A question of taste with musician and broadcaster Philip King

A question of taste with musician and broadcaster Philip King

Musician and broadcaster Philip King is originally from Cork, but has been living on the Dingle peninsula for many years. He returns to his native county with Scullion to perform in Bantry House on Saturday as part of the Masters of Tradition festival. See westcorkmusic.ie

Best recent book you’ve read:

Night Boat to Tangier by Kevin Barry ... magnificent singing sentences shot through with Cork cadences.

Best recent film you’ve seen:

Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese. I’ve never seen Bob Dylan so powerful, and the Patti Smith and Joni Mitchell performances are magnificent.

Best recent gig:

Patti Smith’s acoustic set in the Curious Minds tent of All Together Now was a remarkable thing. She sang an uplifting and prescient rendition of ‘A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall’, as well as reciting ‘Second Coming’ and ‘The Cloths of Heaven’ by WB Yeats.

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

I’m listening to music from Sorcha Richardson, Otherkin, Ye Vagabonds, Thomas Bartlett & Caoimhín O’Raghallaigh, Kate Tempest and Martin Hayes. This is music that makes audible the thing that gradually becomes visible.

First ever piece of music that really moved you:

‘Good Vibrations’ by the Beach Boys coming out of a transistor radio on 208 Radio Luxembourg. Sonically the world was never the same.

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

Amy Winehouse in the Church of St James, Dingle at Other Voices in 2006. The most remarkable vocal performance I have ever seen; she fully inhabited every song she sang. Ní bheidh a leitheid ann aris.

Tell us about your TV viewing:

Never more than now do we need a strong independent public service broadcaster. I consume a broad range of content across arts, documentary TV, drama, news, current affairs and sport.

Radio listening and/or podcasts:

Cerys Matthews, Guy Garvey and Cillian Murphy on BBC 6 Music; John Creedon, Ronan Collins, Fiachna O’Braonáin on RTÉ Radio 1; Cian O’Ciobháin on RnG and Bob Boilen’s All Songs Considered on NPR.

Podcasts are the New York Times’ Daily Podcast, The Guardian’s Today in Focus and Song Exploder.

Your best ever celebrity encounter:

BB King in the National Stadium on his first visit to Ireland; the smell of the wintergreen in the dressing rooms was over powering. BB arrived in the dressing room, Lucille ( his beautiful Gibson) resting on his very ample tummy, and let me know that indeed he and I were the same family but that with regret I was the wrong colour.

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

The Belfast harp Festival or the Belfast Harpers Assembly 11th to 14th of July 1792 when Edward Bunting wrote down the tunes of the assembled harpers. It was meant to be the beginning of a revival but it proved to be a farewell to an old tradition. To hear these tunes plucked with their long nails on wire strung instruments by harpers like Denis Hampson would be thrilling.

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

Young Fathers, Kate Tempest and Jimi Hendrix, Seamus Heaney, Liam Ó Flynn.

Unsung hero — individual or group you think don’t get the praise they deserve:

The continuing and valuable work of the Matt Talbot Community Trust in Ballyfermot, Dublin, who provide drug free community education programmes in Dublin and tackle the unique social issues which lead to drug use and criminal behaviour.

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

See to it that no citizen be homeless or hungry.

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