Máirtín Mór - the man who was Galway

Thu, Dec 01, 2016

IT IS a measure of the man named Máirtín Mór that, more than 80 years after his passing, mention of the name to certain generations of Galwegians, brings an instant reaction of awe, mingled with a touch of fear.

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Album review: Body/Head

Thu, Nov 17, 2016

IN HIS despair MacBeth chastised humans, and thereby life, as "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing". Kim Gordon's music has long been driven by "sound and fury" but is certainly not meaningless.

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Theatre review: The Playboy of the Western World - the musical

Wed, Nov 09, 2016

THE PLAYBOY of the Western World has had countless outings and re-imaginings since its 1905 premiere, but few as rollicking and royally entertaining as Justin McCarthy and Diarmuid De Faoite’s musical version running in the Town Hall Theatre until Saturday.

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Album review: Oh Boland

Thu, Nov 03, 2016

ASK NIALL Murphy, or rather, get into an engrossing discussion with him on music, and eventually he will come straight out and say it: "I'm a punk". Give him another few minutes and he'll cough up: "But I really like Yes...but no I'm a punk!"

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Baking the planet

Thu, Nov 03, 2016

THERE IS an increasing personal belief that a poetry selection should at first be read through fairly quickly, and then revisited at a later date at a slower pace. This will help the reader to a deeper understanding of the why and wherefore of the poems and greatly enrich his/her reading experience.

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Review: Vodafone Comedy Carnival Galway 2016

Tue, Nov 01, 2016

As I type, the Red Box is being dismantled in Eyre Square, with the Spiegeltent soon to follow, and Bob's Blunderbus is about to journey on, as the Vodafone Comedy Carnival Galway is over for another year - but the 2016 festival will linger long in the mind.

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CarnEvil - chased by madmen and mannequins

Mon, Oct 24, 2016

ON SATURDAY night I was followed, no, chased, and accosted by a crouching, laughing, maniacal man, determined to do me mischief. That I was confined in a small room, with no obvious exit only added to the terror...but also the fun, for this was CarnEvil.

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'Alice in Wonderland meets Hieronymous Bosch'

Wed, Oct 19, 2016

VISITORS TO the Town Hall Theatre bar this week will find themselves transported to Shona Shirley MacDonald’s strange and magical otherworld of Juniper, showing as part of the Baboró International Children's Festival.

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Ken Bruen's 'brilliant...surreal' take on Galway

Thu, Oct 13, 2016

IN THE pristine minds of the inoffensive middleweights who like to think they dominate Irish literary culture post-Heaney, Ken Bruen is problematic. He writes novels people they describe as ‘ordinary’ like to read, with no higher aim in their devastatingly average minds than pure pleasure.

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How the collector becomes The Bookman

Thu, Oct 13, 2016

THERE ARE an infinite number of reasons why people buy books, but at the risk of generalisation, two reasons stand out: people who buy books to read them and those who buy books to collect them. While the former will most certainly read their purchases, the latter will probably not read theirs.

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Oasis - Be Here Now reissue

Mon, Oct 10, 2016

BE HERE Now was the album which put the cocaine infused nail in the coffin of the hubris filled, jingoistic, corpse of Britpop. The phenomenon which, in the words of Suede's Brett Anderson began "with the charm and intelligence of a Mike Leigh film" had indeed "become a Carry On movie".

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Album review: Pixies

Thu, Oct 06, 2016

IN THEIR original incarnation, the Pixies made four albums, at least two of which - 1987's Surfer Rosa and 1989's Dolittle - are high watermarks of indie/alternative rock, which continue to echo through the generations.

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Album review: David Bowie - Who Can I Be Now? boxset

Tue, Sep 27, 2016

THE KEY artefact in this lavish new Bowie boxset, charting the artist's journey from post-Ziggy to 'Plastic Soul', to Thin White Duke, is one of the great missing pieces of the Bowie discography - The Gouster.

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Theatre review: Disco Pigs (Town Hall)

Tue, Sep 27, 2016

TWENTY YEARS to the day after its premiere, Enda Walsh’s iconic play Disco Pigs arrived at the Town Hall this week in a new production jointly staged by Reading Rep and Nick Thompson Productions from London. The show was helmed by Cathal Cleary, who was formerly based in Galway, and is now making his way successfully as an up and coming director in London.

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Album review: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Thu, Sep 22, 2016

NO PARENT wants to outlive their child, to do so seems wrong, unnatural. When that child is wrenched from his mother and father so suddenly, in circumstances both extreme and tragic, coming to terms with it must be near impossible.

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Druid's The Beauty Queen of Leenane

Wed, Sep 21, 2016

LAST WEEK, Druid’s production of Helen and I concluded with the sound of rain pouring down outside the kitchen where the play’s action takes place. The Beauty Queen of Leenane opens with the same sound but where the rain in Helen and I signified release, in Beauty Queen it’s symptomatic of misery and confinement.

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Loner Deluxe - lunar folk and sci-fi sounds

Mon, Sep 19, 2016

"THERE IS abundant evidence that we are being contacted. Civilisations have been visiting us for a very long time. Their appearance is bizarre from any materialist Western point of view..."

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The vanished world of Cork’s Jews

Thu, Sep 15, 2016

JEWTOWN, SIMON Lewis’s debut poetry collection, published by Connemara's Doire Press, tells the story of Cork’s Jewish community, from their arrival fleeing pogroms in 19th century Czarist Russia, to the closure of the last synagogue at South Terrace in February 2016.

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Siblings picking at the scabs of old psychic wounds

Wed, Sep 14, 2016

A DESDERVED standing ovation greeted the conclusion of Helen and I, Meadhbh McHugh’s debut play for Druid at the Mick Lally Theatre, which surely announces the arrival of a fine new Irish writer.

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Album review: Ryley Walker

Thu, Sep 08, 2016

MUCH HAS been made of this album's apparent shift away from Walker's 1960s psych folk-rock influences towards a 1990s indie singer-songwriter dominated sound, but the music within does not contain any kind of either/or exclusion.

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