A Question of Taste: Anth Kaley

Des O’Driscoll sits down with musical director Anth Kaley.

Anth Kaley is musical director on the panto at the Everyman in Cork.

Anth Kaley is the musical director of the Beauty and the Beast pantomime at the Everyman in Cork. 

Born in Sunderland, he moved to Dublin in the early 1990s before relocating to Cork. Alongside his wife, Ruth Cagney, he also owns and runs Rant, a coffee shop in St Luke’s.

Best recent book you’ve read:

Life on Air by David Attenborough.

Pick best recent show/exhibition you’ve seen:

There is an annual art exhibition held in Henchys in St Lukes in Cork every autumn which attracts artists both professional and amateur from Cork and surrounding areas.

What makes it special is that it involves volunteers from the area who put in an awful lot of effort, all in aid of raising money for an orphanage in Cambodia. It has everything, great art, a great cause and an all round feelgood factor.

Best piece of music you’ve been listening to lately (new or old):

I normally listen to Lyric FM if I’m in the house, but the last week I heard a song on the radio while shopping and I’ve been playing it every morning since before heading to work. It’s called ‘Havana’ by Camile Cabelo. Great rhythm, great vocals and great production.

First ever piece of music or art or film that really moved you:

It’s a film called It’s a Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart. I first watched it when I was a child and I try to see it every Christmas if I can.

The best gig or show you’ve ever seen (if you had to pick one!):

Thin Lizzy sometime in the late 1970s or early ’80s at Newcastle city hall, with Brian Robertson on guitar, in my opinion, the best line up that Lizzy had.

My mother made me wear smart pants and a sensible jumper to the gig so I had to hide my tatty jeans and Lizzy T-shirt in the front garden and get changed on the top deck of the bus.

Tell us about your TV viewing:

I watch a lot of news (I don’t know why, most of it is miserable) and sport, rugby and football (again, I don’t know why. I’m from Sunderland who are mostly miserable!) For escapism, shows like Foyles War, or for laughs Fawlty Towers or Frasier.

Radio listening:

Lyric FM and BBC Radio 2.

You’re curating your dream festival – which three artists are on the bill, living or dead?

Tom Waits, Thin Lizzy, Queen.

Your best celebrity encounter:

I once met Queen guitarist Brian May, but I couldn’t think of anything to say so it was a bit of a disaster.

I went to China with Arnold Schwarzenneger and his then wife, Maria Shriver for the Special Olympics which was fun, but my best encounter was having a beer with Eric Sykes in a bar in London many years ago. He was a wonderful and very interesting guy.

You can portal back to any period of human cultural history or music event — where, when, and why?

Woodstock in August 1969. It was just one of those events that changed youth culture of the 60s and still resonates in the rock music of today. Plus I always wanted to see Jimi Hendrix.

Do you have any interesting ancestors or family?

Apparently William Blake (19th Century Edinburgh grave robber) is a distant relative, but we don’t brag about it.

Unsung hero:

Unsung heroes are generally unsung because they want to be. Anyone who gives up their time and puts effort into helping others without the need for reward or recognition is a hero to me.

You are king for a day — what’s your first decree?

Form a republic and take the rest of the day off... oh and free drink for all entertainers! Cheers.


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