WATCH: Mike Garry pays poignant 10th anniversary tribute to Tony Wilson

He'll be reciting 'St. Anthony: An Ode To Anthony H Wilson’ on Sunday in Dublin...

Today is the 10th anniversary of the death of Tony Wilson, the legendary Mancunian who founded both Factory Records and the Hacienda nightclub

Poet Mike Garry, who’s Dublin-bound on Sunday August 13 for an 8pm show in The Workman’s Club, marks the occasion with a rendition of his ‘St. Anthony: An Ode To Anthony H Wilson’ spoken word tribute in the church where his funeral took place.

The video for the previous musical version featured cameos from Happy Mondays, New Order, Richard Madeley, Iggy Pop, John Cooper Clarke, Terry Christian, Durutti Column, Steve Coogan and Paul Morley who were all in his orbit down through the years.

With Joy Division, OMD, A Certain Ratio, Section 25, OMD, Stockholm Monsters, James, Quango Quango, Cabaret Voltaire, Electronic, Northside and the aforementioned Mondays all finding a home - temporary or otherwise - at Factory, we've a lot to thank Anthony H Wilson for!

Meanwhile, former Hot Press film critic, Tara Brady, provided a brilliant overview of the life and times of Tony Wilson in 2002 when reviewing the 24 Hour Party People biopic.

A Tale Of Two Cities

As the punk revolution took hold in the UK, Manchester was notable for the bleak, industrial soundtrack even its most successful bands were making. But that all changed with the explosion there of a new and hedonistic culture, centred in and around The Hacienda, a club run by the city's most influential music biz entrepreneur, the boss of Factory Records, TONY WILSON. The story of the transformation of the city into the centre of rock'n'roll's emerging drug and club culture – of the change from Manchester to Madchester – is told in 24 Hour Party People. With the Happy Mondays as it primary musical focus, there's no shortage of on-screen drugs and fighting – but this is really the extraordinary saga of one of the great rock'n'roll towns, in all its gory glory… Tara Brady reports

An avalanche of memories flood forth – of a thousand blowing whistles, of floppy hats and baggy flares, of heat, moisture, sweat, dry ice, Vicks Vapo-Rub, luminous white gloves, gold lamé bikinis, flying-saucer eyeballs a go-go everywhere you look, as the music of the Happy Mondays pounds cheerfully and forcefully from the rehearsal rooms.

A youthful, floppy-fringed Shaun Ryder belts out the familiar strains of ‘Hallelujah’ as he prepares for the arrival of the minging multitudes. It could be – it looks like – a scene straight out of the second ‘Summer of Love’, at its dizzying height.

In reality, though, the Mondays’ brand of ragged trousered euphoria has been time-warped to Manchester in 2002, and only two of these performers – backing vocalist Rowetta and Shaun’s brother Paul – are genuine surviving Madchester veterans. This is not the genuine article but a virtual outfit, created for director Michael Winterbottom’s intoxicating new rock and roll fable, 24 Hour Party People.

Today, the band are rehearsing for a performance at the movie’s world premiere – and though the virtual vocals provided courtesy of Danny Cunningham, who plays Shaun in the film, sound utterly convincing, the young Yorkshire-born actor is becoming increasingly apprehensive as the night of the big bash approaches.

“To tell the truth, I’m shitting myself,” he says. “I mean when I heard the part was going I thought ‘Fantastic!’– that’s the one I want. I remember the time, and the buzz around the band and the Haçienda. First time I went there, there really was, like, sweat coming off the ceiling. It was great.”

Getting the job was one thing, doing it another. But for all the risks of playing a living legend like the Mondays’ frontman, Cunningham has enjoyed himself.

“I’ve never known a job like it,” he says. “Because Row(etta) was there it was really brilliant, ‘cos she knew all the personal stuff and I learned so many interesting things about him. Lucky enough, I don’t think he’s going to show up at the premiere. I mean, the rest of us have been hanging about. Me and Paul Popplewell (who plays Paul Ryder in the movie) have been ‘round to Horse’s (Paul Ryder’s) mum, so I’ve met her and everything. But I don’t think the band all get on that well anymore.”

Too right they don’t. But more of that later...

A riotous and often disjointed affair, much like the phenomenon it documents, 24-Hour Party People is a hugely entertaining mess. By hitching a ride on the biographical framework provided by the life and times of Mancunian entrepreneur and Factory records impressario, Anthony H. (aka Tony) Wilson, the film encompasses everything from the birth of the Manchester punk scene at a poorly-attended 1976 Sex Pistols gig, right up to the last dehydrated gasp of acid house.

Exactly how Manchester, a byword throughout the ‘70s and early ‘80s for grim post-industrial urban bleakness, came to be identified as the spiritual Mecca of Bacchanalian excess and the home of the eternal party still remains something of a mystery. The fact that many of the architects behind this remarkable transformation were mashed out of their skulls at the time, rendering their various recollections singularly unreliable makes the mystery that much harder to unravel. But that, indisputably, is what happened.

Much of the city’s post-punk output was darker, starker and more menacing than anything emanating from London. Joy Division’s brooding, Byronic frontman Ian Curtis and the Smiths’ morose mainman Morrissey were icons of alienation and anguish. And even the Fall’s relatively chirpy Mark E. Smith espoused an uncompromising worldview of working-class cynicism, bordering on despair.

Rarely greeted with much enthusiasm by what Smith witheringly referred to as ‘90% disco weekend mating audiences’, The Fall were a mighty force in live performance and on record, evoking the crumbling high-rise drudgescape of England’s industrial innards with the clarity of a photo on a postcard.

If that sounds wanting in sweetness and light, in many ways it was. Joy Division – their name taken from the enforced prostitution wing of a Nazi concentration camp – were a far darker and more frightening entity still.

Lead singer, Ian Curtis, was a mesmerising figure of bleak intensity, who has come to rank alongside Kurt Cobain and the Manic’s Richie Edwards as the most eerie of rock’n’roll’s doomed (and in the case of Edwards, presumed) ghosts.

While those who knew the younger Curtis constantly stress how funny, spirited and ‘normal’ he was, his behaviour from the moment he was diagnosed as epileptic hinted at someone not long-destined for this world. A turbulent love life born of an extra-marital affair with Belgian woman Annik Honore, coupled with mounting depression and fear of failure as a father, led not to the slow, self-destuctive implosion of rock cliché – but to something much harder to predict or guard against.

On the 18th of May 1980, two days before Joy Division were scheduled to begin their first tour of America, Curtis persuaded his wife Deborah to spend the night at her parents’ house, with the couple’s infant daughter, Natalie. After hours alone listening to Iggy Pop and watching the Werner Herzog movie Stroszek, Ian Curtis hanged himself as the dawn broke.

It defies imagination what Joy Division might have achieved had he lived. The legacy in such pained classics as ‘Transmission’, ‘She’s Lost Control’, and the eerily haunting ‘Atmosphere’ is unquestionably great. His swan-song, the unlikely Top 20 hit single ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ remains one of the most spectrally beautiful, soul-searchingly powerful romantic laments ever recorded, a song that can fill the listener with more love than any mountain of E’s might conjure.

Echoing the bittersweet majesty and melancholia of Scott Walker, it would never have been an easy act to follow. But locked forever to the terrible drama of Curtis’ death, it is a defining track.

With Curtis six feet under, the remaining members of Joy Division soldiered on admirably well. Peter Hook, Bernard Sumner and Steve Morris recruited Steve’s partner Gillian Gilbert into the group and took turns on singing duty, until finally the task fell permanently to Sumner – whose quivering, indecisive vocals proved a tantalising foil for the band’s intricately designed digital sound. Thus, against all odds, the band re-invented itself.

Wisely rejecting alternative name suggestions (Khymer Rouge and The Sunshine Valley Dance Band), the group, now known as New Order, went on to become Manchester’s most influential and successful musical export. Rightly so, as the relentless sturm und drang of their most recent album, the sublime Get Ready, so perfectly illustrates.

They made some great music along the way. But while they were, ostensibly, the Factory lynchpins, all around them the world was tilting on its axis. The Haçienda was at the centre of this shift. So was New Order’s mentor, Tony Wilson.

The mid-1980s witnessed a cultural sea-change in Britain. ‘House’ music and ecstasy-enabled euphoria took hold. And the explosion of the scene was driven from Manchester, which once again was at the heart of the action. The fulcrum of it all was Wilson, a man of consuming ego and ambition, who wanted nothing less than world domination if it was up for grabs.

Inspired by Wilson’s entrepreneurial zest and free-wheeling rock’n’roll spirit, ‘Madchester’, as it would become known, produced an explosion of baggy, floppy-fringed, lopsided indie bands. It was however, the city’s dance scene, which was to herald the cult of the DJ, that would have the most lasting impact.

In due course, the non-stop party that had been set in motion would inevitably end in a crushing hangover. It’s a story that 24 Hour Party People – which filches its title from the Happy Mondays’ debut album Squirrel And G-Man Twenty Four Hour Party People Plastic Face Carnt Smile – tells with pace and humour.

Against a backdrop of hysterical red-top tabloid frenzy-feeding, Madchester segued effortlessly into Gunchester. Predatory forces in the form of rival drug-dealers moved in, and 16-year-old Clare Leighton collapsed at the Factory-owned Haçienda nightclub in 1989, to become the UK’s first ecstasy-related fatality. Another 16-year-old girl would suffer the same tragic fate within months.

The Haçienda’s policy of recruiting Mosside gang members as security men didn’t exactly help the club’s reputation either. In fact, this employment policy only served to heighten the impact that Manchester’s burgeoning gang culture was having within the club’s walls.

Unsurprisingly, these developments combined with crippling financial problems (monetary mismanagement against a background of global recession) to ensure that the city’s profane temple would ultimately be forced to close its doors. For a brief moment in time, however, a decadent carnival atmosphere prevailed. The sheer mania of it is unlikely to be forgotten by any who were there.

The Happy Mondays, of course, provided the primary soundtrack. Loveable savantes who nonetheless always carried with them a whiff of streetwise scuzz, the Mondays were products of a post-Thatcher dolehead culture. Based largely around near-ascetic avoidance of the workaday world, their very name was ripe with connotations of indulgent indolence.

It didn’t stop them making some remarkable records. Their roots may have been in urban folk but the dance influence was well in evidence on 1988‘s Bummed. But it was when the Madchester Rave On EP hit the top 20 that their schtick was defined – and with it a whole scene came into (admittedly fuzzy!) focus.

Their third album, Pills’N’Thrills And Bellyaches crashed to No. 1 in the U.K. album charts and the Mondays were made men. But what had been made could be undone – and inevitably it was, washed away in a blaze of excess and indulgence.

Exactly how far their ‘indulging’ went along the way has already become the stuff of legend: they happily represented the last party before the ship fell off the edge of the universe. As Talking Heads’ Tina Weymouth famously put it, after a stint as the Mondays’ album producer: “I grew up in New York in the seventies, and I’ve seen a lot of people who live life on the edge, but I’ve never before seen a group of people who had no idea where the edge is.”

At the centre of this vortex of chemical frenzy stood the inimitable Shaun Ryder, a man who, even before attaining the trappings of RockStardomTM, had already seemed hellbent on devoting his existence to life, liberty and the pursuit of oblivion (“I went straight from the rehab clinic to the pub,” he said once. “Bought two pints of lager and half an ounce of weed; two days later I was back on the skag.”)

Slobbish, swaggering, profoundly laddish and devoid of any intellectual pretensions whatsoever, Ryder was the ultimate anti-hero figure for those who Didn’t Give A Fuck. His macho posturings and anti-PC stream of semi-consciousness were a precursor of the shenanigans indulged in by Oasis’ Gallagher brothers – and by like-minded loud-mouthed lads everywhere.

In 1991, in an increasingly desperate effort to keep Ryder away from smack, Factory Records sent him and the rest of the Mondays to Barbados to record the album Yes Please! Of course, they forgot that Barbados was the crack-cocaine capital of the world, and the band soon spiralled downward into an orgy of broken bones, car-crashes and sordid in-fighting.

It’s a part of the saga that provides 24 Hour Party People with some of its most dramatic moments. It offers a measure of just how brutally fucked-up and stupid a scene that begins in hope and hedonism can become under the influence of too much of everything. But then we already knew that. It’s the story of rock’n’roll, and the grim underbelly that is the almost inevitable counterpoint to the bright lights and the big time...

Somehow, the ominous portent of Ian Curtis’ death notwithstanding, the vast majority of the Madchester suspects have lived to tell the tale. Paul Ryder – brother of Shaun and bass guitarist with the Mondays is one of them. The eternally youthful Rowetta – who holds the distinction of being the only band member still in good enough nick to play herself in the movie – is another. Both are happy to talk about how in different ways they survived the scrapes.

24 Hour Party People depicts the near legendary excesses of the Happy Mondays tour bus. Was it truly that chaotic?

“Looking back on it now – it was pretty chaotic, yeah,” Paul says. “At the time it was just the way we were all living. It didn’t seem like carnage or chaos.”

“It was worse!” Rowetta insists. “A lot of it has been cut out from the movie. It was funny trying to recreate what was going on during that famous drug tour of America. Different people on different drugs, you know? Some were on heroin, some cocaine, some on whizz, some draw and it was really funny to just sit back and watch it all going on. I’m really lucky. I love my Bushmills whiskey, but that’s my only real problem. So it was funny watching it.”

In the movie Rowetta is portrayed as the person who introduced Tony Wilson to coke. True or false?

“You know something? I’ve never even seen him do a line in real life,” Rowetta says. “I know it’s happened but I’ve never seen it with my own eyes. I don’t even remember him ever being on the tour-bus. I suppose its just fiction, ‘cos he was the main character in the film. I had to actually sit and watch it with my mum and my kids saying ‘That’s not real cocaine!’ But it was funny ‘cos the bus kept swerving while we were doing that scene and Steve (Coogan – who plays Wilson in the movie) kept going flying into the coke and we had to do it again and again. Really, though, I just thought I’d do that scene, ‘cos that way I’d get a close up!”

What about Paul and Shaun poisoning the entire pigeon population of Manchester? Was that made up for the movie too?

“Er, no. I’m afraid to say that bit is true,” Paul says. “They’re rats with wings – that’s all they are! Still, to this day, I don’t like pigeons.”

The movie doesn’t flinch in its depiction of the infamous recording sessions that never were in Barbados. Did the band really end up selling their clothes for crack there?

“Barbados was probably the most fun we ever had,” Paul says. “It was crazy – though, I have to say that bit is exaggerated for the film. We never sold our clothes for crack. We only swapped them!”

Rowetta wasn’t in Barbados, having left the band to do her own stuff. “I do remember Shaun and Paul on crack alright,” she says. “I just didn’t see it in Barbados. Still, it was the heroin that was the worst. Shaun’s heroin addiction is still a big problem and always will be.”

Was it really strange re-visiting a virtual Haçienda and playing with a virtual version of the Happy Mondays?

“Fairly strange,” Paul says. “But I’ve become really good mates with Paul Popplewell, who plays me in the film. He’s actually staying at my house for the next three months. So it was strange at first but I’ve become friends with them all. I mean all of us were thinking at the beginning ‘Oh God what are they going to do with this movie?’ But it’s been done really well – part-fiction and part-fact, with a bit of a comedy element as well.”

“Any of the people that were there at the time, who walked into the Haçienda they built for the film, had tears in their eyes,” Rowetta says. “And then at the end, when you just knew that they were going to tear it all down again – that was horrible.

“As for the clone band, I’m singing away with them here. We’ve all become really good friends, and we all go around together now. We just spent last weekend in London with Bez and the guy who plays Bez. They get on really well, so it’s fantastic. This crew are all really nice guys – and better yet, they’re not junkies. So they’re a bit more boring than the real thing!”

With the Mondays, at what stage did you start thinking ‘Whoah, things are getting out of hand here’?

“I thought ‘whoah’ as soon as I started singing with the Mondays,” Rowetta laughs. “I didn’t know Shaun was on heroin and I remember seeing bits of tin-foil and stuff and thinking it was just for draw. Then I was in a lift with Shaun’s girlfriend and she was complaining that she was sick of Shaun and his smack and I’m like – ‘Fucking hell! Is he on smack?’ After that, well, it’s so obvious, once you know.”

Paul was more of a non-stop party person – the boy just couldn’t get enough.

“I never thought ‘whoah’. I didn’t think about stopping until after I spent two stints in a mental institution,” he says. “And do you know what? I still didn’t stop then. Yeah, I began to think, ‘There’s something quite seriously wrong here’ – but it didn’t make me stop. It took another couple of years after that, after two complete breakdowns, to get around to stopping.”

“Paul here used to hide his drug habit as well,” Rowetta reveals. “He used to do a lot of coke and crack, but then he ended up being a heroin addict too. But he’s come full circle and he goes to AA meetings now. Really though, it’s ‘whoah’ time once anybody is doing smack or has got an addiction. When you’ve got a gig to do and your singer is refusing to get on the bus until there’s some smack – that’s fucked up.

“And then you have people coming up to you saying ‘It must be so great being you. It must be a really laugh-a-minute party all the time’. It’s not. Well, it was great apart from the drugs and that. I just kept going with my bottle of whiskey!”

Things did spiral out of control towards the end. It became fractious and difficult. The party was over. It was time to go home...

“Towards the end people got ill,” Rowetta recalls. “They were arguing and falling out, but when we reformed, Paul had to leave the band ‘cos of the arguments with his brother. Shaun was picking on the members of the band. Sometimes he’d say stuff over the microphone – horrible stuff. Like I remember when Paul started having troubles with his wife and we were on stage in Wembley, I think it was, and Shaun starts shouting into the microphone at Paul – ‘Just ‘cos your fucking wife left you!’ And the audience would laugh, but onstage we were thinking ‘oh no’, ‘cos he would go too far. When people start hating each other, it’s not funny, you know?

“The worst thing that happened to me, though,” she adds, “was when we reformed and we were at the Witnness festival (in Ireland) and Shaun punched me in front of everybody. That was horrible. And the papers were saying that it was a fight or something – but he called me a nigger. He was on crack and smack and he had just woken up and was like – ‘Yo nigger, get me a drink’ and I just said ‘Get it yourself, you big nosed bastard’. And I think he then said ‘You fucking fat nigger’, but I really don’t remember much at that point, ‘cos I just remember being punched. I was out cold on the floor and he was saying ‘Get up, you got a gig’. I mean I had a black eye. I was going home.

“Bez was really good, though. He really stuck up for me ‘cos all the others were just worried about the money. Bez just said ‘I’m not going on stage. That’s it. You can hit me just like you hit Row’. That’s crack cocaine for you.”

So far, there hasn’t been even the hint of an apology from Shaun.

“Bez thinks maybe I should ring him,” Rowetta says, “but he hit me really hard. Then when he was going to Australia, I was asked would I go with him and I said no. I wasn’t getting onstage with him. I wasn’t getting on a tour bus with him – and that’s the way it is until he apologises for what he did. I put my vocals on tape for him, but I’m not going to live in fear of getting hit again.

“It’s just so sad when it gets to that. I mean we’re like family but he’s outside the group now and doesn’t make friends. He’s got such a big problem with his drugs. I mean, I run a web-site and everyday people are saying what a genius he is and how brilliant he is, and I agree with them. He’s brilliant with lyrics and I love the music and I still don’t like anyone slagging him off. But it is terrible. People come up to me and ask why I left and say – ‘It’s ‘cos of you that the band split up again’. But it wasn’t a 50/50 argument or anything.”

Are the rest of the band still in touch?

“I’m great mates with Bez,” Rowetta says. “He’s become a real family man. He’s got two sons and he lives in the hills. He goes skateboarding or snowboarding or camping with them. You wouldn’t believe how boring he is now! He’s a lovely dad. You see, Bez was never an addict. He just liked pills, you know? And he took time out all the time, and went home. He always had a stable family set up. It’s important to go home and switch off. I mean you can’t do it every week and get away with it.”

So, Shaun aside, are the 24 hour party people happy with their new chemical-free lifestyle, then?

“Well me and Bez still take weeks off. We still get off our heads,” Rowetta confesses. ”Don’t want to get into trouble with the police – but we like our parties!”

“I don’t even touch a drink now, but I love my cigarettes,” Paul says. “Apart from that I have no vices. Still, I don’t have a single regret about the way I used to live. I’ve a few brain-cells missing but I’m still alive. And if I had to do it all again tomorrow, I would... so long as I knew I could get un-fucked up at the end of it.”

24-Hour Party People is released in Ireland on April 5th

The Essential Manchester

Six bands that defined a city

Joy Division

Having failed to set the world – or indeed Manchester – alight under the Warsaw moniker, Ian Curtis, Barney Sumner, Pete Hook and Stephen Morris changed their name and became instant post-punk heroes. An even more disturbed take on The Velvet Underground, they scored the unlikeliest of top 20 hits with the momentous ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’.

Essential listening: Unknown Pleasures (Factory) 1979

New Order

Following the shock 1980 suicide of Ian Curtis, the rest of Joy Division opted for another name change, and a switch to a more electronic-driven sound. Augmented by guitar and synth player Gillian Gilbert, they tore up the rulebook with their proto-techno anthem, ‘Blue Monday’, which remains one of the fastest-selling 12” singles of all time.

Essential listening: Power, Corruption And Lies (Factory) 1983

The Smiths

Self-absorption, unrequited love and a penchant for daffodils were all on the menu as New York Dolls fanzine writer Stephen Patrick Morrissey became the unlikeliest of bedsit pin-ups. Aided in no small part by the unique guitar sound of Johnny Marr (who would later team up with New Order’s Bernard Sumner in another Manchester outfit, Electronic), The Smiths became arguably the most influential guitar band of their generation.

Essential listening: Meat Is Murder (Rough Trade) 1985

Stone Roses

The catalyst for the Madchester explosion, the Stone Roses enjoyed four relatively barren years before 1988’s ‘The Elephant Stone’ marked them out as genuine contenders. As nifty a tune as it was, it didn’t prepare anyone for the jaw-dropping brilliance of their eponymous debut album, which wasn’t afraid to wear its classic 60’s influences on its sleeve. Somewhere in Burnage, the Gallagher brothers were making notes.

Essential Listening: Stone Roses (Silvertone) 1989

Happy Mondays

Squirrel And G-Man Twenty Four Hour Party People Plastic Face Carnt Smile (White Out) was not only a brilliant title for their debut album, but signaled the drug-fuelled mayhem that Happy Mondays were about to unleash. The embodiment of British lad culture, the Mondays’ rise to fame was almost as spectacular as their eventual disintegration. Lead singer Shaun Ryder went on to form Black Grape.

Essential listening: Pills ‘N’ Thrills And Bellyaches (Factory) 1990

Oasis

Sacked from his job as roadie with another fabled Manchester outfit, Inspiral Carpets, Noel Gallagher was left with no option but to nick all the best bits from The Beatles, Who, Kinks and Sex Pistols’ back catalogues, and fashion them into the clutch of memorable songs that would make up the fast-selling debut album in British history. It wasn’t long before America, film star wives and Knebworth beckoned – a rags to riches rock ‘n’ roll tale (replete with a sub-plot of sibling rivalry with brother Liam) that isn’t over yet.

Essential listening: Definitely Maybe (Creation) 1994

 

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The new adult animation comedy fantasy series, Disenchantment, will launch on Netflix later this year.

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The Stunning set for return to The Olympia

Following their sold-out Dublin show last March, The Stunning return to The Olympia Theatre for one night only later this year.

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100 Voices For YES: Irish Artists Speak Up For Repeal

Over the coming days, as we move closer to an historic opportunity for the people of Ireland to get rid of an archaic part of the Constitution, we'll be sharing the words of singers, artists, filmmakers, authors and more, who are urging people to vote for Repeal.

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UK rapper, Yxng Bane, taking new tour to Dublin and Belfast

Young U.K rapper, Yxng Bane, has announced plans for his biggest tour yet, including two Irish dates in Dublin and Belfast.

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Björk Makes First TV Appearance In 8 Years

The Icelandic musician performed two tracks on Later… With Jools Holland last night, which was her first TV appearance in almost a decade.

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LGBT Community Urged To Vote Yes

Labour LGBT is calling on all in the LGBT community and beyond to vote yes to repeal the 8th Amendment next Friday, 25 May.

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Gavin James Goes Down A Storm On Brazilian TV

The Irish singer-songwriter performed ‘Always’ for the first time on TV on Brazil’s 'The Noite', which is described as their version of Jimmy Fallon or Graham Norton.

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Cross Party Group Makes Final Call For A Yes Vote

Undecided voters are being urged to vote in favour of repealing the 8th Amendment.

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Author Philip Roth Has Died

The giant of American literature, who won the Pulitzer, National Book Award and Man Booker during his writing career, has passed away at the age of 85.

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Dua Lipa Wants To Do Next James Bond Theme Song

There's been rumours flying about that Dua Lipa has been asked to write the next Bond song. But the singer herself has now revealed that she's not yet been approached about it but that she would certainly jump at the opportunity to be associated with 007.

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Steve Van Zandt sends message of solidarity to the Yes campaign

"A woman has a right to her own body and what happens in it. What an absurd notion it is to think otherwise," says the legendary guitar man who's bringing his Disciples of Soul to Dublin next month.

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Forbidden Fruit after-parties confirmed, stage-times revealed

The official Forbidden Fruit Festival after-parties have been announced along with the festival stage-times.

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A Walk On The Northside: Wildcat Ink Dublin

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A Walk On The Northside: Staying At City Break Apartments

From their HQ just off Parnell Street, Dublin City Apartments are offering a fantastic way to experience the capital - whether as a tourist or as a corporate traveller.

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Brian O'Driscoll and Mark Hamill latest to express support for repeal

American actor, Mark Hamill, and Irish rugby icon, Brian O’Driscoll, are the latest high-profile men to voice their support for the removement of the Eighth Amendment this Friday.

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100 Voices For YES: Irish Artists Speak Up For Repeal

Over the coming days, as we move closer to an historic opportunity for the people of Ireland to get rid of an archaic part of the Constitution, we'll be sharing the words of singers, artists, filmmakers, authors and more, who are urging people to vote for Repeal.

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Ariana Grande Shares Emotional Post On Anniversary Of Attack

To mark first anniversary of Manchester Arena attack today, Ariana Grande has taken to Twitter this morning with a message of support for her fans and loved ones of those affected by the horrific event.

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Ängie Opens Up About Battle With Depression

The Swedish star, who caused huge controversy with her debut single 'Smoke Weed Eat Pussy’ in 2017, has candidly revealed that she feels "sad all the time".

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Ed Sheeran Disapproves Of His Song Being Used By No Campaign

The singer-songwriter has criticized anti-abortion campaigners for using his song 'Small Bump'.

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Irish Writers Calls For A Yes Vote

Authors Marian Keyes, Liz Nugent, Sinead Gleeson, Tara Flynn and Paula Meehan have joined forces to call on the Irish people to vote Yes in Friday’s referendum.

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Irish Businesses At Risk Of Cyber-Attacks

While US and UK are offering training to major public bodies and businesses to help prevent cyber attacks, the Irish Government is leaving businesses here "ill-prepared", it's being claimed.

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Obama & Michelle Obama Annouce Plans To Make Inspiring Movies & TV Docs

Former US President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama have entered into a multi-year agreement to produce films and series with Netflix.

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100 Voices For YES: Irish Artists Speak Up For Repeal

Over the coming days, as we move closer to an historic opportunity for the people of Ireland to get rid of an archaic part of the Constitution, we'll be sharing the words of singers, artists, filmmakers, authors and more, who are urging people to vote for Repeal.

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Shawn Mendes announces second Dublin show

Fans left high and dry now have a glimmer of hope.

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Ed Sheeran Scoops Main Prize At Billboard Music Awards 2018

On the night, Ed Sheeran faced some very strong competition: Drake, Bruno Mars, Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar were all nominated for the Top Artist award at last night's Billboard Music Awards.

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No Side Tactics Slammed By TD

Labour TD for Limerick City, Jan O'Sullivan is calling on the official No campaign to condemn the "callous use" of white crosses in Donegal.

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The Liber8 Music Project gets green light

After successful pilot programme, the Liberties area of Dublin 8 received good news with the announcement that a unique and ground-breaking pilot afterschool music programme is to continue into the 2018-2019 academic year.

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Prince's Yellow Guitar Sells For A Whopping $225,000

Prince’s custom made played yellow Cloud guitar was originally estimated to be worth $60,000-$80,000, but it sold for an astounding $225,000 at an auction held during the weekend.

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Madonna Pays Tribute To Late Producer

The pop icon has taken to Twitter to describe Grammy-winning musician Reggie Lucas as an "important part of my musical past".

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Gabrielle Union is one tough mother

In her gripping new thriller Breaking In, Gabrielle Union plays a mother who has to break into a fortress-like house in order to rescue her children. She talks about the movie’s feminist theme, the Me Too movement, and her desire to see more racial diversity onscreen.

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100 Voices For YES: Irish Artists Speak Up For Repeal

Over the coming days, as we move closer to an historic opportunity for the people of Ireland to get rid of an archaic part of the Constitution, we'll be sharing the words of singers, artists, filmmakers, authors and more, who are urging people to vote for Repeal.

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King Princess Aims For Her Own Fairytale Success Story

The US musician, who is being tipped by the likes of Harry Styles as a rising star to keep an eye on following two of her tracks being streamed a staggering 75 million time so far, has just released the first music video from her debut EP.

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Africa Day Takes Places Next Saturday

This year’s Africa Day flagship event will take place on Sunday, 27th May at Farmleigh Estate in Dublin.

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Gillian Anderson Signs Up For Sexy Netflix Production

The X-Files and The Fall star will appear alongside Asa Butterfield (Ender’s Game, Hugo) who will play the lead in 'Sex Education', a British coming-of-awkward-age dramedy, which will debut globally on Netflix in 2019.

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Nine Inch Nails Aim To "Break Down The Door"

Nine Inch Nails have just released a new track entitled 'God Breaks Down The Door', ahead of the sale this weekend of tickets for their upcoming US tour.

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A Yes Vote Will Offer Women "Care & Compassion" In Ireland

Speaking at the launch of the latest Labour posters in the referendum to repeal the 8th Amendment, Labour Party Leader Brendan Howlin said yesterday that only a Yes vote on the 25th May "can deliver a change to our laws, and ensure that our women are no longer exported, but treated with care and compassion in Ireland".

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MTV's 'Catfish' Star Accussed Of Sexual Misconduct

MTV has now suspended the show following claims made against its star, Nev Schulman.

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Hot Press Announces London Show with Hothouse Flowers And Special Guests

The gig is set for Nell’s Jazz and Blues in Hammersmith, and will also feature Seamus Fogarty, NC Grey, as well as other special guests, including Damien Dempsey.

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Aiken Promotions issue Ed Sheeran gig statement

Fans going to the Phoenix Park on Saturday and Sunday are advised to arrive on time, and check where they're standing or sitting.

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Intimate Snow Patrol Show Wows Dublin

Their last gig in the capital was in the Phoenix Park. Now Snow Patrol are back with a thoughtful and reflective album in Wildness – and their Irish shows capture that more intimate spirit…

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Irish Nobel Laureate William C. Campbell calls for a repeal of the 8th amendment

A remarkable 1,200 Irish scientists have signed a letter calling for the Repeal of the 8th Amendment to the constitution – including many of our most eminent academics.

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100 Voices For YES: Irish Artists Speak Up For Repeal

Over the coming days, as we move closer to an historic opportunity for the people of Ireland to get rid of an archaic part of the Constitution, we'll be sharing the words of singers, artists, filmmakers, authors and more, who are urging people to vote for Repeal.

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Backstreet Boys Return Today With New Single

On the heels of their 25th anniversary, the Backstreet Boys have signed with RCA Records who released their new single 'Don’t Go Breaking My Heart' today (May 17th), along with its official music video directed by long time BSB collaborators Rich + Tone.

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Elton John To Perform At Royal Wedding?

Sources close to Sir Elton John are reportedly claiming that the pop icon will perform at this weekend's wedding of former actress Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.

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More Bowie Albums To Be Reissued

David Bowie released two classic studio albums between 1978 and 1982 (Lodger and Scary Monsters [And Super Creeps]), as well as a wealth of work for film, television and more.

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New Trailer For Irish-Based Production Of 'Nightflyers'

Netflix has released a teaser for Nightflyers which is currently in production at Troy Studios in Limerick.

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Check Out Christina Aguilera New Track

Superstar Christina Aguilera has released her highly anticipated new song 'Fall in Line' feat. Demi Lovato, along with the lyric video.

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Irish Govt Outlines New Measures To Reduce Crisis Pregnancies

The Government has outlined a series of measures planned to improve supports for women and reduce crisis pregnancies, as they continued their campaign for a Yes vote in the Referendum on May 25th.

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Watch Fascinating Trailer For New Whitney Houston Doc

In some fascinating insightful clips, the late singer pondered fame and life struggles in the new trailer for 'Whitney' which hits US cinemas in early July.

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A Walk On The Northside: We Take A Look Inside Shauna's Pet Shop

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Keith Richards ramps up the excitement for Croke Park on Twitter

The countdown begins.

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100 Voices For YES: Irish Artists Speak Up For Repeal

Over the coming days, as we move closer to an historic opportunity for the people of Ireland to get rid of an archaic part of the Constitution, we'll be sharing the words of singers, artists, filmmakers, authors and more, who are urging people to vote for Repeal.

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Former Eurovision Winner Charlie McGettigan Says RTÉ Should Boycott Eurovision

In the wake of the shocking actions of the Israeli military on the Gaza border over the past few days, Charlie McGettigan – who won the Eurovision singing Brendan Graham’s ‘Rock ’n’ Roll Kids’ with Paul Harrington – has said that RTÉ should withdraw from next year’s competition, if it goes ahead in Israel.

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Legendary Playwright Tom Murphy Has Died

President Michael D Higgins has paid tribute this morning to the giant of the Irish theatre world who has passed away at the age of 83.

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Tributes Pour In For Tom Wolfe

Twitter is flowing with tributes for the legendary American author and journalist who has died at the age of 87.

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Virgin Media & TV3 Secure Rights To UEFA Champions League

Virgin Media and TV3 secure rights to all UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League matches for the next three years and live rights to over 300 European matches per season

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Calls For Airbnb Regulations

One in every two rental properties in the Capital are now only available to tourists according to Daft.ie

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Writers Of all Ages Encouraged To Enter Africa Day Writing Competition

Now in its fourth year, the competition marks Africa Day 2018 celebrations and offers a platform for emerging talent, as well as established writers of all ages.

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A Yes Vote Is "Only Way To Deal With So-callled 'Hard Cases'," says Senator Bacik

With just nine days to go until Irish citizens will be voting on the removal of the eighth amendment from the Constitution, Labour Senator Ivana Bacik has said that voting Yes on May 25th is the only way to deal with so-called ‘hard cases’ and to show real compassion to women and their families.

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Mark McCabe to join The Blizzards on rugby weekend bill

Irish producer and DJ, Mark McCabe, has been added to the musical line-up for the two-day Guinness PRO14 Dublin 7s festival.

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Blues guitarist Aiden Pryor to play Arklow charity show

Blues guitarist Aiden Pryor and his band play Arklow in a charity event organised by Colm Weadick, who has previously featured in Hot Press for his charity exploits and Thin Lizzy fandom.

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In Conversation with LIERS

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In Conversation with Maria Kelly

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Kevin Godley movie chronicling Orson Welles' early years in Dublin in the works

British rock musician and video director Kevin Godley is to make his feature film debut with The Gate, a film that looks at Orson Welles’ early acting career at the Gate Theatre, Dublin.

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Stuart Clark talks Portugeuse drug decriminalisation on Pat Kenny's Newstalk show

Drug overdose deaths in Portugal have been reduced from 300 to 23 a year since they made it a health issue rather than a criminal justice one.

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Simon Delaney to lead Gate Theatre production of The Snapper

Irish actor and TV presenter Simon Delaney will take on the role of Jimmy Sr in the Gate Theatre stage production of The Snapper.

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