Scene and Heard

MUSIC NEWS: For a man knocking on the door of his seventh decade (his birthday is Jun 18), Paul McCartney is showing no signs of slowing down.

The music legend has confirmed he will be playing at the Olympic Games opening ceremony in London on Jul 27. McCartney also closed the British Royal Jubilee Concert last Monday with a five-song greatest hits set.

Fitting then that Macca this week cemented his rock royalty status further with The Beatles being named Britain’s biggest selling singles act of all time. The Fab Four pushed Elvis Presley into second place and Cliff Richard into third, in a new list compiled by the Official Charts Company. Madonna took fourth place followed in fifth by Michael Jackson.

From one fab foursome to another, indie legends The Frank and Walters release the second single from their much-praised new album, Greenwich Mean Time, today. ‘Loneliness and Sweet Romance’ is another burst of heavenly harmony from the criminally underrated band.

GIG WISE: It’s all about interactivity these days and former Mercury Prize winners Gomez get with the programme at Cork’s Cyprus Avenue on Tuesday, Jun 26. Fans can log on and pick the setlist ahead of the gig. See http://bit.ly/GomezCork.

Singer-songwriter Declan O’Rourke plays the Pavilion in Cork on Thursday, Jun 28. The honey-voiced troubadour gained an international profile when his song ‘Galileo’ (Someone Like You), was covered by US megastar Josh Groban.

Live at the Marquee, which kicked off last night with French electronic music duo Justice, continues tonight with tickets still available for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, subjects of a recently-screened four-hour documentary by Peter Bogdanovich. There’ll be no shortage of material tonight either, with a hefty back catalogue to draw from. Liberties Belle Imelda May features tomorrow night and Ska legends The Specials on Monday.

FILM TIPS: Triskel Christchurch in Cork have teamed up with SoHo Bar and Restaurant in a welcome initiative for film fans and foodies.

Leave your car in the Q-Park multi-story car park on the Grand Parade, enjoy dinner across the street in SoHo Restaurant and then pop next door to Triskel Christchurch and enjoy a film, all for €25. Offer available on all 8.30pm showings. Reservations required, call the Triskel at 021-4272022,

Showing at the moment are French love story Cafe de Flore, starring Vanessa Paradis and critically-acclaimed action movie The Raid.

SONG BOOK: Booking has opened for the 61st Wexford Festival Opera, which runs from Oct 24 to Nov 4.

This year’s programme will include three mainstage opera productions, L’Arlesiana by Francesco Cilèa, Le Roi malgré lui by Emmanuel Chabrier, and A Village Romeo and Juliet by Frederick Delius and two daytime ShortWork operas (A Dinner Engagement by Lennox Berkeley and The Magic Flute by Mozart).

The festival will also mark the bicentenary of the birth of the Waterford-born composer, William Vincent Wallace with two recitals of his songs and piano music, by Irish pianist Una Hunt and mezzo-soprano Máire Flavin. See www.wexfordopera.com

On the lighter side of the musical spectrum, the acclaimed London production of South Pacific is coming to Dublin on Aug 7 for two weeks. Samantha Womack, best known for playing Ronnie Mitchell in Eastenders, stars as Nellie Forbush in the production, which features some of the best-loved songs in the musical canon. Tickets from €20, available from Ticketmaster.

JUMPING FOR JOYCE: Yup, it’s that time of year again. Dust off your straw boater and cook up some kidneys for breakfast as Bloomsday celebrations kick off.

The day itself is Jun 16 but events are already underway. See www.jamesjoyce.ie.

To coincide with Bloomsday, the IFI will show The Dead from Friday, Jun 15 — although an excuse is never needed to watch John Huston’s masterful adaptation of the unbearably poignant story from Joyce’s Dubliners.

ART AHOY: A Coastal Journey, an exhibition by Shane Johnson, opens at The Boathouse Gallery in Kinsale today and runs for the month of June. Noted for his quirky style of drawing and a bold, intense use of colour, Johnson follows a boat on its voyage along the coast from Cork to Courtmacsherry, taking in Kinsale, Oysterhaven and Roberts Cove.

Marjorie Brennan

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