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New York’s finest, Wheatus return for Galway city show

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Best known for their 2000 hit Teenage Dirtbag, Wheatus play Monroe’s Live on Friday, September 13.  The Brooklyn based alternative rock band come to Ireland promoting their latest album, Valentine.

The record opens with Don’t Fall in Love, a song that deals with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) issues in American high schools. Wheatus’ founding member Brendan Brown discusses how the song came about.

“One day I was riding my bike in the woods,” he says. “It was a weekday, and I came blasting down this hill on my BMX. I wound up at this lakeside and up above me in a tree where what I was pretty certain were two high school girls having a date.

“I hope I didn’t interrupt!” he laughs. “But I immediately bugged out of there and it kind of occurred to me that, deep in the woods here, might be the only place they can go to be together. The story unfolded into a fictionalised account of what they might be going through, if they were considering coming out. In America, it’s tough enough to be a teenager in high school, but I imagine it’s quite a bit more hellish to be one and be gay.”

Valentine was recorded in the Wheatus studio in Long Island, which Brendan affectionately refers to as a ‘shack’. When it comes to recording, he prefers the DIY approach.

“It’s always been the way we’ve worked, since the first one,” he says. “We made that in my mother’s basement – and it hasn’t got much more complicated than that! They’re all homemade records.”

Since the making of Valentine, a new member has joined the Wheatus camp.

“Just as soon as we finished the record, our drummer Kevin had to leave and we added a new member, Will Tully,” Brendan says. “He’s really pretty fantastic. I found him through a friend here in Brooklyn – I ask around say ‘I need a drummer’ and everyone comes up with one!”

Wheatus’ best known song is Teenage Dirtbag. Anyone who listened to the radio in the early noughties will remember how ubiquitous it was. Some hits can become an albatross around a songwriter’s neck, but Brendan is frank about the effect Teenage Dirtbag had on Wheatus.

 

For more see this week’s Tribune

CITY TRIBUNE

Reverberate – exploring migration and memories

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Joselle Ntumba of Éireann and I, the collective that is presenting the show at Galway Arts Centre, pictured with her family.

Arts Week with Judy Murphy

A new exhibition, Reverberate, by Éireann and I, will open at the city’s Galway Arts Centre this Saturday, December 3, at 2pm, and will run until December 22.

Reverberate is an oral history project developed by Éireann and I, a black migrant community archive, in collaboration with members of Galway’s African diaspora.

The organisers invited Black migrants who have settled in Galway to recount their journeys to Ireland, their relationship with the city and county, and to reflect on whether they have developed a sense of belonging.

The testimonies in Reverberate come from eight people of varying age and from different places. The many subjects they deal with include parenting, politics, the effects of the asylum system on lives and the communities and organisations they have built.

Some of their shared background is immediately obvious, but there are deeper connections too and these demonstrate how all humans are affected by the global and local tensions that cause people to leave their homelands and build new lives elsewhere.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Songs of Celebration at Galway Cathedral

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Composer and clarinettist Emma Johnson will join Vox Orbis.

Galway’s Vox Orbis, a female choral ensemble directed by Mark Keane, is joining forces with internationally renowned clarinettist Emma Johnson to present her Songs of Celebration. The concert will take place in Galway Cathedral next Friday, December 9

Emma Johnson, who won the BBC Young Musician of the Future at the age of 17, has since gone on to become one of the world’s biggest selling classical artists, celebrated for her diverse repertoire. The choir will present two of her compositions as well as her Variations on We wish you a merry Christmas with Annalisa Monticelli, piano.

The programme will also include Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols, accompanied by concert harpist Aisling Ennis. Aisling has recently released an album of harp solos, Folly of Melancholy, and will perform a solo on the evening too. Galway based soprano Noreena McDonagh will join the choir for seasonal favourite, O Holy Night, newly arranged by conductor Mark Keane.

Vox Orbis promotes the work of female composers, and the programme will include Snow Angel by the contemporary Canadian composer Sarah Quartel, with Nickie Geddes, cello. They have also commissioned leading Irish composer, Rhona Clarke, to compose a set of carols, Sweet the Song, which will also be premiered on the evening.

Tickets at €20 are available on Eventbrite and at the door on the night. Visit voxorbis.ie for more information.

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CITY TRIBUNE

‘Potato People’ pays homage to victims of Great Famine

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Artist and sculptor Joe McCaul

The Potato People, an exhibition of sculptures based on the Irish Famine of 1845-49, will open in the foyer of Alcantara, one of the new buildings at the city’s Bonham Quay, this weekend.

It’s the work of artist and sculptor Joe McCaul, who lives in Ballinderreen.

These ceramic figures, fired in clay, “tell the harrowing stories of the lives and deaths of our ancestors during the Great Hunger”, he explains.

The exhibition has already had an eight-week run in Kinvara where it was very well-received, Joe adds.

Joe became fascinated by the Great Famine in recent times and with the many different accounts of those tragic years.

This fascination began in earnest when he read The Truth Behind the Irish Famine, by Kerryman Jerry Mulvihill.

“I began to feel a strong affinity with the people in these stories, their tragedy and the horrendous suffering they endured. I felt compelled to find a way to honour the millions who died of hunger and disease – and emigration; the countless stories forgotten in the Famine graveyards all over this country.”

Joe used his knowledge of working with paper clay to express this need. The process was intuitive and experimental, he says, as he worked without pre-planning or pre-drawing.

The resulting figures, which were formed by draping paper clay over armatures of chicken wire and steel bars, “just emerged from my fingertips. I sculpted feverishly for many months, one horrific figure leading to the next – so many stories to be told”.

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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