A question of taste: George Patterson - frontman for The Roaring Forties

George Patterson fronts The Roaring Forties, a band formed in 2003 for the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival. 

George Patterson, frontman of The Roaring Forties, jazz and swing band.

They will be playing 10 gigs over the weekend ahead, the 40th incarnation of the event. For a full list of dates, see theroaringforties.com

Best recent book:

Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli. Everything you need to know about modern physics, the universe and your place in the world in seven enlightening lessons.

Best recent film you’ve seen:

Her purely for Scarlet Johansson’s voice. So simple am I!

Best recent show/gig you’ve seen:

Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott (Beautiful South) for the incredible talent and songwriting ability of Paul Heaton.

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

Roger Walters’ incredible ground breaking, Pink Floyd’s, Dark Side of the Moon was bought for me on vinyl by my wife and I have been enjoying it ever since. I originally got it for Christmas from my sister in 1973, I was 13 and having it again just takes me back to that day and my Sharp music centre. I was in Berlin on tour with Motorhead in November ’89 when they pulled the wall down, and was there in May 1990 to hear and see the The Wall performed at the Brandenburg Gate.

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

‘Metal Guru’ by Marc Bolan’s T Rex. I was 12 and listened to it over and over again. Still do some times.

The best gig or show you’ve ever seen:

Tom Crean Antarctic Explorer. A riveting one man show that will take you there. After my first time seeing it I went over to the Queens gallery at Buckingham Palace to see the North and South Pole relics and original photos of Scott and Shackleton’s explorations. In the exhibition Crean was only once mentioned and not by name, only by the term crew member as he went off from the Antarctic to Elephant Island with Shackleton.

Tell us about your TV viewing:

I used to watch general everyday TV, but TV has evolved and we get TV shows that are riddled with adverts so I started watching box sets and films online (YouTube), Netflix, some series.

We still watch Gogglebox, The Chase, all the quiz programmes when we are bored with nothing else to do.

Radio listening and/or podcasts:

I listen sometimes to Morning Radio, Red FM, 96FM, 4FM. I like the talkie radio shows, and if there is a match on then there is no better media than radio to listen to it on. Stevie G, Colm O’Sullivan and Neil Prendeville shows are my faves. PJ Coogan is good. I miss Gerry Ryan.

You’re curating your dream festival — which three artists are on the bill?

Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, and The Beatles.

Your best celebrity encounter:

Probably Lemmy from Motorhead… I worked with him for eight years. He still has my hearing (he left me with tinnitis).

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

New Orleans in the late 19th century to witness the birth of jazz and see the kings and queens create the one thing that helps us philosophise, free music, notes chosen, experiences gained and thrill at the voodoo, the drums, the playing.

Do you have any interesting ancestors or family?

My grandfather, George Patterson was an inventor — he invented the machine to put on the lids of Coke bottles. He sold it for seven shillings. My brother is Prof Laurence Patterson, one of the leading cancer research scientists in the world.

Unsung hero:

Tom Crean.

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

Make Ireland one, in body as well as soul.


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