Groove Tube with Jimi McDonnell – email@example.com
If you’re interested in fine songwriting, put this into your diary: August Wells, Róisín Dubh, Thursday, September 3. The project is the brainchild of Ken Griffin and John Rauchenberger, who are both based in New York. Griffin is a former member of Irish indie legends Rollerskate Skinny, whose 1996 single Speed To My Side remains a classic.
But August Wells is different to the feedback drenched Skinny sound. These songs are slower and more melodic, with a Nick Cave feel to some of them. How does Ken feel about his new band?
“I’m not going to say anything different, but for me I’m happier with this stuff than anything else that’s gone before,” he says. “Just because the battle to get it done wasn’t as huge. My partnership with John involves a lot less talk about the idea than other projects I’ve had.”
The band’s latest single is the melancholic yet heartwarming Come on in out of That Night. How did that song come about?
“That one presented itself almost complete,” Ken says. “These things are mysterious. But that phrase ‘come on in out of that night’ – I didn’t understand it initially, but I just kind of trusted it. Then I built verses around the chorus idea.”
On an August Wells record, you’ll hear a saxophone player, a violinist and a French horn player. But the band is based around the partnership between Ken and John Rauchenberger. How did the pair meet?
“I met him through a circle of friends,” Ken says. “We were all walking home and he wanted us to show us his house. There was a piano there – I’d known him for two years and didn’t even know he could play!
“He sat down and started playing for a minute, and I thought ‘that’s interesting. Those weren’t very predictable notes’. So I suggested why don’t we just get together and play. He lives a hundred yards from me!”
There’s a unique aspect to the relationship that Ken is pleased about.
“John’s gloriously uninformed about any contemporary music,” he says. “Well, the last 40 years. You make the most pop culture reference and he scratches his head. It’s great – you don’t have to have that conversation ‘no, make it more like this’. You’re not referencing other people, you’re just talking in musical terms. Make it more simple, or more complex – he finds an unusual route into my songs, and it makes it more enjoyable.”
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Maeve named as Film Fleadh programmer
Limerick woman Maeve McGrath has been named as the new Director of Programming for Galway Film Fleadh, taking over from Will Fitzgerald. She will be responsible for curating this year’s festival, which will run from July 11-16.
She previously worked as artistic director of Kerry International Film Festival, producer at Carlow Arts Festival and joint short film programmer at Dublin International Film Festival.
Maeve is involved with Limerick’s artist-led, community-focused facility, The GAFF where she recently curated a community audio/visual project, Tiny Little Histories, and produced TravFest, a Traveller wellness festival as part of Guth na Mincéirí.
She has a Master’s in Media Studies from Limerick’s Mary I/UL, graduating in 2015 with the thesis, Irish Short Film: The Road To Oscar.
“The Fleadh has a very special place on the film festival circuit, nationally and internationally, and I am delighted to be part of the team that will programme the 35th edition,” she stated.
“I forward to being part of the continued growth of the Galway Film Fleadh and supporting the development of emerging and established filmmakers.”
Mystery of Wolfe Tone’s death
Historical entertainer Paddy Cullivan will be at the Town Hall Theatre on Thursday next, February 2, with The Murder of Wolfe Tone, the incredible story of the mysterious death of Theobald Wolfe Tone, leader of the 1798 Rebellion and the man who is regarded as the founding father of Irish republicanism.
In this audio-visual show featuring hundreds of images, shocking new research and a vast array of songs, Paddy works to unravel the secrets and lies around what happened that fateful week in Dublin’s Provost’s Prison in November 1798 when 35-year-old Tone was found dead in his cell.
Tickets for The Murder of Wolfe Tone, which starts at 8pm are €20/18, plus a €1 booking charge. They are available at tht.ie, 091-569777 and at the Town Hall Theatre Box Office.
Funnyman Neil brings latest show to Athenry
Comedian Neil Delamere will bring his new show, Delamerium, to the Raheen Woods Hotel in Athenry on Saturday, February 18.
Audiences can expect hilarious stories, wry observations and quick-witted improvisation as Neil tries to makes sense of the world around him.
Neil is one of the top acts working in the Irish comedy scene today, well-known to audiences for his regular television appearances on RTÉ and BBC, as well as his hilarious sell-out stand up tours.
His shows have received stellar reviews and resulted in several platinum-selling DVDs, while Neil has also written and presented comedy documentaries including programmes on the Vikings and St Patrick which won IFTA and Celtic Media awards.
He also presented a series on heroes from Ireland’s past, Holding out for a Hero, on RTÉ 2.
He’s a regular on BBC Northern Ireland’s popular panel show, The Blame Game, as well as being a panellist on BBC 5 Live’s Fighting Talk and has featured on BBC 4’s The News Quiz.
According to the Irish Times, ‘no TV camera could accurately measure the lightning speed of Delamere’s wit’, while the Scotsman awarded him five stars during an appearance at the Edinburgh Fringe, stating: ‘You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more gifted comic at the Fringe.’
He continues to tour at home and abroad and audiences can catch his latest show, Delamerium, on February 18 in Athenry.
Tickets for Delamerium are available from the hotel or at ticketsolve.ie