were built for. Dan’s gritty powerful vocals spout lyrics of white collar crime and immortal rock stars. Having signed a deal recently with indie label Religion music, there’s little doubt that Kopek will be gracing our arenas very soon indeed. DAN Jordan vocals, GUITAR BRAD Kinsella BASS SHANE conney DRUMS

If you only have time to listen to one song listen to Love is dead John Brennan vocals Padar mulvey guitar/vocals Franny mcginn bass/vocals aidan carolan drums

Michael Brunnock vocals/GUITAR Al Mulvany vocals anthony Cregan Guitar/bass/vocals Martin Quinn vocals/GUITAR James Quinn Piano/keyboards Ian Melady Drums/Percussion

The whatmans

little palace

Floor stomping indie anthems

Kells melancholy chiefs

Take a page out of Oasis’s book, a page out of The Stone Roses’ book, crumple them together and digest for a creative modern madchester sound with Brett Anderson on vocals… if he was from Navan. Listen to: Here It Come

Little Palace returned this year with a brand new album ‘Invitation Time’ which includes some of the best work the band have ever produced according to co producer and long term band member Martin Quinn. Listen to: Eviction 25

Photo By Marcus Lester


Soothing melodies, sharp lyrics, complicated love, young regret and lonely clowns. Joy to the world the Booth has come…


If you only have time to listen to one song listen to: Smile

Photo By Alison Boland

Navan based Joy Booth started playing guitar and writing songs at the tender age of 16 after being fed a diet of Beatles, Bowie, Joplin and Joni Mitchell amongst others. After being encouraged by a host of local musicians to take her music more seriously, Joy played her first show in late 2007 at the Backroom sessions Navan and hasn’t looked back since. A busy 2008 saw Joy play shows in Slane, Kells, Drogheda and Dublin resulting in a high profile support slot with Cathy Davey. 2009 saw Joy enter the studio to lay down some tracks with a debut ep due for release. Booth’s sound is soothing and melodic with a nod to her heroes Joplin and Mitchell, with a vocal style similar to Dolores O Riordan with less Limerickness. Never one to slow down, Booth has a busy remainder of the year set including a Le Cheile 09 appearance.

The Ambience Affair

Believe the hype! Half Meath, half Dublin two piece The Ambience Affair have been turning even the stiffest of heads lately with their fresh al fresco new folk indie sound. Primarily acoustic guitars and drums out of the blocks, add in lots of guitar and vocal loops and your left with a distinctly original sound. Think The Automatic, Arcade Fire and Death Cab For Cutie. Listen to: Vacant Hearts Storybooks for Small Dogs

Smart Navan three piece pop rockers Storybooks for Small Dogs have a tight, catchy, bright sound reminiscent of the poppier side of Soulwax and The Fountains of Wayne. With lead singer Carmo’s high pitched vocals. This is sunny coast pop for the North East. Listen to: All These Animals 26


Photo By Enda Casey

Top 30 Album, Meteor Award, TV Appearances, all in a days work for Ham Sandwich. Silly name not so silly band.

The delightful intriguing ‘Sambo story started back in 2005 in Kells at a Good Friday party when Johnny Moore approached Podge McNamee and Niamh Farrell about starting a band. Not long after, Darcy and Ollie Murphy (not the Meath GAA forward legend) joined and hey presto four years later Ham Sandwich have firmly established themselves at the upper rung of the Irish music industry ladder. February 2009 saw the release of the Kells quintets debut album Carry The Meek which entered the Irish music charts at 23. No mean feet as the album was released through the bands own label Route 109 Records named after the Kells to Dublin bus route. The high chart position was helped greatly by the bands previous three years of hard work, touring around the country and releasing such singles as St. Christopher and Click Click Boom not to mention some high profile support shows with the likes of My Morning Jacket, The Buzzcocks and Electric Six. Ham Sandwich have an eclectic alternative indie sound with quality pop sensibilities and an odd vocal pairing that sounds like Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs sharing melodies with Freddy Kruger, but o how it works. With a successful debut album under their cheeky belts, the rest of 2009 promises to be a busy time for the ‘Sambo as their star rises further into the bright sky. Niamh Farrell vocals Podge mcnamee vocals, guitar Darcy Guitar John Moore bass ollie murphy drums lISTEN TO CLICK CLICK BOOM MYSPACE.COM/EATHAMSANDWICH

Ham Sandwich Ruairi Coogan

Voodoo Jack

Down to earth honest lyrics, upbeat acoustic sound and a great stage presence. Ruairi Coogan is an up-and-coming singer songwriter emerging from the current bubbling Navan music scene.

If it’s some down right dirty blues you’re looking for, look no further than Jonesy & co.

Listen to: For Themselves RuairiCoogan

This Meath three piece have been ripping up Dublin venues over the past three years with their guitar wailing shenanigans. Not many can rock this hard my friends. Listen to: When it rains, it pours VoodooJack 27

HOMESTAR RUNNER Home Star Pop Punkers set to shine in ‘09 with the release of their new ep ‘All Systems Are Failing’

After the band recorded their first ep the six tracker Close to Home in 2006 their profile went through the roof on the Dublin alternative punk scene due to the quality of the record and due to the underground cult hit Game Over. The band was quickly snapped up by Dublin independent punk label Blastbeat Records and in 2007 their debut full-length effort Kill The Messenger was released to much critical and commercial acclaim. HSR play a blend of American west coast catchy punk rock for the 21st century, they do it well, they do it very well indeed, in fact they do it as well as any other band in their genre on the planet. To catch just one live show is the proof of this. This really is one tight little package that could burst open and infect every ear drum in every major city and town on the planet. See them now before they bounce their way to the next level! If you only have time to listen to one song listen to Nocturnal Stephen Arkins vocals, guitar Jason McTiernan guitar sean reid bass anthony kelly drums 2

Photo By Dara Munnis

Now in their fifth year of existence Dunshauglin native pop punkers Homestar Runner have an embarrassingly impressive CV for such a young bunch. In their relatively short existence they have had a debut album chart in Ireland, played sold out shows North and South of the border, toured the toilets across the Irish sea and have opened for some of the world’s heavyweight alternative punk outfits like Fall Out Boy, Paramore, and New Found Glory. It didn’t take long at all before people started to take notice of HSR, after gigging around the capital’s venues playing all ages and over 18 gigs around 2005 their popularity started to rise due to their incredibly tight professional energetic performances and their well thought out catchy as hell anthems. eugene donegan

Saramai and The Swords

Fantastic upbeat country folk sound,

Navan based songstress Saramai

which tip toes around Bruce Springsteen & Johnny Cash. A collection of these toe-tapping tunes can be found on Eugene’s debut album ‘Little Apples’ which was recorded in Galway and produced by Declan O Rourke.

& her Swords make eerie atmospheric piano led music, with some beautiful soulful singing and thoughtful lyrics which all wraps up to make a very pretty sounding bundle.

Listen to: Heaven Is a Place Inside VigilanteMusic.Com

Listen to: Butterf ly Waltz SarahmaiAndTheSwords

Leather jackets & trumpet induced radio pop; get your dancing shoes ready as Simon Fagan brings the dance.

Simon Fagan There is one thing you got to take your worn Fedora hat off to Simon Fagan for, besides the obvious abundance of talent, it’s the sheer hard work. One look at Simon’s schedule to promote his latest release the ep ‘Hired and Fired’ (apparently a reference to Simons incapability to hold down a ‘proper’ job), is enough to make anyone heave over into a grand piano with exhaustion but for Mr. Fagan it’s the norm. A tireless soul, Navan native Fagan has never slowed down when it comes to his music showing a burning desire to succeed and quite possibly earning the crown of hardest working musician in Meath. Ever since his first day of primary school Simon had his mind made up that he is going to be a professional musician and after years of band break ups and classical training his dream is

becoming a reality. Simon’s sheer graft earned him some very prestigious high profile support acts to Lionel Richie and Smokey Robinson and he also landed the lead vocal part in The Beatles Love Concert at the National Concert Hall in Dublin. Simon’s music is an original blend of brassy piano jazz mixed with contemporary soul pop a brand of ‘swing pop’ if you like. His influences of Miles Davies, Stevie Wonder and The Beatles can all be heard echoing through each track. Recently signed to Sian Records in Dublin, Simon’s current release recorded at Jam Studios in Kells with Martin Quinn on knob twisting duties is to be followed up by another short player later this year with an album also in the works due for release early 2010. Simon will be on a diet of Berocca and Weetabix as he continues to wow crowds with his up beat performances this year.


Kells native Oliver Cole has flown the Meath flag through the music industry mill over the last ten years having fronted three piece alt/pop/rock Turn and leading them to considerable success before they disbanded a few years back. Ollie prepares to release his debut solo record soon sighting The Raconteurs, The Shins and Elliot Smith as main influences. Listen to: What will you do with yourself

Koda Star

Listen to Koda Star for ten seconds and you’ll realize

how wonderfully gifted chief star of The Koda’s, Ben Tiernen really is. His songs are remarkably beautiful and heartfelt. His distinctly Irish accent reverbs around his softly played acoustic guitar like a ghost floating around an old castle ruin. This is music to go to bed with. Listen to: Maypole 29

Photo By Andrea Sheridan


Ballads of Wheeler Dealers, floor stomping live sets and shaggy mop tops its not all doom and gloom down in The Dolldrums.

Navan indie darlings The Dolldrums started out life when Meaths answer to Lennon and McCartney, Paul ‘Clarkie’ Clarke and the brilliantly named Cormac ‘Beef’ O Keefe returned from a Hedonistic summer of excess in Greece and decided to start a band. Soon Barry Fitzgerald and Paddy Smyth were recruited as the rhythm section and The Dolldrums have gone from strength to strength since. Having gigged extensively around the North East and Dublin including a packed out headline show in Whelans they have gained a sizable following especially in their hometown. The band entered the studio and recorded their debut ep which featured such toe tapping indie tunes as Sarcastic Swipes and Beat Kicks. Think of all your favourite indie/mod bands The Libertines, Razorlight, Arctic Monkeys, The Jam, they can all be heard in some form across the board, but The Dolldrums still sound fresh, new and original with Clarke and O Keefe sharing vocal duties. Live is where The Dolldrums really shine. Loud, energetic and totally passionate it’s always refreshing to see the foursome throw themselves around the stage like rag doll-drums. Their well renowned live performances have won them countless high profile support slots with the likes of The Blizzards, The Coronas and Republic of Loose to name but a few. It’s time for the The Dolldrums infectious sound to spread further afield so watch this space. Listen to Ballad of a Wheeler Dealer 30


Darwin Stars


Navan based experimentalists Darwin Stars

Quite simply one of the best songwriters out there.

make remarkably intriguing music. Think Velvet Underground if they had come out in the stoner rock 90s scene. Some nice bass undertones with wah wah guitars and reverb vocals swirling around to make a solid trippy sound.

Yertle will reach inside, pull on your heartstrings and churn your stomach. Emotional cut to the bone intelligent lyrics with a powerful but vulnerable voice. The essence of Do It Yourself record making, it does not get better than this.

Listen to: Miracle of Life DarwinStars

Listen to: Things You Wrote on your Hands YertleMusic






‘Digital killed the magic of photography’ 1


OMINIQUE DAVOUST, a Dublin based photographer of French origin, meets with On|V to talk about photography, the Encounter Meath project and his experience of Irish culture.

You may think it strange that given this is our launch issue and our main purpose is to promote local talent, that we do our first photography feature on a man born in Sweden and brought up as a French man in Beirut. There is a method to our madness however. Dominique Davoust has a fascinating history of living and working in a variety of countries and can speak many languages including Arabic. He has worked with clients such as Bushmills, Donatello and more recently Angelina Jolie as a stills photographer and coordinator on her documentary ‘A place in time’. Last year however, he found himself in rural Meath in 2 search of quirky individuals for his next creative assignment. Meath County Council Arts Office, as part of its Toradh Gallery exhibition programme 2008/2009, commissioned Dominique to do a photographic study of two towns in Meath in whatever way he felt appropriate. This study entitled ‘Encounter Meath’ was then exhibited in the Toradh Gallery in Ashbourne earlier this year. Dominique agreed to meet with me to discuss his encounter with Meath. On a miserable Thursday evening, pouring rain, we met at Café en Seine on Dawson Street for a coffee and a casual chat. Expecting a last minute cancellation due to weather induced traffic or just the downright downpour I was impressed to say the least at his dedication. Dominique arrived on time, on a bicycle no less and drenched to the skin.




Ashbourne and Oldcastle, located on opposite sides of the River Boyne, were the basis of this study. Dominique soon realised that the most interesting elements of these towns was not their landscape or mundane streets but the people that reside there. Casting in such rural areas must have been a challenge?

Dominique used a Sinar Handy with a ‘Schneider super-angulon 47mm’ wide angle lens for the Encounter Meath study. Also a 6x9 Roll film holder film back was adapted on this large format camera used normally with sheet film. Dominique has had this camera for 28 years. Enquiring whether he has a preference of camera or would he have any recommendations for any aspiring Meath photographers he replied;

“The experience was difficult at the start as I was thinking that I was going nowhere, my attempts to find people interested in the project were leading to a deadlock. But after a few months , a few leads appeared fruitful, and I managed to meet people who would introduce me to others. I found the people of Meath very interesting from a cultural point of view, each one in his own respect, whether they were artists, writers, craftsmen, traders etc. They all had their own footprint in the social, cultural and historical fabric of Meath. After this work, it appeared to me that I knew more about the Irish people in general, and that I now have lot of friends in Meath.” Although the people chosen for the study are as everyday as you or I, they all possess a mild quirky quality which makes each portrait so unique. This quirkiness is enhanced by the subtle yet vibrant use of colour. Colour is of huge importance in this study and brings a whole new dimension to the towns which could easily be perceived as visually quite dull. Dominique used traditional film and an emulsion called Fuji Velvia. As the name suggests, this medium results in a smooth, textured image with strong vibrant colours and extreme sharpness. 34

“I think the only good camera we have is our eye, and the media to record it has not importance. It is like asking a poet is he using a ‘Waterman’ or a ‘Mont-blanc’ to write down his rhyme.” Dominique spent many years in war-torn Beirut, Lebanon. I wondered if he has ever worked, or been interested in working in photographic journalism; ‘I have never worked in photographic journalism, as it is mainly a visual record of something happening, an event or a situation, whereas I would be more interested in a photographic artistic work or ‘essay’, relating to ethnological or sociological realities, but with my own vision. I think a photojournalist would have portrayed the same 12 people in very different way than me, as the atmosphere I tried to render in my photograph has been the result of a lot of manipulation from my side: dramatic light, choice and set up of the background, pose etc.”

5 I found this concept of how people portray people quite interesting. With this study focusing on two rural towns in Meath I thought perhaps Dominique found these locations to be culturally diverse? “As my project was mainly about portraying people, I found a lot of similarities between people from both towns. The reason of this is mainly that in Ashbourne and Oldcastle, the networking I did there leads to meeting people who were part of the community for decades or generations, the other had no real interest in the project as they were not feeling ‘rooted’ in the area. This resulted in people from both towns with the same cultural experience, as Ashbourne only changed 20 years ago, and did not differ too much from the rurality of Oldcastle.”


“Ireland is not falling behind visually, it just needs to strengthen its visual culture with the new generations as we are living globally in a very visual world now.” Dominique also has close ties with the Le Cheile Festival in Oldcastle. He took part in a photographic workshop for children last year, which was in the public library in Oldcastle. This year at the Le Cheile Festival, Dominique’s Encounter Meath portraiture will be exhibited once more. Don’t miss this opportunity to see this really beautiful study of life in Meath.

Dominique spent 20 years of his adult life in Paris and now resides in Dublin. So many cities, like Paris, are now embracing the visual arts more than ever before with the emergence of so much fresh talent. I suggested that Ireland may be falling behind visually and lacks a strong visual culture: 1. E  mily Naper in her gilding studio Loughcrew House 2. T  om Fitzsimons, Upholsterer, Ashbourne 3. T  homas Ryan, Painter, Ashbourne 4. T  uite Garage, Oldcastle, Portrait of Aidan Tuite 5. J im Gibney, Retired, in his hardware business in Oldcastle 6. J ohnny Flood Butcher in Oldcastle A portrait in his farm 35

Photography By Tim Broddin


DANIEL JOHNSTON These tapes made his name in Texas and he managed to get a slot on an MTV special on the Austin music scene. The MTV appearance secured his cult status and Daniel began to draw more attention for his unpredictable shows and an incredible ability to communicate intense emotion through song in a simple, almost childlike way. Daniel has been diagnosed as suffering from bipolar disorder and this condition coupled with the initial prescription of incorrect medication led to a lengthy deterioration in his mental health. Through the late 80s and early 90s Daniel spent time in various mental hospitals as his mental health fluctuated. It wasn’t until the very late 90s that a correct balance in medication was achieved and Daniel’s mental state stabilised enough for him to begin performing and touring again.

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Alongside his musical career, Daniel has always been creating art, mainly in the form of marker drawings and watercolours of his own cartoon creations mixed with other established cartoon heroes such as Casper the Friendly Ghost and Captain America. Amongst Daniel’s most famous



Daniel has always been creating art, mainly in the form of marker drawings and watercolours of his own cartoon creations mixed with other established cartoon heroes such as Casper the Friendly Ghost and Captain America.

Daniel Johnston is an artist and songwriter from California who now lives in Waller, Texas. He may be the earliest modern example of a true independent musical artist as he came to prominence during the early 1980s solely through handing out copies of his home-recorded cassettes. Words by YERTLE. artistic creations are Jerimiah the Innocent, (the cartoon frog who graces the cover of Daniel’s most famous album Hi, How Are You?) and Joe the Boxer, who represents Daniel himself and is engaged in an eternal battle with evil as documented in many of Daniel’s drawings. In 2006 the documentary The Devil and Daniel Johnston was released to wide acclaim. The film documents Daniel’s life from his early years in California and his rise to fame through to his battle with mental illness and his return to public performance. For anybody interested in finding out about Daniel this documentary is the logical starting point as it explains his story clearly and concisely. Another good point of reference for those interested in knowing more is Daniel’s official website which is run in his interest by members of his family. Here, Daniel’s unique art can be viewed and purchased either as original pieces or as signed prints. Cassette versions of all of Daniel’s original musical releases can also be purchased through the site, many of which have never been released on CD. Other merchandise is also available through the

site and it features regular updates of projects Daniel is involved in as well as upcoming concert dates when Daniel is on tour. Daniel Johnston has long been labelled an outsider artist, but in recent years his music has received greater exposure and his art has been recognised as the product of a formidable talent. Daniel has remained an independent artist for almost his entire career and he now releases his material through his own record label, Yip Eye Music. Few independent artists achieve this level of self-sufficiency without compromise; Daniel has managed to navigate his entire career without any.

1 & 3. F  rom The Netherlands / Belgium tour, April 2007, photo by Tim Broddin 2. Lost Death by Daniel Johnston 3. Notebook sketch by Daniel Johnston 37

Photo Courtesy of Dick Johnston


Daniel Johnston has long been labelled an outsider artist, but in recent years his music has received greater exposure and his art has been recognised as the product of a formidable talent.


a quick guide to what’s on this summer

at the edges of the day


on|v magazine launch night

Cultural Exchange between County Meath, Ireland and Cary, North Carolina. A photographic exhibition by four photographers: Patrick Bartley & Heath Clayton of Cary Photographic Artists in Cary, North Carolina; Andrew Kelly of Duleek Photo Group & Andrew Ellis of Navan Camera Club in Meath. The exhibition explores the people, places, economy & culture of Sister Cities (Twinning) Cary, North Carolina & Meath. as seen through the eyes of these photographers.

LeCheile brings together all art forms, music, art, drama, literature, both performances & interactive workshops for all ages. Line up includes Mundy, Lisa Hannigan, Declan O’rourke, Delorentos, Little Palace, Fight Like Apes, Barleyshakes, comedy from Jason Byrne and the Encounter Meath exhibition by photographer Dominique Davoust.

Join us to celebrate the launch of Meath’s only music, art and culture magazine. Great line up. Great art. Great cause. On|V magazine will be donating all proceeds from the launch night to the charity Aware. With Yertle, The Ambience Affair and The Dolldrums all belting out the tunes along with art from Aaron Brady and Jillian Gott. It really is one not to miss.

Solstice Arts Centre, Navan, July 14th-31st 40 2

Oldcastle, July 28th - August 3rd Check out for more details

The Backroom, Navan, August 7th Time 8pm Admission 10 euro

driftroot An exhibition by Jackie Askew Driftroot is based on the paradoxical idea of being adrift and at the same time having an emotional attachment to a place. This idea evolved after finding a strange root system that had been washed up on a beach. Drift and root, a contradiction. Exhibiton will run until September 18th Toradh Gallery, Ashbourne Starts Thursday August 13th Time    7pm

Rock D’ Lough Festival 2009 Damien Dempsey will take to the stage for the debut of Rock D’Lough, Slane. Support from Ruairi Coogan, Peadar Farrelly and Fiona Melady. Rock D’ Lough will take place on Saturday 29th August in Ryans of The Gormalough, Slane Co. Meath. Over 18s only. Gates open 7.30pm. Tickets 225 & selling fast. Ryans of The Gormalough, Slane Saturday August 29th

NATTY WAILER He is a man on a mission with a passion. Natty Wailer inspired by the old school Reggae of the legendary Bob Marley and the Wailers with whom he recorded & toured as a keyboard player for over nine years. Natty is now based in Belfast and is soon to release his new CD ‘Destiny’. Make sure you don’t miss a great night of legendary reggae. Boyles, Slane Saturday August 29th

trad nights at causey farm Enjoy Irish culture the fun way at Causey Farm. Lively instruments, furious music, insights into Irish life and history, ancient airs & songs, spirited dancing, pulsating bodhráns… Any Friday evening until August 28th why not head out for a night of traditional Irish music & culture and some scones! Adults @12 Children @6 7.30-9.30pm Book online Causey Farm, Girley Fordstown, Navan, Co.Meath

SHUFFLE An exhibition of new work by abstract expressionist, Richard Gorman. His oil paintings on linen typically involve clearly defined interrelated blocks of colour, creating tensions between themselves and the edge of the picture. This exhibition is definitely worth a visit and an opportunity to absorb the beautiful space that is the Highlanes Gallery. Highlanes Gallery Drogheda, Co.Louth Exhibiton will run until September 18th

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textile design


n|V visit the beautiful countryside studio of textile artist and plush toy maker Jillian Gott and get immersed in a quirky little world of art gone soft.

Who or what inspired you to become an artist? I grew up with it to be honest. My father was a gifted artist, especially with oils, who took his inspiration from the old masters, Rembrandt, Turner, Constable and the like. So as a child I was happy to sit and watch him work, to watch blank canvas transform magically before my eyes. For my second birthday I received a large painting of a leopard chasing a gazelle. Strange gift for a small child perhaps, but I always loved it…and it did have disney stickers on the back. My father was gone by the time I was fifteen and in those years before I lost my mam at twenty-one. She was quite shocked by some of the darkness of my work (I still have a fondness for the dark and the gothic) so it would be interesting to know if she still thinks I’m going through a phase. Joking aside though, my mam was definitely my biggest advocate, encourager and inspiration. As for the textiles… that was a fluke… I just fell into that… a happy accident… What do you love most, or indeed dislike about being a textile artist? Perversely, I simultaneously like and dislike the fact, that whether it is embroidery, print or weave… you cannot rush; for someone who can be prone to impatience, it is a great teacher.


Who do you admire & look up to in the art world? Earlier you asked who or what inspired me to get into art; the artist Louise Bourgeouis was the total and sole inspiration for getting into concept based work. A sculptural piece from her ‘Femme Maison’ series effected me so deeply it changed the way I looked at, thought about and made Fine Art conceptual work forever. I am interested in anyone who reveals certain truths; as truth can be a construct especially in autobiographical work due to perception, I am especially an admirer of Bourgeois because her work can transcend the autobiographical, tapping into a collective unconscious and ultimately universal truths. An ability to which I can only aspire… What kind of textiles/fabrics do you enjoy working with? Fabric or textiles, by there very nature are tactile, we are often drawn to touch as much as we are to look at fabric. We all know textiles…what I mean by that is, it is the first thing that we are wrapped in from the womb… we have an affinity to it… we dress, decorate our homes, surround ourselves with textiles, they can possess warmth, comfort, 44

protection. Because my medium is imbued with added qualities, layers of meaning which are already present, which I can add to or subvert, I enjoy working with it all (white satin says something very different to black leather.) You have recently worked on a lot of plush toy designs. Do you prefer working on these rather than your more conceptual work? I have, they are in their infancy as of yet, but as a side project to my more serious work, they provide an outlet from my thought processes, and what can be an intense space I get into when working conceptually. The plush toys are great fun, but I totally enjoy traversing those other crevices where my Fine Art, conceptual work lurks. There seems to be a subtlety of meaning or a double meaning in your work that one may only realise at a second glance. Is this a trademark of your work and something you enjoy? If you feel I have achieved that, thank you… and yes I totally enjoy it. I enjoy making work that can be appreciated on a number of levels. It is by no means a trademark of my work but I do like work

that makes you ask questions…of the work and yourself, or just makes you want to go back for a second glance. Do you feel Meath has a strong craft culture or how could it be improved? If Meath, which it may in all likelihood have a strong craft culture, I’m not aware of it. I know Navan has a strong business culture, growing from its market town heritage, but a thriving crafts industry… I haven’t seen it or being a part of it, despite knowing many makers and creators. Many of us work in isolation due to extortionate rents; no subsidised studio/workshop spaces in Navan anyway. The addition of The Solstice, which is a fabulous Arts Centre, Meath Arts Groups (past and present) and now your magazine are a welcome addition to the rather bleak arts and cultural landscape of Meath. As regards a platform (as a Navanite, I suppose I’m making particular reference to Navan here.) The more platforms available, the more the audience can become aware of what I hope is a diverse and growing craft culture in Meath.

What advice would you give any aspiring textile designer? This is a tricky one as I don’t see myself as a textile designer per se, or one who doles out sound advice, but put on the spot I’d say… have fun… play… play with thoughts, ideas, notions, materials, surfaces, accepted norms… learn the rules… then break them…. Where or how can we buy your work? Aaron and Daragh in E2 music have kindly offered to display some designs. Presently I am working towards an exhibition of work which will be ready later in the year. If anyone has any queries or would like to be on the invite list for show, I can be reached at



The Backroom is fast becoming the North East’s leading spot to see original live music.


own near the bottom of Navan’s not so picturesque Watergate street sits a run of the mill unsuspecting public house named The Lantern. Upon entering, walk the length of the bar (which is managed by some of the friendliest bar staff around) until you see the toilets on the right, walk straight through the ‘magic portal of rock n roll’ and you are stepping into the fantastic gem that is The Backroom venue.

“Originally The Backroom was known as The Vigilante Sessions which was started and run by local artist Eugene Donegan. Once Eugene moved on to further his music career, The Vigilante Sessions ended and The Backroom started soon after. Myself and Paul Clarke of The Dolldrums in Navan said we’d start bringing in bands with no set agenda or plan. The first gig was on Friday 25th May 2007. A local band Darwin Stars headlined with a Dublin band as support called ReClaim. Both have continued to play The Backroom on numerous occasions over the last 2 years. I was extremely surprised with the first gig as about 70 or so turned up!”

Over two years in operation, The Backroom is fast becoming the North East’s leading spot to see original live music and is garnering an impressive reputation nationwide. In its short existence I asked why he was surprised by the success? The Backroom has hosted such high caliber acts as The Coronas, Declan O Rourke, Kíla and Damien “Given that we had no set agenda or plan, we were expecting initially to be bringing bands to Navan Dempsey. It has also provided a platform for who are well known nationally such as Damien aspiring local musicians to showcase their talent, Dempsey, Kíla, Coronas and lots more. We are something that was seriously lacking in Meath always trying to keep up with the endless queries over the past few years. The Backroom has been from bands looking for gigs. As we only run the responsible for the recent boom in original music gigs on a Friday night, it’s impossible to get all activity around town with its top of the range facilities and stage. Sean Mulligan and Paul Clarke bands a slot” organize the fortnightly events. I caught up with With The Backroom responsible for kick starting Sean Mulligan to find out more about the the Meath music scene I asked Sean his opinions set up. Sean explains how the original idea for on the recent music ‘Renaissance’. The Backroom came about.


Photo By Alison Boland

Venue watch

There is certainly a sense of pride and achievement “Navan and Meath had been kind about Sean and why not? Sean and Paul Clarke of quiet back 3 or 4 years ago have established a successful modern music venue regarding the live original music firmly attracting touring established acts. I asked scene. But over the last few years Sean what he thinks makes a venue successful a number of music events have and which gigs at The Backroom have been the most memorable? started to change that such as The Backroom on a regular basis, Boyles “Keep your venue set up simple. Listen to your customers on what music they would like to see. Sessions in Slane, and Le Cheile Ensure you have a good listen to all bands before Arts & Music Festival has developed, you hand out slots. Ensure you’re capable smaller festivals and gigs such as of organizing gigs months in advance. [Most KellsStock, Rock ‘D’ Lough have memorable gig?] That’s impossible to answer! A lot of bands and singer/songwriters have played all helped to improve the scene. To add to that, a number of bands have come up the ranks in the last two years and started to get great names for themselves such as the reformation of Little Palace, Ham Sandwich are on the scene a long time and doing extremely well and new bands and artists such as Joy Booth & Band, Simon Fagan, Eugene Donegan, The Whatmans, The Dolldrums to name a few, all of which are constantly gigging in Meath and further afield and keeping the live scene going.”

The Backroom stage. All have something different to offer a venue and to a night of music”

A clever dignified sit on the fence answer if ever. To finish I asked Sean what the future holds for The Backroom? “We’ll keep going forward with the same plan as the last two years, No set agenda! As long as bands continue to want to come to Navan and the crowds turn out to hear original music and keep supporting the backroom, we’ll keep the gigs going!”


Photo By Andrea Sheridan

The Dolldrums Whelans (Upstairs) Wexford St. Dublin Thursday May 21st 2009 12am. It’s a calm quiet May night in the country’s capital. Maybe all the talk of doom and gloom recession and spin has gotten to the usual Thursday night pavement revelers. Nonetheless, quite a few diehards (mostly students and tourists) have chosen to go against the economical grain and head to one of Dublin’s most well renowned and prestigious venues, Whelans of Wexford Street. Upstairs in the newly opened second venue Navan’s finest Indie puritans, The Dolldrums, kick off their set at the unholy time of midnight with ‘Bright City Lights’ a great set opener as any with its upbeat attentiongrabbing shouty vocal style. By the time second number ‘Bumble Fish’ finishes the room starts to fill up with curious types bursting in to see what all the catchy riffery is about. It takes a while for Beef, Clarkie, Paddy and Baz to find their feet but after the fantastic Libertines-esq ‘Ballad of Wheeler Dealer’ the foursome take it up a gear and the sizeable watching crowd start to move their feet and bob along to every beat. Soon after we are treated to some brand new tunes, the sadly named ‘Dead Dog’ and a


marvelous rendition of Joe Jacksons ‘Fools in Love’ go down a storm. The Dolldrums finish big and impressively with ‘Magic Car’ in which Clarkie throws off the shackles of his guitar and prowls the stage with mic in hand and the formidable ‘Beat Kicks’ a rapturous reception in sues and The Dolldrums work is done. It’s hard not to like The Dolldrums, Four young friends with an obvious love for the band and the music they write and play. They are the epitome of honest pure gimmickless original rock n roll which is why (along with a sack full of quality catchy numbers) they went down a storm and won many a new fan without ever hitting top gear tonight.

Photo By Eadaoin Ryan

A Worn Black Heart is Hard to Hold


yERTLE Killarney Street Community Hall, Dublin 23rd May 2009 It’s always nice to find quirky different gigs, gigs that are a break from the norm and a little off the usual beaten path, well today’s gig in question is certainly one of those. Staged in a small community centre on Killarney street in Dublin’s inner city North side at 4pm on a bright Saturday afternoon with no bar, no lights and no P.A. or microphones. The event features an eclectic mix of up and coming independent Irish artists with the proceeds going to Women’s Aid, so hats off for the great cause. Featuring on the intriguing line up is Navan native folk artist Yertle who’s set is sandwiched in the middle of the bill at about 5:30. Not phased in the slightest by the lack of microphone on stage his Yertleness gives the intimate crowd a light hearted word of warning about the explicit content of some of his songs before easing into opener ‘Star on Your Door’ a powerful, sad number dealing with loss through suicide and selfishness, two songs from Yertle’s recently released album ‘A Worn Black Heart is Hard to Hold’ follow, a seven track album which he wrote, recorded and packaged within the month of February. Upon hearing ‘The River is the Best Way Out of Town’ and the heart wrenching ‘Don’t Fucking Bother Coming Home’ one really appreciates the immense song writing talent that Yertle possesses. ‘Dancing with The Hat

Stand’ a song written for Yertles side project ‘My First Airport’ is next to be fired out. A complicated romantic vivid tune sang and played to perfection. The far too short set closes with another ‘My First Airport’ song ‘Don’t Get Smart with Me Missy’ the ultimate song about female domination in the household, which sounds as good stripped down to vocals and an acoustic guitar as it does on its electronically led original recording. Yertle prowls the stage strumming as hard as is humanly possible and turns into Zack De La Rocha throwing in some ‘MOTHERFUCKERS!’ toward the end, the set finishes to a standing ovation and rapturous applause, you can’t help be blown away having witnessed a master class in showmanship, songwriting and powerful delivery, astonishing.


the ambience affair

Armed with only an acoustic guitar, microphone, auxiliary microphone, a minimal drum kit, some pedals and their two selves the Ambience Affair start off their set with ‘The Great Enchanted’ a slow atmospheric graceful song which is nicely complemented by Clarke’s chant across the top which is recorded through the second mic on stage then played back over. Clarke goes on to add more vocal tracks as the song progresses along with layering the song with different guitar tracks every few bars bringing a new piece into the song while Mark Gallagher keeps everything in time with his plodding beats. It’s an unorthodox extremely original way of playing live, and extremely entertaining to watch Jamie’s brain trying to keep a bar ahead at all times. ‘Mockery’ is aired next, which along with ‘The Great Enchanted’ can be found on the duos limited edition ep ‘Fragile Things’. Jamie leads into ‘Mockery’ with some ‘oh’ chants before looping them over, as the chorus kicks in the song takes a direct approach reminiscent of JJ72.

After ‘Mockery’ we are treated to some new tracks before the brilliant ‘Vacant Hearts’ gets a mid set outing and turns things up a notch as Jamie starts to shout and move like a demented madman on stage and the audience laps it up. ‘Vacant Hearts’ is followed up by ‘I Recoil’ another gem from ‘Fragile Things’ which builds to a nice vocal ‘outbreak’ by Clarke. A fine cover of Brooklyn experimentalists Grizzly Bear song ‘Knife’ goes down a storm. The inadequately named ‘Ba Ba’ is next with Jamie showing his discontent at the name proclaiming to the watching crowd ‘We really need to come up with a better name for that’ before stumbling through and rather comically on its finish Clarke saying ‘Will we play a game. Every time we make a fuck up you guys have to take a sip of your drink, seriously you’ll be pissed in twenty minutes!’ even Superman isn’t perfect! Before I know it the short set comes to a close with the fantastic ‘Dead Ends’, unfortunately no rapturous appreciation can convince the sound man to allow them to play a little longer.

Photo By Claire Weir

Wexford St. Dublin Thursday June 18th 2009 The Ambience Affair are an enchanting surreal two-piece acoustic and drums combo fronted by Meath native Jamie Clarke (hailing somewhere between Dunboyne and Summerhill he tells me) and Mark Gallagher on drums and percussion duties. There has certainly been a lot of talk about this lot in the capital over the past few weeks so I went along to the bands headline slot upstairs in Whelans Dublin on a June Thursday night to see what all the fuss is about?

saramai and the swords

Photo By Leo Mulligan and Philly Vaughan

The Backroom, Navan, Co.Meath Friday June 26th 2009 There is nothing quite like mid summer gigs. Maybe it’s the warm t-shirt wearing nights or the late sunset but everybody seems to be in great spirits. The beverages taste sweeter and the music sounds more epic than usual. There certainly is a nice midsummer atmosphere in the delightful Backroom venue in Navan as local songstress Saramai Leech and her merry Swords gallop in for a headline slot. A decent sized crowd still nursing some hangovers from the events of six days ago at Slane is on site as Saramai gently kicks off her set with ‘His and Hers’ and ‘Heel Over’ (a KT Tunstall cover). It’s a very nice beginning with Leech showing how naturally strong and defined her vocals are as they dominate with the keyboard playing second string. Alone on stage and armed with just a keyboard and mic the beautiful ‘Butterfly Waltz’ is aired next, a vivid atmospheric track written for warm June nights such as tonight. The growing audience show their appreciation with the biggest reception so far. The first of ‘The Swords’ guitarist Cormac ‘Beef’ O Keefe (also guitarist in Navan rockers The Dolldrums) appears on stage for a rendition

of Michael Jacksons ‘Man in the Mirror’ a nice tribute as any to the late King of Pop. The guitar and keyboard combo continues with the medieval sounding ‘Galileo’. Soon after bassist Paddy Smyth and drummer ‘Snowy’ complete the line up on stage and the night comes alive with ‘Hate Song’ a quirky sounding gem. As ‘Let Me Tell You’, ‘Late and How’ and the joyfully catchy ‘Buncrana’ follow, the quirky theme continues with the foursome sounding like a mix of piano bar jazz, Duke Special and Kate Bush it’s a thoroughly intriguing original sound with Snowy’s brush stroke drumming and Paddy’s stand up double bass antics shinning through. The fascinating set closes with ‘Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ cover ‘Gold Lion’ (which goes down a storm) and the enjoyable ‘Skipping Rope People’.





South America

rom bright city lights to deserted salt lakes, South America is a vast continent of diverse and spectacular landscapes. Home to the Amazon river, the largest tropical rain forest in the world and the Andes Mountains PETER KINSELLA shares his experience of the life of a backpacker in three major South American destinations.

Buenos Aires, Argentina Buenos Aires is such a hugh city with a population of about 13 million and the closest thing to a major European city you'll find in South America. While in B.A we (Peter Kinsella & Shauna McKelvey) stayed in a centrally located hostel called ‘Milhouse’. It’s probably one of the most famous hostels in South America. We took in the city tour which is a must in any major city. Due to B.A’s sheer size it’s split into two separate tours, one north & one south. South tour was more enjoyable as we visited a place called La Boca, most noted for it’s football team Boca Juniors & Diego Armando Maradonna. We passed by the stadium which was quiet impressive. The Boca area is very colourful and steeped in tradition. It also holds a huge Italian community base. North side tour’s highlight was Evita’s burial ground in Recoleta, the Argentinian actress who eventually became the wife of Argentinian president and

dictator Juan Perón, and the most beloved and hated woman in Argentina. It is said that Evita improved the lives of the poor and the workers of Argentina. Tango dancing originated in B.A so I thought (being a patron of the arts & all that) it only right we take in a show whilst here. Tango originally began as a street dance and was practiced in bars and brothels. We watched the 2009 grand slam in an Irish bar and as you could expect the place was full of our fellow countrymen and women. Later that evening a gang of us headed to a Hurling Club no less. Yes there’s actually a hurling club just outside B.A and believe it or not the place is called Hurlingham. I thought it was a piss take when we were first handed the address but it does indeed exist and a damn fine establishment it is too. Part funded of course by our very own Cumann Luthcleas Gael.


Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


Amazing place, beautiful landscapes and beautiful people. Landed in Rio de Janeiro and headed straight for an island off the coast of Rio named Ihla Grande. It’s an ecological island with km’s of beautiful white sandy beaches and not a car in sight. It was a place to find our feet, chillax and get settled. Five days later we arrived in Rio de Janeiro for the Carnival. Amazing atmosphere and colour, street parties galore and samba parades to beat the band. The first two weeks of our trip were spent in top hotels and dining like kings. Now it’s shoe string stuff, hostels and cheap buffet dinners all the way. Not very familiar with this lifestyle to be honest but if I wanna make this budget last then there has to be a few sacrifices along the way.

We were a bit sceptical about entering Bolivia as we had heard the news of a Tipp man, Michael Dwyer, being shot dead in Santa Cruz for an attempted plot to assassinate Bolivian president Evo Morales. We had obvious concerns entering the border from Argentina, wondering if we would be questioned or possibly denied entry, but as we entered the border office not an eyelid was batted and we proceeded through, easiest border crossing yet. I thought that would be the end of it until we had heard from two fellow back packers that Irish hostels in La Paz were being raided by military and police.

Top things to do here: • Sugar Loaf Mountain • Helicopter Flight over the city during sunset • Christ The Redeemer • The Carnival in the Sambadrome • The Flavela’s Tour (Means slums in Portuguese) • Santa Theresa by old style tram • Football of course, Maracana Stadium • HangGliding from Tirijucu Forest Peak • Finally chill out on the Copacobana and Ipanema beaches 54

The Wild Rover was invaded by 20 military and three police oFFicers. They pulled everybody travelling on an Irish passport into the foyer and demanded passports. It was an interesting time to be in Bolivia. Tupiza was the first place in Bolivia we visited. We booked ourselves onto this four day Tupiza to Uyini jeep tour. Now this was off roading at it’s best, put’s to shame people who drop their kids to school in big 4x4 and lads who travel about 4kms to work, myself included here. I recall one occasion where I was full sure the jeep was going to fall off the cliff face but I knew with our driver’s vast experience of 4x4s and his cook as his wing man we’d survive imminent death. Our drivers name was Hermant, and our cook introduced herself as Mama Cookie. Very entertaining woman and what a cook she was.

Tell us your story So many people are taking time out to travel and experience all kinds of cultures worldwide. This section aims to inspire and inform future and accomplished backpackers of where to go, what to see and what to expect of certain destinations. If you would like to share your worldly knowledge please email us at

While other tour groups were being fed chicken and chips most nights we were being dished up spaghetti bolognese or rice with beef. Bolivia has the reputation of food poisoning capital but these four days we ate exceptionally well. During the four days we got to see live Volcanos, Geysers (Sol de Manana, 5000mtrs), Lagoons (Lagoon Verde), wild animals, birds and my personal favourite the Salt Flats. Kilometers and kilometers of pure white salt flat lands. We got to take our most entertaining photos here as the salt flats allow you to be clever with the camera. We also stopped by the famous Colorado Lagoon which is also a flamingo colony, hosting up to 8000 flamingos. Bolivia is trying to have this sight voted in as one of the 7 natural wonders of the world and from what I’ve seen, they have an excellent chance.

On our last day of the tour we watched the sun rise on the salt flats and then visited this cactus island smack bang in he middle of the flats called ‘Incahuasi’. Soon after Mama Cookie prepared us our final breakfast of the trip. The best school tour I was ever on.

I paid a visit to Rock Valley which has a mummy cemetery. Had the pleasure of experiencing the first ever guided tour of the cemetery. Basically the town has run out of water and are now on the verge of collapse. The government refuse to fund a new water pipeline to keep the town alive so they now solely rely on the income from the cemetery tours which were previously free, to build the water line themselves. At the end we donated 50 Bolivianos, roughly 10 euros, About 15 village people and the mayor of the town thanked us and they all gave us a round of applause, it was morto! We were the first to officially sign the donation/visitor book. Still flying the flag lads. That same night we stayed in a salt hotel. 55




you said it


Depression affects feelings, thoughts, behaviour and energy. More than one in ten of us experience depression at any one time. If it’s you or a friend, contact Aware for help and support through depression. Aware loCall Helpline 1890 303 302 Email Or see for a list of support groups You are not alone.

HELP US RAISE FUNDS FOR AWARE Aware is a national voluntary organisation providing support through depression. The organisation undertakes to create a society where people with depression are understood and supported, are free from stigma, and have access to a broad range of appropriate therapies to enable them to reach their full potential. Services include support groups nationwide, a loCall Helpline open 365 days a year (both services available to individuals with depression and also family members and friends) Beat the Blues secondary schools


awareness programme, depression awareness and information talks and seminars, and a free information service. All proceeds raised at the On|V magazine launch night will be in aid of Aware. Music on the night by The Dolldrums, The Ambience Affair and the cult guru himself Yertle. Some art will also be on display by the wonderfully quirky textile designer Jillian Gott and animator Aaron Brady. Please come along on the night and support a great cause. The Backroom, Navan Admission 10 euro Time 8pm


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On|V - July/August 09  

Meath's first and only Music, Art and Culture magazine

On|V - July/August 09  

Meath's first and only Music, Art and Culture magazine