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Superb August Wells to showcase their songwriting skills

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August Wells.

The superb August Wells make a welcome return to Galway with a free show in Róisín Dubh next Thursday, January 28. The project is the brainchild of Ken Griffin and John Rauchenberger, 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.

An August Wells record, will feature a saxophone player, a violinist and a French horn player. But the core of the band is the partnership between Ken and John Rauchenberger, whose  style has been described as ‘Sinatra singing Lou Reed songs’. 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!”

The collaboration has resulted in some fine songs that have a melancholic, Nick Cave feel to them.  August Wells recently opened for Glen Hansard for some of his tour dates, and their work will appeal to anyone interested in the craft of songwriting. Unmissable. Doors for their show are at 9pm.

CITY TRIBUNE

Between Worlds at Galway Arts Centre

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Telling Stories: This painting is inspired by the old Estoria which later became the Claddagh Palace and a venue for the Galway Film Fleadh until the building was demolished.

Between Worlds, a new and lovely exhibition by Jennifer Cunningham is running at the city’s Galway Arts Centre until this Sunday, October, 20.

The playful exhibition of drawings, paintings and sculptures is complemented by a display of dioramas by children from Gaelscoil Iarfhlatha in Tuam. And that’s an ideal mix because Between Worlds is part of this year’s Baboró International Arts festival for Children, which runs until Sunday.

Jennifer’s works are an amalgamation of different utopian sources and her own childhood memories.

She explores a child’s imagination as a place of freedom and play, of resilience and strength; a safe space from which to explore and make sense of the world. In Jennifer’s imagined world, abandoned fairgrounds and derelict spaces evoke the faded magic of childhood possibility.

She is particularly interested in misplaced architecture and deserted places, confronting the viewer with the contrasting aesthetic of old and new. Her landscapes, sometimes bare, desolate and even forbidding, aren’t so much about representing real views as about reflecting her emotional response to the experience of an encounter.

In this show, she has been inspired by places from Galway’s Rahoon flats to Berlin’s Teufelsberg (Devil’s Mountain), which was a spy listening station on the border between East and West Berlin.  Another reference is Drop City, a counterculture artists’ community based in southern Colorado in the 1960s. This ‘hippie commune’ was renowned for its dome dwellings, which were built using waste and salvage materials including car roofs.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway Cartoon Festival offers fresh view on life

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Jane Hanberry, marketing; Margaret Nolan, artist and curator; Willy Brennan, cartoonist and director; Tom Mathews, cartoonist; Catherine Gueneaux, Honorary French Consul in Galway; and Richard Chapman, cartoonist and founder, at the launch of the 3rd Galway Cartoon Festival programme in the Black Gate Cultural Centre. PHOTO: JOE O'SHAUGHNESSY.

All of human life, with a few plants and some aliens wil be on the menu for this year’s Galway Cartoon Festival which was launched on Monday night at the city’s Black Gate Cultural Centre. It will run from November 8-18 and feature established and emerging Irish and international talent.

Science, in all its wonder, weirdness and worries, is the central theme of this year’s festival, with three exhibitions on the subject, including a solo show by scientist-cartoonist TwistedDoodles, one of Ireland’s hottest new talents. It will open in NUIG’s Millennium Arts Building on Friday November 8.

Over the past four years, the micro-biologist and cartoonist has charted her life as the mother of young twins, a scientist and someone who has issues with coffee. She recently published a parenting book, The Newborn Identity, with Penguin while her cartoons will shortly feature in New Scientist magazine.

That opening will be followed by an exhibition of drawings by the late playwright John Arden and an all-cartoonist panel discussion, both at the Black Gate on Francis Street.

Once described by The Guardian as Britain’s Brecht, the British-born, Galway-based Arden was also a talented artist. These pictures, in acrylics, watercolour, collage and pen-and-ink, are from his final collection Gallows as they follow the footsteps of the artists of the Victorian Toy Theatre.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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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CITY TRIBUNE

Hit dancehall drama ‘If Only’ returns

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The play takes a nostalgic look at Ireland's showband era.

‘If Only’, a drama by Gort playwrights Shane Counihan and Kevin Glynn that transports audiences back to the halcyon days of ballroom dancing, will be staged at An Taibhdhearc Theatre in Galway City on Saturday and Sunday, October 26 and 27.

It’s being presented by Shake Theatre Productions in association with Gort’s Wild Swan Theatre Group which first staged it nearly three years ago. Back then it sold out 21 venues across Galway and Clare including An Taibhdhearc and Glór in Ennis.

Shane and Kevin then decided to rest it because of other commitments, but are reviving it because of public demand, according to Shane who describes it as a play “will bring you up, bring you down, bring you over and bring you back”.

‘If Only’ draws its inspiration from the glory days of Gort’s Classic Ballroom which was on the Ennis Road. Long gone, it was owned by the Mullins family. Its ex-owner Noel Mullins was happy to share his memories with the writers.

Shane’s late grandmother, Mai, also had great stories about the legendary ballroom where the likes of The Dixies, the Royal and the Mainliners had performed. She died before If Only was produced but had read the script and loved it. Her grandson describes as “a hilarious comedy that will bring a tear to your eye at the end”.

The play’s main character, Jack, is studying music in college and happy with life.

But then his father, the local publican, undertaker and band-hall manager, dies suddenly. Jack must leave college and come home to help his mother Maisie, (named in honour of Mai) run the family business.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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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