Friday, 8 May 2015

The Tom Baxter Podcast [August 2007]

Much was expected of Tom Baxter in 2007. The English singer-songwriter had taken the public and the critics by storm. And then, on a long August weekend, he came to Kilkee for the first Cois Farraige music festival.
GROWING pains — to half the medical world a misnomer but to many an adolescent a very real and genuine torment. While they may not manifest in any particular physical affliction, the journey of the teenage boy into manhood is fraught with many hills to scale and battles to fight. There are big questions to tackle, questions that few are qualified to answer. There, somewhere between the grunt of frustrated innocence and the despair of hollow adulthood, resides Tom Baxter.
In his new album Skybound, due for release later this month, Baxter takes up where he left off after Feather and Stone. Charting this journey, the jubilation as well as the despair.
“It’s working on the same emotional values in terms of song-writing.  I think that I always write from the same place. In terms of the sentiment of the record, it is, in a similar way to Feather and Stone, recording the journey from boyhood into man hood. It’s a journey of the emotional experience and the things you have to learn yourself. So there are moments of darkness,” he said.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

The Dave Geraghty Podcast [July 2007]

In mid-2007, Dave Geraghty took his first steps out from behind the Bell X1 shadow and onto centre stage in his own right. Andy Hamilton spokes to him days after the release of his debut solo album Kill Your Darlings.

WHEN Ernest Hemingway spoke of killing your darlings, he wasn’t advocating any kind of mass executions of family and friends. Instead, the man who could be destroyed but not defeated, was advocating a means of creation, an artistic imperative.
For Hemingway, it was the duty, not the obligation, of the discerning artist to be able to cull and destroy that which he loves best, his art, in order to preserve the integrity of the whole. In other words, the test of the author is not what you decide to keep, but more so, what you can bring yourself to throw away.
As Dave Geraghty emerges from under the shadow of Bell X1, this is an idiom which he has grasped with both hands.
“I was hoping to achieve something grittier with this. There were other songs that I purposely didn’t go near and songs that were culled and didn’t make the album because I wanted to keep a cohesive theme. The songs had to be deserving of a title like Kill Your Darlings," he says.“I didn’t want to record a collection of songs, I was trying to create an album that had a tone and had a mood to it. I would almost prefer someone to stick this album on once a month at four in the morning after a party than to stick on one or two songs again and again and again..."

To hear the interview in full listen to the podcast below...


Friday, 31 January 2014

The Paddy Casey Podcast [July 2007]

Ahead of the release of his third album Addicted To Company, I spoke to Paddy Casey in July of 2007 and found out about his time in LA and how he wrote his way through a west Clare winter.

SUNDAY evening and the shagging electricity has gone — again. It’s been more than six winter weeks now, stowed away in this tiny hamlet on the very edge of the Atlantic and now, for the third time in those long weeks, a winter storm has knocked out the power.
 Unperturbed, Paddy Casey feels blindly for the carefully stowed candle and the matches. Eureka, and a quick flick returns the room to its former glow. Returning to his snug beside the window, the tempest outside serves as a fitting backdrop. A gentle strum from his guitar, and the skin and bones for Paddy Casey’s latest album, Addicted To Company (Part 1), begin to take shape.
Perhaps this isn’t exactly how it went down, but when Paddy Casey returns to Kilkee next week, a brand spanking new album in his back pocket, he will be completing a creative journey that began in Lahinch more than two years ago.
“I spent a bit of time down in Lahinch, but it would have killed me if I’d stayed down there much longer. I had very little else to do down there, other than drinking and playing. You have the surfing areas which are nice but I’m not much of a surfer.
“I would have been working on songs in Lahinch. I’m sure there are songs on this record that would have been written in Lahinch but it all becomes a bit of a mash because there are bits written in lots of places.
“I think this album is a little closer to what I’d have done if I had more time to record the other two albums. I definitely aimed for a particular direction, and I seem to have hit it — I’m not really sure though.
“When we toured the Living album, I was going, ‘this is great, people are dancing, I want this to
continue’. So for this album I definitely wanted a song that was like ‘Saints and Sinners’, something to keep it up for the gigs.”
Unlike previous recordings, Casey spent a long time in the studio recording this album, the majority of it being put down in America.
“I recorded the guts of it in LA, at least half of it. It was funny, going over there for the first few days, it did feel like a totally different experience — everything was different, the culture, everything. But, when it actually got down to it, we were recording in a room that looked like it could be somewhere off the Naas Road — we might as well have been in Dublin. We were sitting in that room all day so it didn’t matter where we were.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

The Julian Gough Podcast [June 2007]

WHAT would Charles Darwin have made of Julian Gough? The great thinker, master of evolution and natural selection. Would he have found a room, a paragraph or even a foot note, in the Origin of the Species for the likes of Gough?
If so, it would most likely have come in a chapter titled, ‘Thoughts on the Random Mutation’. Not that I’m suggesting that Ireland’s latest trailblazing avant garde author is some sort of literary missing link. On the contrary, Gough represents an alteration, an almost radical change of direction that is absolutely essential for progress, whether social, biological or indeed literary.
The only question left is one of genetics, dominant or regressive.
“Because it’s an unusual mad kind of book we had trouble getting shops to understand what we were doing or getting publishers to understand what we were doing in the first place. But when I won the National Short Story Prize with the prologue to the book then that changed absolutely everything.
“People began to look at the book in a different way, all of it’s vices suddenly became virtues - the little grey fella turns out to be a swan after all. Nobody want to be the fool who stands up and says ‘this is brilliant’ and be the only person saying it. So when a few Booker Prize winners say it’s good then it becomes safe...

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

The Rónán Ó Snodaigh Podcast [June 2007]

Four hundred years old, eight hundred years wise, and unable to come to terms with the structured nature of giant society. Andrew Hamilton speaks to Rónán Ó Snodaigh.

POET, not prophet, Rónán Ó Snodaigh is a refugee in this modern world. A wanderer of lands with an ancient mind, the Kila frontman has taken from, and given to, the spectrum of art in equal measure.
A dualist in every sense; poet and songwriter, percussionist and musician, Gaelgoir and English speaker, the challenge can often be to stop choosing and let the decisions make
themselves. Ó Snodaigh’s latest solo album The Last Mile Home, has taken the spiritual street preacher in a number of new and interesting directions.
“The first song I had on the album I actually dropped. It was kind of a bluesy song and I was practicing it with Eoin O’Boyle, the guitarist and keyboard player. There was a particular sound in his guitar-playing that I was trying to get at. I thought it was a bit of an outback sound.
“It’s funny that you said bluesy, because I thought it was even further off the beaten track than blues, kind of swampy or blues-grassy, a kind of a ‘hidden under the hills’ type of sound. I got really excited about it. I said ‘this is a sound that we could stick in a shed anywhere in the world...

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

The Rick Buckler Podcast

DECEMBER 11, 1982. The Brighton Arena heaves with heavy expectation as a typically exuberant Jam gig closes in a haze of guitar and distortion. But this was no typical gig. After 10 years, an amazing decade in which they picked up the shreds of punk and twisted them into something still vibrant, The Jam were through.
A band at the peak of their power and popularity, there were many left scratching their heads when the news began to filter through. But for those closest to the band, the people who had watched as The Jam evolve through the late 70’s and 80’s, this came as no surprise.
Paul Weller’s musical direction was changing, moving from the raw energy of The Jam to something different, something post-mod. He went on to The Style Council and a solo career, leaving Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler to pick up the
pieces. It was a bitter pill to take.
Two decades have come and gone, and The Jam have claimed their rightful place amongst the musical great. Now the time has come for Bruce and Rick to come again, and take From The Jam on the road. Myself and Bruce always stayedin good contact. We always knew how to get hold of each other over the years and often did. But Paul cut communications after The Jam split. That was very difficult to understand at the time. Why didn’t he answer the phone calls? After a couple of years, you just stop trying, you stop sending the Christmas card, don’t ya? It’s a real shame but that was a decision for Paul. Me and Bruce have always stayed in touch and we are still great mates,” said Rick.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

The Maria Doyle Kennedy Podcast [May 2007]

MISTY Tracy Wilmot is in trouble.
A talented artist, her young life is left in tatters as a failed suicide attempt leaves her new husband, Peter, in a coma. Moreover, half the town is trying to sue her because of the litany of ‘mistakes’ that her comatosed husband has made. Not exactly the ideal breeding ground for creativity. Think again. On the surface, there isn’t much that Maria Doyle Kennedy and
Misty have in common. One an Irish singer-songwriter and singer of some note; the other a budding American artist, plunged into the
depths of mental breakdown by circumstances beyond her control. One, flesh and blood; the other, of course, fictional.
When the author of Fight Club, Choke and Survivor, Chuck Palahniuk, breathed life into Misty four years ago, he could hardly have imagined that her life would become part of an altogether different
journey.
Doyle Kennedy explains the connection.
“After one of the shows, a friend of mine came up to me and said ‘I’ve read your album’ and gave me this book called Diary by Chuck Palahniuk. Of course, I became...