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.
Judge adjourns Connemara assault case
Date Published: 08-May-2013
A date will be set next October for the trial of a 52-year old Connemara man, who is charged with assaulting traditional Irish musician Noel Hill five years ago.
Michael Folan from Teach Mór, Lettermullen, is charged with intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to Noel Hill at Tí Padraig Mairtín Beag in Leitir Mór, on St Stephen’s Day, 2008.
The matter had been listed for trial on several occasions before Galway Circuit Criminal Court in the intervening period.
It was referred to the High Court in Dublin last year for judicial review after Michael Folan said he wanted his trial heard ‘as Gaeilge’and that a bi-lingual jury be made available to hear the case.
At Galway Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Rory McCabe adjourned the case for mention to October when it’s expected a date will be set for trial.
Bank of Ireland Galway Shopping Centre branch to close
Date Published: 10-May-2013
Bank of Ireland’s branch at Galway Shopping Centre on the Headford Road is to close in July.
The branch is to merge into the BOI outlet at Galway Industrial Estate in Mervue.
Galway Bay fm news reports the 14 staff impacted are to be offered redeployment and there will be no job losses.
Galway RNLI rescues three people stranded on Hare Island
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Galway RNLI Lifeboat has come to the rescue of three students who got stranded on Hare Island after getting caught in the tide off Ballyloughan Beach.
The two girls and boy, in their late teens had gone for a walk and were spotted waving from the island by a local resident who contacted the emergency Services and Galway Lifeboat.
Conditions at the time (4pm) were very changeable with heavy showers.
Three members of the Lifeboat shore crew were working in the vicinity of the station at the time and launched the boat in six minutes.
The three students were picked up safely and brought back to the Lifeboat Station at Galway Docks where they were warmed up and given tea and did not require medical attention.