A question of taste - Leah Hearne

Leah Hearne is from Cork city and is the co-ordinator for Cork County Culture Night which is coming up as part of the nationwide event on Friday, September 16.

Best recent book: My favourite book I’ve read this year is Spill Simmer Falter Wither by Cork writer Sara Baume.

Best recent film: The documentary A Doctor’s Sword.

Best recent show/exhibition/gig: I loved ‘Be My Guest’ in this year’s Cork Midsummer Festival. Residents of Shandon selected artworks from the Art Council’s collection and invited the public into their homes to view them.

What formats do you access music? I’m embarrassingly low-tech, I’ve never used Spotify or bought something on iTunes. I mostly buy CDs and the occasional record.

Best piece of music you’ve been listening to lately: I’ve been listening to lots of Marc O’Reilly. I’ve only just discovered him as he’s playing DeBarra’s on Culture Night.

First ever piece of music or art or film that really moved you: My dad called me into his bedroom, told me to lie down and just listen, put on Patti Smith’s ‘Piss Factory’ and left me alone.

It was incredible, so full of attitude and rebellion, it felt like she was articulating everything inside of my 15-year-old self.

Of course, I was mishearing all the lyrics making them more relevant to myself.

I’ve loved the song ever since.

The best gig or show you’ve ever seen: It was probably Fred’s last gig in the Pavilion.

They played for hours and had every former member of the band over their 15 years come up for a song.

The entire crowd (which seemed to be comprised of everyone I know and love) was singing along to every song and dancing like crazy.

Tell us about your TV viewing: I watched all of Stranger Things in little over a week. I just try not to start any new series now.

Name three of your music heroes: St Vincent, Patti Smith, and Angel Olsen.

Your best celebrity encounter: The only one I can even think of is meeting Jean Butler when I was really small.

Favourite ever item of clothing: The one that’s stood the test of time is a French Connection dress my mum bought me for my 17th birthday.

I’ve worn it multiple times in the nine years since and it’s still in great nick.

Kate Middleton has the same one so you know it’s fancy.

Best ever animal encounter: I was on holiday in Indonesia last year and snorkeling on the Gili Islands took my breath away.

It was just like watching David Attenborough.

I spent too much time face down in the water and ended up like the Cork flag when looking at me from the side.

Tech habits: I’m so embarrassingly low tech I not sure what you’re even looking for for this question.

Phone (HTC something-or-other): Phonecalls, taking pictures, finding my way places using google maps.

Macbook Pro: Sending emails, work, watching too much TV. Old iPod Nano: Listening to music, it’s got solitaire too!

Unsung heroes: Cork Life Centre.

It’s an alternative education setting for teenagers who have left, or found themselves outside of, mainstream schools and want to sit their junior and leaving certs.

It’s a very individual centred approach, with 1:1 tuition, where a social education is given equal value to an academic one.

I volunteered there last year, teaching music and English, it was an amazing experience.

You are queen for a day. What’s your first decree? Greater incentives for landlords to lease to non-profit and arts organisations. It’s such a shame that there are so many empty and derelict buildings around when there are fantastic arts organisations in need of space.


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