Date Published: 29-Jun-2011
It was something of a coup when it was announced that De La Soul would be playing the Big Top at this year’s Galway Arts Festival. The hip-hop trio, acclaimed for classic albums like 3 Feet High and Rising and their mega selling success with Gorillaz, come to Galway on Saturday, July 23.
Kelvin Mercer – better known by his MC name Posdnous – is talking from a hotel room in Shepherd’s Bush, London. Though away from his native Long Island, he doesn’t really consider himself as being ‘on tour’.
“We just had a few dates that we were doing,” he says. “But everything’s going really well, we were just in Paris. We’re just doing one-offs here and there. When I’m back home every four or five days, it’s like I’m flying in and out to do shows.”
Posdnous – ‘Pos’ to his friends – will be joined by his bandmates David Jude Jolicoeur and Vincent ‘Mase’ Mason for Galway. Although they sometimes tour with a band, De La Soul will be performing as the classic trio for the Arts Festival. Each member will be firing out witty and high energy lyrics, with Mase also performing DJ duties.
“It’ll be the three of us performing; we’re going to give it our all and have fun with it,” enthuses Posdnous. “A lot of the music we use is on MP3s, so we can turn around and manipulate them on a computer. A band is a different dynamic and a feel but I think we try our best – and I think we succeed in having that same energy.”
De La Soul have been performing together since 1987. Mace started out using vinyl to DJ with, but the band members have made the transition to the digital era.
“We had a lot of fun,” Posdnous says about the band’s early days. “But you had to be very conscious sometimes while you’re performing, you gotta make sure you’re not jumping too hard, ‘cos you may make Mace’s record skip!”
De La Soul released their debut album 3 Feet High and Rising in 1989. The record was instantly hailed as a classic and is still revered to this day. The success of De La Soul’s debut lay in its appeal to fans of all genres, not just hip-hop.
Most hip-hop bands at the time were sampling soul and funk, but 3 Feet High featured snippets from artists like Tom Waits, Steely Dan, The Turtles and Johnny Cash.
“It was just music that was in our parents’ catalogue, honestly,” says Posdnous. “The title of that record, 3 Feet High and Rising came from a Johnny Cash song called 6 Feet High And Rising. I grew up around a lot of soul music, but it didn’t make me think that ‘OK, this is what I need to sample’.
“We just felt there was so many different ways to pull the music from, I think we were blessed to be all like minded in that respect.”
When hip-hop became a mega-selling genre, it was understandable that the artists whose work was being sampled came looking for royalty payments. Do stricter copyright laws make it difficult these days for bands like De La Soul?
“It’s not hard to make the album, it just may not be considered lucrative,” explains Posdnous. “Sampling is almost more established now than ever, the laws are in place. It’s just certain artists, if you’re gonna sample from Paul McCartney – he loves hip-hop music and the dynamic of it – but you’ve got to play a steep price for it.”
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Retail industry trade body welcomes B&Q announcement
Date Published: 07-May-2013
Retail Excellence Ireland, the country’s largest retail industry trade body, has welcomed the news that 60 jobs have been saved at the city branch of B&Q.
It’s after the home improvements store successfully exited examinership.
Under the scheme, 2.4 million euro is to be invested by parent company Kingfisher plc, and B and Q will continue to trade at eight stores
This means 640 jobs have been saved nationwide, including 60 at the outlet in Knocknacarra.
However, David Fitzsimons of Retail Excellence Ireland says landlords need to be willing to help out smaller retailers too.
Foundation reports nine Galway heart deaths each week
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Nine people die in Galway every week from heart disease and stroke.
That’s according to the Irish Heart Foundation, which is launching its Happy Hearts Appeal today. (9/5)
An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, launched the appeal today to help raise funds for the charity, which has seen increasing demand on its patient services.
The Foundation says it needs to raise at least half a million euro to maintain existing information services.
Call to tackle delays at Oranmore rail crossing
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Concerns have been raised over traffic delays at the railway crossing in Oranmore.
Councillor Jim Cuddy says he has received many representations from local motorists who have been experiencing extended delays.
He says the closed barrier can sometimes cause a traffic tailback as far as the roundabout near the Maldron hotel.
Cllr Cuddy has brought the matter to the attention of Iarnrod Eireann and has asked for an explanation as to why the crossing is closed for so long.