MUSIC NEWS: While the London Olympics opening ceremony received a generally favourable response, there were a few grumbles about the musical component of the extravaganza.
US music fans were less than happy when NBC went to ad breaks when Arctic Monkeys performed I Bet That You Look Good On The Dancefloor, and during Scottish singer Emeli Sande’s version of Abide With Me, sung in tribute to the victims of the terrorist bombings in London on July 7, 2005. There were also a few mutterings in the blogosphere about the closing performance of Paul McCartney, with some suggestions that the anthemic Hey Jude has become a bit hackneyed and his voice was not up to the challenge. Then again, he did only get paid a token fee of £1.
Acts rumoured to be appearing at the closing ceremony range from Adele to One Direction to a reformed Spice Girls. The closing-night party in Hyde Park, featuring Blur, New Order and the Specials, will take place simultaneously but will not be referenced within the closing ceremony.
GIG WISE: Dates to stick in the diary include acclaimed singer-songwriter Gemma Hayes at Cypress Avenue, Cork, Saturday, Oct 6. Her songs have appeared in countless TV programmes and films from Grey’s Anatomy to One Tree Hill and most recently The Vampire Diaries. At the same venue on Sunday, Nov 4, are indie veterans The Wedding Present, giving a live performance of their intense 1991 album Seamonsters, which has been hailed as almost a piece of performance art.
The ‘godfather of Britpop’ Ray Davies will play The O2 Dublin (intimate theatre-style configuration) on Sunday, Oct 21. One of the most successful and influential songwriters to emerge from the 1960s, The Kinks frontman has an impressive back catalogue, with hits including ‘You Really Got Me’, ‘All Day and All of The Night’, ‘Tired of Waiting’ and ‘Lola’.
FILM TIPS: Tonight, the Triskel in Cork is giving another showing to Cosmopolis, the latest offering from David Cronenberg. Twilight star Robert Pattinson (left) tries to escape the shadow of Edward Cullen, playing a young billionaire whose trip in a limousine becomes a life-changing odyssey. Also showing tonight is Moonrise Kingdom from the King of Quirk, Wes Anderson. From Sunday until Wednesday, there’s a trip down memory lane with Jaws, one of the most influential and memorable films of all time (cue a chorus of ‘why don’t they make ‘em like that any more?’).
Also showing from Sunday is Killer Joe, a supposed return to form for director of The Exorcist and The French Connection, William Friedkin.
THEATRICAL TREATS: Ballymaloe summer theatre continues with 47 Roses, Peter Sheridan’s own stage adaptation of his memoir, running at The Grain Store in Ballymaloe, Co Cork, from next Tuesday until Sunday. The stage version of publishing sensation Tuesdays with Morrie continues until this Sunday. www.thegrainstoreatballymaloe.com
VISUAL ARTS: The National Gallery has an exhibition of Jack B Yeats’s Punch Cartoons and Illustrations by Irish Painters until Dec 2. It collates 56 Punch illustrations, highlighting a little-known aspect of the artist’s career and offering an insight into his dry humour and fertile imagination. A variety of items from Yeats’s personal library are also on view. Illustrations and cartoons by other Irish artists who worked for the popular press will also be on display. From past masters to the talent of the future, the exhibition of winning entries from the Texaco Children’s Art Competition continues at the Cork Vision Centre in North Main St, until the end of August. Admission free.
FESTIVAL FUN: There’s no shortage of festival action this month but one definitely worth making a detour for is Spraoi in Waterford, starting today. The renowned street arts festival is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and promises to be bigger and better than ever. The thoroughfares of Ireland’s oldest city will come alive to the sights and sounds of some of the world’s finest street artists and musicians. The famous Spraoi Parade returns to a night-time slot at 9.30pm tomorrow. A spectacular fireworks display on the Quay will bring the festival to an explosive climax at 10.45pm on Sunday.
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