Acclaimed writer talks films and Trainspotting in Trinity.
TALKING TO FOALS
Hugh McCafferty interviews indieâ€™s hottest new band
COVERNOTESP2 Irvine Welsh, of Trainspotting fame, visited those lucky film students, an account of which is given in the Interview section. Fashion looks at the vogue for following celebrity fashions and Film reveals what happens when an actor dies during the production of a film. In the Books section Paul Earlie has written a brilliant article on the relatively unheard of work of Irène Némirovsky, a writer who was killed during the Holocaust. Read it.
Photo courtesy of Ibid
here has the year gone? The SU Elections are looming and the countless upcoming AGMs make it feel like this year is already over even though it’s still only February. Summer panic is already setting in, with people planning holidays and work placements. Given the short length of Trinity Term, the academic year seems unbelievably short. This issue of TN2 sees Hugh McCafferty interviewing Foals for our feature story.
We are all affected by the people we let into our hearts, and not always in a good way.
year, and certainly didn’t think I wanted another relationship. I shouted all those phrases that people who are afraid of romantic affiliations (for one reason or another) do - I’ll be single until I’m thirty, men are so immature, I’m never getting married, relationships smother your individuality, blah… oh I talked a LOT. But that’s all it was, fear talking. I was absolutely terrified of being vulnerable ever again. And while that changes, I don’t think it ever completely goes away. We are all affected by the people we let into our hearts, and not always in a good way. And it goes both ways. If you’re involved with someone, their past shouldn’t be allowed into your present, but by God it happens! At some point, we have to make the conscious decision to push it all aside and take the past for what it actually is, or it will send you round the bend. If you’re being haunted, unfortunately you cant call a priest, or the Ghostbusters. You can go see a shrink, but that’s expensive, and hey, they don’t know what happened. Nobody else can fix you, no matter how hard they try. You have to exorcise your own relationship demons, whether you’re with someone or not - or else be prepared for them to come back and bite you in the ass hard.
n this day and age, it stands to reason that by the time you reach your early twenties, you will have experienced heartbreak in some way, shape or form. Even if you haven’t been dumped, cheated on, dumped for cheating, sleeping around or duped by a relationship con artist, something negative must have happened to you with opposite sex. Unless you’ve been living in your mam’s basement. From the serious to the minor, we all carry relationship baggage - whether we care to admit it or not. It is generally believed that the things that happen to us over the course of our lives shape the person we become. I believe the same is true of our previous liaisons of the heart. I think we are all haunted by the ghost of relationships past. We don’t want to make the same mistakes as before. We want to find a similar connection to one previously experienced, that ever elusive spark. We don’t want to be treated badly again, and we certainly don’t want to be the nasty one either. Every new relationship is indeed a carte blanche that’s just waiting to be smeared with the metaphorical shit that once hit the fan. Whitney Houston once sang “Where do broken hearts go?” - Well Whitters, that’s a good question. Some believe they mend in time. Others try to pretend it never happened. I think they simply rework themselves around your new situation. They say the first cut is the deepest - oh pop music is so wise! I could reference some proverbs: “Once bitten, twice shy”, “Two’s company, your bloody ex makes a crowd.” Ahem. The point is, it’s all true, and that’s why they’re cliché... Duh! To prove my point, I will get personal. My little heart was trampled on by my first love - ouch, isn’t it so much worse when the first love dumps you? You wish you’d been the one to “grow away” from the situation, not them! Anyway, I was single for a
In which our heroine talks demons of relationships past… Words: Victoria Notaro
hen you’re playing gigs at entry level, it’s really a situation where you’re just playing to your mates.” Ibid’s very existence, it would seem, is a reaction against soul-destroying amateurishness of the vast majority of Dublin’s promoters. Composed of members of bands both operational and defunct, the three-piece play vicious guitar rock complete with taut bass lines, frantic drums and riffs as big as your house. Although only technically operational for a few weeks, Steven, Kev and Luke have played together before under different guises. I talked to front man Steven about his decision to leave behind past projects and start afresh. “I felt it was time to take things more seriously, start playing gigs with decent promoters, play outside Dublin and try to get some good support slots.” The new beginning has certainly proven to be a creative spark. “Songs are getting better, less insular. It comes down to experience and playing at a higher level.” Steven cites British post hardcore bands like Reuben and Biffy Clyro as influences. “And PJ Harvey, not that that’s so discernible,” he laughs. The band’s demo, recorded in Ballymun’s Cosmic Studios, sounds promising. “It was an interesting process; everything was put under a microscope, so it really became obvious what we needed to work on.” With the recording under their belt, Ibid hope to start playing gigs in a month or two, gigs Steven promises to “ publicise the shit out of.” Ibid warrant your attention for a variety of reasons. Their songs are satisfyingly rocking without a hint of crustiness and they maintain a sense of technical complexity without the chin-stroking. All three have plenty of live experience; Steven spits out vocals with vitriolic panache between tapping solos, Kev, on drums, hammers his way through time signature changes with ease and Luke, on bass, has the stage presence of a man in contact with a higher being. Check out the tracks on their MySpace page and keep a look out for upcoming gigs. www.myspace.com/ibidmusic
Film students get a talking to when Irvine Welsh comes to Trinity. Words: Katie McCarthy
Photo: Conor O’Kelly
rvine Welsh is a widely celebrated, modern-day Scottish writer. His debut novel, Trainspotting (1993), recounts the tale of a group of characters during Thatcher’s blighted 80s; unified by crumbling friendships, condemned attempts at escape from their tyrannically monotonous and vicious lives, whilst struggling against a destructive dependence on heroin. On his recent visit to speak to Dr Carol Jones’ 20th Century Scottish Literature seminar group, a mildmannered Welsh spoke of the tribulations facing a writer today, declaring ‘I honestly don’t think Trainspotting would be published nowpublishers are making authors write into type-holes. They want writers to keep writing about genres that have proved popular amongst readers.’ Welsh remains a contentious figure since Trainspotting’s publication. His work has shown itself to be immensely challenging for literary critics to digest, a struggle made increasingly more conspicuous by Welsh’s unremitting commercial triumphs. Welsh is within a minority of authors who appeal to followers of high literature in addition to those who refrain from reading in general. Welsh conceded that he was unsure as to why there has not been more authors that have made that crossover, recognising the tension apparent between the reader wanting to experience exhilaration and intellect, concluding austerely ‘I just want to write stuff that is exciting and makes people turn the page, whilst hopefully making them think as well.’ If Welsh is managing to engage a culturally illiterate audience that has conventionally remained beyond the influence of the bourgeois novel then
this is a form of ‘cultural activism’ most other authors of his generation appear to have disregarded. Of the process of writing he declared emphatically, ‘Writing is a very selfish thing. It has hard effects on your family and all the things around you.’ Readers frequently find the Scottish vernacular in Welsh’s novels difficult to understand. When asked as to his principal motive for adopting this dialect within his work he explained that he has always felt predisposed towards music, being captivated by house music especially at the time of writing Trainspotting. It would be only natural to want to recreate that level of exhilaration within his novels, and he felt this could be achieved most effectively by adopting an unrelenting Scots dialect as his primary narrative voice, declaring ‘Standard English is a great language, but it is an imperial language, it’s not very funky.’ Welsh continued by stating that he had a desire to seize upon the feelings of exhilaration attributed to house music, almost like what he termed ‘a four-four beat’, believing the ‘best approach’ to encapsulate such elation on the page was to employ a language that was similarly pulsing and hedonistic, noting ‘The characters in Trainspotting would appear quite pretentious if they were to sound any other way.’ Welsh was probed regarding his feelings concerning fellow Scottish writer Alexander McCall-Smith deprecating him as a ‘‘travesty for Scotland’’, to which he remarked that such arresting comments made about him are to his eventual advantage, stating ‘If a housewife reads that McCall says I am a ‘‘travesty for Scotland’’, that elicits a curiosity in them about me and leads them to get hold of and read one of my
books’, concluding with a haughty giggle, ‘That’s great for me, you know.’ Welsh revealed he is set to present the Outstanding Contribution to British Film Award at the Empire Film Awards in London, on March 9th , to his old comrade Ewan McGregor. McGregor was catapulted to fame following his stirring and energised performance as Renton in Danny Boyle’s adaptation of Welsh’s debut novel. Welsh spoke of the film in response to the question of whether he ever worried that some people may find his unsympathetic characters, sympathetic? Welsh retorted that he only worried when watching the screen adaptations of his work, primarily Boyle’s Trainspotting, because ‘on the screen things develop a ‘buzz’, that some [viewers] may find attractive’, and henceforth wish to replicate, which understandably instils worry in him knowing the nature of some of his character’s volatile temperaments together with their dangerous predispositions and behaviour. The session was nearing its end when Welsh reprehensibly outed himself as an ardent admirer of Evelyn Waugh, a statement met by fervent gasps from the class. Before leaving, he once more mulled over his most illustrious piece of work to date, reflecting ‘I saw Trainspotting go from my book, to Ewan McGregor’s film, to Richard Branson’s advert for his trains. When I handed it over to the publisher I lost grasp of it and as an author it is no longer righteously yours, but belongs to everyone out there.’ Welsh’s extraordinary collection of work is indeed ‘out there’ for us all to relish. And with that the man accountable for, what one critic termed, ‘changing popular fiction forever’, unassumingly left for home.
Foal’s Gold (Win tickets to see Foals - see the back page)
istening to Foals, it’s difficult to decide whether they are at the cutting edge of popular music or are merely wallowing in the stagnant pool that is the post-punk revival. They manage to sound like Battles and The Rapture at the same time, integrating math-rock and dance-punk in an orgy of tight, trebly guitar leads, regimental vocals and coldly efficient synth, without even the slightest whiff of a power chord. Take one listen to Balloons, released as a single in December, if you are unconvinced. Whether they are derivative or not, though, is largely
unimportant when they sound this good. Front man Yannis Philippakis understandably isn’t eager to put his band into a neat, little pigeonhole. “We’re like epilectic pop music,” he decides after some hesitation. Perhaps it’s the exhausting tour schedule, or the jet lag (well, train lag), or maybe he just isn’t that bothered, but as we begin the interview, Philippakis does not seem in a particularly chatty mood. Early questions are met with one word answers or other questions and sources of information are enquired about defensively. “Have you listened to the album?” he demands when I en-
quire about debut record Antidotes, out next month. Should make for a pleasant half hour, so. In fairness to Philippakis, it’s currently a pretty hectic time for the band. They’ve been on the road for quite a while and look to be so for the immediate future. “We’re literally touring for a year,” he explains, after winding down a little. “It makes you a little crazy. When it’s just the five of you together all the time, you form your own reality; you forget there’s a real world outside of it.” It’s also worth bearing in mind that the five members of this band are still quite young; Philippakis himself is just
Foals are what you might call hot shit right now. A slightly grumpy Yannis Philippakis talks about their rise to fame. Words: Hugh McCafferty 21. They formed in Oxford over two years ago with current Youthmovies front man Andrew Mears on vocals. I asked Philippakis what effect Mears’ decision to concentrate on Youthmovies activities had on the band. “There were less violent pranks after he left.” He recalls that there was considerable tension in the band back then. “There was a lot of war.” It would seem that they thrived on such tension though, as he and Mears remain best friends. Before Foals formed, Philippakis and drummer Jack Bevan played in the rather good but now defunct math-rock outfit The Edmund Fitzgerald. Consid-
erably more challenging, but by no means less rewarding, you can download some of the old band’s tracks at foalsband.com. I enquired about the distinct difference in sound between the two acts. “In Foals, we wanted more direct communication with people. When we were in the Edmund Fitzgerald, we were like 16 and 17 and that was the kind of music we wanted to play at the time. I think the progression was something natural.” With Jimmy Smith on guitar and Walter Gervers on bass, the band released their first single in April 2006. After Mears’ departure, they recruited Edwin Congreave on keys and the lineup was complete. Interestingly, Congreave had never played in a band before he joined Foals, nor had he really played keyboards. Responsible for most of the band’s online blogging, he recently declared the group’s support for Barack Obama in the race for the Democratic candidacy. “Yeah, that was a joke, Edwin’s sense of humour is quite dry. When you put that kind of thing up there, though, the next thing you know, people are asking you all these questions about your political views.” Is there a place for politics in pop music? “Well, Bono exists, doesn’t he? I think we’re too self-involved. We just stay at home and smoke weed.” As previously mentioned, the band’s debut album is out in March. I asked Philippakis why they chose to work with producer Dave Sitek (who has worked with Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Liars as well as his own band, TV on the Radio). “Well, we were quite into TV on the Radio, but it was mainly because he offered the most resistance to us. He’s a massive bully, really, but he had a huge influence on us, more outside of the
record than on it. We came back thinking and feeling differently about music and about the industry”. Positive life experiences aside, there was some unpleasantness after the band decided that they were uncomfortable with Sitek’s final, reverb-drenched mix of the album and remixed it themselves. “There were some bad feelings between us for ages. I didn’t like it; he would’ve kicked my arse if it came to that. But we kissed and made up later on.” Would they ever work with Sitek again? “No; well, I don’t think he’s producing other bands for a while anyway,” Philippakis decides, somewhat diplomatically. Lyrically, the diminutive front man can be difficult to pin down; I asked him whether there was any grand message on the album. “There’s quite a few themes going on; it’s all quite abstract. It’s about clutter, space, escapism. I don’t write songs about breaking up with my girlfriend. I think it kind of undoes itself if you’re too blatant about lyrics or if you talk about them too much. The point with this album is it’s more visual. It’s like the idea of you leaving your house and someone coming in and redecorating it while you’re away. Like something familiar that you then have to re-interpret.” Philippakis himself is similarly difficult to figure out. Over the course of the interview, he moves from hostile and impatient to friendly and candid; altering between the two every now and again, but constantly maintaining a sense of aloofness. That he might suffer from Asperger’s disorder is hinted at but not confirmed; he tells me that a few members of the band suffer from the autism spectrum disorder, but does not go into specifics. He is explicit about one thing, though: “We’re all fairly trou-
Philippakis was placed on the NME Cool List 2007 at 45(he was topped by not one but two members of the Klaxons, the guy from The Enemy and, er, Brandon Flowers’ moustache, amongst others).
bled.” While the band remained unsigned, Philippakis studied English Language and Literature, along with Congreave, at Oxford University. “If you like reading books, it’s great,” he recalls. It seems though, that reading books simply wasn’t enough to keep him there. “I didn’t really fit in, I felt quite socially outcasted.” Once they secured a deal with Transgressive Records (the UK home of Iron & Wine, the Shins and the Young Knives, among others), he dropped out of his course to concentrate on the band. Would he ever consider returning? “Not for the foreseeable future.”
Last year, Philippakis was placed on the NME Cool List 2007 at number 45. I wondered what his reaction to such a dubious honour was (he was topped by not one but two members of the Klaxons, the guy from The Enemy and, er, Brandon Flowers’ moustache, amongst others). “Well, you laugh and drink more tequila, don’t you? It’s just a bit of fun; it’s not really important.” Having said that, it would appear that Philippakis feels the media is something that Foals can use to their advantage. “If we can get exposure, people will listen to the music.” Fair enough, although, one gets the feeling that he isn’t completely comfortable with all of the ways they’ve gone about getting said exposure. On the topic of their appearance on E4’s Skins a few months back, his comment is brief. “They just asked us, so we did it.” Media coverage is useful, but praise from other, well-established acts may be invaluable. Bloc Party’s Kele Okereke is a vocal fan of Foals and his band took them on tour a few months ago. I asked Philippakis how he found playing the indisputably wretched Phoenix Park Big Top. “Actually, that was one of the better ones on that tour. We never thought we’d play for that many people.” Playing in a 10,000 capacity venue is certainly a big step up from the house parties Foals played when they were starting out. If you search for videos of the band on YouTube you’ll find, among a delightful selection of equestrianthemed clips, footage of the boys playing in a friend’s bedroom, a few dozen revellers squeezed in to the room with some difficulty. Regardless of where they play, though, they’re undeniably an impressive live act. Generally standing quite close together and facing each other with guitars up on their chests, legs and elbows twitching like insects, they generate a powerfully tense on-stage energy. “We started out playing in people’s houses, but I think we like more to be outside our comfort zone. Now, everything feels right.” Now very much seems to be Foals’ time, with many commentators singling them out as the ones to watch for 2008. Such predictions may well prove accurate; the band have the pop sensibility to win themselves fans but are creative enough to maintain credibility and to keep the critics happy. In Philippakis, they have a front man as enigmatic as he is nervously energetic on stage. Most importantly, though, they have the quality tunes necessary to make it big. Whether or not their sound has a lengthy shelf-life, though, remains to be seen. While they’re here, though, (and still playing small venues) it would be a shame not to enjoy them. Foals play the Academy on 20 April. Antidotes is released on 24 March. The new single Cassius is out on 10 March.
FILMP6 What happens when an actor dies during the production of a film?
The show must go on! Words: Stephen Kenny
ike all Batman fans I was left watering at the mouth after the release of the trailer for The Dark Knight in December. After the success of Christopher Nolan’s revamp of the franchise in 2005 with Batman Begins, it is unsurprising that his second instalment of the Batman story is one of the most anticipated films of the summer. The movie sees the return to the screen of cinema’s most iconic super-villain, the psychotic and twisted Joker. Playing the role was actor Heath Ledger; his untimely death on 22nd January has cast a shadow over the release of the film. Although Ledger’s involvement in the production process was complete before he died and the film will be released in July, his death threw into jeopardy Terry Gillingham’s newest project The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, in which Ledger was cast in the lead role. Ledger unfortunately is the most recent in a long line of actors to have died leaving projects uncompleted and casting doubt over the future of certain productions. In 2002 Limerick-born actor Richard Harris died aged 72 of Hodgkin’s disease. This was just before he was due to begin working on Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban, in what would have been his third screen appearance as Headmaster Albus Dumbledore. His death left the Harry Potter franchise in crisis, struggling to replace him.
Reed, who was playing the character Proximo, collapsed on the floor of a bar in Malta dying from a heart attack.
Fortunately the very competent Michael Gambon was re-cast in the role and the Potter movies have continued to enjoy great success since. One of Harris’ former co-stars, acting legend Oliver Reed also died before the completion of his final project- Ridley Scott’s epic Gladiator. Reed, who was playing the character Proximo, collapsed on the floor of a bar in Malta dying from a heart attack. He had not finished filming all of his scenes and certain segments had to be digitally manipulated to complete production at an estimated cost of $3million. Reed and Harris both died in the twilight of their careers, however there
are many actors who have been cut down in their youth. Brandon Lee, son of martial arts legend Bruce Lee, died in 1993 while filming The Crow. He was killed in a freak accident in which a prop gun that had a bullet lodged in the barrel shot him in the abdomen causing him to die later that day. A stunt double with Lee’s face superimposed upon him was used to shoot the remaining scenes. 1993 also saw the death of River Phoenix who died from a drug overdose outside the famous Viper Room in L.A. Aged just 23, Phoenix, who was touted as the most promising actor of the early 90s, had before his death been nominated for several awards, including an Oscar and a Golden Globe for his performance in Sydney Lumet’s 1988 film Running on Empty. At the time of his death he was in the process of filming George Sluizer’s Dark Blood but the film was scrapped as certain key scenes involving him had yet to be shot. He was also set to co-star alongside Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt in Neil Jordan’s Interview With the Vampire. Christian Slater subsequently played this role in this film. Two of cinema’s most iconic actors also left behind unfinished projects. Marilyn Monroe’s controversial death in 1962 was in the middle of her shooting Something’s Got to Give with Dean Martin and Cyd Charisse. The film remains unfinished and only clips from it have appeared in the 2001
documentary Marilyn: The Final Days. James Dean’s sudden death in 1955 in a horrific car crash meant that the 24 year old never saw the completion of Giant. In the last scene of the film in which Dean makes a drunken speech he mumbled so much that it had to be reshot and re-worked after his death. Therefore the recent death of Heath Ledger as an actor committed to a project comes as no great shock to the industry. While The Dark Night will certainly be released the future of The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is still uncertain, although all indications are that it will eventually resume production with someone else (rumours mention Johnny Depp) assuming Ledger’s role. The legacy, however, that Ledger leaves is still to be determined. His recent performances, particularly in Brokeback Mountain, indicated his coming of age as an actor. At only 28, he died like so many before him while entering the prime of his career and it is a shame that yet another young star should die before realising their full potential. The youthful deaths of Monroe and Dean immortalised them as screen icons and although I am not suggesting the same fate for Ledger, do not be surprised if his performance as the Joker haunts your nightmares this July and heightens his legend as an actor from whom the best was yet to come.
What’s up with High School Musical? Words: Simone Cameron-Coen
isney and the Disney Channel have been around for an awfully long time. Their continued success could be down to their formulaic children’s films full of saccharine sweetness and happy endings punctuated with wonderfully choreographed set pieces. Films made for television can be successful and work to entertain the kiddies on a dull afternoon, but the success of the High School Musical series is phenomenal. The television premiere had 7.7 million viewers in the US and 1.2 million in the first week in the UK. If you Google High School Musical you get thousands of sites, both official and unofficial. The popularity of the television show meant high DVD sales of 1.2 million copies in the first six days resulting in a second film for TV and third to be released in the cinema. The protagonists of the films are playing teenagers from fifteen to seventeen and are played by actors in their early twenties; the popular Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Tilsdale. There is such a huge appeal for the films and equally large fan-base that traditional school musicals like Oklahoma!, and Pirates of Penzance have been put out to pasture in favour of High School Musical productions. What is so appealing about these shiny happy teens? Looking at the second film in the series it seems pretty standard fare to me. Following on from the Romeo and Juliet scenario (without the tragedy) of the first film we follow Troy and his friends as he learns how to become an upstanding citizen in the world. The moral quandary that he finds himself in, torn between ambition and friends, ends happily with everyone learning their lessons and making friends. This is standard fodder for
Be Kind Rewind Words: Matthew McInerney-Lacombe
e Kind Rewind, Michel Gondry’s latest film, combines the endearing and eccentric with the same success as Juno (2007) and Little Miss Sunshine (2006). However, in the hands of eminently talented director, Michel Gondry, the film manages to be funnier and less emotionally manipulative than its predecessors. The film tells the story of Jimmy (Jack Black), who becomes magnetised and accidentally erases all
the VHS tapes from the local video store of his friend Mike (Mos Def), while his boss is away trying to save the store from foreclosure. In order to appease the customers and rescue the store, the two have to re-film the most popular titles in a hilariously low-budget, DIY aesthetic. The subsequent remakes of Ghostbusters, Robocop, Boyz n the Hood, and especially Driving Miss Daisy provide some of the biggest laughs in recent memory. The film is a genuine crowd pleaser, one with a big heart and
Disney, and they do it well. The film is so formulaic that you know the beginning, middle and ending at the opening credits. Is this just a short cut for lazy film watching kids, are they being spoon-fed a certain type of morality? Or is it how we all learned to read films and only notice the simplicity
even bigger laughs. Jack Black is in peak form, while Mos Def proves he has the acting talent to match his rap skills. Gondry’s script is incessantly funny and idiosyncratic, while his direction is unfussy and imaginative. Unlike Juno’s over-written (and at times contrived) dialogue, the sincerity of the sentimentality and the authenticity of the humour make Gondry’s film all the more affecting and rewarding. Be Kind Rewind is an instant classic: witty, original, and thoroughly unpretentious.
Disney’s ‘work hard and you shall succeed in this white world’ ethic is there with bells, whistles and dance routines
now? Disney’s ‘work hard and you shall succeed in this white world’ ethic is there with bells, whistles and dance routines. It is not problematised or oblique; it is right there on screen. Does this obviousness make Disney more insidious or safer because it’s easier to read? Do kids even care? Do they care that one of the actresses has been posted naked on the internet? High School Musical 2 doesn’t put a foot wrong in its production, it’s very slick and well timed. Maybe that’s the problem I have with it; it’s simply bland.
the soft bulletin
Steven Lydon talks to coming Irish scenesters: The Kinetiks.
he Kinetiks are the latest home-grown band beginning to make a name for themselves in the Irish media. Influenced by bands like the Libertines and the Strokes, the guys go for an energetic, unashamedly pop-rocky sound that gets straight to the point without leaving you bloated. We spoke to the band shortly before their performance at the Meteor awards about love, life, and what distinguishes them from other bands. “Haircuts,” deadpans vocalist Gary, “haircuts and jeans.” I’m reassured by the laughter following the few seconds of stunned silence. “I’m only messing,” he adds, “we don’t really think about that end of things when we’re writing.” Refreshingly, the image of the band obviously isn’t something that the guys take too seriously. Likewise when writing music, they don’t seem to overintellectualise what they’re doing. “We don’t really have anything specific in mind when we write songs, I just come into practice with a riff and we go from there. We don’t set out to write songs that need thirty plus plays to grow on you.” The band became renowned early
Words: Carolyn Power
What happens when an actor dies mid-film? FILM P6
ance. Even if, as Baz himself said, you don’t know how to do it. Writing this fresh after a night out at Mr. Jones in the Pod and then boogieing away in Crawdaddy’s, it has been brought home to me again just how brilliant dancing is - and how very wrong you can get it if you try too hard, be you a disco slinker or a floorstomper. First of all, yes, people are possibly looking at you. Yes, they probably will think it’s funny if you dance funny. And most of us do dance funny. But until you learn not to care about these aforementioned considerations, you will unavoidably dance like a chicken stuck in a tarmac puddle, and you’ll get a crick in your neck from twisting your head around to see who’s watching. Self-awareness is all very well and good, but best pushed to one side when Daft Punk is playing at your house (your house). Secondly, if you’re studying at Trinity for your dancefloor degree, you’re probably going to end up in Doyle’s sooner or later. Good for you. Now remember: it’s free in, the lights are practically non-existant, the music is generally genius and for a while there at least there was a hole in the dance floor in front of the DJ booth. This is not Citibar (whew); there is no place for smooth and sleek classy dancing (double whew). This is, most likely, going to end up as a heaving, jumping, jiving Arcade Fire mash up; so don’t wear anything that you wouldn’t want beer spilled on (although, as we all will discover sooner or later, those who insist on brinking pints onto miniscule dancefloors should be garrotted). Sneakers are also good, unless you don’t mind the orthopaedic agony of heels. Having said that, after a (considerable) while you pleasantly lose all feeling in your feet. Result. Above all, have a bit of a laugh. So what if you know about 2 people on the dancefloor; if the rest of them are nice, they’ll welcome mingling (and if they don’t, well, you can always trip them up at the end of the night). And if you get the chance to see 2manyDJs live, dance on the bass bins. It’s savage.
on in their career especially for their lively stage performance, a setting in which the bands songs work best. “Playing live is where its at. I think that’s important for all bands really, especially when they’re starting out. It’s a big part of what we do, and we try to give as much as we can.” Rehearsing in a former visiting room of Mountjoy prison, the guys remain down to earth about how they play their music. As with many Irish bands however, there is a danger of not having a distinctive sound. On this point the band are very conscious of the need for originality, as their sights are set higher than most bands doing the rounds. “Irish bands at the minute have a lot of talent, especially that core group of five or six leading the charge at the moment,” he says, “but we don’t want to be just another Irish band. We want to go on to something more than that.” They’re making a good start at it, having recently recorded in Grouse Lodge in Westmeath, a studio which has hosted the likes of Muse, R.E.M. and Bloc Party. The band plan to release the single “Bite the Bullet” within the month, and are playing Whelan’s the 29th of February.
Join the Club Extolling the virtues of the Rough Trade album club - music education for the masses. Words: Nicholas Hamilton
y little brother split from our two-man band, The Love Handles, a few years ago, when it became clear that I was not going to learn to play a musical instrument, only come up with silly lyrics for novelty songs and fantasise about the sorts of records we would make and things we would do when famous. Since the premature – some might say prenatal- demise of The Love Handles, however, I like to think that I have continued to wield a certain amount of influence over the musical development of my brother and his new band, making him tapes that open his ears to decent music and stear him more in the direction of My Bloody Valentine than My Chemical Romance. This Christmas, in what I imagine was an act more of recklessness and indifference than carefully considered generosity, he returned the favour by spending his entire budget for Christmas presents on a three-month subscription to the record shop Rough Trade’s Album Club, for me. Since the ascendancy of music downloading, record shops have had to think increasingly of ways to justify their existence and keep their heads above water. Specialist knowledge and a personal touch have both been identified as ‘unique selling points’ that might enable the humble, independent
record shop to survive. Previous visits to Rough Trade’s Notting Hill shop, in London, where staff were only too happy to advise on where I might find a record by 60’s Brazilian group, The Os Mutantes, as they did not have any themselves, and, on another occasion, were eager to hear first-hand reports from that weekend’s All Tomorrow’s Parties festival, have confirmed that Rough Trade has both of these qualities in spades. And, to the casual and admittedly infrequent observer, its tills rarely appear to be anything other than ringing reassuringly. However, rather than resting on its laurels or burying its head in the sand, Rough Trade is rolling with the technological punches. Last August it relaunched The Album Club, a concept first introduced in 2004. As part of the updated Album Club, staff at Rough Trade, through whose fingers and ears pass all of the most interesting new music, choose what they consider to be the ten hottest album releases of each month; for the price of £14 (£12, if you live in the U.K.), they send the best album of this bunch to members of The Club (in either MP3 or CD format) and make the remaining nine available to preview, at a special online members’ area. Those with a bit more cash to spare can choose to have all ten of Rough Trade’s recommendations sent out to them, or ask the staff to make a selection
he recent reformation of the Smashing Pumpkins (sans half of the original members) is an event that has been met with as much excitement as unease among fans. Despite the unquestionable awfulness of new album Zeitgeist (or Shitegeist as one TN2 contributor astutely dubbed it), live shows have been generally well received, which kept this reviewer quietly hopeful as he made his way to the Dublin show earlier on this month. Things started off rather well with Porcelina of the Vast Oceans, an inspired choice for set-opener, with its lengthy build-up and thundering chorus entry. Next song Behold! The Night Mare didn’t quite follow the trend, being passable album filler at best. It could be said that the rest of the night followed a similar pattern. At points, the band would raise the crowd to an ecstatic high with a thoroughly rocking rendition of the likes of Tonight, Tonight or Today. Invariably, though, such highs would be followed by token
of any number of records from the ten, based on their personal preferences. Anyone concerned that The Album Club might be a sly promotional tool for the wares of the Rough Trade, the record label, should be reminded that the shop and label, once joined, went their separate ways in 1982 and remain entirely separate entities. Previous albums of the month by artists as diverse as Richard Hawley, Ray LaMontagne, The Gossip, The Go! Team, TV on the Radio, Arcade Fire and Antony and the Johnsons, on a variety of different labels, give an indication of the quality of selection made by the shop’s sagacious musical judges. As a devotee of some time of Rough Trade’s excellent compilation albums, particularly the end-of-year ones, what could be better than to hear the work of artists that will make its way onto such best-of collections, in its entirety, the first time around. January brought the arrival, to the front door, of –as yet unreleasedHarpsichord Treacle by London-based duo, The Superimposers, of whom I had never heard, and a six-track sampler from their record label, Wonderfulsound. As the title suggests, the album is a heavily-layered, slowburning affair, which, although unlikely to trouble the charts in the way some previous albums of the month have, delivers 45 minutes of perfectly workedout and unseasonably summery pop sounds. As with all monthly deliveries, the package comes with a fold-out guide, in which the selected band gets the opportunity to discuss their influences and introduce their work to the public, unencumbered by the words of journalists, and the folks at Rough Trade profile the nine other albums available to preview (this month including new records by British Sea Power and Danny and the Champions of the World). With the possibility of listening to
up to ten new albums, many of them unreleased and by artists you have not yet heard of, there is no denying the excellence of The Album Club as a way of finding out about new music. However, the culture surrounding indie music –in which Rough Trade primarily deals- often appears to place as much importance on word-of-mouth and the process of discovering new music, as on the music itself, and The Album Club is unlikely to appeal to purists. Combining the postal service and internet, CDs and MP3s, The Album Club is thoughtfully perched between tradition and innovation, and sees Rough Trade carefully feeling its way into the future of a very uncertain industry. However, at a time when the viability of the format has never seemed more precarious, as a result of the singletrack, pick-and-mix culture made possible by downloading, perhaps the most surprising aspect of the concept is in the title: the album. Far from being incidental, Rough Trade’s website reveals that its decision to base the Club around albums –rather than individual tracks- is based on a high-minded and almost missionary commitment to the format: ‘Individual tracks’ , it explains, ‘are a terrific artistic statements, and have their own merit when compiled with an overlaying personalised or cultural theme context, but they are not as ultimately representative or rewarding for the listener as an artist album’. Hopefully, with innovative schemes such as The Album Club, independent record shops like Rough Trade and the musical formats we have become used to, and upon which the history of popular music is based, will still be around, in years to come, be enjoyed alongside the many new ways of listening to music currently being developed –and the CD (and maybe even compilation tape) will survive as possible Christmas presents for younger siblings.
LIVEREVIEW renditions of new material or, more disturbingly, fifteenminute long feedback-fuelled snore-fests, involving front man Billy Corgan stroking his Stratocaster against stacks and speakers with masturbatory glee. Unpleasant. Despite these reservations, I didn’t leave the gig feeling totally cheated out of sixty quid. First of all, the band were on stage for over two and a half hours, so they certainly played for their money. Despite a few questionable choices, they chose a refreshingly eclectic set, including wonderfully unexpected songs such as Lily (My One and Only) and the charming Thirty-Three b-side My Blue Heaven. They also knocked out new, heavier versions of old songs, such as Ava Adore and Daydream that worked remarkably well. This willingness to play about with the set and not to just churn out the hits was refreshing and, at times, surprisingly satisfying. A mixed night then, but by no means a disaster. My inner fourteen-year-old remains intact.
The Smashing Pumpkins RDS, 09/02/08 Words: Hugh McCafferty
Following Celebrity Fashion With the cult of the Celebrity stronger than ever, how much influence do the spoilt brats, rehab visiting musicians, and posh moguls have on our everyday wardrobe? Words: Patrice Marian Murphy
y this time of year, we all know what’s on trend in Trinity’s courtyards – flat boots, ballet pumps, miniskirts over tights, hippychic skirts, bold prints and tossed hair; Ugg boots and tracksuit bottom and tiny t-shirts prevail despite many objections. But do you know where you’re getting these ideas? OK, so it seems like D4s live in their own little (mansion-sized) cocoons and the queen bee sends an email on her diamante-incrusted blackberry to state what’s hot and what’s not in Donnybrook. For the rest of us little people though, we’re influenced by a number of things – the music we like, or the body shape we have, what time of the month it is (daddy’s deposit in = new clothes…), the weather, or how much walking is involved getting from classes to the Buttery and back… But one of the strongest influences is that of celebrity. You can be the one certain for Schols in your nuclear physics class, you can cite your biggest inspiration as Nelson Mandela, Susan Sarandon or even your own grandmother, you can have a strict no drink, no drugs, no sex policy – but if you wear black leggings and a oversized top, throw on a few plastic bangles and grab a pair of sunglasses going out the door, well I hate to tell you, but you’re channeling LA icons Lindsey Lohan, Mischa Barton and Hilary Duff. A few of you are reading this, standing in the Arts block in skinny coloured jeans or maybe even shiny leggings, short punky hair, a white t-shirt and clashing coloured cardigan, proud of being individual, inspiring and completely uninfluenced by contemporary designs….enter Henry Holland and Agyness Deyn. It’s enough to make you wonder if everyone is just copying everyone else? Kate Moss is one icon famous for her own style – but being a vintagejunkie, isn’t she just regurgitating previous decades trends? Sienna Miller is supposedly her arch nemesis, but if we showed you only their outfits, could you tell which was which? Dita Von Teese is another icon famous for shunning the blonde, tanned, size zero, jean-wearing label of celebrity…but the influence of the forties and fifties in everything she wears – albeit more risqué than would have been appropriate in ‘her’ era. And let’s not forget the epitome of
“fashion-obsessed celebrity”; Victoria Beckham is synonymous with clothes, labels and designer friends. Her recent dramatic hair-dos; from brown and highlighted, wavy high-maintenance extensions, to short sleek dark Pob, to bright bleach blonde and back to dark, should have seemed like a teenage crying out for attention, beauty and self-worth; but on her, nearly everyone loved it – or at least had an opinion. So much so that there were a wave of copy-cat-cuts, not unlike the Rachel-shag of the nineties; and lets not bring up Channelle of Big Brother whatever-number ‘fame’. Victoria can single-handedly create not only a stir in the tabloids or have a Gucci store closed down for her own private use; she influences us, the little people on the street. This year’s obsession with platform heels was seen on her way before they were seen in Barratts, and last summer’s bug-eyed glasses kept the paparazzi flashes from blinding her; yummy mummy uniforms of tight jeans and tiny t-shirt were undoubtedly her work (towering stilettos optional); and doesn’t everyone now recognize a crown on the pocket of jeans as Rock and Republic? Her name is constantly linked with high-end designers such as Roland Mouret and Roberto Cavalli, and her presence at any show gets that show at least a few always-appreciated column inches; so even though she may be abhorred by the press and is a love-her-orhate-her character for a majority of the public – she is undoubtedly an great influence on fashion for the masses. It seems we copy anyone who wins the favour of the tabloids – and even those who don’t; Amy Winehouse, constantly berated for everything from alleged eating disorders, unhealthy relationships, public breakdowns and drug problems, was recently pictured after a concert with a pre-teen fan sporting the gravity-defying beehives and big chav-‘chic’ claddagh earrings of her idol. In the US, the woman held responsible for the rise of super-young fashion icons; the Olsons, Lindsey, Mischa, Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton is Rachel Zoe – but again these girls are almost more famous for their friendships and parties, as well as their seemingly simultaneous weight loss and the beginning of the now infamous size zero trend, than any unique dress-sense or trend-radar. While these particular trends may be new to the noughties, the link with controversial celebrities and setting off a fashion trend is not so recent; consider Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain’s suicide or Noel and Liam Gallagher’s feud with Robbie and the nineties mega-trend for grunge, or Madonna and all her eighties controversies, and the subsequent trend
for crosses and goth-inspired clothes, David Bowie and the seventiess whole glam-rock theme made much of conventional society raise an eyebrow, while mod-style and Brit Pop, and the skinny suits and long hair of the Beatles was the talk of the sixties. Before that, Katherine Hepburn challenged forties perceptions by becoming known for wearing very masculine cuts and suits in a time when women were in full skirts and flowered prints. And of course, the pioneer of women’s fashion and promoter of women’s emancipation, Coco Chanel, created a Britney-like flurry of press when she began a trend for sunbathing and took women out of corsets and into the simple classic lines, suits and trousers we associate the brand with today. Perhaps it is fitting then, that the major trends that we follow on the highstreet all trickle down from a few people in the same position of authority as Miss Chanel once was. Hard as it is to believe that our decisions on what to wear to class on a drizzley spring day in Dublin, may actually stem from the decisions of a few mysterious ‘people’ two years before the store buyers get to pick out what Topshop/Pennys/River Island are going to sell; imagine how important this guy is to your wardrobe! These all-knowing people allow the store buyers to send forecasts to the fabric companies – so colour and textures are decided up to a year ahead of the trend; therefore the major fashion houses get a ‘book’ of inspiration of colour, prints, fabric swatches and even obvious style motifs…and they create their collections from this. While this obviously varies from continent to continent, and some brave designers choose to disregard it altogether, it does explain why so many runway shows end up showcasing the same thing with slight variations – apparently the designers who show the same trends within days of each other have not plucked the same inspirations from thin air. And with celebrities taking their stylist’s word as gospel, and stylists supporting their favourite designers, designers taking the trends from this future-seeing, mind-reading, trend-forecasting ‘oracles’, it seems our whole wardrobes are predestined not by who won an Oscar and what dress they wore, or who showed up to rehab with which must-have It bag or even what clothes a party girl was seen falling out of cabs in, or even out of. It seems everything we wear on the Trinity cobbles – and everywhere else in the world – was at one point chosen by a man in an office a couple of years ago.
Men who dare to skincare Cosmetics for Men? Here’s the Why, Where, and What’s-what of skincare and cosmetics for men. Words: Ciarán Durkan
ack in 2000 Christian Bale, aka Patrick Bateman, introduced his daily skincare regime, which included facial cleanser, a scrub, a detoxifying face mask, and moisturiser, a huge range of shower gels and scrubs, and a regular tanning session. You may have thought this was something simply afforded to the upper echelons of New York Society, yet this was set more than two decades ago, an adaptation of the book, written in 1991 by Bret Easton Ellis. Granted it was about a psychopath, but a psychopath with great skin. Since then, popular culture has seen the rise of the heterosexual male, someone who is supposed to be in touch with his feminine side, has an interest in fashion, and is not afraid to show it. In other cities around the world the idea of men investing time and money in a daily skincare regime would not cause the flutter of an eyelid, yet here in Ireland it is a completely different story. The research carried out in a recent article “New years guide to Makeup” revealed that none of the men interviewed had any kind of a skincare regime whatsoever. The general answer to ‘what do you use to wash your face with?” was, shockingly, “water”. It also should be noted that Irish women have some qualms about the whole thing, the fear of their boyfriend asking to borrow their Bobby Brown foundation, or Mac concealer has been mentioned a few times; but come on girls and boys, in this country, is that likely to happen any time soon? Oh and girls, if you’re worth it, he is too. Get over it! There are a few home truths that men in this country should wake up to. The Irish male, with his pallid complexion and fair skin, has many problems to overcome. The sun, albeit sparse in this country, can damage your skin, not to mention the harsh weather conditions of wind and rain that constantly attack our face. These factors
can lead to pre-mature ageing, dry skin, and wrinkles. There is no point in looking like a tired and jaded 40 year old at the age of 22, especially when there are things you can do to counteract this. There is a new market, which has opened up in the past 5 years, which caters to men’s skin, which is fundamentally different from women’s skin, and requires different products. Even if you have not noticed this personally, you must have seen the new ads for Nivea Visage for Men, or more recently L’Oreal Men Expert, which feature that guy what used to be in Party of Five, and our own Bond, Pierce Brosnan, admitting self worth when it comes to skincare. If nothing else, invest in a decent face wash and moisturiser. The Nivea Visage for Men range and even Boots own range are perfect, won’t break the bank and are available in your very own neighbourhood Boots. If you’re wondering boys, that’s on Grafton Street, after Burger King but before McDonalds. If you look tired and jaded, from a mad night out, or too much study, get an under eye cream; try Revitalizing Eye Relief, from Nivea for Men, which will help with puffiness and dark circles. And every man should have a lip balm of some description with them at all times. A favourite, due to its masculine gun-metal coloured stick, and its lack of taste and fragrance is Clinique for Men lip balm with spf15. This has been the norm for men internationally for years, and with the weather affecting the hydration of our face and lips it is essential to keep them moisturised to avoid chapping…..even if are man enough to put up with the pain and annoyance this causes, whoever you may be kissing has no desire to touch lips with something that has the texture of crunchy nut corn flakes. For the more adventurous, and to be honest, I think its time you all were, there are many other things that will help enhance your pasty complexion.
Irish summers are not noted for their long days of hazy sunshine, and concordantly Irish skin is not known for its tanning abilities. A tanning session is one option, but not very good for the skin, unless you are going for the leather handbag look, and we Irish have to be extra careful not to get burned. The other option is to fake it. I’m not talking San Tropezing yourself to match the strange orange colour of some of the girls you see walking around, but rather a moisturizer with a little self tanning lotion included. Recommended is L’Oreal Men Expert Anti-dull Skin, a facial moisturiser with self-tan. It works in an hour and just gives the skin a healthy glow, nothing more; believe me, its subtle. If you want to go the whole hog check out, Clinique, Clarins,Sisheido, Biotherm, Lancome and Dior for men. There is a huge variety to choose from. If you have ever wondered why men in magazines, in ads, on TV and in movies look so much better than the average man in Dublin, it’s because they are wearing make-up. I realise that this may be too much for some people to handle, and in the hands of some men out there, it could end up being a total disaster. There is makeup available for men, which has been formulated to match male skin, which is thicker and coarser than female skin. Foundation will give you an even skin tone, and reflects the light to make your skin look brighter and healthier. This is certainly harder to come by in Ireland, but it is out there. Jean Paul Gautier, perhaps the first mainstream label to launch a men’s cosmetics range has powder foundations, lip-balms, and Sharp Eyes, a great pen that contains concealer and eyeliner, and is worn by Robbie Williams, and everyone’s favourite Ubersexual David Beckham. If nothing else, at least get yourself a cheap concealer from Rimmel, it will cover any blemishes and spots so they don’t stand out so red-raw on the white canvas that is your face!
BOOKSP12 Paul Earlie surveys the life of a wartime novelist whose work, like so many others of the period, has only recently begun to surface.
Remembering Irène Némirovsky
he last few years have seen a slew of English translations of works by authors previously revered solely in their mother countries. The 'rediscovery' of authors such as the Hungarian writer Sándor Márai (whose novel Embers caused a stir in the publishing world five years ago and was adapted for the London stage in 2006) seems to run counter to the logic of those who decry the gradual effacement of minority literatures at the hands of the anglophone juggernaut. No author seems to have benefited more from this literary treasure hunt than Irène Némirovsky, whose first four novels have just been published in an attractive hardback volume by Everyman's Library. Publishing her first novel, David Golder, at the age of twenty-six, Némirovsky was born in Kiev in 1903 to one of Russia's wealthiest bankers and a youthobsessed mother who insisted on dressing her daughter up as a schoolgirl until well into her teens in order to assuage a pathological fear of her own fading youth. From the beginning, Irène lived a life of privilege and luxury, leaving the Ukraine every summer for the Crimean coast, Biarritz, Saint-Jeande-Luz, Hendaye or the French Riviera. When the Bolsheviks put a price on Irène's father's head after the October Revolution, the family were forced into hiding. Escaping across the border disguised as Russian peasants, the
Némirovskys fled to Finland, then, as the Bolsheviks moved ever nearer, to Sweden, and eventually settled in Paris in early 1919. Irène took to the French capital with ease. She enrolled at the Sorbonne and graduated with a distinction in literature. During these years, as all through her teens, she indulged a passion for writing and applied herself with characteristic single-mindedness to her work. Sending her stories to magazines, she published a novella in 1927 called L'Enfant génial which described the seduction of an aristocrat by a young Jewish boy from the slums of Odessa. Irène had no trouble assimilating herself into Parisian high society. In January 1924, she wrote to a friend: 'I'm behaving like a madwoman, it's shameful. I dance all night long. Every evening there are very chic entertainments in different hotels, and as my lucky star has blessed me with a few handsome young men, I'm enjoying myself very much indeed.' By 1926 she had married 'a small dark-haired man with a very swarthy expression' by the name of Michel Epstein. The two moved to a beautiful apartment on the Left Bank, where Irène's first daughter Denise was born in 1929. In the meantime, Irène continued working. By 1939, she had nine novels under her belt, her first, David Golder, having already been turned into a film. A law passed in October 1940 gave Jews an inferior legal and social
On 13 July 1942, the inevitable happened: Irène was arrested and after a brief internment, she was deported to Auschwitz, where she died.
five sections, according in rhythm and tone. She wrote on the top of the first page 'I do not lack the courage to complete the task/ But the goal is far and time is short.' On 3 June, she set out her Will, giving precise instructions as to how her children should be provided for, even going so far as to provide details of their diet for their doctor. On 13 July 1942, the inevitable happened: the French police came knocking at the Némirovskys' door. Irène was arrested and after a brief internment in a concentration camp at Pithiviers in the Loiret region, she was deported to Auschwitz. Upon arrival, she was registered at the extermination camp at Birkenau, where she died on 17 August 1942. In July she had written to her editor with intimations that she would not survive the war: 'My dear friend... think of me sometimes. I have done a lot of writing. I suppose they will be posthumous works, but it helps pass the time.' The survival of the manuscript of Suite Francaise and various other works is something of a miracle, given the turbulence of the times. Most thanks go to Irène's daughter Denise, who rescued many of her mothers writings and put them in a suitcase as she fled Issy-l'Evêque. Though some of the urgency of these works has dimmed in the sixty or so years that have elapsed since Némirovsky's death, the brilliance with which they describe France remains undimmed.
standing, meaning that Michel no longer had the right to work and publishing houses were now forbidden to publish Irène's work. Forced to wear the Jewish star, Irène and Michel eventually fled the capital and found a large house to rent in the country. Here, Irène took to taking long walks in the countryside and working in the open air. It was during this time that she began work on her most ambitious project to date, a sequence of five novels which would be known as Suite Francaise. Taking Beethoven's Fifth as a model, Irène envisaged a book constructed like a symphony, written in
P13BOOKS Walk the Blue Fields
Burning Your Boats
Author: Claire Keegan
Author: Angela Carter
Author: Colm Tóibín
Publisher: Faber and Faber
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Walk the Blue Fields is a controlled meditation on modern Ireland: all the standard fodder of the Irish short story is present and accounted for (the priest, the adulterous wife, the farmer) yet Keegan's treatment of her characters never seems clichéd or laboured. A good collection to start with if the reader is looking to figure out where exactly the Irish short story is nowadays, and in what direction it's heading.
Aside from nine novels written very much in the grotesque vein, Angela Carter was also a seasoned short story writer, publishing four collections during her lifetime and contributing a vast amount of uncollected material to magazines and other publications. With an introduction by Salman Rushdie (another inimitable stylist), the forty-two stories collected here are mostly written in Carter's dense, sometimes showy language, so the reader is advised to keep a weighty dictionary handy.
Dating DIY T
Mothers and Sons
he Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Dating and Sex is the sort of book you'd expect to find gracing the tables of Urban Outfitter's home-ware section: it's overthe-top, just a little crude, the kind of book which inexplicably goes missing once you stop hiding it under your mattress and start proudly displaying it on your bookshelf. As the books three authors point out in the Introduction, what distinguishes mankind from the animal kingdom is not trivial things like morality or free will, but the culture of courtship: 'In nature, there are no singles bars, personal ads, safe lunches, or blind dates.' The book at least gets brownie points for daring to be different: if there are thousands of books out there which tell you how to find Mr. or Mrs. Right, this book will tell at least you how to escape from Mr. or Mrs. Wrong. The authors (David, Josh and Jennifer - Jennifer apparently added for good measure) have done their homework. Instead of coming up with solutions to common dating afflictions (how to spot breast implants, for instance) off their own bat, the authors have consulted various experts in their fields: sex therapists, etiquette instructors, CIA and FBI agents, lawyers, bartenders, psychologists, emergency medical instructors, nutritionists, college professors, barbers, fashion consultants, dermatologists - all are accounted for in
some way or another. So, for example, the founder of Breast Augmentation and Breast Implants Information (www.implantinfo.com), Nicole Cummings, is drafted in to identify genuine fakes (here the advice is simple: if it looks to good to be true, it probably is) and a former CIA intelligence agent is consulted for tips on how to make a quick getaway from a disastrous date ('borrow flour from the kitchen to lighten or gray your hair colour'). Admittedly, a lot of the advice occupies a bizarre grey area between tongue-in-cheek humour and serious, Honest Abe advice. Chapter One ('Defensive Dating'), for example, opens with a step-by-step guide to determining if your date is an axe-murderer or not: 'Axe murderers are usually Caucasian males in their twenties and thirties. They frequently behave cruelly towards animals and may also be obsessed with fire or matches.' The solution, if you suspect your latest squeeze of keeping body parts in his unusually roomy freezer, is of course to 'obtain his social security number and investigate him. Call the Federal Prison Locator Service to determine if he was ever incarcerated. Many online companies can aid in financial reports or tracking down previous addressees. You may also want to enlist the services of a private detective.' The trouble with a lot of the advice here is that it almost makes
Tóibín's 2006 collection of stories is a surprisingly nuanced reflection on that most sacred of familial relationships. While the relationship between son and mother is important to the stories, it is in no way foregrounded; instead, Tóibín often leaves the intricacies of the relation to be teased out by the able and willing reader. Tóibín's modern Ireland is a mix of old and new, where a trad session in one story quickly gives way to a beach-side, drug-fuelled rave in another.
Learning how to fend for yourself in the dating wilderness with the Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook. Words: Andrew Lynch
Chapter One ('Defensive Dating'), opens with a step-bystep guide to determining if your date is an axe-murderer or not.
the victim into the aggressor, as the axe murderer is just as likely to be turned off by an obsessive stalker as the stalker is by the axe murderer. Nevertheless, there's a lot to mull over here. Some of the advice is actually quite solid and well thought out. For example, the authors recommend three different methods of escaping from a bad date. Aside from faking an emergency (the book recommends the entirely plausible "My boss just called she's in Seattle for a major presentation, and has lost all her files. I have to email them to her immediately"), the unlucky singleton can 'slip away unnoticed' (by
changing their appearance somehow), excuse yourself and climb out the bathroom window, or even make inappropriate comments about the suitor's ethnicity. The advice seems to be laid out so that more extreme situations come later in the book, culminating in what seems like the ultimate act of romantic desperation: 'How to Stop a Wedding' : 'If you do not have the courage to speak up during the ceremony, feign a seizure' or pull the fire alarm or prevent the signing of the wedding license or, in the most desperate of situations, try and prevent the marriage being consummated: 'Find out where the bride and groom are planning to spend the first night and profess your love one last time. If that fails, your only hope is divorce.' The book closes with a useful Appendix, which includes a template for the 'It's Not You, It's Me' letter, a list of 'useful excuses' ('Not tonight I have a meeting. I'm too drunk. I'm not drunk enough. I'm gay. I'm straight. I buy it for the articles. I warned you about me. It won't stain) and a list of pick-up lines best avoided: 'Do you have a mirror in your pants? Because I can see myself in them.' If nothing else, The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Dating and Sex makes an excellent gift, to yourself or any of your more romantically-challenged friends.
Player’s plays We take a look back at some of the shows produced by the Players themselves in this past term. Words: Polly Graham and Kevin Brazil
Fish Sandy With the Lovely Interludes
ish Sandy With The Lovely Interludes is a new play written in two parts, one by Brian Martin and the other by Michael Carroll. The drama moves between two scenes and two contrasting worlds; interior and exterior, realistic and fantastical. The realistic locus is a psychiatrist’s office, the fantastical is a wood inhabited by talking, man-sized birds. However lest the audience jump too quickly to the simplistic conclusion that in one world everything is normal and the other strange, Martin’s set encourages us to be aware of overlaps. Branches from the wood extend into Sandra’s office, and the water machine from the
The Three Birds
rom Achilles to Oedipus, classical myth continues as a source of inspiration for contemporary playwrights, and Week 5 saw the production of The Three Birds by Joanna Laurens, a former RSC writer in residence, directed by Tara Robinson. The play retells the story of Tereus’ rape of Philomela, but this production focused less on the graphic details of the violence, and more on Laurens’ expressive, poetic language. Polly Graham, playing Procne, achieved this through languid, seductive movements around the stage, mirroring her character’s passionate, fluid, alliterative language. The set design by Colm Mc Nally contributed to this sense of fluidity, allowing the Chorus to weave between the audience’s seats as they narrated parts of the play with words and movement or stylised gestures. The Chorus’ language too, was striking: like
paparazzi, they hounded Procne for interviews and pictures of her baby, Itys, who was intriguingly played by a puppet. Although the production eschewed bloodier aspects of the story, representation of violence was effective in the sharp changes from comedy to tragedy. The building, credibly akward escalation of Noah Wright’s Tereus’ passion for Philomela shifted the mood of the drama unalterably as he clumsily raped her and cut out her tongue, fearing her threats to announce his crime to the world. In a play preoccupied with linguistic experimentation, perhaps the most moving moment was seeing the silenced Philomela, powerfully played by Mo Loughman, alone on stage desperately striking and smacking the walls and floor in a fultile attempt to be heard. More than anything, this communicated the raw emotional impact of this millenia old myth to the twenty first century.
office finds itself amidst woodland thickets. This complexity is manifest elsewhere, too. The success of the apparently realistic scene depended on Adam’s elaborate stories of his immediate family and their various demises, which engaged the audience’s imagination. Manus Halligan’s performance as Adam rose to the virtuoso demands of the elaborate language and complex characterization, moving from an endearing oddball, a favourite of his psychiatrist (played endearingly straight by Amelia Singer), to a sinister murderer as the plot of Martin’s vignette unfolded. The world of the birds was harder to enjoy, despite the strong comic paring of
Kate Brower and Sam Coll. In this fantastical sphere language seemed emptied of meaning as the birds exchanged word games and anecdotes without conviction. They served as a contrast to Adam, who was so successful a deceiver because he believed so strongly in the stories he spun. The birds also seemed to be a lapsed version of Adam and Eve (echoing Adam’s reference to his sister – “I know, I know, Adam and Eve”), wading through dead leaves in a wintry, brittle wood, sounding the hollowness of language into nonsense. Carroll’s vignette was perhaps more daring, but ultimately was overshadowed by Martin’s half of the stage.
Dr Faustus As part of the Players 75th anniversary
r Faustus has been a production much anticipated this term. Dan Herd’s production, part of the Players 75th Anniversary celebrations was specially funded and commissioned by Players. When one doesn’t have to pay actors or hire a venue, 1200 euro seems a large budget. On entering the theatre, it seemed to have been well spent. Colm McNally’s set “in the round” literally drew the audience into Faustus’ world; the audience took seats around the edge of the wooden floored stage space, turning around to discover they were
hile it could easily be suggested that the familiar tale of Romeo and Juliet has been done to death, Jason Byrne clearly begs to differ as he brings the play into its first ever full length production at the Abbey. His difference of opinion however, does not appear to stem from the same old platitudes that we continually hear about Shakespeare's most famous play, such as love is timeless, their love is eternal etc. Rather his fascination with the play emerges from his assertion that there are elements of the play that have been ignored or forgotten, that have been lost in its familiarization. This is evidenced in the production, in which Byrne delves deep into the realms of the forgotten, and in particular, the dark web of irrational hatred and resentment surrounding the conflict between the Capulets and Montagues. The extreme use of violence on stage and the vast amount of swords, knives and guns, jilt the audience out of their comfort zone and question our expectations of the play. We are reminded that, contrary to our romantic associations with Romeo and Juliet, it is an extremely violent play. Romeo and Juliet's love, while presented as pure and possessing a kind of childish innocence, is set in a backdrop of lies, hatred and murder. Byrne effectively establishes this contrast by setting it up as a play of polarization. From the moment the audience enter the auditorium, we are aware of desolation and hatred. The stage is shadowy; shadows cast by an infiltration of purple light hitting
between Faustus’ book shelf and the stage it self, this promised to be an engrossing experience. However as the play unfolded, apart from Dave McEntagart’s strong, frenzied rendition of the Doctor at its centre, the essentials of the drama seemed to have been sacrificed for the extras. Marlowe’s poetry was repeatedly drowned out by the sound design, which insisted on an atmosphere of melodrama. The casting and initial direction of Mephistophales was interesting; played as a seductress who did not look at the Doctor until she chillingly announced, “Why this is hell,
scaffolding. The scaffolding forms the balcony on which that famous scene shall be played out but in this instance it seems foreboding, a dark space that predicts the tragic outcome of forbidden love. The juxtaposition of the traditional and the contemporary is striking; the virginal figure of Juliet, played by Gemma Reeves, stands out against an industrial backdrop. This gothic, dark atmosphere is reinforced by the sordidness of the masquerade ball (complete with DJ), making the lovers (Aaron Monaghan playing Romeo to Reeves’ Juliet) seem purer. Their love is however, horribly tainted by the unexplained feud and its repercussions, and this is what Byrne seeks to expose. The 21-strong cast including talents such as Liam Carney, Peter Gaynor and Karl Shiels, makes this production compelling. While the themes that are essentially exhumed by Byrne make the story worth retelling and the production worth attending, my one complaint might stem from the uncertainty of the setting. While Byrne's decision to refrain from setting the play anywhere in particular can be appreciated, the mix-matching of costumes and styles was confusing and distracted from the action, especially in the case of Juliet’s skinny jeans. One glance at them and I was teleported out of this gothic fairytale and back to the everyday. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare opened Tuesday 12th February and runs until Saturday 22nd March. 8pm; Saturday matinees 2.30pm.
With such a valiant performance from Dave McEntegart, one only wished to have been a closer witness to Faustus’ downfall
nor am I out of it”, but as the play continued, neither Mephistophales or Lucifer was sufficiently sinister. Members of the ensemble who played the pageant of the vices, the pope, his cardinals, and other cameos should be commended. Bri Fitzpatrick’s Pope and Cristin Kehoe’s especially geriatric cardinal brought important comic relief before Faustus’ final and full realization of his damnation. Much of the potential in Marlowe’s powerful ending, particularly the delivery of the last soliloquy, which could have been so terrifying on an empty stage, after the elaborate figures of the pageant had disappeared, was lost. Faustus did not seem alone – the intrusive presence of technical sensation distracted from the Doctor’s destruction, and we were left, bereft of Marlowe’s words which are the reason why this play is immortal. With such a valiant performance from Dave McEntegart, one only wished to have been a closer witness to Faustus’ downfall.
Digging up a classic Words: Kathy Clarke
Photo by Ros Kavanagh, courtesy of The Abbey Theatre.
Words: Nicholas Hamilton
A blast from the past
ollowing on from Barry Flanagan’s hare sculptures, which bounced their way down the capital’s main thoroughfare two years ago, on the occasion of the gallery’s reopening, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane has once again decided to extend itself beyond its Parnell Square premises, as part of its centenary celebrations, with four new works by British artist, Julian Opie, on O’Connell Street. As before, Opie’s installations oppose the southerly orientation of Daniel O’Connell, Jim Larkin and the other national figures commemorated on the street; as well as enlivening the public’s experience of the capital, the intention being to guide people north, past the Garden of Remembrance, to where the final part of the installation marks the entrance to the gallery. The twin celebratory and guiding functions of Opie’s pieces are, however, where similarities with the Hugh Lane’s previous foray down O’Connell Street stop. Opie’s practise involves the use of computer software to create simplified, highly stylised portraiture. He is best known for his portraits of the four members of Blur, for the front cover of their greatest hits album, though it is his work on the famously dramatic stage sets and lightshows of another band, U2, which are most relevant here. For the matterof-factly titled Julian Opie: Walking on
O’Connell Street, the artist has employed the LED (light-emitting diode) technology most commonly used for illuminated advertising and street signs (perhaps not the best medium for catching the attention of the public in this country, you might think, given our appalling record on road safety), to create five, individual, animated portraits of people, including himself, walking down the street –and, in one case, dancing. Spread out, in between the sculptures, on the central median of O’Connell St. and visible, on double-sided light boxes, to people on both sides of the road, the large, simplified, orange images look like coolerthan-usual, escaped traffic signal men and women. Walking on O’Connell Street is not Opie’s first time using LED technology; the medium constitutes a large part of his practise, with work in the same style on display across the globe. While the results are funky and visually arresting, in the context of the Hugh Lane’s project, they also seem obvious and annoyingly explicit. The gallery’s decision to commission, and the artist’s to execute, work in a style that is so clearly based on traffic signs and street symbols, for a project where a large part of the motivation is to guide the public to the gallery door, is hardly what can be called subtle. Exhibited outdoors, on pedestals and visible from the two main points of view from which people experience
sculpture on the street, though only twodimensional, Walking on O’Connell St. deliberately flouts traditional categories of art. Unsurprisingly, this exhibiting in three dimensions of work that is two-dimensional, using a double-sided light box that is about a foot thick and screwed down to a prefabricated concrete block, is extremely awkward. Surely it would have been better to exhibit the work flat against a wall or without a pedestal, like an ad box. (While on the subject of advertising, it has to be said that discovery, on arrival at the Hugh Lane, that there is no exhibition by the artist whose work attracted you there in the first place–though, admittedly, plenty of other excellent work- is a letdown and feels akin to false advertising.) Opie’s installations contradict everything about the sculptures with which they share O’Connell Street: through their modernity, movement, technology, scale, but, most of all, beside all of the street’s important historical personages, through their anonymity. Whereas we can see Daniel O’Connell’s chubby cheeks, William Smith O’Brien’s mutton chops and Sir John Gray’s dour expression, Opie leaves the heads of his figures, the most identifying feature of the body, blank –an empty bubble floating above the body. The installations are distinguishable from each other only by their schematic clothes (t-shirt and
shorts, suit and tie etc.) and short, limited movements, which are looped infinitely. The insistence of the pieces’ titles that, despite their generic appearance, they are in fact portraits, based on real individuals, like the sculptures that surround them, is disquieting. It raises the issue, not only of the nature and source of individuality, but also of the very possibility of its existence in modern, globalised, capitalist society. The pieces inquire whether there really is such a thing as individuality when, around the world, people watch the same TV programmes and films, listen to the same music and wear the same clothes, or whether society has been reduced to a finite number of easily identifiable types, or target markets; and question the relevance and viability of portraiture of the type represented by the sculpture around it, in such a society. Despite some questions about the form and execution of the work, Walking on O’Connell St. is undeniably arresting and cool; it shakes up the dull, conservative nature of the other work on O’Connell Street and asks probing questions about the nature of individuality and representation, of those willing to pause, for a second, from their busy journeys. For this reason, it seems a shame that the Hugh Lane has not continued its projects on O’Connell Street on a more regular basis.
When Art and Fashion collide
Words and photograph: Caroline O’Leary
JACK B. YEATS- Highlights from the Model Arts and Niland Gallery, Sligo, including tow of his outstanding Civil War paintings at the Yeats Museum in the National Gallery of Ireland. (8th March – 30th November 2008)
ashion and art have always been closely tied. Both require their creator’s creativity, originality, skill and talent to create a piece that is truly spectacular and unique. Many designers training includes classes in fine art such as painting, sculpture and installation work, which seems to greatly influence modern fashion design. This influence can particularly be seen in the growing trends in Haute Couture fashion, which have gradually drifted from wearable outfits to include examples of a designer’s own creativity and with many pieces emerging that are more sculptural that wearable. Designers such as Christian Lacroix and Jean-Paul Gautier are famous for incredible creations that exhibit their skill, imagination and constructive talents, but are practically un-wearable off the catwalk. The Lightwear fashion show, which took place in Trinity College’s own Science Gallery on the 9th February, was a perfect example of harmony between fashion and art. The outfits featured were all created specifically for the Gallery exhibition by the National College of Art and Design, who amalgamated fashion, textiles, technology and art to create these beautiful and unconventional pieces. Styles varied from romantic, full length gowns to sculpted, bodyfitted catsuits and everything in between from intricate cocktail dresses to plastic boiler suites. The one element this variety retained in common was the incredible and fantastical way they incorporated the theme of light into their design. Over 30 third year fashion and textile students worked on the dresses featured, each of which had its own distinct design and method of illumination. Faye Rochford, a third year fashion student, described how her “Knitwear” dress was made explaining “The aim of all the dresses was to be sculptural but also wearable so the models could move around. I have always been interested in knitwear so my dress is constructed from knitted plastic incorporating reflective yarn, with a jersey dress underneath printed in sections with luminous dye.” In this way the dress reflected the light in the room in three different ways, changing the effect continually as the model moved and emphasising the luminous and reflective quality of the materials. Other dresses involved different modes of lighting, from light bulbs to light reflective fabrics, electroluminescent wire to fibre optic fibres woven
UNIQUE ACT- Selected works by Sean Scully, Carmengloria Morales, Ruth Root, Seán Shanahan and Frederic Thursz which explores works that are painted out of necessity. Douglas Hyde Gallery (11th March– 25th May 2008) LOTHAR HEMPLE AND CLAUDE CAHUNMixed Media scenes and Surrealist
into the material. Most impressive of all was the “Kinetic Dress”, which comprised of an evening gown embedded with electroluminescent embroidery and sensors that detect the wearer’s movements. The dress gave the appearence of a simple black gown as the model stood still, but the instant she moved, the skirt began to glow with shimmering blue circles that gained in intensity the more rapid movement. Though assigned to plinths throughout the gallery, the models regularly walked around in the crowd and changed spaces, giving the dresses a different context and dimension. In this show, the line between fashion and art become so imperceptible that it is impossible to separate the two. Each dress in itself was a work of art, constructed by the designer’s imagination into practically a material sculpture of ruffles, curves and cuts. The light elements not only looked amazing and demonstrated the technology, but also enhanced the dresses by highlighting the silhouette, the cut and construction of the dress and the outfit as a whole. A cross between modern light installations and the highest couture fashion, these designs epitomise modern ideas and questions the ideas of what is truly classified as “art” and “fashion”. The exhibition was directed by the acclaimed Irish fashion designer Ciarán Sweeney. Sweeney was personally delighted with the show, stating “It was a great pleasure for me to be asked to produce Lightwear at the science gallery. Fashion is at its most powerful when people interact with it and converse around it. The reaction to the event was highly positive from students, independent designers, models and the audience. I envisage that this is only the start of science gallery's association with fashion and I commend the team at the gallery for their massive work on Lightwave in general.” The Lightwear show is an example of how modern art should be- interactive, tangible, accessible and aesthetically interesting. Viewers can relate to the everyday association with clothes and appreciate the progressive and artistic elements the show introduces. So pleased was Sweeney with the show that he stated he will be back in Trinity at the end of May to produce the NCAD graduate show. This event is open to the public but sells out very quickly and details available at www.ncad.ie. However wonderful the show will be, it will have a difficult time living up to the originality and impact of the Lightwear show.
photography by the two artists. Douglas Hyde Gallery, Trinity. (until the 6th March) (I’M ALWAYS TOUCHED) BY YOUR PRESENCE, DEAR- 37 new acquisitions by the Irish Museum of Modern Art (since 2003) including a variety of important artists and media. (until 2nd March)
MAURIZIO BONFANTI- exhibition of the artists new incredible life drawing images. Gormleys Fine Art Gallery, South Frederick Street, Dublin 2. (21st February–8th March) ERIN DE BURCA, URBAN SOLITUDE- unique perspective oil paintings of Dublin City at the Bad Art Gallery, 79 Francis Street, Dublin 8. (6th March)
Nothing common about Commons Words: Beth Armstrong The dining hall may serve “common” food during lunch, but come the evening, it’s a far classier affair. Photo: Caroline O’Leary
ne of the upsides of becoming a Scholar (apart from the rent-free accommodation on campus) is the free, three course dinner served every night as part of the Scholar package. Commons, as the experience is known, is a tradition centuries old, and unknown to many students, it available to all non-scholars within the student body. Having been told it was an experience worthy of Harry Potter, I decided to give it a go, appropriately on the evening J.K. Rowling was in town. It has to be said, commons is expensive. It costs 19 Euro to attend, which seems a lot for a dinner which lasts no more than one hour. However, I parted with my cash at the Enquiries Office (situated in West Chapel, just beside the Exam Hall) and signed up to eat, which must be done before 3pm on the day you wish to dine. Having persuaded a scholarly member of my class to baby-sit me through the experience I met her at 6pm at the Dining Hall, with Commons served at precisely 6.15pm. Unlike the self-service lunchtime option available in the Dining Hall, commons is served to you, so we
took our seats among the students, with the High Table reserved for Fellows of the College, dressed in their academic gowns. Then came the scraping of seats as everyone stood for the Latin Grace. Not really understanding anything (Trinity? Elizabeth I?) it was short, and respected (with none of the unruly Scholar behaviour as reported of late) with food being served immediately after. Glasses of Guinness and jugs of water were placed on the tables, and the first course, a non-descriptive vegetable soup with croutons, was served with a bread roll. It was grand - standard Buttery fare. The main course was roast beef with yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes and creamed cauliflower. Again it was good, though reminded me of school dinners. The vegetarian option, which I have been informed isn’t usually the most inventive, was a courgette and spinach Tartlet, which looked great. Dessert was sticky toffee pudding, with butterscotch sauce and cream, and it was delicious, with fruit also available. All in all the food on offer was grand, though had the aura of school meals. This isn’t a bad thing, in fact it is arguably comforting, but not something I’d
necessarily want every night. The meal ended at 7.15pm, with Grace again being said, and everyone leaving straight away. Talking to the scholars as I ate my meal it seemed unanimous that the meal was great for them, being free. Although E19 for a three course meal is very reasonable, with a spare 19 Euros, it may be more appealing to try out some of Dublin’s many eating establishments if it is adventurous food you are after. However, on the traditional side of things, Commons was great. To eat in the historic Dining Hall, with the faces of Trinity’s past staring down at you, among academics in gowns, and Latin verse sounding out, it certainly is a Potter-esque experience. Eugene McGovern, the Trinity Catering Manager agrees that it certainly is an experience that all Trinity students should enjoy. The tradition of Commons is an ancient one, written into the College Statutes - so much so it was even served (albeit in the Exam Hall) when a fire destroyed the Dining Hall a number of years ago. Mr McGovern realises however, that the 19 Euro cost, for an hour long meal can stop students trying out the Commons experience. He
notes that several of Trinity’s clubs and societies do host annual commons dinners, and cites this as a way to experience Commons at cheaper prince. Alternatively, he suggests that if a group of students are interested on attending Commons together, they should contact the Catering Department to see if it is possible to arrange a lower price, which seems like an excellent suggestion. Another way Mr McGovern suggests students try Commons is by attending Commencement Commons, which allows students, on their Graduation day, to attend commons with their family, for a price. With a day full of historical customs, it is a lovely idea to mark the end of your time at College by showing your family one of the traditions of Trinity. To think of the past Trinity Fellows and students who have eaten in that room, at the same time, followed the same traditions, and heard the same Grace certainly makes you appreciate the uniqueness and venerableness of Trinity. It truly is an experience which should be had at least once during your time at College. With thanks to Aoife Beirne
Reasonable fare in trendy Ranelagh
eciding to leave the confines of D2 for a dinner out with the girls, we opted to head to Ranelagh, a village with many culinary delights to chose between. After a long conversation on the type of food we wanted to eat… burgers, Thai, Italian… Café Bar Deli was deemed the winner. With three other restaurants around town (including on Grafton Street) it was maybe a bit silly to Luas-it out to Ranelagh to have a go at the pizza and pastas on offer, however with a menu promising great food, served with style and at reasonable prices it looked good. The restaurant was hiving, with was definitely a good sign, and with a kitchen completely open view to all the diners, the hustle and the bustle was mighty, if not a bit too much with the occasional crash of broken dishes interrupting our meal. The menu, was as promised varied and reasonable. On the wine front, the house options were priced at €5.50 a glass. Though per beaker would perhaps be more appropriate, as when the red wine for the table arrived it was served a la Italian rustic country style. The red French Cabernet sauvignon and the Argentinean Shiraz were chosen, each easily drinkable. On the food front, we opted to share a starter of Garlic pizzettes with herb oil, sea-salt and rosemary. These were delicious, crispy and flavoursome and the two pizettes were plenty for four people, and reasonable at €6. We all went for pizzas for our main course, with the parsley, garlic oil, mozzarella, sliced potatoes rosemary,
sea-salt and parmesan one option chosen. This alternative pizza choice (potatoes on a pizza?) came in at €12 and looked interesting - completely white, with no tomato base. Although the potatoes were impeccably flavoured, it was felt that the lack of tomato made this a weird, but still yummy choice. Two of us went for the Tomato, mozzarella, roasted red peppers, pine nuts, goats cheese and basil pesto pizza, though with added pepperoni on mine in an effort to chose at least one manly dish. The goats cheese and pesto combination was delicious, with one plate scraped clean, although the added richness of the pepperoni ensured it wasn’t mine! The pizza was €14, with €2 extra for the meat. A tomato, mozzarella, rocket, sun dried tomatoes, Italian ham and parmesan pizza was chosen, at €15 the most expensive at the table. With added mushrooms, it was described as delicious. With the portions so huge most of us couldn’t finish our meals, so we initially thought dessert would be out. However, a peek at the menu changed our minds. We ordered two of the chocolate brownies and ice-creams to share, at €7 each. They were huge, but scrumptious and both plates were cleared. The bill divided up to just over €20 each. We left feeling hugely full! Beth Armstrong 62 Ranelagh Village Dublin 6 Tel: 496 1886
ENDNOTESP20 Mrs Fixit More than friends
Dear Mrs Fix-It,
Dear Sarah, I can only hope tha t this is a habit you’ ll grow out of soon. While it’s all well and good to na p during house parties, there will come a time when you’re at a party which has no beds available. Unless yo u train yourself to have a small nap in the bathroom (whic h could lead to concerns that you had passed out and ensuing embarrassing expla nations), the situatio ns in which sleeping through a party is acceptable are only going to dwindle in number until you reach old age. Though, when you are elderl y, it’s more than alr ight to go back to your old habits of having a sneaky sn ooze. So really, you’ve only got to figure out a short-t erm solution for between the ages of 21-60. That’s 39 na p-free years. I’m sure you can hand le that, right?
Young Man, It’s your own fault that you’re in this had a pickle. You knew full well that you new this up ck stru you n whe d rien girlf that friendship. I note from your letter pal new r you to en spok you’ve never while sober- is he actually an ly interesting person, or, at best, mild I As ? lved reso be it amusing? Need tion can only inac r you of s ence equ cons the can see, go on. days the as s grow more and more hilariou rself the you save ewhil ther ano Perhaps leave it for ss that’s dne awkwar hassle and maximise on the social ks. wee bound to follow in the coming
Have you got problems of your own that need fixing? Email Mrs Fixit at firstname.lastname@example.org
Competition! We’ve got a pair of tickets to see Foals play live at The Academy in April to give away to one lucky reader, and entering couldn’t be simpler. Just be the first person to e-mail email@example.com telling us why you think you’re cool enough to get them!
S.U. Elections: It’s now a 3 horse race, and with Rob Donohue running, it promises to be anything but boring.
Real men take care of themselves when it comes to skincare. We tell you why, how and what. FASHION P10
I am 21 years old. I very much enjoy parties, and I get invited to many of them. However, I’m unable to get through an entire party without a na p. For example, the other evening I was at a party fro m 11pm- 5 am, and went for thre e separate naps. O n the one hand, my need for sleep is mildly embarra ssing, yet on the other hand, after each nap I awake energised and ready to have fun again. Have you an y suggestions as to how to remedy this problem? Sleepily, Sarah.
Dear Mrs Fix-It, ndid. We I have made a new friend. He is sple got on and t nigh one out met while we were his art to me ted invi then He . well ly extreme of lots k dran show, and we hung out and only The y. part a to t wine. Then we wen his problem is that I’m not sure what riend, intentions are. I have a long-term girlf ts me wan chum new my and I get the feeling est inter his tion ques I If d. frien to be his boy charming my lose I’ll n mea that does me, in it, new companion? If I don’t question I’d re? futu the in ster disa could it lead to very he’s p, dshi frien the of go let not rather amusing. Perturbed in Portmarnock
Sunny Weather: Hurray Hurray Hurray Hurray.
Tesco Online: They’ll deliver your shopping to your house for a minor fee. No more carrying bags of groceries around town.
Hawley Arms Is No More: Fires in Camden have destroyed both the notorious pub and most of the Lock Market. What’ll the minigoths, indie-kids and tourists do now?
The Lightwave Gallery: Basically an empty nightclub. Waste. Of. Money.
Cover Versions: Alterna-hasbeens New Found Glory have covered Sixpence None The Richer’s ‘Kiss Me’. All kinds of wrong.
Published on Jun 23, 2009
IRVINE WELSH TALKING TO FOALS Hugh McCafferty interviews indie’s hottest new band Acclaimed writer talks films and Trainspotting in Trinity....