‘Top Gun’ sequel confirmed by Tom Cruise

Cruise, who is currently promoting his latest film The Mummy, was appearing on Australia’s morning TV show Sunrise on Wednesday when he was asked by the host if rumours of Top Gun 2 were true. It’s happening.” The Beguiled: straining at the seams with suppressed sexual passion The Red Turtle review: another masterful turn from Studio Ghibli How to talk to Girls at Parties review: Mad, bad and boring to know In the original film, Cruise played the cocky pilot Maverick, who was one of the top students in an US training camp for elite military fighter pilots and engaged in a bitter rivalry with a fellow pilot played by Val Kilmer. Top Gun producer Jerry Bruckheimer tweeted a photo of him with Cruise last week, noting that it was the 31st anniversary of the opening day of Top Gun. Representatives for Paramount Pictures declined to comment to Reuters on whether the studio is involved with the sequel. The Paramount Pictures film launched Cruise’s career as a global action star and grossed more than $350 million (about €312 million) worldwide, according to film-tracker BoxOfficeMojo.com. In January 2016, Bruckheimer teased Top Gun fans by tweeting: “Just got back from a weekend in New Orleans to see my old friend @TomCruise and discuss a little Top Gun 2.” Reuters Tom Cruise, still feeling the need for speed, said in an interview that a sequel to his 1986 military action film Top Gun is “definitely happening”. “It’s true, it’s true,” he said, before adding: “I’m going to start filming it probably in the next year.

Credibility is everything when it comes to the artist-brand tie-in

The resulting partnership can be anything from a small one-off PR opportunity to a global campaign that works across multimedia: TV ads, photos, digital content, social media, tour sponsorship and performance. There is a precedent for such marketing and advertising activity. SEAT offered fans the chance to go to the recording and a download of the track. The campaign won Best Music and Brand Partnership at the Music Week Awards the year which Desmond says is down to the innovative use of VR. Goulding was given a creative director role, meaning she had a say in all aspects of the shoe collection. “Fans are always front of mind when considering a brand partnership,” says Desmond. Some artists just aren’t suitable for such partnerships, particularly emerging artists. Creative was king here. “Samsung demonstrated how their smartphone and VR can transform the art of the live performance and fan experience. “I have very often said no to briefs and scripts that have come my way if I felt they would be damaging to the credibility of our artists,” says Desmond. “The artist needs to be a fan of the brand and be able to credibly promote the partnership and vice versa,” says Desmond. Brands seek to piggyback on the follower count of niche online celebrities to sell their products to an audience who are increasingly wise to being marketed to. “There are lots of aspects which weave together – data and instinct among them – but ultimately we ask ourselves if the partnership is authentic.” Desmond works with a team of 16 people in the brands division of Universal Music UK, which operates like an internal agency. “This recording then produced a limited-edition vinyl and artwork by the artist. A recent campaign between the band Years & Years and Samsung involved interactive virtual reality and a live streamed gigs, enabled viewers to put themselves into different vantage points at a gig – on stage, the front row or floating above the action. Years & Years preview their European tour live in Gear VR and the new Samsung Galaxy S7 edge The campaign reached an estimated 42 million people and Desmond says it gave the band a big promo boost ahead of their first European tour. Digital natives encourage it. Goulding’s fans responded to the shoe line by making them the fastest-selling range in their history and Deichmann was able to reach an …

Bare in the Woods Festival called off

Among the high-profile acts who were to perform were Kiesza, Helmet, Right Said Fred, Mike Skinner, and the Rubberbandits. “Now, more than ever, is our utmost wish to stage a well-run, safe and ultimately entertaining event for all of our patrons, and with this limited amount of time available and duty of care in mind, we feel it wise to postpone the event, due to take place at Garryhinch Woods on June 9-11, until we can fully comply to the high standards we wish to bring to bear in our young festival.” The festival said tickets would remain valid for the future event, but information on refunds would also be available on its website, barefestival.com on Friday, May 26th. This year the jump to a three-day festival seems to have been a step too far for the promoters. Meilana Gillard – Dream Within a Dream review: as charming as it is courageous Credibility is everything when it comes to the artist-brand tie-in El Michels Affair – Return To the 37th Chamber album review: Hip-hop covers with attitude The festival has grown significantly since it was set up as a one-day event for 800 people in 2014. In a statement, the festival said that it would not be able to comply with licensing conditions and had taken the decision to postpone the event until a later undefined date. The festival was due to take place on June 9th to 11th in Garryhinch Woods in Portarlington, Co Laois. “Bare in the Woods is a small, homegrown festival, run by a small core group of people and unfortunately, the limited time available for us to comply with the conditions on our licence, has realistically proven not enough,” the statement read. The Bare in the Woods Festival has been postponed by its organisers.

A model writer in an East Wall school

I don’t want to be perceived as someone who works exclusively with children – it was invigorating to go to Leitrim libraries for National Poetry Day and read and talk to adults – but I consider myself lucky to have this residency, and luckier that it has been extended for a second year. On the one hand, I think it’s important to emphasise the difference between facilitating creative writing and teaching literacy – it’s a strong tenet of the Writers in Schools scheme that writers are not there to teach reading. They enjoy this role reversal, especially when I ask them what sanction I’ll face if I don’t do the work. Catherine Ann Cullen Catherine Ann Cullen teaching in the East Wall, Dublin. Most of the children live in the area and those who don’t have strong connections to it through parents or grandparents. Big gulp! And when the days grow shorter and your work is done, you put on your red coat and let go. Trains are whistling through the night, Lit up by the moon’s clear light. I take nothing at face value: I read the brass plates but weigh them against words spray-painted on walls. I compiled my poems for third class into a book called Homework Poemwork, which Hilary tells me is the most popular book in the class library. You open your green mouth to it, spread your green hands for it, gorge yourself at the ‘all you can eat’ buffet. There’s a phrase from each child in the song. I’m looking forward to becoming more embedded in the East Wall community and helping to foster more of its creative talent. For those unfamiliar with the term, it’s an echo of the well-worn “show, don’t tell” idea: model or exemplify the behaviour you wish the children to emulate. But you are not a sunbather lazing in the summer brightness – your work is tough, and seasonal as the B&Bs, the beach cafés. At times, I’m satisfied with my homework, at others I tell them I’m still drafting, but I always fulfil my brief. It aims to enhance, develop and grow the practice, appreciation and development of quality arts experiences in the Docklands Area. I also work for the Trinity Access Programmes (TAP) with under-resourced schools, and I see the value of art in all its forms for children and families. On the other hand, some …

Red Dirt, greener grass? Post-crash emigration in EM Reapy’s debut

In the 1950s a policy of nationwide austerity promoted by Eamon de Valera led to mass emigration and high unemployment. If Antonio controls your financial state, he wields a whole lot of power over you.’ Reapy’s young people are not the financially entitled Instagram-addicted stereotypes you’ve heard about. And in both instances the experience of the country’s economically dispossessed became creative fodder for some of Ireland’s best works of fiction– Edna O’Brien’s The Country Girls springs to mind or JP Donleavy’s A Fairy Tale of New York. Her story could just as easily have applied to the country’s young and dispossessed in the 1950s as it does to the current generation of young Irish emigrants. Incidentally, it should be mentioned that the above exchange takes place after Fiona’s character is nearly raped by three farmers in the Australian outback. Red Dirt by EM Reapy is the Irish Times Book Club selection for May 2017. But none has looked so unflinchingly (or with such raw detail) at the subject of Irish economic migration as EM Reapy’s debut novel, Red Dirt. Australia in essence becomes the “gig economy” of late capitalism writ large, with Murph selling his labour to make ends meet on the supply-and-demand production line of the mango farm, Fiona selling her labour in the garlic factory and being exploited by the outback farmers, and Hopper who (literally) labours his way through the desert after he is abandoned by Murph on his way to picking mangos. And for a country with a history like ours and natural resources so profoundly limited by geography, what – Reapy asks us – could be sadder than that? Over the next four weeks, we shall run a series of articles by the author and fellow writers on Red Dirt, culminating in a public interview with Elizabeth Reapy by Laura Slattery of The Irish Times at The Irish Writers Centre in Parnell Square, Dublin 1, on Thursday, May 25th, at 7.30pm, which will be uploaded as a podcast on May 31st on irishtimes.com It takes Fintan O’Toole’s imperative for Irish artists “to engage with the afterlife of a period that was hard to write about when it was unfolding” and asks each of us to swallow our own share of responsibility for the Celtic Tiger’s creation and destruction. Reapy is reaching out to the collective “you” and reminding us that Fiona could be anyone’s daughter, …

Andrew Neil’s interview with Theresa May proves the universe is godless

But I want people to keep singing silly love songs. May says her other safe words: “Jeremy Corbyn!” She tries this tactic a few times. “They can’t kick us out,” he says, which rather brilliantly, makes our future in the EU sound a lot like squatting and McWilliams sound like a deadbeat dad running a scam from the back of his car. I usually mock television talent shows but after this week’s horrific attack at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, I don’t have the heart. I was all set to liken Britain’s Got Talent (Saturday, TV3), Simon Cowell’s ultra-competitive masquerade of cruelty and hope, to the Tory party’s war on the poor, but now all I can see is happy chirpy people – golden throated Maltese teens, crooning flatcapped pensioners, masochistic middle-aged magicians – singing daft songs and swallowing razor blades for fun and engaging in operatically camp dance moves (“We are soldiers!” proclaims the leader of The All In Dance Crew) and it looks, well, totally benign. What’s the worst that could happen? Then again, this is an upside-down shadow party run by a woman who is aggressively pursuing an isolationist policy she actively campaigned against and whose eyes consequently evoke the meaningless emptiness of a godless cosmos. It’s what we’re all about. He argues that all this populist turmoil is an opportunity for this plucky island to stay in the EU and annoy them all by manipulating our corporation tax any which way we like. This is, I believe, the new flag of Britain. To be fair to Neil, he’s soon asking May about her “uncosted and half-baked policies”. She seeks solace from Sean Bean, a kindly priest suffering flashbacks to an as-yet unseen trauma. If things veer apocalyptic, he’s determined to enjoy the apocalypse. I like to think that whenever McWilliams says “my people will talk to your people” at meetings, this is the shower that turn up. You see, the Tories have, in recent days, u-turned on putting a cap on social care costs. We all knew it would happen sooner or later, but I assumed civilisation would have crumbled entirely first. But I like McWilliams on the telly. Each time she does, the producers are meant, I think, to flash a picture of Corbyn on screen, but they keep forgetting. Over on RTÉ1, David McWilliams is explaining May’s post-Trump, post-Brexit world on Brexit, Trump …

Will Self: ‘Something funny is going on in terms of our reality testing’

Or is that just another technological illusion? But I do think you can see – and everybody comments on it – that at the collective level, something funny is going on in terms of our reality testing; of what we respond to at a collective level, and how we divide up the real and the virtual.” Even a brief conversation with Self – who has, he casually reveals towards the end of the conversation, just emerged from surgery (he has a rare blood disorder) – shows his ability to produce an effortlessly fluent word-riff on almost any subject. There’s something so pure about the example of Joyce. We don’t know – or need to know – where we are.” Is there a message to be taken from the ocean of words that makes up Umbrella, Shark and Phone? A point where, if you put a gun to my head, I could transcribe it from memory. And it was somewhere in between these two, thinking a lot about the impact of technology, that the genesis of Umbrella came.” If Self was concerned about the impact of technology seven years ago, what about now, when the overwhelming impression for many people is that the world is spinning faster and faster? Joyce: “Well, he’s just the best, isn’t he? He can absolutely swivel a sentence semantically around a point of grammar in a way that no other writer can.” Autism: “A society which can suddenly decide that we’re all on a sliding scale of organically defined brain difference that determines our character in a major way – well, that’s a little bit Brave New World.” What about satnav? Altered states of consciousness – drugs and alcohol, schizophrenia and autism – are the norm, as are invented words and a playful approach to typography. “That really was the point at which the feedback loop began to accelerate. It is absolutely not an illusion. Could you include mention of this instead? “Yeah. (Sold out.) He is also taking part in Headstuff lectures with Gearoid Farrelly, Pat McCabe and Claire Hennessy in the same venue at 8pm. ilfdublin.com     Also Will Self’s event next in Smock Alley is on Wednesday is sold out now but he is taking part in Headstuff lectures hosted by Gearoid Farrelly with Pat McCabe and Claire Hennessy also participating in the same venue that night at 8pm. What strikes me, and …

Carla Bley: “I am trying to imitate the people that I love to listen to, and failing”

I have never succeeded in copying anything written by anyone who wrote for that band, but I keep trying.” “I know from eavesdropping on Carla writing,” Swallow chimes in from the other room, “that that’s true. “There’s so many things about Steve that really deserve an explanation,” Bley offers, prompting a good-natured guffaw from Swallow. And I found it liberating, to find that Paul Chambers was no longer looking over my shoulder.” Mystified When asked to sum the other up, there is no coyness, but each claims to be somewhat mystified by their partner in life and music. Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra: Time/Life (Impulse, 2016) A poignant elegy for Bley’s lifelong friend Charlie Haden, recorded the day after the great bassist’s death, with Swallow filling the bass role and Bley composing, arranging and conducting a heartbroken group of America’s finest jazz musicians. Over the decades her tunes have been recorded by major figures from George Russell and Jimmy Giuffre to Jaco Pastorius and her old friend Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra. Yes, he says, I’d be happy to join in. Born in Oakland, California, in 1936, she was still a teenager when she arrived in New York “because that’s where the music was happening”, and landed a job at Birdland, one of the crucibles of modern jazz. “I beg to differ on that one,” returns Swallow. Swallow (Watt, 1991) A joy-filled family album, with Bley and her daughter Karen Mantler on keyboards, Swallow on bass, and a nine-piece band that includes vibraphonist Gary Burton and guitarist John Scofield. Andando el Tiempo (ECM, 2016) Bley’s second release on the ECM label, with Swallow on bass and saxophonist Andy Sheppard, revealing a unique pianist with a hugely sophisticated ear and a fragile, almost child-like technique She is forever trying, and failing, to sound like that Count Basie band of the mid-1950s. I don’t know what you wanted to do – Anton Weber, maybe? um, I have no memory. She has always led her own groups, on piano or organ, releasing the results on her own Watt label, but it is only in the last couple of decades that she began to concentrate on her own performance – she once described herself as “1 per cent player, 99 per cent composer”. Originally an upright bass player, inspired by Charles Mingus and Wilbur Ware, he too was part of the febrile New York …

Who comes first: the conductor, the composer, or the orchestra?

But, even in Dublin, the day of the week does matter, and there were howls of protest when the NSO (or the RTÉ Symphony Orchestra as it then was) changed its subscription concert night. Some time ago I calculated that I had heard more than 750 works in live performance in a 12-month period. I remember an occasion when the house seemed unusually small, well below the numbers I would have expected. It only made sense when you factored in the clash with the Eurovision Song Contest. It’s generally the case that the inclusion of unfamiliar repertoire, especially a new work, tends to drive numbers down. Since then both RTÉ orchestras have been without the nurturing and stabilising force that a principal conductor can provide. This is as obvious as the fact that film buffs who are interested in Werner Herzog may not show up at the latest Hollywood blockbuster. Repertoire Think of this in restaurant menu terms and you’ll see exactly what is going on. There are people who like organ recitals and others who avoid them like the plague. This seems to be true even when the work in question is effectively an extra to an already complete programme, an ingredient X added to an already satisfactory A, B and C. It’s not just the bean counters in organisations like RTÉ who worry about fluctuations in box office. There’s a wide range of received opinion on orchestral concerts. mdervan@irishtimes.com Actual turnout So when someone wonders about an attendance that’s lower than they expected for Andrew Parrott conducting the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, or Tung-Chieh Chuang conducting the NSO, I’m more surprised at their surprise than at the actual turnout. People who love the violin do not necessarily go to piano concerts, and vice versa. The reality can sometimes be surprising. That sense of a community experience matters in music too, a fact that’s attested to by the current fad for instant standing ovations. There’s another factor that might best be related to the experience of being at a sporting event or eating out in a restaurant. If you’ve an aversion to chillies, or eggs, or beef, there are certain dishes on the menu that you won’t even countenance for a moment, no matter what other ingredients that you love are also involved. All other things being equal, the buzz of a capacity crowd or a full house is something …

Roger Moore: Self-parodying James Bond actor dies aged 89

Moore was impressively honest about his limitations. He was, however, happy to admit that he had consciously assembled the Moore Brand as a young man. When, in 1973, he finally played the part in Live and Let Die, audiences knew very much what to expect. He played James Garner’s cousin in the American series Maverick. Over seven films, Moore had great fun playing up the self-parodic elements of Bond. Moore was married three times – and suffered some messy divorces – before settling down for good with Danish socialite Kristina Tholstrup. Here was a man who had mastered the rare art of wearing a white dinner jacket with style. He was bumped up another level when he took on the role of Simon Templar in the hugely popular show The Saint. That character, conceived by Leslie Charteris in the 1920s, was a forerunner of Ian Fleming’s James Bond and, always ready with a quip, Roger Moore played him very much as he would later play 007. He worked for a while drawing animated cartoons, but got sacked after botching one too many jobs. A few minor spear-carrying roles followed. He once said that his whole career was based in fooling people. “Because this guy Roger Moore is still following me round.” He is survived by Kristina and by three children. The Spy Who Loved Me, the apex of his Bond career, scored three Oscar nominations and took a then-massive $185 million at the box office. That all became a bit disgusting – a bit Lolita.” He was 57 when he made his last appearance as Bond in A View to A Kill. National service in West Germany interrupted his rise, but, by the early 1950s, he was getting work as – something his detractors would enjoy – a model for knitwear patterns. “The character I invented called Roger Moore was just this guy who can walk into a restaurant, sit down and talk to people and not hide in a corner.” Spear-carrying roles Moore first had ambitions to become an artist and, with that in mind, took a certificate from the Royal Society of Arts. Who needs Austin Powers when you have Octopussy? Legend has it that a pal observed his buff frame at the swimming pool and suggested that he might like to investigate work as a movie extra. The film-maker paid Moore’s fees at the Royal Academy of …

Cannes festival reacts to Manchester attack with sombre silence

Before the attack, much of the media attention had focused on the arrival of Al Gore, former US vice-president, to discuss the follow-up to his Oscar-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth. The film eventually started about 40 minutes late. After an unexplained delay, security personnel came out and waved the waiting crowds away to within 20 or 30 feet of the steps. A Pixar representative explained: “In the wake of last night’s tragic attack, and out of respect for the casualties and all of those impacted, we are not moving forward with today’s promotional activities.” The fireworks display to honour the event’s 70th anniversary has also been cancelled. At a press event, Gore addressed US president Donald Trump’s potential withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement. “I don’t know what [his decision] will be, but I think there’s an excellent chance that he will surprise many by deciding to stay in the Paris agreement,” Gore said hopefully. “The Festival de Cannes would like to express its horror, anger and immense sadness following the attack on the public and the city of Manchester last night,” a statement read. “This is yet another attack on culture, youth and joyfulness, on our freedom, generosity and tolerance, all things that the festival and those who make it possible – the artists, professionals and spectators – hold dear.” At 3pm French time, Thierry Frémaux, director of the festival, arrived at the top of the steps that lead to the Lumière Theatre, where the grand premieres take place, paid tribute to the dead and expressed solidarity with the United Kingdom. The event was to have been held at the luxurious Carlton Hotel on the town’s famous Croisette. Tight security Security had already been hugely increased in response to the terrorist attack in Nice last July. Pixar Pictures has announced that it will be cancelling a reception to celebrate the release of Cars 3. Titled An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, the film deals with the international community’s continuing efforts to contain climate change. Attendees are, for the first time, required to pass through metal detectors before attending screenings. The measure has led to minor inconvenience as those attending red-carpet premieres, dressed in Armani and Tom Ford, awkwardly scale the pots placed at pedestrian crossings. The Cannes Film Festival has held a minute’s silence for the victims of the bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. The festival …

British actor Roger Moore has died, aged 89

“We know our own love and admiration will be magnified many times over, across the world, by people who knew him for his films, his television shows and his passionate work for Unicef which he considered to be his greatest achievement. “The love with which he was surrounded in his final days was so great it cannot be quantified in words alone. “The affection our father felt whenever he walked on stage or in front of a camera buoyed him hugely and kept him busy working into his 90th year, through to his last appearance in November 2016 on stage at London’s Royal Festival Hall.” The statement affectionately added: “Thank you Pops for being you, and for being so very special to so many people”. more to follow A message posted on his official Twitter account by his family said the James Bond star had died in Switzerland after a “short but brave battle with cancer.” “With the heaviest of hearts, we must share the awful news that our father, Sir Roger Moore, passed away today. We are all devastated,” the statement said. British actor Roger Moore has died. We are all devastated. pic.twitter.com/6dhiA6dnVg— Sir Roger Moore (@sirrogermoore) May 23, 2017 With the heaviest of hearts, we must share the awful news that our father, Sir Roger Moore, passed away today.

Children’s Books Ireland award winners revealed

This year’s winners and shortlist celebrate the impressive talent, creativity and imaginative power of the best in Irish writing and illustration for young people across two languages and a diverse and rich range of formats, audiences and genres.” Elaina Ryan, director of CBI, said: “In 2017 Children’s Books Ireland is celebrating twenty years of making books a part of every child’s life in Ireland. The shadowing scheme was supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Unesco Dublin City of Literature. The relentlessly curious Jack, on a mission to find his missing friend, is recruited into the secret Ministry of Strange and Unusual and Impossible Things (Ministry of S.U.I.T.s) which deals with all the weird creatures and objects in the world. This searing yet delicate representation of adolescent experience will resonate deeply with teenagers and is a story that needs to be told and needs to be read.” The Judges’ Special Award went o Tadhg Mac Dhonnagaín, Jennifer Farley, Brian Fitzpatrick, Tarsila Krüse and Christina O’Donovan for Bliain na nAmhrán. Voted for by young readers from across the country, this award winner is chosen by shadowing groups who read and judged the 10 shortlisted titles and voted for their favourite. Haughton’s use of cut-outs is particularly effective and the star maps in the endpapers add a mystic dimension to this captivating story.” During the ceremony students from Scoil San Carlo, Leixlip and King’s Hospital School, Palmerstown presented author Peadar Ó Guilín with the Children’s Choice Award for his novel The Call. Is eagrán maisithe é seo de na hamhráin agus tá léaráidí áille sa chnuasach seo a thugann eispéireas céadfach dúinn. Dr Patricia Kennon, chair of the judging panel, said: “It’s been a personal and professional pleasure to have spent the last year with our passionate, accomplished and dedicated judging panel reading and discussing over 80 award entries. Accompanied by a CD and beautifully illustrated by a team of accomplished illustrators, this multimedia collection offers a special aesthetic experience. The judges said: Get ready for a rollercoaster of zaniness, adventure and hilarity! The judges said: This sumptuous illustrated collection of songs in Irish invites young and old audiences to celebrate the seasons and the natural world. Picturebook maker Chris Haughton has won the 27th Children’s Books Ireland Book of the Year Award with his book Goodnight Everyone at a ceremony held in Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin. Enhanced by witty …

‘I thought music college would be like Fame, with people hanging from chandeliers’

The title Ne reminiscaris translates as Remember not and the piece is “a kind of dialogue” with a snippet from one of the Penitential Psalms by Orlande de Lassus, which also features in Chamber Choir Ireland’s concerts. I thought that all players were composers and all composers were players. Fennessy is not drawn to setting poetry to music. It was written for choir as a collection of 16 solo voices rather than in the conventional groupings of soprano, alto, tenor and bass. Some of them were just the word Komm – come, in English – over and over again.” The result was a work that created a “quasi-keening” sound, “dense, overlaying lines, quite contrapuntal”. “In opposition to the my earlier piece it’s more ecstatic, more an affirmation of being alive. And I thought that everybody was involved in the ‘creative’ part of music-making, not just the interpretative side. His unimaginable state of being was among the cases that set Fennessy’s new work in motion. At the peak is this outpouring of emotion, which is really where I was trying to get to all the time. There was a certain sense even then of the writing being on the wall about what I was doing. Actually it was that title which really alerted me to a state of being that might be interesting to explore, this kind of ambiguity between a sleeping state and a state of awakeness.” One famous case of amnesia is that of Clive Wearing, a radio producer and choral conductor who lost the ability to acquire and retain new memories through a viral infection in 1985. It might be a feeling or a situation or a mental state, often an extreme mental state, that might give me a lead in to a kind of physical result, which is basically how you might get to the state from which the body might produce the sound of singing. “I thought it would be like that TV series Fame, where there would be people hanging from the chandeliers and dancing on tables. But it’s expanding all the time until it reaches a climax where there are solo voices singing against the Lassus, singing a kind real-time translation of the text in Latin, talking about waking up, or being awake but also being weak.” There is, he says, “a clash of two kinds of singing, soloistic personal singing, and a more …

Ariana Grande in Dublin: full of first-time, giggling gig-goers

There were younger ones wide-eyed and entranced in their light-up cat’s ears and branded tour T-shirts, delighted at the prospect of being out way past their bed times to see the ex-Nickelodeon star. The shock reeling through people today is the thoughts of this fun, fantasy world of pinks and whites, of glitter and confetti interrupted by nightmarish darkness. Ariana Grande is a popstar in the most bubble-gum sense: a children’s television actress turned all-singing, all-dancing chart-busting phenomenon. The Dublin gig, the start of her European tour, looked full of first-time concert-goers: dry-mouthed kids whose hearts were beating to the sound of their favourite songs, tracks whose lyrics they’d used as their Twitter profile bios, tunes they’d sent to each other on Whatsapp messages surrounded by emoji hearts. Gay guys and their straight girlfriends screamed every line of Side to Side into each other’s faces like they were in on a hilarious secret. No one should be hugging someone out of relief that they are still alive. When parents send their young kids out to a show like Ariana Grande they should worry only about what time they’ll be home, whether they’ll overspend on useless merchandise, and if they have a coat for later. The most scandalous incident she’s ever been involved with was when she got into trouble for licking some doughnuts in a shop. Her glossy Facetuned features give her the look of a cute Disney cartoon character. A pop show like Ariana Grande’s is a place where you hug your friends at the end of the night because you’ve witnessed a slice of life-affirming musical entertainment. Saturday night at Dublin’s 3Arena wasn’t a place for the cynical or the achingly cool. Pop’s job is to release a listener from their daily lives and elevate them to a place of happiness for three intoxicating minutes. Her fans are predominately young girls who ape her trademark high ponytail, pouty mouth and exaggerated eyes – mini-wannabes playing pop dress -up, at a time in their lives when pop music means so much. Ariana Grande’s concert was for young teens in giggling groups Snapchatting and squealing at each other through the crowd, breathless with excitement, waving frantically at the pony-tailed dot on the stage in front of them. Harried mothers and fathers raised their children aloft on their shoulders so they could take in the sea of lights and bat away …

Trust me, I’m a lawyer: my debt to Clarence Darrow

In The Liar, Eddie Flynn has to walk that path. His client’s daughter has been kidnapped and Eddie is the only lawyer who will do the wrong thing for the right reasons. It is true that he was a great orator – one of the very finest. And Darrow never lost. Under this bed is £150,000. “I trust each of you as professionals and honest men to carry out my last wishes. Spencer Tracy, Orson Welles and Kevin Spacey have all played Darrow, the civil rights darling of American justice. He knows he’s about to croak so he summons his priest, his doctor and his lawyer to his bedside. If he timed it correctly, which he usually did, just as the prosecution’s case was reaching its zenith the jury tended to lose focus. In the rural America of the 1920s, getting an acquittal for these defendants was nothing short of a miracle. He was acquitted in the first bribery case and settled the second, forcing him to ply his trade in the criminal courts. The question remains as to whether the lawyer is performing for good or ill. I don’t mean legal precedents, or weighty ethical texts. This alone will not save a man from the noose in every case. Steve Cavanagh: I would be lying if I didn’t acknowledge that Eddie has some real-life influences My new novel, The Liar, is the third is the Eddie Flynn series about a New York con artist who now plies his trade as a trial attorney. Two of the most important weapons in Darrow’s arsenal were a hatpin and a cigar. In the civil field he was a pioneering labour lawyer – but was eventually forced to give up this practice when he was arrested for bribing a juror. In Eddie’s case, he’s the one man who will break all the rules for the right reasons. Before entering the courtroom that morning, Darrow would surreptitiously, and carefully, thread the pin through the centre of the cigar, and when the trial began he would light up. “You two should be ashamed of yourselves,” says the lawyer, “I put a cheque in the coffin for the full amount.” At least he was honest. Chief among them is the great American trial lawyer Clarence Darrow. Each of you take £50,000 and put it in my coffin during the funeral. A good trial lawyer can twist …

From accusal to outrage to betrayal: how a music career ended in just 48 hours

They have had dozens of upcoming shows and festival appearances cancelled and have seen their music yanked from various streaming services. Worse, the band did not take immediate responsibility for what happened and handled the issue in a poorly thought-out and tone-deaf fashion, with another statement last weekend merely compounding the sense of betrayal. Most of those associated with the band moved rapidly to distance themselves from the growing story. They have had dozens of upcoming shows and festival appearances cancelled and have seen their music yanked from various streaming services By the time the album release date came along, the story about PWR BTTM was no longer about the music. The band issued various statements denying the charges and strongly contesting some of the allegations. The reason for such sudden and complete outrage was the band showing up the disconnect between perception and reality. There are many learnings from this story, but the main one is the remarkable speed at which all of this unfolded. PWR BTTM may have prided themselves on standing up for outsiders and the marginalised through requests for gender neutral bathrooms at their shows and public support for various LGBTQ causes. Within 48 hours of the initial allegation appearing online, the band’s reputation was in tatters. You can’t ignore or mishandle a story like this and hope it goes away, especially when you identify so closely with your fan base. Something of this ilk does not remain private for too long online and the accusations spread like wildfire. Such is the absolute black and white nature of how this story has been framed and viewed, there appears to be no way back. The reason for all of this is down to a 48-hour period of activity recently when PWR BTTM received the kind of worldwide attention and exposure which no act wants to get. It’s safe to say that there will be very few PWR BTTM T-shirts sold in the coming months. PWR BTTM have been dropped by their management company and record label, and are no longer listed on their booking agent’s website. The pushback since has been rapid and severe. It’s probably true to say that a lot more people now know about PWR BTTM than was the case a month ago. It’s a timely lesson for all acts out there who identify themselves as part of a clearly defined community like PWR …

Manchester Arena attack will change the concert experience

Ticket prices are already at an all-time high so one only certainty from last night’s attack is that going to a live music show will become that bit more time-consuming getting into the venue and that bit more expensive for the ticket itself. Following the Bataclan attack, the world’s two biggest concert promoters, Live Nation and AEG both stated they had implemented heightened security procedures in all their venues around the world but, as the statement from Live Nation read, “because of the sensitive nature of of these protocols, we cannot elaborate further on the specific details”. Whereas previously airports and train stations were prime targets for terrorists, last night’s attack taken in conjunction with the Bataclan one, indicate that any entertainment venue which attracts a large number of people is a target. The person standing beside you at the show may not be a fellow fan but a trained security expert. In years past you were just patted down on the way into a live music show (and that was mainly because security checking for recording devices or bottles of alcohol) but “airport-style” security measures are now in place at the bigger music venues. Following the Bataclan attack, entertainment venues worldwide took a cold, hard look at their security measures. Hiring more security guards, installing better technology, bringing in metal detectors and specially trained dogs is expensive for a venue. Coats, jackets and bags must be removed and placed on a conveyor belt to be X-rayed. Because venue security is so site-specific and nobody wants to publicly detail what precise security measures they have in place, there is a necessary element of secrecy. In reports this morning, concert-goers from last night’s show have criticised the security at the venue, some saying their bags were not checked on the way into the venue. As more details of the bomber’s actions become clear, promoters will form a clearer idea of what happened and what measures can be put in place to prevent a repeat of the carnage. Tighter security will be brought in for live concerts, following last night’s terrorist attack at the Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena. However, no system is perfect. While it remains unclear exactly where the bomber was positioned (just outside or just inside the venue) at least 22 people were killed and dozens more injured at last night’s show and many of the victims …

Attitude and playing with perceptions at Dublin Dance Festival’s opening weekend

Elvedon, from Greek choreographer Christos Papadopoulos, is one of several shows in the opening weekend of this year’s Dublin Dance Festival that play with perception and skilfully manipulate our ways of seeing dance and its elements: movement and space, music and time. What this event has in common with other Dublin Dance Festival shows is similar levels of percussion, dexterity, passion and spectacle. Elvedon, Balletto di Roma, Top 8 Hip-Hop Dance Battle Dublin Dance Festival ***** Six stooped figures with their backs to the audience slowly begin to shudder to a pulsating heartbeat of sound. Most of the ideas or fragments are there waiting to be fitted together to fulfil an artistic intent. There is plenty of strut and posing emanating from the Top 8 hip-hop dance battle at Project Arts Centre. These include a glimpse of Liz Roche’s Totems, which will be part of a programme of events for the re-opening of the refurbished wings of the National Gallery this summer. The dancers never look back, not in retreat, not even in their sudden controlled bursts of circular free running. In this show for Leon and the Wolf, the dancers move to Papadopoulos’ invisible baton, as their controlled micro movements, individual and collective, create serene permutations and patterns, and a diverse and mesmeric shifting of ground. It’s a clever duet with technology where, again, perceptions are expanded and contracted, this time with some creative technology. In time, this murmuring movement delicately gathers pace. The fact that the audience can observe themselves like the dancer, elongated and twisted, all mouth or no ears, long arms and no body, only adds to the entertainment. We watch the dancers rising and turning, guided by the rhythm; their feet begin to twitch and inch forward or retreat, arms swaying in unison, sideways, altering our perceptions of them and shifting our focus and engagement. This playing with perception is also evident in some of the studio showings of First Looks, a curated programme of works in progress. Their gaze and focus are always on the next phase, on their relentless movements, as though part of a hidden eco system or a mathematical puzzle. They are light on their feet, and brimming with attitude. Over at the Ark in Temple Bar, eyes are wide open among the six year olds in the audience for Balletto di Roma’s At Home Alone. Dance can be electric and …

One Direction go solo: Niall Horan is Bieber. Who are the rest?

Which Justin did, once upon a time, too: while Bieber leapt from child prodigy to rebel without a cause, his musical evolution never really faltered, and his career was kept afloat by the legacy he refused to condemn or distance himself from. Niall Horan as: Justin Bieber Here is a thing none of us were prepared for. I … Not that he can’t come back from that: having spent the past year opening up about his anxiety and keeping his head down, he could emerge for his sophomore effort as a grown-ass man, aware that the best artists are the sum of all parts – boy bands and all. One Direction’s Liam Payne last week dropped Stripped Down, his debut single, which can best be described as something that certainly exists. But where the Weeknd took years to earn mainstream recognition (and worked his way through the industry), Zayn’s fanbase was already built in – which is why his rejection of One Direction seemed particularly harsh. But where Zayn used shock tactics to differentiate himself from his past, Niall borrowed from the pages of Bieber’s book, and used his songwriting to prove he wasn’t just some dude with an acoustic guitar. The thing is, Sheeran and Jonas have both mastered their art by making songs seem sincere or as part of an in-joke with their audiences – they’re not delivered on a platform built to broadcast their own greatness. (Because my dudes, he’s certainly not speaking to Cheryl that way.) You can see the way he takes the Ed Sheeran approach to vocals, but loses the heart by bragging about how many women are hanging off him, and you can also hear the way he’s using the Nick Jonas approach to post-band life by adopting slick beats while peacocking. It’s still a generous likening, especially since Louis has only delivered one track with no announcement of a forthcoming full-length. So here’s hoping that Liam’s next single features more of what he’s actually good at: singing. Which is something Styles seems to have emulated and recognized, from his stage presence (which he showed off on James Corden’s Late Late Show all week) to his sense of fashion to the way his album reads like a generous tribute to British rock. Whether they’re succeeding is another thing entirely. Which explains why he took the Abel Tesfaye road of singing about sex, drugs, …