Further details will be released in the coming weeks, with tickets going on sale on Jan 31. The National’s return to Ireland will be another biggie this summer, with gigs lined up at the Marquee in Cork on Jul 14, as well as Iveagh Gardens in Dublin on Jul 18-19. Also playing at Iveagh Gardens will be local heroes Little Green Cars on Jul 12. Interestingly, there seems to be a spirit of détente between some of the big Irish promoters, with several bands entering performing shows for both MCD and Aiken during the summer. Among them are Biffy Clyro, booked for Aiken’s Marquee in Cork on Jun 27, and MCD’s gig at Kilmainham on Jun 28. Sharon Shannon brings her big band to the Savoy in Cork on Monday, complete with Shane MacGowan and Mundy, while Norther rockers the Answer have been confirmed for Cyprus Avenue on Mar 23. Hozier play the Theatre Royal in Waterford next Friday.
The Official Charts Company in the UK has released its figures for the biggest-selling album of 2013 and no surprises for guessing it’s topped by One Direction’s Midnight Memories. That was followed by Emeli Sande’s Our Version Of Events.
Interestingly, no album shifted a million units in Britain, most likely a testament to the power of free streams, illegal downloads and the general weakening of the long player format’s place in popular culture. Meanwhile, after already entering the rhyming slang lexicon, DJ Pete Tong has now joined the proud holders of the MBE award following his inclusion in the New Year Honours List of Elizabeth II’s awardees.
One hardly needs any more reminding of dance music’s newfound establishment status. We’re not sure if Grimes ever made one of Tongy’s playlists, but the Canadian electronica whizz has joined the ranks of music royalty by signing to Jay Z’s Roc Nation label. Her homies there will include Rihanna, Calvin Harris and Kylie Minogue. An artist taking a far less credible but much more lucrative path right now is Britney Spears. She recently opened her two-year residency at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, with a set that included all the hits, as well as acrobatics, a ring of fire, confetti, etc.
Spears is contracted to perform 50 shows in 2014 and a similar amount next year. Finally, we pose the question of whether the list of most downloaded artists is something that nobody or everybody wants to be on? If you make it, large amounts of people are obviously stealing your music. On the other hand, if you don’t, perhaps it’s a sign that nobody cares. Anyway, according to Musicmetric, which analyses torrent data, Bruno Mars and Rihanna topped the list of illegal downloads in the US in 2013, with Daft Punk, Justin Timberlake and Flo Rida also making the top five.
Triskel Christchurch in Cork is back in action with regular screenings, and this weekend’s offering includes The Butler, with a truly stellar cast that includes Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey and Vanessa Redgrave. Also showing is The Swell Season, following Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová on a world tour; and My Neighbour Totoro, an animated film from Studio Gibli in Japan. In Dublin, films on show include Blue Is the Warmest Colour, a tale of passion between two women.
Republic of Telly presenter Kevin McGahern does his stand-up thing at City Limits in Cork tomorrow, while Tommy Tiernan recently announced world tours of both Offaly and Cavan in the spring. The annual exhibition of works by JMW Turner is underway at the National Gallery in Dublin, and will continue until Jan 31.