Scene and Heard

MUSIC NEWS: Singer, opera composer and champion of African music, Damon Albarn can now add radio presenter to his list of talents.

The Blur frontman will make his debut on the decks tomorrow, covering for regular presenter Dermot O’Leary on his BBC Radio 2 show, which airs at 3pm. Albarn will be joined by an eclectic line-up including actor Idris Elba, Paul Simonon of The Clash, comedian Ken Dodd (yes, he’s still alive) and a Pentecostal Choir.

Albarn’s former rival Noel Gallagher of Oasis previously sat in for O’Leary. However, Blur guitarist Alex James recently said Albarn and Noel Gallagher are “like best mates now”. When asked by radio host Ray D’Arcy who had ultimately won the battle of the bands between Blur and Oasis, James replied: “Ironically Noel and Damon are like best mates now. They go off and smoke cigars together. I think we realised we’re all on the same side eventually.”

During the summer, it was reported that Blur will record a new album following the release of Albarn’s forthcoming solo LP.

Good news for fans of The Office, with the announcement that Ricky Gervais is to play two concerts as David Brent, his character from the BBC phenomenon. Brent has apparently reunited with his band, Foregone Conclusion, to perform “warm-up gigs” before a possible show at Wembley Arena.

Described as “a work in progress”, the gigs will take place at London’s Bloomsbury theatre on Oct 13 and Oct 14. The audience will get to hear some classics from Brent’s back catalogue, including Free Love Freeway, Spaceman Came Down, Slough, Life on the Road and Ain’t No Trouble.

The rise and rise of Kodaline continues, with the Dublin band receiving two nominations for the UK Music Video Awards, which take place in London on Oct 28.

GIG NEWS: Cult Cleveland band Pere Ubu will play The Pavilion, Cork on Nov 13. The experimental rockers, who inspired the likes of Joy Division, Pixies, REM and Sisters of Mercy, are now on their 15th studio album, The Lady From Shanghai.

Limerick-born, London-raised electro-popper Maighread will play The Dragon Bar in Dublin on Sat Oct 12 and the following night at The George.

AUTHOR TALK: Legendary crime author PD James (right) will speak at The Public Theatre, Trinity College Dublin at 7pm this Tuesday.

In honour of the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, James will talk to Irish crime novelist Declan Burke about her life-long passion for Austen, her latest novel Death Comes to Pemberley and some of her other crime novels.

Admission is free but booking is essential. Tickets may be booked at 01-6744862 or by email:

FILM TIPS: Showing this Sunday as part of the IFI’s monthly showcase for new Irish film is Deadlift, a documentary which brings audiences inside the doors of World Gym, the last of Dublin’s traditional body-building establishments. It features dedicated body builders such as 67-year-old Christy Byrne, an international body building judge and friend of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Director Patrick Cooney and Mr Ireland competitors will be in attendance.

VISUAL ART: Continuing at the Crawford Gallery, the Atrium of the City Hall and CIT Wandesford Quay Gallery in Cork until October 26 is Outside In: The Art of Inclusion, which showcases the artwork of more than 50 artists working in supported studio settings.

It aims to bring to a wider audience the richness and variety of work created by artists who are often placed at the margins of society, but who are making an increasingly important contribution to the contemporary art world.

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