Van Morrison’s forthcoming album will consist of of duet covers of lesser-known songs from his back catalogue, and an intriguing list of collaborators includes Michael Bublé, Mick Hucknall, George Benson and Gregory Porter. Duets: Re-Working the Catalogue will be released on March 24.
The uber-talented Pharrell Williams is also exploring new pastures, with four children’s books in the pipeline, reportedly based on his classic chart-topper ‘Happy’. Wicklow-born singer Roisin Murphy is on the bill for Electric Picnic, and presumably that set will feature material from her new album, Hairless Toys, which is due to be released in May. Hippity hoppers have been salivating about talk of Kendrick Lamar’s third studio album, and while this era of surprise releases means there’s no predicting when it’ll drop, appetites have been whetted further by the release of an excellent new single, ‘The Blacker the Berry’.
Aiken Promotions came out punching this week with three eclectic announcements for the Marquee in Cork. The biggest ripple of excitement is for the appearance of John Legend on June 23, with tickets on sale on Wednesday at €54.65. Following close behind, with rather different demographics, were the Waterboys (June 28) and pop band The Vamps (June 18).
The big buzz of the weekend is for Father John Misty at Whelan’s in Dublin on Sunday. Needless to say, all tickets are sold out for a gig that would’ve probably filled a far bigger venue. Tickets for Ed Sheeran at Croke Park on July 24, go on sale next Thursday. Jay Electronica has been announced for the same venue on March 12. In Cork, upcoming gigs at Cyprus Avenue include Jape on Sunday, the Darkness on March 17, and Kila on March 20. Accomplished pianist Ji Liu will play the Sugar Club in Dublin on Wednesday as part of the celebrations around Chinese new year.
Cork World Book Fest has been announced for April 21-25, with another extremely impressive list of participants. Highlights include celebrated New York-based author Joseph O’Neill, who returns to his hometown to read from his latest novel, The Dog; Holocaust survivor Tomi Reichenthal discussing his memoir, I Was A Boy in Belsen; and Paul Durcan, reading from his latest collection of poems. Most events will be based around Cork City Library and Triskel.
The Oscars will be announced on Sunday night, and it looks like Birdman and Boyhood are favourites to share the most honours. The documentary strand looks extremely strong, and you can see the powerful Virunga on Netflix, while on Wednesday Channel 4 will show Citizenfour, about American whistleblower Edward Snowden. Cork Cine Club at St John’s College also has a documentary for its next showing on Thursday, with Life Itself recounting the life of film critic and social commentator, Roger Ebert. At Triskel in Cork the weekend roster includes Selma and Testament of Youth. On Wednesday, the venue has What We Do in the Shadows, directed by Jermaine Clement, of Flight of the Conchords; and William S Burroughs’ experimental films. Julie Andrews will be one of the star names at the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival (March 19-29), with a screening of The Sound of Music closing the festival.
Faust opens at Everyman Cork tonight, and performances of the opera continue until next weekend. Martin McDonagh’s Pillowman, starring comedian David McSavage, is also coming to the Everyman in March, but the tour will first take in Town Hall, Galway, Feb 19-28, and the Gaiety, Dublin, March 2-14.