Saturday, 4 March 2017

Eight reasons to make a trip to Bray

My favourite singer Clara Rose hangs out with the coolest of people. 



This weekend Clara was in the Mermaid Arts Centre in Bray with Flo Mc Sweeney, Emma Nicolai and Jhil Quinn.  The four Ladies in the Blues were accompanied by blues band veterans Ed Deane on guitar, Garvan Gallagher on bass, James Delaney on keyboards and Kevin Malone on drums.

These eight maestros put on a live music theatre show honouring pioneer women in the blues - like Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Big Mamma Thornton, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Memphis Winnie, Vera Hall - and boy did they do them proud.

Alan Monahan Photography

It was really hard to choose a favourite - every number was stunning - but Emma Nicoli's 'Trouble so Hard' and Clara Rose's 'Ball and Chain' made my heart stop.

For a big treat check out these recordings of our modern day Ladies in the Blues side-by-side with the original Divas....

This is VERA HALL (1902 – 1964) singing Trouble so Hard HERE
Now listen to EMMA NICOLI sing Trouble so Hard HERE

Check out BIG MAMA THORNTON (1926-1984) singing Ball and Chain HERE
Now listen to CLARA ROSE sing Ball and Chain HERE

Can't wait for next year to hear it all again - thank you Mermaid Arts Centre - well done!






Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Want to know how to keep rats away from your shoes and survive algorithms?

Question: Where would you go to hear in one conversation about the Hindu Festival Diwali; how Thomas McDonagh kept the rats away from DeValeras shoes; Internet memes; post truth society; algorithms: coptic monks; echo chambers and clickbait?

Answer: Into any Irish pub - or maybe onto the Late Late Show!

This conversation featuring writers Stephanie Preissner (Can't cope, won't cope), Michael Harding (Talking to Strangers) and Artist and Rubber Bandit Blind-Boy Boatclub is so 2017 Ireland. 

Well worth watching HERE.