FRI­DAY 27.05.16

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC REVIEWS - Jim Car­roll JC Larkin Cor­mac Ionad Cultúrtha, Bal­lyvour­ney, 8.30pm, ¤15/¤10 ion­ad­cul­ Siobhan Long

IS­LAND LOLZ Drop Ev­ery­thing The cul­tural bi­en­nial re­turns to the Aran Is­land for its third it­er­a­tion, and en­cour­ages you to leave all your no­tions be­hind for the best arty buzz of your life. High­lights in­clude Mr Silla, Ze­bra Katz and a pur­pose-built sauna on the beach. Who could re­sist?


FES­TI­VAL Life Now in its 11th year, the Co West­meath fest has as­sem­bled what may be their best house and techno line-up to date with Paul Kalk­bren­ner, 2 Many DJs, Lau­rent Garnier, Jeff Mills, John Tal­abot, Ben Klock, Hot Since 82 and more. HOUSETASTIC Ri­ton New­cas­tle DJ and pro­ducer Henry Smith­son ar­rived on our radars af­ter his Switch la­bel at­tracted the in­ter­est of Mark Rae and Grand Cen­tral. Since then, he’s had a pro­lific run as Ri­ton, in­clud­ing col­lab­o­ra­tions with Ben Fat Trucker as Gucci Sound Sys­tem, Soul­wax and with DJ Me­hdi. Re­cently, he turned up on Tame Im­pala’s Daf­fodil track along­side Mark Ron­son. Sax­o­phon­ist Sean MacEr­laine is an ad­ven­turer in the slip­streams be­tween gen­res. His short duo series for Note Pro­duc­tions con­cludes with this tan­ta­lis­ing meet­ing with the Nor­we­gian folk singer, Unni Løvlid (above), whose ethe­real sound is hugely val­ued by Scan­di­na­vians, and will re­mind Ir­ish ears that we have a shared his­tory. IMPROVISATIONAL TRAD Tree­lan Cross­ing orig­i­nal Ir­ish tra­di­tional mu­sic with African, jazz and a plethora of world mu­sic in­flu­ences, Tree­lan in the shape of Martin Tour­ish (pi­ano ac­cor­dion), Con­golese gui­tarist Ni­wel Tsumbu and per­cus­sion­ist Ea­monn Cag­ney fol­lows path­ways largely un­charted. It is cer­tainly im­pres­sive, as our man in the RDS noted yes­ter­day, that Bruce Spring­steen plays for “more than two-and-a-half hours”. And yet even this is an ex­am­ple of the con­sumer’s dras­ti­cally re­duced pur­chas­ing power in re­cent times. I re­mem­ber when the great man thought noth­ing of play­ing for four hours.

It was 1985, and money was scarce. Not for Bruce, ob­vi­ously. But some of us were so strapped for cash at the time that we hero­ically ig­nored the hype pre­ced­ing his ap­pear­ance at Slane. Un­til the af­ter­noon of the concert it­self, that is; where­upon our re­sis­tance col­lapsed.

It was a beau­ti­ful day. And I re­mem­ber lis­ten­ing to the wire­less – as we called it back then – in a house in deep­est south Dublin, when the sta­tion went live to Slane for a re­port on the start of the concert. Sure enough, Spring­steen was al­ready on stage – I could hear him in the back­ground. And the ef­fect was elec­tri­fy­ing.

It was a bit like St Pa­trick – a

Spring­steen at Slane on June 1st, 1985

much ear­lier head­line act in Slane – light­ing the paschal fire. Bruce was call­ing me to Meath, and I had to go. So I dropped ev­ery­thing and went: first catch­ing a no 15 bus into the city, then a 19A out to Fin­glas. And from there, I started hitch­ing.

There were days then when you got one lift all the way to your des­ti­na­tion, with­out even try­ing. This was one of the other days – when friendly farm­ers driv­ing beat-up Ford Anglias and in no hurry to get any­where would bring you from here up to the next turn-off, at which point you had to get your thumb out again.

But I reached the out­skirts of Slane in four or five in­stal­ments and walked the last mile-and- a-half into the vil­lage, which was now shrouded in si­lence.

Was the concert over? Hell, no. It was just the half-time break. Dur­ing which, I found a for­lorn tout who, hav­ing a clear­ance sale, off­loaded his last ticket to me for a fiver – 66 per cent off the rec­om­mended re­tail price.

Thus, hav­ing heard the start of Spring­steen’s Slane concert on a ra­dio in Tem­pleogue, and hav­ing made at least six sep­a­rate ve­hic­u­lar trips in the mean­time, I at­tended the sec­ond half of the concert, which lasted the guts of two hours. And the great thing was, I still had money left for food.

But you tell young peo­ple that now, and they won’t be­lieve you.

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