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A UNIQUE MUSIC CULTURE EVENT

 
 
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IN CONVERSATION

SNOW PATROL

SNOW PATROL
In 2003, Snow Patrol released their third album, Final Straw. It followed two previous albums, neither of which troubled the music charts but which laid the groundwork for what was to come. The stars aligned, however, and something clicked with Final Straw. Cue a sequence of hit singles — ‘Run’, ‘Chocolate’ and 'Spitting Games’ — the album residing in the upper regions of charts, and Snow Patrol breaking through the usually resistive American market. The follow-up album, 2006’s Eyes Open, was an even bigger triumph. The road to success had started almost ten years previously, in 1994, when Bangor-born, Belfast-raised lead singer Gary Lightbody formed Snow Patrol in Dundee, where he was studying English Literature. The band comprised Belfast and Scottish friends, moved as a unit to Glasgow in 2001, and set about writing and recording their last-ditch attempt at success — the aforementioned Final Straw. 'Snow Patrol struggled for ten years making music on our own terms,' Gary Lightbody has said, 'with very few people listening. Suddenly, at pretty much the same time, we got a very good record label, an incredible producer, a great manager, some luck, daytime radio play, and then — boom.' Success, he says, boils down to three things: luck, the people you’re with, and the music you make. 'All the rest is insignificant.' Snow Patrol will review their career to date, as well as exclusively preview tracks from their forthcoming album, Wildness.

KEVIN SHIELDS (My Bloody Valentine)

SHANE MacGOWAN

SHANE MacGOWAN (THE POGUES)
Unique is a word that is too often casually applied to some people who are anything but. Shane MacGowan, however, is a completely different proposition. Having experienced the mother and father of all sixtieth birthday celebrations at the start of the year in Dublin’s National Concert Hall (where the likes of U2’s Bono and Nick Cave to the President of Ireland were on hand to pay due regard), Shane MacGowan can easily lay claim to being one of a kind. The cross-cultural pollination of his early youth and teenage years caused a fusion of music and words that reverberates and influences to this day. A formative and unadulterated Irish experience in his parents’ rural Tipperary locale was transplanted to his teenage years in London, notably during 1976-’79, when the UK’s youth was — much like MacGowan himself — swayed by the raw, visceral intensity of punk rock. Inarguably, the results forged an authentic songwriting sensibility that not only referenced his love of Irish writers such as WB Yeats, JP Donleavy, Brendan Behan, James Joyce and James Clarence Mangan but also the immigrant experience in London. Cue contemporary music’s first London-Irish expression, and in one Shane MacGowan, rock music’s foremost back-alley bard. In conversation with Stiff Records’ supremo, Dave Robinson, Shane MacGowan will be talking about his favourite records, what they mean to him, and how they shaped him as one of the greatest songwriters of the past forty years.

CHRISSIE HYNDE

CHRISSIE HYNDE
Moving from her home in Akron, Ohio, in 1973, one-time art student Chrissie Hynde unwittingly embarked on a life less ordinary. Settling in London — having viewed it from afar as the centre of the music universe — she quickly developed an interest in the city’s burgeoning punk rock scene, and before too long had unsatisfying fits and starts in early versions of The Damned, The Clash, and 999. Her time would eventually arrive, however, in 1978, when she founded The Pretenders. Within a year, hit singles such as 'Stop Your Sobbing’ and ‘Kid' were followed by a UK number one single, 'Brass In Pocket', and, in early 1980, a UK number one album (their self-titled debut). Alongside the music — which was highly attuned pop with an assertive stance and seductive allure — was Hynde herself. Being an American woman in the UK punk scene afforded her a level of resistance to UK cultural mores. In the same way that an American cousin to an Irish or UK counterpart can come across as more experienced and cool, so Chrissie Hynde’s presence (and, lest we forget, her instantly recognisable voice) delivered heretofore untapped levels of natural confidence and unforced attraction. So it has remained, with Hynde still highlighting an uncompromising nature that refuses to retreat. As she herself once said, 'You can’t stop being who you are.'

In conversation with UK freelance music writer/broadcaster Pete Paphides, Chrissie Hynde will discuss how she made it from America to London just in time for punk rock to kickstart a singular, sometimes confrontational, career that has lasted over four celebrated decades.

CILLIAN MURPHY

CILLIAN MURPHY
One of Ireland’s most significant and singular actors, Cillian Murphy has startled (and possibly reassured) many people with his own special creative twists and turns. He began his career in Irish theatre in 1996 with a magnetic performance in Disco Pigs (written by close friend, playwright Enda Walsh, with whom he has subsequently collaborated on commended theatre works Misterman, Ballyturk, and earlier this year, Grief Is The Thing With Feathers). Murphy came to international attention in 2001 via an equally mesmerizing performance in film director Kirsten Sheridan’s version of Walsh’s play. He followed that with 2002’s 28 Days Later (directed by Danny Boyle, with whom he would again collaborate on 2007’s Sunshine), and has since delivered an uninterrupted sequence of much-admired work. An actor of integrity and depth, Cillian Murphy straddles big budget and independent movies, selected theatre and prime-time television projects with an all-encompassing passion for music.

BOB GELDOF

BOB GELDOF
For pop music fans, one of the great televisual moments of the past forty years was when the Boomtown Rats appeared on Top Of The Pops in November 1978. Released in mid-October, 'Rat Trap' was the band’s fifth single and followed their previous UK Top 10 hit ('Like Clockwork') and three UK Top 20 hits ('Looking after Number 1', 'Mary Of The Fourth Form', 'She’s So Modern'). It reached the top spot quickly enough, ousting John Travolta/Olivia Newton-John’s seven-week smash hit 'Summer Nights' from the pole position. Ripping up photos of the Grease pair before surging into 'Rat Trap', Bob Geldof and friends were making a point: pop is dead, long live New Wave. Matters didn't really work out that way, of course. From 1981 the Boomtown Rats would never trouble the UK Top 20 again. By the end of 1985, Live Aid had come and gone, the Boomtown Rats had split up, and life for Geldof would never be the same again. Amidst exceptionally tragic personal events, and his continued involvement with political issues and business ventures, he has released solo albums (from 1986’s Deep In The Heart Of Nowhere to 2010’s How To Compose Popular Songs That Will Sell) and toured on a regular basis. While global political matters remain crucial, music continues to inspire him. Reformed in 2013, the Boomtown Rats’ new album is scheduled for release later this year.

TIM BURGESS

Tim Burgess (The Charlatans)
As lead singer of The Charlatans, one of the UK’s most durable bands of the past thirty years, Tim Burgess has documented his life and times in songs that are worthy of classic status. There is, however, another firm string to his bow: that of a very fine writer. In his 2016 book, Vinyl Adventures From Istanbul To San Francisco, Burgess lays it on the line: some people need music because they’re addicted to it. Albums, he claims, are soundtracks to moments in life, yardsticks to use for potential friends, clues to building profiles of people that could either attract or repel. They represent, he writes in the book, 'the Rosetta Stone from which almost everything can be worked out. The girlfriend you went to see Sonic Youth with has broken up with the guy with all the Hootie &nsp; the Blowfish CDs? Aw, man, surely that was written in the stars?' As well as using albums as signifiers, however, Burgess also emphasises the importance of independent record shops as cultural and social meeting points (places where, he notes, 'magic moments' occur). Burgess will wax lyrical about the nature of vinyl and music with his good friend and all-round comedic Renaissance woman, Sharon Horgan.

GEOFF BARROW (PORTISHEAD)

GEOFF BARROW (PORTISHEAD)
Geoff Barrow’s life changed in the summer of 1987 when, as a sixten-year-old, he heard Public Enemy’s 'Rebel Without A Pause' for the first time. At an underage night in Bristol, in a club called Studio, a DJ played the 12-inch version of the song (the first single from the hip-hop group’s 1988 album, It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back). It was, he recalled, his Year Zero moment. 'When it came on, I had to sit down. I was absolutely floored by it. The enormity of Chuck D’s voice and the sub-bass . . . It was my punk.' From that late ‘80s epiphany, Barrow prepared for a life in music, first as a tape operator in Bristol’s Coach House Studios, then as a much-admired remixer/producer (for the likes of Paul Weller, Depeche Mode, Primal Scream, Tricky) and songwriter (Neneh Cherry). As a member of Portishead, Barrow (along with Beth Gibbons and Adrian Utley) not only defined an era but also pioneered a genre. Portishead’s 1994 debut album, Dummy, is considered a milestone in the definition of trip-hop (a tag that Barrow has since described as ‘nonsense'). Subsequent Portishead albums (1997’s Portishead, 2008’s Third) were equally admired. While forbearing fans await further original music, Barrow has kept himself busy as a soundtrack composer. In conversation with acclaimed Irish actor Cillian Murphy (Peaky Blinders), Geoff Barrow will discuss his career in music, from assisting Massive Attack during the making of Blue Lines to forming Portishead, and subsequently soundtracking films for Ben Wheatley (Free Fire) and Alex Garland (Ex Machina, Annihilation).

SHARON HORGAN

SHARON HORGAN
There may be a comedy/drama writer and actor busier than Sharon Horgan but you’d be hard-pressed to name one. The person behind such praised ‘dramedy’ shows as Pulling, Catastrophe and Divorce was born in London but moved with her family to Ireland when she was four years old. She returned to London in her early twenties and gradually set about making her mark as a comedy sketch writer. In 2006, her career breakthrough came with Pulling, which won various British Comedy Awards. Within ten years, Sharon had co-written, with Rob Delaney, Catastrophe ('a real comedy gem'), co-written Motherland (with Graham and Helen Linehan), and through her independent production company Merman had devised/exec-produced Divorce, which stars Sarah Jessica Parker. Sharon is also a huge music fan, a lover of The Fall, The Charlatans, Kate Bush and Big Star to name but four of her favorites.

TRACEY THORN

TRACEY THORN
Once described as the Godmother of indie pop/folk ('I've never actually heard myself called that. If anyone did want to call me that, I'm not sure why I should mind'), Tracey Thorn is the positive creative thinker you’d like beside you if ever there was a time when you needed to hear a comforting and mellow voice telling you that things are actually going to be okay. Thorn has been doing very interesting work for a few decades now. Although the memories of Everything But The Girl have faded somewhat in all but the minds of the duo’s most avid fans, she has been busy enough within the past ten years, making up for a lowering of profile whilst she was raising her and Ben Watt’s children by releasing three superb solo albums (2007’s Out of the Woods, 2010’s Love and its Opposites, and this year’s Record). She is also no slouch when it comes to writing, as proven by her books Bedsit Disco Queen: How I Grew Up And Tried To Be A Popstar (2013), Naked At The Albert Hall (2015) and her regular column in New Statesman.

EDITH BOWMAN

EDITH BOWMAN
Scottish-born Edith Bowman has been at the forefront of UK television and radio for over fifteen years. A diversity of interests is her working style, from making documentaries on endangered crocodiles in Cambodia to hosting a wide range of pop culture shows on television (Top Of The Pops) and radio (BBC Radio 6 Music, Capital FM, Virgin Radio UK). Bowman has also covered festivals such as Glastonbury, T In The Park and Reading/Leeds for both BBC television and radio. From August 2016, she has fronted Soundtracking, a weekly half-hour podcast in which she interviews actors, directors, writers, and musicians about their relationship with film and music.

DAVE ROBINSON (STIFF RECORDS)

DAVE ROBINSON (STIFF RECORDS)
In conversation with Stiff Records’ supremo, Dave Robinson, Shane MacGowan will be talking about his favourite records, what they mean to him, and how they shaped him as one of the greatest songwriters of the past forty years.

NOEL HOGAN (THE CRANBERRIES)

NOEL HOGAN (THE CRANBERRIES)
There is occasionally more than a symbiotic relationship between bands and producers, and none more so than that experienced between The Cranberries and Stephen Street. In the early ‘90s, having dispensed with the services of a previous manager following conflicts over scrapped recording sessions that were intended to set up material for their debut album, The Cranberries once again set forth to the recording studios. The band’s then new manager, Geoff Travis, secured the skills of former Smiths’ producer Stephen Street to help the young musicians. Twenty-five years later, that debut album has become a totemic example of what can happen when ideas and skills, naiveté and professionalism, combine. Written entirely by the band’s guitarist Noel Hogan and singer Dolores O’Riordan, Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? has sold over five million copies. Its sales and influence aren’t about to stop, either, as a newly remastered version of the album — with previously unreleased and bonus material — is due for release later this year. A new studio album that O’Riordan had already recorded vocals for before her untimely death at the start of this year is scheduled for release in early 2019.

STEPHEN STREET

STEPHEN STREET
There is occasionally more than a symbiotic relationship between bands and producers, and none more so than that experienced between The Cranberries and Stephen Street. In the early ‘90s, having dispensed with the services of a previous manager following conflicts over scrapped recording sessions that were intended to set up material for their debut album, The Cranberries once again set forth to the recording studios. The band’s then new manager, Geoff Travis, secured the skills of former Smiths’ producer Stephen Street to help the young musicians. Twenty-five years later, that debut album has become a totemic example of what can happen when ideas and skills, naiveté and professionalism, combine. Written entirely by the band’s guitarist Noel Hogan and singer Dolores O’Riordan, Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? has sold over five million copies. Its sales and influence aren’t about to stop, either, as a newly remastered version of the album — with previously unreleased and bonus material — is due for release later this year. A new studio album that O’Riordan had already recorded vocals for before her untimely death at the start of this year is scheduled for release in early 2019.

LOL TOLHURST (The Cure)

ASLAN

ASLAN
Legendary Irish band Aslan have had more lives than the luckiest of cats. Formed in the early-‘80s on the north side of Dublin, Aslan rehearsed in a pig shed close to the airport, and hit the pop music spot in 1986 with their first single, 'This Is'. The song launched a career that, with some inevitable intermissions, continues to this day. What a career, though: tipped for international success, and with the weight of a major label (EMI) behind them, a series of self-detonations removed Aslan from contention. The first interlude arrived in 1988 when the band’s lead singer Christy Dignam was ousted from the ranks. Five years later, Dignam returned, the band signed to another major label (BMG) and released another single that (like 'This Is') quickly became one of the most played songs on Irish radio. Interruption number two came in the form of ill health for Dignam, who has courageously continued when others might have retreated from the spotlight. This year, the band celebrates the thirtieth anniversary of their debut album, Feel No Shame.

DONAL GALLAGHER

DONAL GALLAGHER
Everyone loves heroes (clean-cut, invulnerable, always around when you need them), but it’s the flawed anti-heroes (those who kick the tyres of an organisation that threatens to undermine them, those who battle against inner demons that threaten to undercut them) who always get the public vote of confidence. Irish guitarist par excellence Rory Gallagher was that anti-hero. Born in Ballyshannon, County Donegal, in 1948, Gallagher moved from ingénue to professional between 1963-’66, which is when he formed Taste. Taste split up in 1971, and from then on Gallagher flung himself into continued solo work until his untimely death in the summer of 1995. Rory’s brother Donal worked alongside him from the start of his career to the end, and it is fitting that he will be discussing Rory’s love of music, particularly so when taking into account the recent reissue campaign of the guitarist’s entire solo catalogue on remastered CD and 180-gram vinyl. The reissues represent the first wave of Rory Gallagher releases since Universal Music Group obtained the rights to his catalogue in 2017.

PHILIP KING

PHILIP KING
The Emmy award-winning and Grammy-nominated Irish musician, filmmaker and broadcaster Philip King has been involved in the creative arts for over four decades. While known primarily for his pivotal role in overseeing the acclaimed television series Other Voices, King was also a central figure in the origination and development of the landmark Emmy-winning television series, Bringing It All Back Home. The series traces the astonishing return journey that Irish traditional music contributed to America and further afield, and in this exclusive event, King will explain how music that started in the kitchen found its way onto the international stage.

DAVE ROBINSON (STIFF RECORDS)

DAVE ROBINSON (STIFF RECORDS)
In conversation with Stiff Records’ supremo, Dave Robinson, Shane MacGowan will be talking about his favourite records, what they mean to him, and how they shaped him as one of the greatest songwriters of the past forty years.

VICTOR VAN VUGT (PJ Harvey Producer)

BRIAN GRIFFIN (Photographer)

RUSSELL MILLS (Nine Inch Nails Designer)

STEPHEN AVERILL

STEPHEN AVERILL (U2 Designer) ‘DEATH VALLEY ’86’When a rock band aligns itself with a photographer or designer, crucial to the working relationship are certain conditions. On a naturally personal level, these include mutual respect and belief. On a business level, of paramount importance is the inclusion of understanding the band’s creative aesthetic (their visual ‘language’) and the relationship between them and their fans. As well as constant vigilant monitoring and developing of what is essentially a brand is a collaborative process that very few people manage to carry through the years. Dublin designer and musician Stephen Averill has been a steady presence beside U2 since the band’s 1979 debut single ’23’. Through every album (bar Rattle And Hum), Averill and his co-designers have stayed firmly alongside U2, a measure not only of mutual regard but also the total quality of the work. As well as Averill, U2 have a continuing partnership with Dutch photographer Anton Corbijn, who entered the band’s trusted inner circle around the time of the release of their 1983 third album, War. From here onwards, Averill and Corbijn developed an innate understanding of what they needed from each other. 'Anton is not the kind of photographer, like other photographers, I work with,' notes Averill on 100archive.com, 'where I art direct them. You don’t art direct Anton in the strictest sense. He knows what he wants.'

The ‘War’ Room sees Anton Corbijn and Steve Averill recall their War stories, along with previously unseen images, designs, and slideshows.

PETE PAPHIDES

COSEY FANNI TUTTI

COSEY FANNI TUTTI
Musician, performance artist and writer Christine Newby has been involved in event-oriented work from the late 1960s. As a member of COUM Transmissions (a music/performance art collective she co-founded with Genesis P-Orridge), Newby developed her provocative theatrical and improvisational skills with occasional controversial results. In 1975 (by which time she had adopted the Cosey Fanni Tutti moniker), she was selected to represent Britain at the IXth Biennale de Paris. Within a year, she had co-founded (with P-Orridge, Peter Christopherson and Chris Carter) Throbbing Gristle, an experimental music/multimedia group influenced by leftfield writers such as William S Burroughs and Brion Gysin. When Throbbing Gristle disbanded in 1981, Cosey recorded with former TG member Carter (as Chris and Cosey). She continues to work in multimedia, with last year’s autobiography, Art Sex Music, raising awareness of her desire to, as Rolling Stone put it, 'fuse art and life through eliciting real responses from audiences of real — not exclusively art-world — people.'

ED PILLER (ACID JAZZ) and MARTIN FREEMAN

ED PILLER (ACID JAZZ) and MARTIN FREEMAN
When your mother runs the Small Faces’ fan club then it isn't too much of a stretch to think that a career in music is a valid option. So it proved. Following stints working at Stiff Records and then band management, in 1987 Ed Piller co-founded (with Gilles Peterson) the Acid Jazz label, which signed artists such as Jamiroquai, Brand New Heavies, and Terry Callier. DJ, broadcaster and writer (as well as MD of Acid Jazz), Piller has recently teamed up with actor and fellow music fanatic Martin Freeman (The Hobbit, Sherlock) for the double album compilation Jazz On The Corner. Having previously co-hosted infrequent radio shows, Piller and Freeman discovered their mutual and obsessive love of jazz. The result not only officially launches the thirtieth-anniversary celebrations of Acid Jazz but also highlights how the different approaches of two music fans combine to create an eclectic yet involving track selection. From Mose Allison and Blossom Dearie to Marlena Shaw and Kamasi Washington — it's jazz on the corner and in your heart. In conversation with Mick Heaney, Ed Piller and Martin Freeman will discuss their love of mod subculture, its range of influences, its music, and how it informs their lives.

SCOTT GORHAM (THIN LIZZY)

SCOTT GORHAM (THIN LIZZY)
There are several sections of a rock band’s life and career that have to be experienced before major success takes them into a different zone. These sections include the band’s pre-history and the ‘early years’, which are, effectively, settling in periods where personnel changes occur and where music styles are arrived at, mulled over, and then discarded. There is another section, however, that historically tends to overshadow what came before and after — ‘the classic years’. This is the time when everything gels: people, music, management, success. Thin Lizzy had to wait several years for this point to arrive, but when co-founders Brian Downey and Phil Lynott chose California’s Scott Gorham and Scotland’s Brian Robertson to lead the twin-guitar charge of their new material they knew they had made the right decision. Come 1976, the band’s sixth album, Jailbreak, made good on the promise of the previous two (1974’s Nightlife, 1975’s Fighting) by providing a massive hit song with 'The Boys Are Back In Town'. Subsequent ‘classic’ line-up albums (1976’s Johnny The Fox, 1977’s Bad Reputation) were equally as successful with hit songs 'Don’t Believe A Word' and 'Dancing In The Moonlight' making their mark internationally. Alongside Lynott, Downey and Gorham was trusted manager, Chris O’Donnell, who steered the band from obscurity to fame.

IRMIN SCHMIDT (CAN)

IRMIN SCHMIDT (CAN)
There are few groups in popular culture as influential as Can, the Cologne experimental unit that derived its sound from jazz and the avant-garde, and then merged it with portions of electronic, psychedelic, funk, minimalist, and world music. The beginnings of Can as the pioneers of ambient music can be attributed to the Berlin-born classical composer, conductor and pianist Irmin Schmidt, who in 1966 visited New York, where he spent time with experimental musicians such as Terry Riley, Steve Reich, and La Monte Young. Returning to Germany some months later (Cologne, where he studied under Karlheinz Stockhausen), Schmidt teamed up with music teacher and bass player Holger Czukay, guitarist Michael Karoli (a young pupil of Czukay) and free-jazz drummer Jaki Liebezeit. Much of Can’s music was based on free improvisation, which was then edited for their studio albums. Can’s music casts a highly influential shadow over the UK post-punk genre, with bands such as Public Image Ltd, Joy Division, Siouxsie   The Banshees, and The Fall citing the group as a pivotal stimulus — all thanks to Irmin Schmidt’s enthusiasm and explorative mindset. In conversation with writer Rob Young (All Gates Open: The Story Of Can), Irmin Schmidt will discuss the history and legacy of Can.

ROB YOUNG (Biographer)

ANDREW WEATHERALL

ANDREW WEATHERALL
'Humour’s very important,' Andrew Weatherall once said. 'If I didn’t see everything as a complete joke, I would’ve been locked up years ago.' As a DJ, producer, and remixer, Weatherall has been on the go for almost thirty-five years, initially as a DJ at London club Shoom, and then as a remixer for the likes of Happy Mondays (‘Hallelujah', with Paul Oakenfold), New Order ('World In Motion'), Primal Scream (‘Loaded’/'I’m Losing More Than I’ll Ever Have') and My Bloody Valentine (‘Soon', which in 2011 topped the NME’s ‘Fifty Best Remixes Ever’ list — 'My Bloody Valentine always sounded epic, but they never sounded this fun.'). Aligning his studio skills with musicianship, in 1992 Weatherall formed Sabres of Paradise, an electronic trio with its roots in acid house and its influential tentacles in everything else from dub to techno. His work as a solo artist continues to amaze and influence, with 2016’s paired remix albums Covenanza and Consolamentum strengthening the man’s prodigious sonic skillset. Last year’s instrumental album, Qualia, delivered (writes The Guardian) 'an excellent take on the communal solitude of the dance floor . . . sumptuous listening, immaculately constructed.'

VAUGHAN OLIVER

VAUGHAN OLIVER (Pixies Designer and 4AD)

Vaughan Oliver’s graphic design work for the 4AD record label is one of the most recognisable in contemporary music. Bands such as Cocteau Twins, The Breeders, Dead Can Dance, This Mortal Coil, Throwing Muses, and Pixies each had their distinctive music intrinsically affiliated with the visual identities Oliver created for their album covers. Discovering the allure of design through album art, it wasn’t until the late-‘70s that Vaughan Oliver was best able to align his skills with his love of music. In a fortuitous chain of events that followed his graduation in graphic design at the University of Northumbria, he moved from his native County Durham to London, where he met 4AD label founder, Ivo Watts Russell. Oliver’s design aesthetic was in striking contrast to the music imagery of the time. Influenced initially as much by artists Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg as by album cover designer Roger Dean, Vaughan’s creative methodology was to challenge the usual formats. Texture and lighting, he has said, are ideal ways in which to convey musical hints and tones. 'I try to make images,' he informed designboom.com in 2014, 'where you don’t always get the “ essage" straight away . . . Leaving some space for interpretation is important.' Vaughan Oliver will present 'Walking Backwards', a selective exhibition taken from his extensive design archive.

NICK SEYMOUR (CROWDED HOUSE)

NICK SEYMOUR (CROWDED HOUSE)
Australian musician, visual artist and record producer Nick Seymour is no stranger to the pleasures of an irresistible pop song. As a founding member of the Australian/New Zealand group, Crowded House, Seymour was proactively involved in finessing the band’s often superlative pop songs. Inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall Of Fame in November 2016, Crowded House was responsible for pop songs as perfect as 'Weather With You', 'Don’t Dream It’s Over', 'Distant Sun', 'Locked Out', and 'Fall At Your Feet'. Following the initial demise of Crowded House in the mid-‘90s, Seymour moved to Dublin where he quickly established himself as a key producer, studio owner, and cooperative friend to the Irish music industry. In between working with Irish musicians (he produced BellX1’s debut album, Neither Am I) and fending off questions about a possible Crowded House reunion, Seymour creates distinctive works of art, including album cover designs.

STEVE AND JOE WALL (The Stunning)

PETER BOETTCHER

PETER BOETTCHER (Photographer) Cologne photographer began his career as a music photographer in the mid-’80s, but that’s where the usual career outline stops. While he initially photographed world famous rock and pop stars (including the likes of Sonic Youth, REM, Morrissey, LL Cool J) for the then Cologne-based independent music magazine, Spex, Boettcher’s style was much broader than the usual stereotypical approaches of ecstatic performances, backstage ‘party’ moments and frantic audiences. Such a methodology brought him naturally to Kraftwerk, who he first photographed in 1991 in Düsseldorf’s legendary Kling-Klang studios. It was the start of a familiar, intimate and concentrated partnership that bears creative fruit to this day. This is fully understandable, as Boettcher’s portraits of Kraftwerk’s static stage performances freeze the spirit of the group through what he himself terms are the images’ overall 'graphical severity', 'consistent use of a central perspective' and the creation of significant 'clarity and concentration.'

CHALKIE DAVIES (Photographer)

RICK BANKS (Clubbed)

FLOOD

FLOOD (Producer)
London-born Mark Ellis has a list of production credits that amount to a Who’s Who of Grade-A music acts. From U2, New Order, Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, Nick Cave, and PJ Harvey to Foals, Sigur Ros, Warpaint, Smashing Pumpkins, The Charlatans, and The Killers, Ellis is not only highly regarded by his peers but also by celebrated musicians he convinces to take artistic leaps into uncharted territories. Such an approach stems from his background as a musician, a fact that came to the fore — perhaps more noticeably than elsewhere — with his work on U2’s Achtung Baby (1991), which is viewed as one of the most creatively triumphant risks a mainstream rock band has ever taken in altering their output from one sonic range to another.

DONOVAN

BILLY BRAGG

BILLY BRAGG
Billy Bragg, social causes, and political activism go hand-in-hand, and as the decades have passed so Bragg’s need to change things for the better (through his music, at the very least) has increased. His primary influences as a songwriter were formed by the combined fervor of Bob Dylan and The Clash, while his provisional political ideals were shaped following a Rock Against Racism event in 1978. Tentative steps in the music industry prompted a record deal in 1983 with the newly founded independent label Go! Discs, and what was once a dream for Bragg became real. Since the mid-‘80s, he has released over a dozen albums, all of which are firmly imbued with his political principles and motivations. 'I don’t mind being labeled a political songwriter,' Bragg has said. 'The thing that troubles me is being dismissed as a political songwriter.' In tandem with his songwriting, Bragg is a successful author of non-fiction books, the most recent of which, Roots, Radicals and Rockers, authoritatively outlined the history of skiffle. 'Bragg writes with clarity . . . A definitive history of that legacy,' noted The Irish Times in its review of the book.

JAMES LAVELLE (UNKLE)

JAMES LAVELLE (UNKLE)
The founder of the Mo’Wax record label and the only constant member of UNKLE, James Lavelle is one of the most esteemed electronic music practitioners of the past twenty-five years. In 1996, Mo’Wax was responsible for releasing one of electronic music’s most lauded and groundbreaking albums: DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing . . ., which is constructed almost entirely of sampled music harvested from second-hand vinyl. This was followed by Lavelle working with DJ Shadow under the moniker of UNKLE, a pioneer of collaboration-based trip-hop. Lavelle subsequently became an in-demand DJ, remixer and producer, working with the likes of Massive Attack, Beck, Garbage, and Queens Of The Stone Age. He is also a highly respected event curator, having overseen in 2014 the prestigious London-based multi-stranded Meltdown Festival (which culminated with a live UNKLE performance, featuring former colleague DJ Shadow). Lavelle’s reputation for adventurous work continues apace with UNKLE’s 2017 studio album, The Road: Part 1 (inspired by his experience of curating Meltdown), and this year with his score for Trust, the US televisual debut of film director Danny Boyle.

BRIX SMITH

DAVE HASLAM

GRUFF RHYS

GRUFF RHYS
Welsh musician, author, filmmaker, producer and composer, Gruff Rhys fluctuates between solo work and frontman duties with Super Furry Animals (currently on hiatus). SFA’s acclaimed status is due in no small part to Gruff’s visionary and charmingly idiosyncratic ideas that are rooted in his knowledge of Welsh-language pop music and what he listened to as a teenager via Irish radio station 2FM, which (along with RTÉ Radio One) was broadcast across the Irish Sea into his hometown of Haverfordwest. His lauded solo work includes Hotel Shampoo (winner of the Welsh Music Prize 2011) and American Interior (2014), which marries music with an autobiographical film, a book and an app, each of which document Gruff’s search for his cultural roots. A little-known fact outside the confines of Wales: Rhys and DJ/radio presenter Huw Stephens are cousins.

HUW STEPHENS

HUW STEPHENS
Radio presenter, DJ and television host Huw Stephens has set a record yet to be beaten: at the age of seventeen he joined BBC Radio 1, becoming the youngest ever radio presenter on the station. Almost twenty years later, Huw continues to broadcast on BBC (Radio 1 and Radio Cymru), as well as presenting live coverage from festivals such as Glastonbury, Sonar, Eurosonic, and South By South West. As a DJ, he has appeared in countries as far apart as Iceland and Patagonia, while for the past several years he has been an integral part of the Irish boutique festival, Other Voices.

DAMIAN O’NEILL

MICHAEL BRADLEY

PEGGY SEEGER

PEGGY SEEGER
Peggy Seeger’s father was a musicologist. Her mother was a modernist composer, and the first woman to receive a Guggenheim Fellowship. Her half-brother was renowned folk singer Pete Seeger. Her childhood was immersed in music and politics and involved direct personal insights into the lives of Woody Guthrie, Jackson Pollock, Alan Lomax, and Big Bill Broonzy. Add to these a visit to Communist China (which effectively barred her from returning to America), a marriage of convenience in London (specifically for the purpose of being granted British citizenship), a love affair with Ewan MacColl, a married man over twenty years her senior, a lifetime of becoming associated with the British folk revival, and you come to the obvious conclusion: there really should be a movie made about her life. In her 2017 memoir, First Time Ever, 82-year-old Seeger emerges as a staunchly feminist spirit, a true survivor. There may have been frequent conflict throughout her personal life, but her later years have been reasonably settled and has brought her deserved if belated acclaim.

SIMON RAYMONDE

SIMON RAYMONDE (COCTEAU TWINS/BELLA UNION)
Life in music for Simon Raymonde began in the early 1980s with London-based post-punk band Drowning Craze. His best-known musical output, however, is with Cocteau Twins, who he joined in 1984. Remaining with them until they split up in 1997, Raymonde and Cocteau Twins’ Robin Guthrie had already co-founded Bella Union as the record label to release their own work. Now celebrating a shade over twenty years, Bella Union is, says Raymonde, 'an artist-run label', which is little surprise considering the supreme acts (including Fleet Foxes, Father John Misty, Laura Veirs, and John Grant) that are synonymous with it. Simon Raymonde will discuss the history and development of Bella Union, as well as the musicians associated with it.

THE X-RAY AUDIO PROJECT

PAUL GORMAN

MALCOLM GARRETT

PLUS MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED WITH OVER 60+ EVENTS TAKING PLACE CROSS THREE DAYS

ABOUT

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Royal Hospital Kilmainham

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Popular music is the cultural generator of the 20th century. At its heart has always been the vinyl record, that object of near fetishistic desire and a stimulus for wild debate. We pursued our records insatiably, hunting them down to obscure cramped shops teeming with like-minded souls, rushing them home to our quiet little rooms. We carefully slipped them out of their thin, white sleeves and played them from start to finish, side after side, flipping them over lovingly, longingly, again and again. We loaned them out reluctantly, borrowed them greedily, pored over the sleeve-notes and artwork in moments of peace. We cherished them without shame, coveted them without guilt, adored them with a passion. We viewed them in equal measure as whispers in a confession box, screams in a field, and letters to a lover.

VINYL (Dublin) is our salute to all such things, an immersive theatre of the mind comprising musicians, producers, designers and filmmakers specially convened to celebrate the rich history and enduring legacy of vinyl, its landmark recordings and key personnel, the groundbreaking labels and studios that fostered such talent, with contributions and insights from some of its most perceptive champions.

This three-day event, to be held on the May Bank Holiday weekend (5-7 May 2018) at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, will feature specially programmed talks, panel discussions, curated collections, music performances, album playbacks, art exhibits, pop-up stores, signings, and equipment showcases. The various events will each make special use of the RHK's expansive grounds and infrastructure, from the magnificent Great Hall and Baroque Chapel to its cloistered, cobblestone courtyard. 

 

Schedule

 

Saturday, 5 May 2018

Saturday Tickets

IN CONVERSATION

SNOW PATROL

SNOW PATROL
In 2003, Snow Patrol released their third album, Final Straw. It followed two previous albums, neither of which troubled the music charts but which laid the groundwork for what was to come. The stars aligned, however, and something clicked with Final Straw. Cue a sequence of hit singles — ‘Run’, ‘Chocolate’ and 'Spitting Games’ — the album residing in the upper regions of charts, and Snow Patrol breaking through the usually resistive American market. The follow-up album, 2006’s Eyes Open, was an even bigger triumph. The road to success had started almost ten years previously, in 1994, when Bangor-born, Belfast-raised lead singer Gary Lightbody formed Snow Patrol in Dundee, where he was studying English Literature. The band comprised Belfast and Scottish friends, moved as a unit to Glasgow in 2001, and set about writing and recording their last-ditch attempt at success — the aforementioned Final Straw. 'Snow Patrol struggled for ten years making music on our own terms,' Gary Lightbody has said, 'with very few people listening. Suddenly, at pretty much the same time, we got a very good record label, an incredible producer, a great manager, some luck, daytime radio play, and then — boom.' Success, he says, boils down to three things: luck, the people you’re with, and the music you make. 'All the rest is insignificant.' Snow Patrol will review their career to date, as well as exclusively preview tracks from their forthcoming album, Wildness.

and

EDITH BOWMAN

EDITH BOWMAN
Scottish-born Edith Bowman has been at the forefront of UK television and radio for over fifteen years. A diversity of interests is her working style, from making documentaries on endangered crocodiles in Cambodia to hosting a wide range of pop culture shows on television (Top Of The Pops) and radio (BBC Radio 6 Music, Capital FM, Virgin Radio UK). Bowman has also covered festivals such as Glastonbury, T In The Park and Reading/Leeds for both BBC television and radio. From August 2016, she has fronted Soundtracking, a weekly half-hour podcast in which she interviews actors, directors, writers, and musicians about their relationship with film and music.

SHANE MacGOWAN

SHANE MacGOWAN (THE POGUES)
Unique is a word that is too often casually applied to some people who are anything but. Shane MacGowan, however, is a completely different proposition. Having experienced the mother and father of all sixtieth birthday celebrations at the start of the year in Dublin’s National Concert Hall (where the likes of U2’s Bono and Nick Cave to the President of Ireland were on hand to pay due regard), Shane MacGowan can easily lay claim to being one of a kind. The cross-cultural pollination of his early youth and teenage years caused a fusion of music and words that reverberates and influences to this day. A formative and unadulterated Irish experience in his parents’ rural Tipperary locale was transplanted to his teenage years in London, notably during 1976-’79, when the UK’s youth was — much like MacGowan himself — swayed by the raw, visceral intensity of punk rock. Inarguably, the results forged an authentic songwriting sensibility that not only referenced his love of Irish writers such as WB Yeats, JP Donleavy, Brendan Behan, James Joyce and James Clarence Mangan but also the immigrant experience in London. Cue contemporary music’s first London-Irish expression, and in one Shane MacGowan, rock music’s foremost back-alley bard. In conversation with Stiff Records’ supremo, Dave Robinson, Shane MacGowan will be talking about his favourite records, what they mean to him, and how they shaped him as one of the greatest songwriters of the past forty years.

and

DAVE ROBINSON (STIFF RECORDS)

DAVE ROBINSON (STIFF RECORDS)
In conversation with Stiff Records’ supremo, Dave Robinson, Shane MacGowan will be talking about his favourite records, what they mean to him, and how they shaped him as one of the greatest songwriters of the past forty years.

GEOFF BARROW (PORTISHEAD)

GEOFF BARROW (PORTISHEAD)
Geoff Barrow’s life changed in the summer of 1987 when, as a sixten-year-old, he heard Public Enemy’s 'Rebel Without A Pause' for the first time. At an underage night in Bristol, in a club called Studio, a DJ played the 12-inch version of the song (the first single from the hip-hop group’s 1988 album, It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back). It was, he recalled, his Year Zero moment. 'When it came on, I had to sit down. I was absolutely floored by it. The enormity of Chuck D’s voice and the sub-bass . . . It was my punk.' From that late ‘80s epiphany, Barrow prepared for a life in music, first as a tape operator in Bristol’s Coach House Studios, then as a much-admired remixer/producer (for the likes of Paul Weller, Depeche Mode, Primal Scream, Tricky) and songwriter (Neneh Cherry). As a member of Portishead, Barrow (along with Beth Gibbons and Adrian Utley) not only defined an era but also pioneered a genre. Portishead’s 1994 debut album, Dummy, is considered a milestone in the definition of trip-hop (a tag that Barrow has since described as ‘nonsense'). Subsequent Portishead albums (1997’s Portishead, 2008’s Third) were equally admired. While forbearing fans await further original music, Barrow has kept himself busy as a soundtrack composer. In conversation with acclaimed Irish actor Cillian Murphy (Peaky Blinders), Geoff Barrow will discuss his career in music, from assisting Massive Attack during the making of Blue Lines to forming Portishead, and subsequently soundtracking films for Ben Wheatley (Free Fire) and Alex Garland (Ex Machina, Annihilation).

and

CILLIAN MURPHY

CILLIAN MURPHY
One of Ireland’s most significant and singular actors, Cillian Murphy has startled (and possibly reassured) many people with his own special creative twists and turns. He began his career in Irish theatre in 1996 with a magnetic performance in Disco Pigs (written by close friend, playwright Enda Walsh, with whom he has subsequently collaborated on commended theatre works Misterman, Ballyturk, and earlier this year, Grief Is The Thing With Feathers). Murphy came to international attention in 2001 via an equally mesmerizing performance in film director Kirsten Sheridan’s version of Walsh’s play. He followed that with 2002’s 28 Days Later (directed by Danny Boyle, with whom he would again collaborate on 2007’s Sunshine), and has since delivered an uninterrupted sequence of much-admired work. An actor of integrity and depth, Cillian Murphy straddles big budget and independent movies, selected theatre and prime-time television projects with an all-encompassing passion for music.

NOEL HOGAN (THE CRANBERRIES)

NOEL HOGAN (THE CRANBERRIES)
There is occasionally more than a symbiotic relationship between bands and producers, and none more so than that experienced between The Cranberries and Stephen Street. In the early ‘90s, having dispensed with the services of a previous manager following conflicts over scrapped recording sessions that were intended to set up material for their debut album, The Cranberries once again set forth to the recording studios. The band’s then new manager, Geoff Travis, secured the skills of former Smiths’ producer Stephen Street to help the young musicians. Twenty-five years later, that debut album has become a totemic example of what can happen when ideas and skills, naiveté and professionalism, combine. Written entirely by the band’s guitarist Noel Hogan and singer Dolores O’Riordan, Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? has sold over five million copies. Its sales and influence aren’t about to stop, either, as a newly remastered version of the album — with previously unreleased and bonus material — is due for release later this year. A new studio album that O’Riordan had already recorded vocals for before her untimely death at the start of this year is scheduled for release in early 2019.

and

STEPHEN STREET

STEPHEN STREET
There is occasionally more than a symbiotic relationship between bands and producers, and none more so than that experienced between The Cranberries and Stephen Street. In the early ‘90s, having dispensed with the services of a previous manager following conflicts over scrapped recording sessions that were intended to set up material for their debut album, The Cranberries once again set forth to the recording studios. The band’s then new manager, Geoff Travis, secured the skills of former Smiths’ producer Stephen Street to help the young musicians. Twenty-five years later, that debut album has become a totemic example of what can happen when ideas and skills, naiveté and professionalism, combine. Written entirely by the band’s guitarist Noel Hogan and singer Dolores O’Riordan, Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? has sold over five million copies. Its sales and influence aren’t about to stop, either, as a newly remastered version of the album — with previously unreleased and bonus material — is due for release later this year. A new studio album that O’Riordan had already recorded vocals for before her untimely death at the start of this year is scheduled for release in early 2019.

LOL TOLHURST (The Cure)

ASLAN

ASLAN
Legendary Irish band Aslan have had more lives than the luckiest of cats. Formed in the early-‘80s on the north side of Dublin, Aslan rehearsed in a pig shed close to the airport, and hit the pop music spot in 1986 with their first single, 'This Is'. The song launched a career that, with some inevitable intermissions, continues to this day. What a career, though: tipped for international success, and with the weight of a major label (EMI) behind them, a series of self-detonations removed Aslan from contention. The first interlude arrived in 1988 when the band’s lead singer Christy Dignam was ousted from the ranks. Five years later, Dignam returned, the band signed to another major label (BMG) and released another single that (like 'This Is') quickly became one of the most played songs on Irish radio. Interruption number two came in the form of ill health for Dignam, who has courageously continued when others might have retreated from the spotlight. This year, the band celebrates the thirtieth anniversary of their debut album, Feel No Shame.

DONAL GALLAGHER

DONAL GALLAGHER
Everyone loves heroes (clean-cut, invulnerable, always around when you need them), but it’s the flawed anti-heroes (those who kick the tyres of an organisation that threatens to undermine them, those who battle against inner demons that threaten to undercut them) who always get the public vote of confidence. Irish guitarist par excellence Rory Gallagher was that anti-hero. Born in Ballyshannon, County Donegal, in 1948, Gallagher moved from ingénue to professional between 1963-’66, which is when he formed Taste. Taste split up in 1971, and from then on Gallagher flung himself into continued solo work until his untimely death in the summer of 1995. Rory’s brother Donal worked alongside him from the start of his career to the end, and it is fitting that he will be discussing Rory’s love of music, particularly so when taking into account the recent reissue campaign of the guitarist’s entire solo catalogue on remastered CD and 180-gram vinyl. The reissues represent the first wave of Rory Gallagher releases since Universal Music Group obtained the rights to his catalogue in 2017.

on the RORY GALLAGHER ARCHIVE

PHILIP KING

PHILIP KING
The Emmy award-winning and Grammy-nominated Irish musician, filmmaker and broadcaster Philip King has been involved in the creative arts for over four decades. While known primarily for his pivotal role in overseeing the acclaimed television series Other Voices, King was also a central figure in the origination and development of the landmark Emmy-winning television series, Bringing It All Back Home. The series traces the astonishing return journey that Irish traditional music contributed to America and further afield, and in this exclusive event, King will explain how music that started in the kitchen found its way onto the international stage.

’S HISTORY OF IRISH VINYL

DAVE ROBINSON (STIFF RECORDS)

DAVE ROBINSON (STIFF RECORDS)
In conversation with Stiff Records’ supremo, Dave Robinson, Shane MacGowan will be talking about his favourite records, what they mean to him, and how they shaped him as one of the greatest songwriters of the past forty years.

VICTOR VAN VUGT (PJ Harvey Producer)

BRIAN GRIFFIN (Photographer)

RUSSELL MILLS (Nine Inch Nails Designer)

STEPHEN AVERILL

STEPHEN AVERILL (U2 Designer) ‘DEATH VALLEY ’86’

When a rock band aligns itself with a photographer or designer, crucial to the working relationship are certain conditions. On a naturally personal level, these include mutual respect and belief. On a business level, of paramount importance is the inclusion of understanding the band’s creative aesthetic (their visual ‘language’) and the relationship between them and their fans. As well as constant vigilant monitoring and developing of what is essentially a brand is a collaborative process that very few people manage to carry through the years. Dublin designer and musician Stephen Averill has been a steady presence beside U2 since the band’s 1979 debut single ’23’. Through every album (bar Rattle And Hum), Averill and his co-designers have stayed firmly alongside U2, a measure not only of mutual regard but also the total quality of the work. As well as Averill, U2 have a continuing partnership with Dutch photographer Anton Corbijn, who entered the band’s trusted inner circle around the time of the release of their 1983 third album, War. From here onwards, Averill and Corbijn developed an innate understanding of what they needed from each other. 'Anton is not the kind of photographer, like other photographers, I work with,' notes Averill on 100archive.com, 'where I art direct them. You don’t art direct Anton in the strictest sense. He knows what he wants.'

The ‘War’ Room sees Anton Corbijn and Steve Averill recall their War stories, along with previously unseen images, designs, and slideshows.

(U2 Designer) ‘DEATH VALLEY ’86’

IN PERFORMANCE

SEAMUS FOGARTY

TROUBLE PILGRIMS

AUGUST WELLS

THEM THERE

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Sunday Tickets

IN CONVERSATION

CHRISSIE HYNDE

CHRISSIE HYNDE
Moving from her home in Akron, Ohio, in 1973, one-time art student Chrissie Hynde unwittingly embarked on a life less ordinary. Settling in London — having viewed it from afar as the centre of the music universe — she quickly developed an interest in the city’s burgeoning punk rock scene, and before too long had unsatisfying fits and starts in early versions of The Damned, The Clash, and 999. Her time would eventually arrive, however, in 1978, when she founded The Pretenders. Within a year, hit singles such as 'Stop Your Sobbing’ and ‘Kid' were followed by a UK number one single, 'Brass In Pocket', and, in early 1980, a UK number one album (their self-titled debut). Alongside the music — which was highly attuned pop with an assertive stance and seductive allure — was Hynde herself. Being an American woman in the UK punk scene afforded her a level of resistance to UK cultural mores. In the same way that an American cousin to an Irish or UK counterpart can come across as more experienced and cool, so Chrissie Hynde’s presence (and, lest we forget, her instantly recognisable voice) delivered heretofore untapped levels of natural confidence and unforced attraction. So it has remained, with Hynde still highlighting an uncompromising nature that refuses to retreat. As she herself once said, 'You can’t stop being who you are.'

In conversation with UK freelance music writer/broadcaster Pete Paphides, Chrissie Hynde will discuss how she made it from America to London just in time for punk rock to kickstart a singular, sometimes confrontational, career that has lasted over four celebrated decades.

and PETE PAPHIDES

TIM BURGESS

Tim Burgess (The Charlatans)
As lead singer of The Charlatans, one of the UK’s most durable bands of the past thirty years, Tim Burgess has documented his life and times in songs that are worthy of classic status. There is, however, another firm string to his bow: that of a very fine writer. In his 2016 book, Vinyl Adventures From Istanbul To San Francisco, Burgess lays it on the line: some people need music because they’re addicted to it. Albums, he claims, are soundtracks to moments in life, yardsticks to use for potential friends, clues to building profiles of people that could either attract or repel. They represent, he writes in the book, 'the Rosetta Stone from which almost everything can be worked out. The girlfriend you went to see Sonic Youth with has broken up with the guy with all the Hootie & the Blowfish CDs? Aw, man, surely that was written in the stars?' As well as using albums as signifiers, however, Burgess also emphasises the importance of independent record shops as cultural and social meeting points (places where, he notes, 'magic moments' occur). Burgess will wax lyrical about the nature of vinyl and music with his good friend and all-round comedic Renaissance woman, Sharon Horgan.

AND

SHARON HORGAN

SHARON HORGAN
There may be a comedy/drama writer and actor busier than Sharon Horgan but you’d be hard-pressed to name one. The person behind such praised ‘dramedy’ shows as Pulling, Catastrophe and Divorce was born in London but moved with her family to Ireland when she was four years old. She returned to London in her early twenties and gradually set about making her mark as a comedy sketch writer. In 2006, her career breakthrough came with Pulling, which won various British Comedy Awards. Within ten years, Sharon had co-written, with Rob Delaney, Catastrophe ('a real comedy gem'), co-written Motherland (with Graham and Helen Linehan), and through her independent production company Merman had devised/exec-produced Divorce, which stars Sarah Jessica Parker. Sharon is also a huge music fan, a lover of The Fall, The Charlatans, Kate Bush and Big Star to name but four of her favorites.

TRACEY THORN

TRACEY THORN
Once described as the Godmother of indie pop/folk ('I've never actually heard myself called that. If anyone did want to call me that, I'm not sure why I should mind'), Tracey Thorn is the positive creative thinker you’d like beside you if ever there was a time when you needed to hear a comforting and mellow voice telling you that things are actually going to be okay. Thorn has been doing very interesting work for a few decades now. Although the memories of Everything But The Girl have faded somewhat in all but the minds of the duo’s most avid fans, she has been busy enough within the past ten years, making up for a lowering of profile whilst she was raising her and Ben Watt’s children by releasing three superb solo albums (2007’s Out of the Woods, 2010’s Love and its Opposites, and this year’s Record). She is also no slouch when it comes to writing, as proven by her books Bedsit Disco Queen: How I Grew Up And Tried To Be A Popstar (2013), Naked At The Albert Hall (2015) and her regular column in New Statesman.

COSEY FANNI TUTTI

COSEY FANNI TUTTI
Musician, performance artist and writer Christine Newby has been involved in event-oriented work from the late 1960s. As a member of COUM Transmissions (a music/performance art collective she co-founded with Genesis P-Orridge), Newby developed her provocative theatrical and improvisational skills with occasional controversial results. In 1975 (by which time she had adopted the Cosey Fanni Tutti moniker), she was selected to represent Britain at the IXth Biennale de Paris. Within a year, she had co-founded (with P-Orridge, Peter Christopherson and Chris Carter) Throbbing Gristle, an experimental music/multimedia group influenced by leftfield writers such as William S Burroughs and Brion Gysin. When Throbbing Gristle disbanded in 1981, Cosey recorded with former TG member Carter (as Chris and Cosey). She continues to work in multimedia, with last year’s autobiography, Art Sex Music, raising awareness of her desire to, as Rolling Stone put it, 'fuse art and life through eliciting real responses from audiences of real — not exclusively art-world — people.'

ED PILLER (ACID JAZZ) and MARTIN FREEMAN

ED PILLER (ACID JAZZ) and MARTIN FREEMAN
When your mother runs the Small Faces’ fan club then it isn't too much of a stretch to think that a career in music is a valid option. So it proved. Following stints working at Stiff Records and then band management, in 1987 Ed Piller co-founded (with Gilles Peterson) the Acid Jazz label, which signed artists such as Jamiroquai, Brand New Heavies, and Terry Callier. DJ, broadcaster and writer (as well as MD of Acid Jazz), Piller has recently teamed up with actor and fellow music fanatic Martin Freeman (The Hobbit, Sherlock) for the double album compilation Jazz On The Corner. Having previously co-hosted infrequent radio shows, Piller and Freeman discovered their mutual and obsessive love of jazz. The result not only officially launches the thirtieth-anniversary celebrations of Acid Jazz but also highlights how the different approaches of two music fans combine to create an eclectic yet involving track selection. From Mose Allison and Blossom Dearie to Marlena Shaw and Kamasi Washington — it's jazz on the corner and in your heart. In conversation with Mick Heaney, Ed Piller and Martin Freeman will discuss their love of mod subculture, its range of influences, its music, and how it informs their lives.

SCOTT GORHAM (THIN LIZZY)

SCOTT GORHAM (THIN LIZZY)
There are several sections of a rock band’s life and career that have to be experienced before major success takes them into a different zone. These sections include the band’s pre-history and the ‘early years’, which are, effectively, settling in periods where personnel changes occur and where music styles are arrived at, mulled over, and then discarded. There is another section, however, that historically tends to overshadow what came before and after — ‘the classic years’. This is the time when everything gels: people, music, management, success. Thin Lizzy had to wait several years for this point to arrive, but when co-founders Brian Downey and Phil Lynott chose California’s Scott Gorham and Scotland’s Brian Robertson to lead the twin-guitar charge of their new material they knew they had made the right decision. Come 1976, the band’s sixth album, Jailbreak, made good on the promise of the previous two (1974’s Nightlife, 1975’s Fighting) by providing a massive hit song with 'The Boys Are Back In Town'. Subsequent ‘classic’ line-up albums (1976’s Johnny The Fox, 1977’s Bad Reputation) were equally as successful with hit songs 'Don’t Believe A Word' and 'Dancing In The Moonlight' making their mark internationally. Alongside Lynott, Downey and Gorham was trusted manager, Chris O’Donnell, who steered the band from obscurity to fame.

IRMIN SCHMIDT (CAN)

IRMIN SCHMIDT (CAN)
There are few groups in popular culture as influential as Can, the Cologne experimental unit that derived its sound from jazz and the avant-garde, and then merged it with portions of electronic, psychedelic, funk, minimalist, and world music. The beginnings of Can as the pioneers of ambient music can be attributed to the Berlin-born classical composer, conductor and pianist Irmin Schmidt, who in 1966 visited New York, where he spent time with experimental musicians such as Terry Riley, Steve Reich, and La Monte Young. Returning to Germany some months later (Cologne, where he studied under Karlheinz Stockhausen), Schmidt teamed up with music teacher and bass player Holger Czukay, guitarist Michael Karoli (a young pupil of Czukay) and free-jazz drummer Jaki Liebezeit. Much of Can’s music was based on free improvisation, which was then edited for their studio albums. Can’s music casts a highly influential shadow over the UK post-punk genre, with bands such as Public Image Ltd, Joy Division, Siouxsie   The Banshees, and The Fall citing the group as a pivotal stimulus — all thanks to Irmin Schmidt’s enthusiasm and explorative mindset. In conversation with writer Rob Young (All Gates Open: The Story Of Can), Irmin Schmidt will discuss the history and legacy of Can.

and ROB YOUNG (Biographer)

ANDREW WEATHERALL

ANDREW WEATHERALL
'Humour’s very important,' Andrew Weatherall once said. 'If I didn’t see everything as a complete joke, I would’ve been locked up years ago.' As a DJ, producer, and remixer, Weatherall has been on the go for almost thirty-five years, initially as a DJ at London club Shoom, and then as a remixer for the likes of Happy Mondays (‘Hallelujah', with Paul Oakenfold), New Order ('World In Motion'), Primal Scream (‘Loaded’/'I’m Losing More Than I’ll Ever Have') and My Bloody Valentine (‘Soon', which in 2011 topped the NME’s ‘Fifty Best Remixes Ever’ list — 'My Bloody Valentine always sounded epic, but they never sounded this fun.'). Aligning his studio skills with musicianship, in 1992 Weatherall formed Sabres of Paradise, an electronic trio with its roots in acid house and its influential tentacles in everything else from dub to techno. His work as a solo artist continues to amaze and influence, with 2016’s paired remix albums Covenanza and Consolamentum strengthening the man’s prodigious sonic skillset. Last year’s instrumental album, Qualia, delivered (writes The Guardian) 'an excellent take on the communal solitude of the dance floor . . . sumptuous listening, immaculately constructed.'

VAUGHAN OLIVER

VAUGHAN OLIVER (Pixies Designer and 4AD)

Vaughan Oliver’s graphic design work for the 4AD record label is one of the most recognisable in contemporary music. Bands such as Cocteau Twins, The Breeders, Dead Can Dance, This Mortal Coil, Throwing Muses, and Pixies each had their distinctive music intrinsically affiliated with the visual identities Oliver created for their album covers. Discovering the allure of design through album art, it wasn’t until the late-‘70s that Vaughan Oliver was best able to align his skills with his love of music. In a fortuitous chain of events that followed his graduation in graphic design at the University of Northumbria, he moved from his native County Durham to London, where he met 4AD label founder, Ivo Watts Russell. Oliver’s design aesthetic was in striking contrast to the music imagery of the time. Influenced initially as much by artists Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg as by album cover designer Roger Dean, Vaughan’s creative methodology was to challenge the usual formats. Texture and lighting, he has said, are ideal ways in which to convey musical hints and tones. 'I try to make images,' he informed designboom.com in 2014, 'where you don’t always get the “ essage" straight away . . . Leaving some space for interpretation is important.' Vaughan Oliver will present 'Walking Backwards', a selective exhibition taken from his extensive design archive.

(Pixies Designer and 4AD)

NICK SEYMOUR (CROWDED HOUSE)

NICK SEYMOUR (CROWDED HOUSE)
Australian musician, visual artist and record producer Nick Seymour is no stranger to the pleasures of an irresistible pop song. As a founding member of the Australian/New Zealand group, Crowded House, Seymour was proactively involved in finessing the band’s often superlative pop songs. Inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall Of Fame in November 2016, Crowded House was responsible for pop songs as perfect as 'Weather With You', 'Don’t Dream It’s Over', 'Distant Sun', 'Locked Out', and 'Fall At Your Feet'. Following the initial demise of Crowded House in the mid-‘90s, Seymour moved to Dublin where he quickly established himself as a key producer, studio owner, and cooperative friend to the Irish music industry. In between working with Irish musicians (he produced BellX1’s debut album, Neither Am I) and fending off questions about a possible Crowded House reunion, Seymour creates distinctive works of art, including album cover designs.

STEVE and JOE WALL (The Stunning)

PETER BOETTCHER

PETER BOETTCHER (Photographer)

Cologne photographer began his career as a music photographer in the mid-’80s, but that’s where the usual career outline stops. While he initially photographed world famous rock and pop stars (including the likes of Sonic Youth, REM, Morrissey, LL Cool J) for the then Cologne-based independent music magazine, Spex, Boettcher’s style was much broader than the usual stereotypical approaches of ecstatic performances, backstage ‘party’ moments and frantic audiences. Such a methodology brought him naturally to Kraftwerk, who he first photographed in 1991 in Düsseldorf’s legendary Kling-Klang studios. It was the start of a familiar, intimate and concentrated partnership that bears creative fruit to this day. This is fully understandable, as Boettcher’s portraits of Kraftwerk’s static stage performances freeze the spirit of the group through what he himself terms are the images’ overall 'graphical severity', 'consistent use of a central perspective' and the creation of significant 'clarity and concentration.'

CHALKIE DAVIES (Photographer)

RICK BANKS (Clubbed)

IN PERFORMANCE

CATHY DAVEY

MALOJIAN

DAVID KEENAN

DAVID KEENAN

Monday, 7 May 2018

Monday Tickets

IN CONVERSATION

KEVIN SHIELDS (My Bloody Valentine)

BOB GELDOF

BOB GELDOF
For pop music fans, one of the great televisual moments of the past forty years was when the Boomtown Rats appeared on Top Of The Pops in November 1978. Released in mid-October, 'Rat Trap' was the band’s fifth single and followed their previous UK Top 10 hit ('Like Clockwork') and three UK Top 20 hits ('Looking after Number 1', 'Mary Of The Fourth Form', 'She’s So Modern'). It reached the top spot quickly enough, ousting John Travolta/Olivia Newton-John’s seven-week smash hit 'Summer Nights' from the pole position. Ripping up photos of the Grease pair before surging into 'Rat Trap', Bob Geldof and friends were making a point: pop is dead, long live New Wave. Matters didn't really work out that way, of course. From 1981 the Boomtown Rats would never trouble the UK Top 20 again. By the end of 1985, Live Aid had come and gone, the Boomtown Rats had split up, and life for Geldof would never be the same again. Amidst exceptionally tragic personal events, and his continued involvement with political issues and business ventures, he has released solo albums (from 1986’s Deep In The Heart Of Nowhere to 2010’s How To Compose Popular Songs That Will Sell) and toured on a regular basis. While global political matters remain crucial, music continues to inspire him. Reformed in 2013, the Boomtown Rats’ new album is scheduled for release later this year.

FLOOD (Producer) and CILLIAN MURPHY

FLOOD

FLOOD (Producer)
London-born Mark Ellis has a list of production credits that amount to a Who’s Who of Grade-A music acts. From U2, New Order, Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, Nick Cave, and PJ Harvey to Foals, Sigur Ros, Warpaint, Smashing Pumpkins, The Charlatans, and The Killers, Ellis is not only highly regarded by his peers but also by celebrated musicians he convinces to take artistic leaps into uncharted territories. Such an approach stems from his background as a musician, a fact that came to the fore — perhaps more noticeably than elsewhere — with his work on U2’s Achtung Baby (1991), which is viewed as one of the most creatively triumphant risks a mainstream rock band has ever taken in altering their output from one sonic range to another.

(Producer) and

CILLIAN MURPHY

CILLIAN MURPHY
One of Ireland’s most significant and singular actors, Cillian Murphy has startled (and possibly reassured) many people with his own special creative twists and turns. He began his career in Irish theatre in 1996 with a magnetic performance in Disco Pigs (written by close friend, playwright Enda Walsh, with whom he has subsequently collaborated on commended theatre works Misterman, Ballyturk, and earlier this year, Grief Is The Thing With Feathers). Murphy came to international attention in 2001 via an equally mesmerizing performance in film director Kirsten Sheridan’s version of Walsh’s play. He followed that with 2002’s 28 Days Later (directed by Danny Boyle, with whom he would again collaborate on 2007’s Sunshine), and has since delivered an uninterrupted sequence of much-admired work. An actor of integrity and depth, Cillian Murphy straddles big budget and independent movies, selected theatre and prime-time television projects with an all-encompassing passion for music.

DONOVAN

BILLY BRAGG

BILLY BRAGG
Billy Bragg, social causes, and political activism go hand-in-hand, and as the decades have passed so Bragg’s need to change things for the better (through his music, at the very least) has increased. His primary influences as a songwriter were formed by the combined fervor of Bob Dylan and The Clash, while his provisional political ideals were shaped following a Rock Against Racism event in 1978. Tentative steps in the music industry prompted a record deal in 1983 with the newly founded independent label Go! Discs, and what was once a dream for Bragg became real. Since the mid-‘80s, he has released over a dozen albums, all of which are firmly imbued with his political principles and motivations. 'I don’t mind being labeled a political songwriter,' Bragg has said. 'The thing that troubles me is being dismissed as a political songwriter.' In tandem with his songwriting, Bragg is a successful author of non-fiction books, the most recent of which, Roots, Radicals and Rockers, authoritatively outlined the history of skiffle. 'Bragg writes with clarity . . . A definitive history of that legacy,' noted The Irish Times in its review of the book.

JAMES LAVELLE (UNKLE)

JAMES LAVELLE (UNKLE)
The founder of the Mo’Wax record label and the only constant member of UNKLE, James Lavelle is one of the most esteemed electronic music practitioners of the past twenty-five years. In 1996, Mo’Wax was responsible for releasing one of electronic music’s most lauded and groundbreaking albums: DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing . . ., which is constructed almost entirely of sampled music harvested from second-hand vinyl. This was followed by Lavelle working with DJ Shadow under the moniker of UNKLE, a pioneer of collaboration-based trip-hop. Lavelle subsequently became an in-demand DJ, remixer and producer, working with the likes of Massive Attack, Beck, Garbage, and Queens Of The Stone Age. He is also a highly respected event curator, having overseen in 2014 the prestigious London-based multi-stranded Meltdown Festival (which culminated with a live UNKLE performance, featuring former colleague DJ Shadow). Lavelle’s reputation for adventurous work continues apace with UNKLE’s 2017 studio album, The Road: Part 1 (inspired by his experience of curating Meltdown), and this year with his score for Trust, the US televisual debut of film director Danny Boyle.

BRIX SMITH and DAVE HASLAM

GRUFF RHYS

GRUFF RHYS
Welsh musician, author, filmmaker, producer and composer, Gruff Rhys fluctuates between solo work and frontman duties with Super Furry Animals (currently on hiatus). SFA’s acclaimed status is due in no small part to Gruff’s visionary and charmingly idiosyncratic ideas that are rooted in his knowledge of Welsh-language pop music and what he listened to as a teenager via Irish radio station 2FM, which (along with RTÉ Radio One) was broadcast across the Irish Sea into his hometown of Haverfordwest. His lauded solo work includes Hotel Shampoo (winner of the Welsh Music Prize 2011) and American Interior (2014), which marries music with an autobiographical film, a book and an app, each of which document Gruff’s search for his cultural roots. A little-known fact outside the confines of Wales: Rhys and DJ/radio presenter Huw Stephens are cousins.

and

HUW STEPHENS

HUW STEPHENS
Radio presenter, DJ and television host Huw Stephens has set a record yet to be beaten: at the age of seventeen he joined BBC Radio 1, becoming the youngest ever radio presenter on the station. Almost twenty years later, Huw continues to broadcast on BBC (Radio 1 and Radio Cymru), as well as presenting live coverage from festivals such as Glastonbury, Sonar, Eurosonic, and South By South West. As a DJ, he has appeared in countries as far apart as Iceland and Patagonia, while for the past several years he has been an integral part of the Irish boutique festival, Other Voices.

DAMIAN O’NEILL and MICHAEL BRADLEY (The Undertones)

PEGGY SEEGER

PEGGY SEEGER
Peggy Seeger’s father was a musicologist. Her mother was a modernist composer, and the first woman to receive a Guggenheim Fellowship. Her half-brother was renowned folk singer Pete Seeger. Her childhood was immersed in music and politics and involved direct personal insights into the lives of Woody Guthrie, Jackson Pollock, Alan Lomax, and Big Bill Broonzy. Add to these a visit to Communist China (which effectively barred her from returning to America), a marriage of convenience in London (specifically for the purpose of being granted British citizenship), a love affair with Ewan MacColl, a married man over twenty years her senior, a lifetime of becoming associated with the British folk revival, and you come to the obvious conclusion: there really should be a movie made about her life. In her 2017 memoir, First Time Ever, 82-year-old Seeger emerges as a staunchly feminist spirit, a true survivor. There may have been frequent conflict throughout her personal life, but her later years have been reasonably settled and has brought her deserved if belated acclaim.

SIMON RAYMONDE (COCTEAU TWINS/BELLA UNION)

SIMON RAYMONDE (COCTEAU TWINS/BELLA UNION)
Life in music for Simon Raymonde began in the early 1980s with London-based post-punk band Drowning Craze. His best-known musical output, however, is with Cocteau Twins, who he joined in 1984. Remaining with them until they split up in 1997, Raymonde and Cocteau Twins’ Robin Guthrie had already co-founded Bella Union as the record label to release their own work. Now celebrating a shade over twenty years, Bella Union is, says Raymonde, 'an artist-run label', which is little surprise considering the supreme acts (including Fleet Foxes, Father John Misty, Laura Veirs, and John Grant) that are synonymous with it. Simon Raymonde will discuss the history and development of Bella Union, as well as the musicians associated with it.

THE X-RAY AUDIO PROJECT

PAUL GORMAN (The Story Of ’The Face’)

MALCOLM GARRETT (Buzzcocks Designer)

IN PERFORMANCE

AILBHE REDDY

BRIGID MAE POWER

HEDGE SCHOOLS

Exhibitions

‘WALKING BACKWARDS’: VAUGHAN OLIVER ARCHIVE

‘WALKING BACKWARDS’: VAUGHAN OLIVER ARCHIVE
Vaughan Oliver’s graphic design work for the 4AD record label is one of the most recognisable in contemporary music. Bands such as Cocteau Twins, The Breeders, Dead Can Dance, This Mortal Coil, Throwing Muses, and Pixies each had their distinctive music intrinsically affiliated with the visual identities Oliver created for their album covers. Discovering the allure of design through album art, it wasn’t until the late-‘70s that Vaughan Oliver was best able to align his skills with his love of music. In a fortuitous chain of events that followed his graduation in graphic design at the University of Northumbria, he moved from his native County Durham to London, where he met 4AD label founder, Ivo Watts Russell. Oliver’s design aesthetic was in striking contrast to the music imagery of the time. Influenced initially as much by artists Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg as by album cover designer Roger Dean, Vaughan’s creative methodology was to challenge the usual formats. Texture and lighting, he has said, are ideal ways in which to convey musical hints and tones. 'I try to make images,' he informed designboom.com in 2014, 'where you don’t always get the “ essage" straight away . . . Leaving some space for interpretation is important.' Vaughan Oliver will present 'Walking Backwards', a selective exhibition taken from his extensive design archive.

PETER BOETTCHER: PHOTOGRAPHING KRAFTWERK

PETER BOETTCHER: PHOTOGRAPHING KRAFTWERK
Cologne photographer began his career as a music photographer in the mid-’80s, but that’s where the usual career outline stops. While he initially photographed world famous rock and pop stars (including the likes of Sonic Youth, REM, Morrissey, LL Cool J) for the then Cologne-based independent music magazine, Spex, Boettcher’s style was much broader than the usual stereotypical approaches of ecstatic performances, backstage ‘party’ moments and frantic audiences. Such a methodology brought him naturally to Kraftwerk, who he first photographed in 1991 in Düsseldorf’s legendary Kling-Klang studios. It was the start of a familiar, intimate and concentrated partnership that bears creative fruit to this day. This is fully understandable, as Boettcher’s portraits of Kraftwerk’s static stage performances freeze the spirit of the group through what he himself terms are the images’ overall 'graphical severity', 'consistent use of a central perspective' and the creation of significant 'clarity and concentration.'

RORY GALLAGHER’S VINYL COLLECTION

RORY GALLAGHER’S VINYL COLLECTION
Everyone loves heroes (clean-cut, invulnerable, always around when you need them), but it’s the flawed anti-heroes (those who kick the tyres of an organisation that threatens to undermine them, those who battle against inner demons that threaten to undercut them) who always get the public vote of confidence. Irish guitarist par excellence Rory Gallagher was that anti-hero. Born in Ballyshannon, County Donegal, in 1948, Gallagher moved from ingénue to professional between 1963-’66, which is when he formed Taste. Taste split up in 1971, and from then on Gallagher flung himself into continued solo work until his untimely death in the summer of 1995. Rory’s brother Donal worked alongside him from the start of his career to the end, and it is fitting that he will be discussing Rory’s love of music, particularly so when taking into account the recent reissue campaign of the guitarist’s entire solo catalogue on remastered CD and 180-gram vinyl. The reissues represent the first wave of Rory Gallagher releases since Universal Music Group obtained the rights to his catalogue in 2017.


JAMES LAVELLE’S ‘DAYDREAMING WITH UNKLE’

JAMES LAVELLE’S ‘DAYDREAMING WITH UNKLE’
An interactive exploration that utilises street culture, music and art to cast an eye over twenty-five years of British music collective UNKLE, Daydreaming With . . . aims to create a singular multi-sensory experience that has never been seen (or heard) before. James Lavelle is one of the UK’s most admired and leading artists whose exceptional career runs the gamut of creative undertakings: art, fashion, music, film, marketing, merchandising, and events. Lavelle is equal parts Renaissance man and cultural entrepreneur — the man who in the ‘90s got a Jean-Michel Basquiat artwork as part of his major record label deal played his first DJ set at fourteen, launched his pioneering record label, Mo’ Wax at eighteen, released the genre-defining UNKLE album, Psyence Fiction, at twenty-two, and subsequently became one of Fabric’s recurrent resident DJs. From the very beginning, UNKLE has been a multi-sensory, immersive creative project ranging from genre-defining music to cutting-edge visual art. As a collaboration between a number of talented artists, Daydreaming With . . . is, says Lavelle, 'the definitive UNKLE experience.' Want to know more? here