This afternoon

IMMA have revealed the lineup for Continuous Patterns – a selection of artists who are at the ‘very cutting edge of contemporary Irish culture’ on June 15-16 in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Kilmainham.

Louise Barker writes:

Friday July 15th presents an evening of forward facing, future focused ure focused live music on the Courtyard and Terrace stages with performances from exciting emerging r’n’b acts Jar Jar Jr. Negro Impacto & Efe, a Very Special Guest soon TBA, a unique collaboration from the exhilarating and elegant pairing of power pop sensation AE Mak and the renowned contemporary ensemble Glasshouse, and closing out the evening in full dancing mode we welcome a rare hometown live performance from one of the country’s most celebrated electronic producers and DJs – R.Kitt.

In slightly more genteel fashion, the programme on Saturday July 16th welcomes you into the elegant embrace of a leisurely mid summer’s evening in IMMA with psych-folk artist Aoife Wolf, the folk stylings emerging Cork songwriter O Deer, Ukulele collective Rugs, the riot of sound that is Stomptown Brass, a performance to be treasured from a Very Special Guest, and a very special performance from Ye Vagabonds in collaboration with renowned composer and multi-instrumentalist Gareth Quinn Redmond.

Each evening the terrace bar will be soundtracked by some of our most celebrated selectors with dj sets from Dublin stalwarts and radio personalities Claire Beck and Donal Dineen, emerging Japanese – Irish selector Emmy Shigeta and the breezy sounds of the Desert Island Disco crew.

Tickets here.


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Above from left: Peter O’Rourke, Peter Mark CEO, Mark Keaveney, Peter Mark co-founder, Fallon Cahill salon Manager, Peter Mark Bloomfield and Richard Keaveney

This morning.

Dun Laoghaire, county Dublin

The official re-opening of the newly re-designed Peter Mark salon at Bloomfield shopping centre Dun Laoghaire, now celebrating 47 years at this location.

The salon where Bodger, as a nipper, got bleached.

Good times.

Not for the red-haired, obviously.

Sasko lazarov/Photocall Ireland

From top: Leakey’s second hand bookshop. Inverness, Scotland; David Langwallner

‘Embarrassed by his emotional reverie, the D.H.C. shifts attention by expressing his disappointment in Bernard’s odd behaviour outside work and threatens to exile him to Iceland.’

Aldous Huxley, Brave New World.

A bit like a latter-day Dr. Johnson, but not to the Outer Hebrides, I took a recent break in the highlands of Scotland. The trip for those interested in a travelogue covered some but not all of Johnson’s itinerary: Inverness, Fort William, Skye and, with some difficulty, a lesser-known island called Jura.

Regrettably, I did not get to see Iona where the monks as in Ireland and such islands as Skellig kept the tradition of learning and lore alive through the Middle Ages. But Johnson did not see much learning or preservation of culture left when he visited.

The talk of the Highlands in every town but particularly in Mallaig and Skye was of internal migration. Mass migration to the north since Covid times. Increasing. A conventional explanation is that this is just a yuppie retirement policy, often done historically, but this is different. The complexity of reasons includes of course the pursuit of the good life and rustic living, but many also are driven by fear of what may and will happen in urban conurbations quite soon. Economic destruction. Already started.

In one of the great bookstores, I have ever seen, Leakey’s (and I have promised the owner sight of this) in Inverness, I bought a lot of books as is my want, and in Mallaig also. So, a form of cultural preservation is taking place in these new dark Middle Ages. Dr. Johnson would approve.

In Leakey’s, someone had offloaded a complete set of Panther first editions of Phillip K Dick. Lurid covers, quite popular many years ago In Dublin, and cheap. And Dick is back in fashion. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep aka Blade Runner is a dark predictor of what now in reality may happen to many urban spaces, hence the other reason for the migration to the north. Social distancing can certainly be preserved in Skye where hotels and bars are wide apart and tourism aside there is much possibility of isolation or self-isolation.

The people of Skye are looking at all of this as a business opportunity but also wondering whether they should not sell just rent. They have not been as much affected by the plague and the hallmarks of self-sufficiency and sustainable living are everywhere. Piles of chopped wood as in Austria. Solar power on hills. The two central restaurants in Mallaig boast the catch of the day. Fresh fish. Living on the land. Or by the sea.

On the journey to Fort William a taxi driver informed me that there are many people who live in the woods. Of course, woodcutters were one of the safe occupations unaffected by plagues historically or the devastation of the Middle Ages. And it is a reversion to a form of corporate feudalism in urban spaces that is dictating the run for nature. The run for cover.

The island of Jura is very desolate indeed and it takes a huge effort to see a spacious cottage. The residence of one Mr George Orwell where he wrote 1984. It is oddly enough difficult to find. The distance and the isolation may have created the clarity of perception.

The writers of science fiction and predictive dystopia are an undercurrent of our fraught times. Dick as well as predicting the desolation of urban spaces also saw other awful features of our time. Thus, Minority Report the short story and film anticipates pre-crime which, with ever draconian emergency legislation, is where we are heading.

Orwell saw it coming as he did other awful features of our time best represented in his short stories such as how the poor die or his celebration of language and his understanding of the distortion of same by propaganda. Two plus two equals five is like a totemic comment on our age of disinformation and distortion.

The character Bernard, foregrounding this piece, wanted to escape the Brave New World of Huxley’s dystopia by migrating to Iceland. And it is more a Huxleyite consumerist and controlled dystopia that is upon us. Bernhard, despite the chastisement of his superiors, was right to want to go to Iceland and the mass migration to Mallaig and Skye speaks volumes of our turbulent times.

At least internet migration may be possible for a while, but if you are on a boat to the UK well then Rwanda is the solution du jour. Social ghettoisation beckons for those without resources or perception of what is likely to happen.

One can thus quite understand the internal migration and resettlement to the north. Though Dr Johnson deplored it at one level complaining that:

“Some method to stop this epidemic desire of wandering, which spreads its contagion from valley to valley, ought to be sought with great diligence”.

Dr Johnson also of course famously said he who is tired of London is tired of life. Well, there is some truth in that, but one cannot criticise many people for wanting to stay safe if they can. Or for taking preventive measures for self-protection or let us use a more apt word, survival.

Meanwhile, back in London (Kent to be exact), I see HG Wells, the other great predictor of the shape of things to come, has a little plaque outside Eardley Road, where a Nightingale Crown Court heard most compassionately a hearing involving a client of mine yesterday.

At the very end of the high street in Sevenoaks is where The Beatles shot the videos for their greatest-ever single, the double a-side Strawberry Fields Forever and Penny Lane (both should have appeared on their best album, incidentally, I see celebrating its birthday today).

They are still disputing where the tree in the Strawberry Fields video is . But to quote:

‘Living is easy with eyes closed
/ Misunderstanding all you see.’

And the booksellers of Mallaig and Skye say ‘aye’. Do you think they might know something?

David Langwallner is a barrister, specialising in public law, immigration, housing and criminal defence including miscarriages of justice. He is emeritus director of the Irish Innocence project and was Irish lawyer of the year at the 2015 Irish law awards. Follow David on Twitter @DLangwallner

Pic: Leakey’s

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Ah here


Ah now.


Sorcha Richardson – Archie

Teenage dreams so hard to beat.

Stellar Dublin singer Sorcha Richardson (top) returns with a taster for her new album, the follow-up to First Prize Bravery.

Sorcha writes:

“Archie is a song about teenage hopes and dreams and about losing touch with the people who you once shared them with. I wrote the earliest version of it at a writing camp in the Spring of 2021 with some of my favourite Irish songwriters.

“We recorded it at The Clinic in Dublin with my band mates Joe Furlong, Cian Hanley and Jake Curran and it’s quickly become my favourite song to play live. As lame as it sounds, It makes me feel like I’m living out my teenage dreams when we play it. I think that’s one of the greatest feelings you can have.”

The video is directed by James Baldwin and stars Adam Lunnon Collery and Conor Fitzpatrick.

Nick says: Becoming more like Archie.

Sorcha Richardson

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This morning.

Ninch, Laytown, county Meath.

The planning application (above) for an emergency temporary village with 569 detached homes for Ukrainian refugees has now been lodged with Meath County Council.

The application for 33-square-metre detached single storey properties on almost 16 hectares of land is by Melvin Properties Ltd and Ketut Limited.

They are seeking permission to build an ’emergency temporary accommodation campsite’, for a period of five years.

Yesterday: Temporary village for Ukrainian refugees proposed for land in Meath (Breaking News)



What you may need to know.

1. I’m a bit biased on this one after meeting the Thin White Duke in The Baggot Inn back in the day, so forgive me.

2. This is the first teaser trailer for Moonage Daydream, a new film about David Bowie that is neither biopic nor documentary.

3. Footage shows Bowie emerging on-stage in the Ziggy Stardust era, before Bowie recites a passage from Mr. Rice’s Secret, a film in which he starred in 1998: “It’s what you do in life that’s important, not how much time you have,” he says over rousing music.

4. Moonage Daydream, which premiered at Cannes Film Festival this month and was approved by Bowie’s estate, features unreleased 35mm and 16mm footage from David’s personal archives.

6. Brett Morgen, best known for Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck (2015), directed, wrote, and produced.

7. Last November, Variety reported that the film would be “neither documentary nor biography, but an immersive cinematic experience built, in part, upon thousands of hours of never before seen material,” citing a source. It was also reported that Tony Visconti, Bowie’s longtime producer, served as the film’s music producer.

Andy’s verdict: He Is A Hero!

Release: In cinemas September.

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