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Phil Lynott: Scealta On Old Town

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Living - - GUIDE - EMILY HOURICAN

RTE Player, un­til Jan­uary 30 Back in 1982, RTE’S Any­thing Goes took on the mak­ing of a video for Phil Lynott’s sin­gle, Old Town — a stroke of for­tune, given that his record com­pany didn’t think much of the track — and shot footage of Lynott at the Ha’penny Bridge, play­ing the trum­pet in Her­bert Park, sit­ting at the bar counter in The Long Val­ley pub, strolling along Grafton Street and the Great South Wall in Ringsend.

These scenes have now been turned into an ex­cel­lent half-hour doc­u­men­tary, cap­tur­ing all the magic of the man, and in­ter­spersed with rec­ol­lec­tions from those who knew him, in­clud­ing Brush Shiels from Lynott’s first band Skid Row; Thin Lizzy band mem­ber Eric Bell; Jim Lock­hart from Horslips; and Aonghus Mcanally, a pre­sen­ter on Any­thing Goes, as well as Philom­ena, Lynott’s mother, who talks about giv­ing birth to him in Eng­land, in a home for un­mar­ried moth­ers, where she was spat at, beaten, and called “nig­ger lover”. She sent Lynott home to be brought up in Crum­lin when he was six; by the time he was 19 he had formed Thin Lizzy, ap­peared on Top of the Pops with Whiskey in the Jar when he was about 22 and re­leased The Boys are Back in Town by 26.

Ten years later, at 36, he was dead. Watch­ing that 1982 footage now, his ta­lent and charisma are all the more ex­tra­or­di­nary. Chan­nel4.com, se­ries 1&2 This gen­tle, good-na­tured satire started in 2011 and ran to five se­ries, up to June 2018. Focused around the reg­u­lar Fri­day night din­ner in the home of North Lon­don mid­dle-class sec­u­lar Jewish fam­ily, the Good­mans, it is writ­ten by Robert Pop­per (and based heav­ily on his own up­bring­ing).

The fam­ily con­sists of fa­ther Martin (Paul Rit­ter), mother Jackie (Tamsin Greig), elder son, mu­si­cian Adam (Si­mon Bird), and younger son, es­tate agent Jonny (Tom Rosen­thal). Var­i­ous oth­ers are reg­u­lar drop­pers-by, in­clud­ing lonely neigh­bour Jim, Jackie’s best friend, Val, and Jackie’s mother, Grandma Nelly.

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