Rumours have been swirling all week about the future of AC/DC following reports of Malcolm Young’s ill health. The band themselves have dismissed reports they are calling it a day, but singer Brian Johnson confirmed that one of the band is seriously ill. “One of the boys has a debilitating illness, but I don’t want to say too much about it,” he said. He’s believed to be referring to the 61-year-old rhythm guitarist , brother of lead guitarist Angus Young. Fair play to BB King, 88, for still doing gigs, but the blues legend incurred the wrath of fans in St Louis recently for a below-par performance in which he played very little.
King’s camp apologised for the show, saying that he had forgotten to take his diabetes medication. Another American artiste in the news for the wrong reasons this week has been Flavor Flav of Public Enemy. NME reports he has pleaded guilty to charges of attempted battery after an altercation involving his girlfriend’s teenage son at their Las Vegas home. Previously, the rapper had addiction issues with crack cocaine and had served time for robbery and driving offences.
Anybody definitely planning on going to the Electric Picnic may be interested to hear that applications for the early bird and loyalty scheme tickets must be in by midnight tonight. Another summer festival worth considering is the Sea Sessions (June 27-29) in Bundoran, Co Donegal. Kelis, the Dandy Warhols and a DJ set from Leftfield are just a few of the attractions. And if you’re willing to go that far north, perhaps you’d also consider Belsonic (August 15-17) in Belfast, with Queens of the Stone Age, Example, Biffy Clyro and Kodaline.
Meanwhile, south of the border, down Dublin way, Richie Sambora has announced a gig for the Olympia on June 30, while Saxon’s 35th anniversary tour hits the Academy on December 5. Don’t even bother trying to get tickets for the War On Drugs at the Button Factory on May 29 — the gig by the American indie foursome is already sold out. Marc Almond is on the bill with Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra for the INEC on October 16, while Monroe’s in Galway has the Orb and Gavin James on May 16. Incidentally, Mr James of ‘Say Hello’ fame is also at Cyprus Avenue in Cork next Friday. Former Monarchs play the same venue tonight.
Bernard O’Shea of Republic of Telly fame does his stand-up show at the Everyman in Cork tomorrow, while City Limits has Colum McDonnell from Irish Pictorial Weekly. Tonight’s extended version of Later with Jools (BBC Two, 11pm) features Elbow, Agnes Obel and Neneh Cherry. Bookings are open now for two promising shows in Cork: Birdsong at the Everyman (May 12-17), and Enda Walsh’s Ballyturk (August 26-30) at the Opera House.
Easter has traditionally been a big weekend of clubbing fun in Cork, and options on Sunday include Mark Knight at the Savoy and DJ Rahaan from Chicago at the Pavilion. In Dublin, German outfit Booka Shade are at Vicar Street next Saturday.
The next Live from the MET event at various Omniplexes is Mozart’s comic romance Così Fan Tutte next Saturday. At the IFI in Dublin on May 1, there’s also a live broadcast of King Lear on May 1. Directed by Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Revolutionary Road), it stars celebrated stage actor Simon Russell Beale. Triskel Christchurch in Cork from Sunday has Scarlett Johansson in Under the Skin, and Michael Cera in Magic Magic.