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Chuck Prophet aiming to ‘hit where it hurts’

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Chuck Prophet.

Groove Tube with Jimi McDonnell – tribunegroove@live.ie

At a first listen, Chuck Prophet brings to mind songwriters like Beck and Bob Dylan. Delve a little deeper, though, and you’ll discover an artist whose solo career began in 1990, and who has a sound that’s very much his own. The San Francisco based singer plays the Róisín Dubh next Tuesday, July 21, as part of this year’s Galway International Arts Festival.

Given that his career goes back over 25 years, is it hard for Chuck to put a set-list together? “I tend to like my later stuff – I can’t say that about all the artists that I follow!” he laughs. “I’ve so many songs to choose from, so I try to read an audience. I try and hit people where it hurts. I try to make them laugh.”

Last year, Chuck Prophet released his 13th studio album, Night Surfer.

Was he happy with how it turned out? “Absolutely, yeah,” he says. “I’m just so surprised that it’s taken me this f**kin’ long to get the hang of it! I feel like I’m just starting to. I don’t know, there’s songwriting, performing, and then there’s the craft of making a record. You want it all to come together at the same time, and it’s a mystery what that is.”

Laughing on the Inside is a track that grabs the listener from the very first chord. How did that bittersweet tune come about?

“I was trying to write something big like [George Harrison’s] All Things Must Pass, or Phil Spector,” he says. “There are two drummers on that track. I just wanted something that was less delicate and not sweet. You hear a track like Lust for Life and it just hits you, it rolls over you like a steam engine.”

Chuck is particularly proud of Truth Will Out (Ballad of Melissa and Remy), which he describes as a ‘dense, storytelling song’.

Was it hard to get that one right? “It was a little bit tricky,” he says. “Honestly, I don’t know if we even nailed it. Songs are living and breathing and you never know where the definitive one is coming from. Except for The Beatles – I heard Revolution on the radio and it’d be hard to think of a better version of that song. But they had the ability to make definitive recordings.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

 

 

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Fresh outing for hit show Postcards from the Ledge

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Rory Nolan in Paul Howard's Postcards from the Ledge, directed by Jimmy Fay.

“The Rossmeister General is coming to your gaff! And lockdown isn’t going to stop me!”

That’s the warning from Ross O’Carroll-Kelly, aka Paul Howard, whose one-man show, Postcards from the Ledge, will be livestreamed this Saturday night, May 15, with tickets available from Galway’s Town Hall Theatre.

The popular show, presented by Landmark Theatre, directed by Jimmy Fay, and starring Druid regular Rory Nolan as the South Dublin alacadoo will also be available on demand until Sunday, May 23.

The action is set in 2029 as Ireland enjoys yet another economic boom. Ross is about to turn 50 – and life couldn’t be sweeter. His wife, Sorcha, is Taoiseach. His triplet boys are the backbone of the Castlerock College Junior Cup team. And he’s still doing ok with the ladies. But trouble is around the corner as Ross’s daughter, Honor, is about to get married.

Ross O’Carroll-Kelly began life in the-now defunct Sunday Tribune newspaper more than 20 years ago and Paul Howard’s creation has since become familiar to readers of Saturday’s Irish Times thanks to his column in that paper.

Paul has also written several critically acclaimed series of books based on Ross that satirised Ireland during the boom and bust.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Irish poets centre stage in Druid’s new Coole series

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Tommy Tiernan, who kicks off the poetry series with The Echo at Coole by Austin Clarke.

Druid’s Coole Park Poetry series, which began last year, will continue this month with a series of 10 new short films featuring the work of poets Austin Clarke, Patrick Kavanagh, Thomas Kinsella, Séamus Heaney, Derek Mahon, Eiléan Ni Chuilleanáin, Eavan Boland, Paul Durcan, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill and Paula Meehan.

The poems, which will premiere online from next Wednesday, May 19, will be read by Tommy Tiernan, Aaron Monaghan, Seán McGinley, Marty Rea, Brian Doherty, Venetia Bowe, Jade Jordan, Andrew Bennett, Rory Nolan, Marie Mullen and Clare Dunne.

A new film will be released weekly and all are free to view on the YouTube channels of Druid and the Adrian Brinkerhoff Poetry Foundation. The films were shot by Matthew Thompson in Cooke Park, and the project was made with the support of the US-based Adrian Brinkerhoff Poetry Foundation.

The poems are  The Echo at Coole by Austin Clarke, The Hospital by Patrick Kavanagh, Another September by Thomas Kinsella, an excerpt from Station Island by Seamus Heaney, A Disused Shed in County Wexford by Derek Mahon, The Architectural Metaphor by Eiléan Ni Chuilleanáin, The Lost Art of Letter Writing by Eavan Boland, Tullynoe: Tête-à-Tête in the Parish’s Priest’s Parlour by Paul Durcan, Cathleen by Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, and This is not a confessional poem by Paula Meehan.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Enda’s pictures show lockdown in new light

Judy Murphy

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Enda's parents Michael and Denise were happy to collaborate on the lockdown project, a mix of the nostalgic and the surreal as can be seen from this photo, Milkshakes.

Arts Week with Judy Murphy

A photography project born out of lockdown and filled with colour, nostalgia, an odd touch of grime and a few Catholic icons, has won a major award for Galway artist Enda Burke. The show, Homebound with my Parents is now going on display at the popular Coffeewerk and Press café exhibition space in Galway City’s Quay Street.

Enda, from Mervue in the city, normally specialises in outdoor story-based photography, but when lockdown took hold early last year there wasn’t much happening outside, so he turned his gaze closer to home. He was living with his parents, Michael and Denise, at the time and decided to make them the central figures of a Covid-19 photo series.

Enda took all the photos using a 35mm film camera but before he picked it up, he drew each scene out on a sketchbook.

Then, he built theatre-style sets in his parents’ house to create a variety of tableaux in which Denise and Michael feature, together or individually, as protagonists. The backgrounds include a range of vivid wallpaper, holy pictures and old-fashioned televisions. Vintage radios and mirrors as well as jigsaws, tins of beans and dodgy clothing also feature.

The images he creates invite the viewers to build stories around them – and while the settings are domestic, they’re surreal too.

In one photo, Michael is working out – only he isn’t. In another, Denise is at a table, holding a cigarette while eating a packet of Tayto and reading a book. There’s a plate of beans and an ashtray filled with butts on the table. It “has that element of grime in it”, says Enda. Like the others, it’s also quirky and kitsch.

Michael and Denise are both creative: he writes short stories and she’s into interior design and colour, says Enda. His photography marries both these talents, creating dramas in a colourful, surreal environment.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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