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Where do all the stars disappear to for the Christmas?

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It seems like only yesterday that the yardstick to define a good year for television stations revolved around the battle for Christmas and New Year ratings – but clearly that’s not the case anymore.

There’s still the odd nugget if you dig deep enough through the dross, but you’d need a talent for excavation to get there – as well as a strong stomach for the rubbish you’ll have to digest first.

But it’s a long way from the glory days of Morecambe and Wise or the Two Ronnies or Only Fools and Horses or One Foot in the Grave – even a more few short years ago we still had specials from the Royle Family or Gavin and Stacey or the Vicar of Dibley to keep us glued to the couch on a Christmas night.

Now it’s a schedule dominated by movies you’ve seen already – or if you haven’t seen them, they’re movies you’re unlikely to find a free two hours to watch while granddad snores off his big dinner.

Otherwise it’s a feast of quasi-celebrities dancing or ice-skating in a last desperate bid to rescue what once passed for a career.

New Year’s Eve is much the same, if you take the indefatigable Jools Holland out of the equation.

If it’s not some shtick review of the year through the eyes of an impressionist, it’s a musical extravaganza of wannabes and never weres who wouldn’t get booked for Christmas if they were arrested by the Gardaí.

In fairness to RTÉ, there has been an admirable consistency to their notion on what should welcome in the New Year for the housebound. I can still remember Derek Davis at the helm one year, and another time they gave the witching hour over to the Lotto.

But this year just beat Bannagher; to bring the curtain down on the Gathering, the powers that be decided to host a concert to one side of Leinster House – presumably on the basis that if it was fellas on the fiddle you were looking for, you’d be spoilt for choice.

They continued the theme by importing Madness, a bunch of scallies whose previous highs included a gig from the top of Buckingham Palace – and, if reports are correct, the high experienced wasn’t just the fact they were on the roof.

But this time they mixed it up by including what appeared to be local talent – admittedly we were watching this in the midst of a domestic din, but there appeared to be a little boy playing saxophone at one stage and another bloke in a tail coat dueting with Suggs at another.

Live gigs make for difficult telly at the best of times – it’s only with the help of re-engineering and overdubbing at a later stage that they can be brought up to scratch for transmission. So you’d forgive them the rough edges.

But there are rough edges and rough edges – like the presenters, Daithí Ó Sé and Sinead Kennedy, who were stuck back in a broom cupboard trying to make sense of this whole maelstrom in a language that was all their own.

 

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel. 

CITY TRIBUNE

TG4 to broadcast Sina’s lockdown Town Hall gig

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German-born Sina moved to Ireland in 2015 to pursue her musical dream.

A concert by German born, Irish-based singer-songwriter Sina Theil, which was recorded at the Town Hall Theatre in December 2020, during lockdown will be broadcast by TG4 this Saturday night, February 4.

This energetic and hardworking artist is currently touring Ireland as special guest with rising folk singer Dan McCabe.

She has previously been named Hottest Act in Irish Country Music (female), won Song of the Year at the Hot Country TV Awards and the Rising Star of the Year 2022 Award at the American Celtic Listener Supported Music Awards. She’s also had 17 number one singles in the Irish Country charts and a number one in the mainstream Irish charts with her latest self-penned song.

Sina relocated to Ireland in 2015 on her own in what she calls “an act of blind faith” to pursue her dream of making music. She knew nobody here as she began funding her musical education by busking on the streets of Dublin, sometimes making just enough in the morning to cover bills that had to be paid in the afternoon.

Sina’s independently released album, Live at THT Galway, for which she crowdfunded more than €16,000 with the help of her loyal online following (50,000+), reached number three in the mainstream Irish charts and songs have had thousands of plays on Irish radio.

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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CITY TRIBUNE

Stories, drama and improv at Moth and Butterfly Festival

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The Moth & Butterfly International Festival of Storytelling & Improvisation will take place in Galway City, County and online from this Friday to Saturday, February 3-5.

Events will include improvisational theatre events, children’s storytime, a virtual global story chain, a music workshop and an audio experience in Connemara, according to Artistic Director Órla Mc Govern.

The Moth & Butterfly group have been running monthly events in Galway for 12 years, as well as collaborating with festivals and events globally. Following two successful digital and hybrid festivals in 2021 and 2022, theyre now bringing their first fully live festival to Galway and beyond.  It has a wide range of events for all ages, many free or via donation.

Land of Stories will run from this Friday to Sunday at locations in Connemara and online. In this selection of recorded stories and conversations, local artists discuss their practice and connection to the landscape. It involves recordings being ‘placed’ in various places, using location-based software, so the stories are activated by being in a specific area. Remote access is available via an online map, for those who can’t travel.

At 11.30am this Friday, storytellers Catherine Brophy and Máirín Mhic Lochlainn will be at Galway City Library to present a free, bilingual event, Stories For Children / Scéalta do Pháistí.  At 3pm Tales of Mischief and Magic will be at Oranmore Library, when Antrim storyteller Liz Weir will lead participants on an interactive journey through the imagination. It’s for ages 6+ and is free.

At 8pm, Parenthetical, an improvised theatrical performance with The Jess’ss’ss will be in the city’s Blue Teapot Theatre, Munster Avenue, for audiences of 18+. It’s based on the theme of ‘Parent’.

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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CITY TRIBUNE

Artist Gertrude in flying form at Kenny Gallery

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Eat Drink and Be Merry

A collection of 40 original paintings and graphics by renowned German artist Gertrude Degenhardt, will open at The Kenny Gallery in the city’s Liosbán Retail Park on Saturday, February 11th at 3pm.

The show, Flying Melodies, features new and retrospective works and is described by the gallery as something of a Greatest Hits, featuring many images which will be well-known to her Irish fans.

Gertrude Degenhardt, who is one of Germany’s leading painters and graphic artists, first came to Ireland in the early 1970s when she was commissioned to prepare illustrations for a German edition of a book of short stories by Liam O’Flaherty.

She has produced several exhibitions for the Kenny Gallery over the years, including Women in Music –  a series of 70 images of female musicians – Vagabondage, Passes By, Paradise Lost, Dancing Couples and It’s About Time.

Degenhardt, who was born in 1940, is a keen observer of people. Song and wine feature frequently in her distinctive work, as do revolution, vagabonds, dance, musicians, Ireland and her late husband, Martin.

Flying Melodies will be officially opened by renowned fiddle player Frankie Gavin at 3pm on Saturday, February 11, at The Kenny Gallery, Liosbán Retail Park. All are welcome.

The exhibition will run daily from 9am-5pm, Monday to Saturday, until St Patrick’s Day in the gallery and online at www.thekennygallery.

 

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