A Question of Taste: Eoin Aher

A Question of Taste: Eoin Aher

Eoin Aher is from Cork and has been looking after the entertainment, band bookings and promo at Cyprus Avenue and the Old Oak in the city since 2003.

Best recent book you’ve read:

I’m a sucker for Shakespeare so I’ve re-read Macbeth again recently. Also currently rediscovering A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess.

Best recent film you’ve seen:

Spiderman: Into The Spiderverse. We went to see it with the kids early last year and I went in expecting a really boring run of the mill animated kids film… but boy was I wrong!

Best recent show or gig you’ve seen:

We hosted two magical nights with Villagers recently.

We’ve promoted every single Cork show by them since the beginning in 2009 and these were my favourite ones yet.

Conor O’Brien is such a genius songwriter and everything about these shows, from the band being on fire and a very appreciative audience made these two excellent gigs.

I also really enjoyed the Jools Holland Rhythm and Blues Orchestra show we did in Cork Opera House in October. Top-notch musicianship.

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

‘Colors’ by Black Pumas’. Amazing soul band from Austin, Texas.

First ever piece of music that really moved you:

Queen’s The Works album. I remember being about 4 or 5 years old and my older brother picking it up in town. Such a range of songs and emotions on that album from pure pop like ‘Radio Gaga’, to hard rock like ‘Tear It Up’ and ‘Hammer to Fall’, to really powerful ballads like ‘Is This The World We Created’.

I think I wore out that album on him in a matter of months which he hasn’t too happy about and had to buy another.

It was probably the album that got me digging through what else we had in the house and devouring music at such a young age.

Your two favourite gigs of all time in Cyprus Ave:

Two that stand out would be:

Therapy in May 2004. I’m a massive Therapy fan and spent the first few months of my tenure in the office harassing the band’s management to play. (They probably should not have been playing a venue so small — 230 capacity at the time).

But the stars just seemed to align and it all came together somehow. Yes they have played better shows in the venue since but I think this was a special moment. They hadn’t played Cork in seven years for some reason and it really helped put the venue on the map in the early days.

Freya Ridings in February 2019.

There are lots of moments throughout the years when you go in early on an act; with a feeling in your gut that someone is going to explode. Whether it be like likes of Snow Patrol,Mumford & Sons, Editors etc over the years, they tend to be the ones I look back at a lot.

For me, this year I got the same feeling watching this gig. Watching Freya and her band play you could tell she was going to be a star.

For 2020, I’m betting the Steel Panther show in February will be a contender for my gig of the year for the utter spectacle of it.

Tell us about your TV viewing:

The Netflix format is tailor-made for me due to never being in the same place at the same time each week.

In terms of TV shows I tend to like darker / darkly comic stuff so I’m a fan of current shows like Glow, Kominsky Method, Walking Dead, Derry Girls. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy seasons 1-7 of Game of Thrones!

Radio listening and podcasts:

I don’t get to listen to anywhere near enough radio anymore, but if I do it’s usually someone like Dave Mac, or Alan Donovan (Green on Red) on Red FM.

With podcasts I search out podcasts such as Scroobius Pip’s Distraction Pieces, Joe Rogan Experience, Talk Is Jericho, Nialler 9 and The Point of Everything.

Your best celebrity encounters:

Over the years I suppose with the amount of acts you meet you start to take it all in your stride a little and sometimes you become accustomed to it all.

“Yes, that is Morrissey on the couch talking to Damien Dempsey” you would say nonchalantly. or a young Marcus Mumford telling you about a band he had started and were releasing an EP.

In the moment, it seems so normal but only when you take a step back in hindsight it’s a bit bonkers for a boy from Fairhill. So going outside the box I’d have to go with two WWE legends:

Sharing breakfast on tour with Hardcore legend Mick Foley a little girl approaches our table who could be no more than four or five years old asking for an autograph. What ensued was a 10min conversation about Disney princesses. The last thing you would expect and entirely fascinating! For the record, his favourite animated Disney character is Malificent.

Secondly was another wrestling related tour we did with Edge (Adam Copeland). Instead of being a total fanboy, we completely hit it off on our little roadtrips and talked endlessly about both our families, similar

experiences we both had with family bereavements that year, music, our kids favourite books, etc.

There was no small talk to kill time, we just really bonded. I also discovered that his only vice, developed when he is in Ireland filming Vikings is Offbeat Donuts in Dublin!

You can portal back to any period of human cultural history or music event?

World Cup 2010 playoff – France v Ireland. Thierry Henry… never forget.

You are curating your dream festival — which three artists are on the bill (living or dead)?

The Beatles (post Revolver era as nobody really got to see live shows by them from then on).

Frank Zappa & The Mothers Of Invention.

Queen (Queen without Freddie doesn’t count).

Any interesting ancestors?

Rebellion seems to be a feature in my ancestry. My great great grand uncle Jeremiah Aher was part of the Fenian Rising in 1867. He was on the Hougoumont which was the last convict ship to Australia.

In 1876 he helped lead other Fenians escape Western Australia on the ship Catalpa while gaining passage for himself to Sydney and then on to San Francisco where he lived the rest of his life.

Another relative from the same period is Peter O Neill-Crowley whose statue is in Green Park in Youghal.

Unsung heroes:

Mary Crilly and the volunteers at Cork Sexual Violence Centre.

We’ve worked on a number of projects with them over the last few years. including the Ask For Angela campaign and Consent Campaigns where we worked with them in conjunction with UCC and CIT.

They have an extremely difficult role and the strength and determination they have is inspiring.

You are king of the music business for a day — what’s your first decree?

Ticket holders must be in attendance in all venues by the time the support band goes on stage. You should never skip them. They might be your favourite new band!

Oh, and ban all mobile phones. Watch the gig with your eyes.

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