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Three Men Talking About Things They Kinda Know About – 10th Anniversary Event

10 years ago I wrote and performed a spoken word play called Three Men Talking About Things They Kinda Know About in the Dublin Fringe Festival with Colm Keegan and Stephen James Smith. The mighty Sarah Brennan directed the show, and it went on to be nominated for the Little Gem Fringe Festival award. And it then took us on a journey to Project Arts Centre, and to multiple wonderful venues in Ireland, and across the waves for sold-out engagements in London, Bristol and Paris. It was a truly magical time for me as a writer and creative, and I have written about it at length on here before if you’d like to learn more about the journey of the show.

And now a decade later, we have decided to celebrate the anniversary in some way. The show had ripples across the spoken word scene in Ireland, as well as having a significant impact on our lives. So, we are marking the occasion with an evening of conversation in Axis Ballymun on Dec 8th with Niamh Ní Chonchubhair. Additionally, we want to mark the anniversary in some tangible way by launching a beautiful new audio recording of the play (with a glorious soundscape composed by Gareth Quinn Redmond) , and a limited edition 10th anniversary publication of the script – featuring essays from journalist Gemma Tipton and our director Sarah Brennan, as well as brand new forewords by all Three Men, and a host of archival photos from several different performances. Admission is free but you’ll have to book tickets here. We would love to see some of your friendly faces (wearing masks) at the event – it promises to be really special.

The Brownbread Mixtape: Vol 2 – Spoken Word Poetry

For over a decade I hosted and curated a live monthly variety show called The Brown Bread Mixtape, and it took place upstairs in the legendary Stag’s Head pub here in Dublin. Those eclectic, electric nights in that old Victorian room were some of the most fun and creatively exciting times I’ve had.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I recently stumbled across a digital treasure trove of recordings from the shows and I put together a handful of mixtapes from the shows that captures some of the best moments. This volume is centred around spoken word poetry, which is a deep passion and love of mine, and the mixtape features some of the finest practitioners of the art form on this little island of Ireland from the past decade. Storytellers, lyricists, polemicists and rhymers, whose wonderful words will wash over you. The featured poets are John Cummins, Erin Fornoff, Colm Keegan, Raven (RIP), Catherina Behan and Stephen James Smith

The Brownbread Mixtape – Vol. 1 – Music

For over a decade I hosted and curated a live monthly variety show called The Brown Bread Mixtape, and it took place upstairs in the legendary Stag’s Head pub here in Dublin. Those eclectic, electric nights in that old Victorian room were some of the most fun and creatively exciting times I’ve had.

The night always had a theme, and then I invited independent musicians and spoken word artists & poets to perform, with their sets loosely based around that theme. And I would always write a handful of radio-style comedy sketches that I performed with my dear friends (and infinitely better actors) Gus, Eva and Sean (aka The Brownbread Players). The atmosphere was always buzzing in that packed room, and the audience was a huge part of that consistently magical experience.

Recently I stumbled across a digital treasure trove of recordings from the shows and put the word out to see if there was any interest in hearing them. I was delighted to see that the answer was a resounding “Hell yeah”, so I have put together the first of a handful of mixtapes from the shows that captures some of the finest musical performances on the rarest nights.

Hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed revisiting them. Let me know what you think and feel free to share the soundcloud link onwards to anyone who might dig it. And please support the featured artists — Marc O’Reilly, Rook & The Ravens, Harry Bird & The Rubber Wellies, Lindsey Horne, and Enda Reilly

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone. Hope you have a good day drinking pints of Guinness, listening to U2, or reading Yeats, Beckett and Joyce. Alternatively you can sit back and listen to my award-winning alternative Irish national anthem, Read the story of the song here.

Artlick Lounge: Home of “The Michael Gross Drink”

Back in the days of writing and creating for artlick.com (alas no longer online), I filled my notepads with several ideas & sparks for pieces to post on the site. Almost 25% of my ideas those days were visual – little doodles or sketches – which was probably due to the website being such a visual medium. One such idea was to create a secret part of the site that would take you to our artlick lounge bar.

And of course in that lounge we would digitally serve conceptual and silly beverages. And the signature cocktail was “The Michael Gross Drink”, named after the journeyman actor who starred in the sitcom Family Ties and the Tremors movie series. I remember us being very tickled by the sheer mundanity of calling it “drink” rather than cocktail or martini. And if memory serves, the drink contained whiskey, some prescription medication, and a feature length movie playing inside it.

The idea never went any further than these doodles that I sketched it out. Either it was too complex to pull off with our limited web design skills, or we found another idea that captured our imagination more.

Michael Gross – the actor, not the drink

The Sentence (a poem)

To mark #WorldPoetryDay, I accepted Colm Keegan‘ s challenge to read/recite a poem. Extra widescreen, and extra-hidden text off camera (my memory is not what it used to be), this is my most poem-y poem and feels strangely apt for the times we find ourselves in. This is called “the sentence”

HOZIER, FATHER TED AND ME

Many moons ago, when I was gigging more frequently and reciting poems and performing sketches, I was lucky enough to be part of a regular night called the Monthly General Meeting, which was a showcase for the most inventive and willdy wonderful creative minds in Ireland. On one of the particular shows, I was on the bill with soon-to-be global musical phenomenon Hozier, as well as Arthur Mathews, the co-writer of Father Ted (possibly the greatest sitcom ever). I recall the gig itself was in the unusual and interesting surroundings of a newly refurbished Georgian building in Merrion Square (it has since become an office building of some sort) For a while Shane (Diet of Worms) and Nial (delorentos) who ran the night, produced a terrific series of podcasts entitled The Weekly General Meeting focused on creativity, and I featured on the debut episode. Take a listen to the episode and I urge you to listen to the entire back catalogue, every one of them a snapshot of a golden age in Irish creativity, amiably hosted and curated by two great artists.

Listen to the episode here