A question of taste: Jim X Comet

Jim X Comet has been involved in music in Cork for the past four decades. He played with such bands as Belsonic Sound and the Dancing Bastards From Hell, as well as managing the Comet Records shop.

A question of taste: Jim X Comet

By Des O’Driscoll

Jim X Comet has been involved in music in Cork for the past four decades. He played with such bands as Belsonic Sound and the Dancing Bastards From Hell, as well as managing the Comet Records shop.

As a DJ, he still uses vinyl only, and now confines his gigs to special occasions, such as the Electric Picnic, and this weekend’s It Takes A Village event at Trabolgan, Co Cork.

Best recent book you’ve read:

I’m a huge reader but not a great reader of fiction. Beatlebone by Kevin Barry got me reading fiction again and I also loved Paul Howard’s book on Guinness heir Tara Browne called I Read The News Today, Oh Boy.

Best recent film:

The 2017 film Insyriated is a powerful and shocking depiction of how awful life must be for ordinary people trying to survive in Syria.

Best recent show/gig you’ve seen:

I’m biased here but my daughter Lucy sings with St Fin Barres Cathedral choir. They recently released a Christmas CD with their own specially composed carol called A Night Full Of Promise. Hearing them sing it at the CD launch in the cathedral was the proudest and one of the most emotional moments of my life.

First ever piece of music or art:

Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars. That album changed my life.

Best piece of music you’ve been listening to lately:

The 2012 album by Magazine called Know Thyself, and a lot of the 1960s outlaw biker movie soundtracks like Wild Angels and Angels From Hell, etc. I quite like the new Roger Waters album as well.

The best gig or show you’ve ever seen:

David Bowie’s Reality Tour at the Point in 2002. I’m a huge fan and for the fans that gig was like the perfect storm.

Which act are you most looking forward to seeing in Trabolgan?

Andrew Weatherall. I love eclectic DJs who can surprise you and he certainly fits that description.

Tell us about your TV viewing:

I like documentaries on the Discovery channel or the music documentaries that BBC 4 do so well. The last series that really excited me and that I binge watched was Narcos.

Radio listening and/or podcasts:

I listen to Lyric FM all the time, especially John Kelly, who in my opinion is the greatest Irish radio DJ ever. I love listening to Aideen Gormley’s Movies And Musicals on Saturday afternoons.

You’re curating your dream festival — which three artists are on the bill, living or dead?

The Velvet Underground original line up as the opening act, followed by Husker Du, and the headliner would be the madness of Miles Davis from his Bitches Brew period.

Your best celebrity encounter:

The late Grant Hart from Husker Du played an impromptu acoustic gig in Comet one Saturday morning. It was a surreal experience. Such a nice guy and such a talented and under-rated songwriter who never got the credit he deserved.

You can portal back to any period of human cultural history or music event — where, when, and why?

Late 1960s America, because it was such an exciting time of social and cultural change. Young people stopped listening to their parents and they tried lots of new and exciting things. There was amazing music being made and a sense that anything was possible.

Do you have any interesting ancestors or family?

My second cousin, Tony Shanahan, plays bass in Patti Smiths band.

Unsung heroes:

I have known people very close to me who have suffered from Alzheimer’s and it’s a horrible, horrible affliction. A silent killer, and not enough is being done to help the thousands in this country who suffer from it, and not enough is being done to help the carers, the unsung heroes who are often going through a personal hell with little or no help.

You are king for a day — what’s your first decree?

I’d repeal the Eighth Amendment.

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