Thursday, August 11, 2011

Checking back in

Dear Blog,

I have loved thee wrong. You've been sitting here in some forlorn corner of the internet, neglected, while I've been scurrying around festivals, weddings and Barcelona.

But I'm back!

The Galway Arts Festival was a real blast this year. I didn't see any of the theatre I wanted to due to the amount of sell-outs. But there was buzz around Galway city; it's my favourite time of year here and, for a while at least, we'd something to talk about besides the fookin' economy.

Willy Vlautin's reading kicked off a savage night out. It was a co-headliner with Roddy Doyle. The two writers are fans of each other's work - Vlautin described the Dubliner as a 'national treasure.' The pair both read from their work and then did a Q & A - surprisingly, given Doyle's profile, the first three were for Willy, though the American thoroughly deserves the fans and acclaim coming his way. Roddy Doyle read a story called Animals from Bullifighting his latest collection of short. It's a deft piece of writing, imbued with humanity. A national treasure, indeed.

Vlautin then went on to play a show in Róisín Dubh with his Richmond Fontaine bandmate Dan Eccles. The room was wedged as Vlautin sang songs that echo the themes of his books, among them heartbreak, hard-living and humour.

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble were on top form when they opened for De La Soul in the Big Top - and arguably stole the show from the Long Island pioneers. One gripe I'd have with live hip-hop is the tendency to shave a verse or two off hit songs. If you wrote something as impeccable as All Good why cut it short?

Anyhoo, some dancing-like-a-maggot was done and it escalated into a night out that ended at bright o'clock. July in Galway, happy days.

The following weekend I made the pilgrimage to Malahide Castle to see Prince tear through his hits. It was amazing, and as much as I'd like to get into the specifics of the show, I'll keep it brief and say it was a night of giddiness and great tunes.The man is some performer, a true legend. Here's hoping he doesn't leave it another 9 years to come back again.

OK, I'll leave it at that for now. But before clicking 'publish' I'll bring your attention to more County Galway deadliness.Mephistio's The Honey Spike is running in the Town Hall Theatre until Saturday night, and is well worth going to see.

Meanwhile, in Tuam, the Earwig Arts Festival kicks off on Friday night at 8pm, with an outdoor street show in the Square. More to come about arty shenanigans in my hometown.

The West's Awake!

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