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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Listen: Bjork shares new single, 'The Gate'

'The Gate' is the first track off her upcoming "Tinder record", which will be released in November.

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Flying Lotus has written the score for a new anime Blade Runner short

The short, titled Blade Runner Black Out 2022 is written and directed by Shinichiro Watanabe (Cowboy Bebop).

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New Direct Flights Between Ireland & Canada

Air Canada has just announced that it will be operating new direct flights from Shannon to Toronto from June 2018.

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Paddy Hanna Drops New Single & Announces Tour Dates

Dublin-based songwriter Paddy Hanna returns this week with his new single ‘Bad Boys’, a baroque cut of shimmering, intelligent pop.

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Frank Carter Bravely Opens Up About Mental Health Problems

The frontman of the band Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes has taken to social media to explain that he’s been forced to cancel an upcoming tour because he is “fighting demons”.

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Selena Gomez Opens Up About Secret Kidney Transplant

The American singer has taken to social media to reveal that her close friend made the “ultimate gift and sacrifice” by donating a kidney to help save her life.

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Sampha Wins Mercury Prize

The shocked London musician said he thought he was "dreaming" when his name was read out as the winner of the much coveted £25,000 prize for best album at last night's awards ceremony.

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REM to release Automatic For The People 25th Anniversary Edition this November

Due out on November 10th, the reissue will be released across a variety of formats, including 180gm vinyl, streaming and a four-disc Deluxe Edition.

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Husker Du drummer, Grant Hart has died aged 56

The punk icon had been battling cancer in recent months.

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FROM THE ARCHIVES: Hot Press spent some quality time with Sopranos star Frank Vincent in 2007

As the sad news of his death breaks, we remember Paul Nolan's encounter with the man who played Phil Leotardo...

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Neil Lennon talks the All Ireland in the new issue of Hot Press

"My heart says Mayo, my head says Dublin!" says the staunch Armagh man...

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Rob Kearney Chats About Injuries & His Passion For Cars In New Hot Press

The Irish rugby hero, who alongside Jamie Heaslip has just been ruled out of Leinster's Pro 14 fixtures against the Cheetahs and Southern Kings in South Africa, chats in the new Hot Press about how being injured is tough to handle.

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Students Union Is Planning Major Campaign To Get Cuts In College Fees

President of the Union of Students, Michael Kerrigan has revealed to Hot Press that they're "planning a year-long campaign" with the aim of scuppering student loan schemes and to put the government under pressure to reduce college fees.

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Renowned Author JP Donleavy Has Died

The Mullingar-based author, whose legion of fans included the likes of Johnny Depp who bought the rights to one of his classic novels, has passed away at the grand old age of 91.

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Sopranos Actor Passes Away

Frank Vincent, who will be best remembered for playing mafia figures in the likes of 'Goodfellas' and 'Sopranos', has died at the age of 78.

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Watch: Lana Del Rey shares sci-fi video for 'White Mustang'

Taken from her fourth album, Lust for Life, 'White Mustang' is the third track to be given a video so far.

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LANKUM to release first album on Rough Trade records in October

The Dublin four-piece, who blend Traveller and Irish traditional music with American dance will release their second album Between the Earth on October 27th.

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Watch: King Krule shares video for new single and tracklist for upcoming album

After announcing last week that his new album, The Ooz will arrive on October 12th, Archy Marshall has shared his new track 'Dum Surfer' with its zombie-inspired video.

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Surprise as The Underground Railroad is not included on 2017 Man Booker Shortlist

The shortlist has startled many as the final six names did not include Zadie Smith and bookies favourite, Colson Whitehead whose sixth novel, The Underground Railroad has already earned him a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

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IFI to Host Rare Opportunity to View Peter Hutton’s Work in 16mm Film

Film lovers can experience a rare treat on Saturday September 23rd as celebrated experimental filmmaker Peter Hutton’s posthumous work will be screened in the Irish Film Institute in 16mm for the first time.

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The first acts at eir Other Voices Festival 2017 confirmed, open call for new acts announced

Ahead of its return to Dingle, Co. Kerry this December, eir Other Voices Festival 2017 has officially announced the first acts on the line-up, while also launching an annual open call for new artists.

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Shock At High Price For New iPhone

It's being hailed by Apple CEO Tim Cook as "the biggest leap forward" in mobile technology, but that didn't stop social media going into near total meltdown last night at the new iPhone X's exorbitant price.

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Sinead O'Connor Discusses Mental Health Problems with Dr Phil

The troubled troubadour has revealed how she believes recording new music would do her a world of good...

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Lady Gaga Opens Up About Chronic Illness

The superstar reveals in a new documentary that she suffers from a serious condition known as fibromyalgia.

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#WelcomeToTheNorthside Returns with Free U2 Tribute show

It's never going to be "better than the real thing", but U2 fans won't want to miss the opportunity to party away in the company of some really good U2 tribute acts at a special two night event being organised at The Church Bar venue in Dublin later this month.

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Quirky Musical Opens in Dublin

As part of the Dublin Fringe Festival, a new show about a fictitious band – which is billed as part gig, part interview – is being staged at the Smock Alley Theatre Boys School. Entitled ‘Gladys and The Gutter Stars’, the show runs from tonight until 17 September.

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Watch Esperanza Spalding make her new record via livestream

The jazz virtuoso will be broadcasting the creation of her new album over the next three days.

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Netflix set to release documentary about Jim Carrey's method acting for Man on the Moon

Netflix have acquired the rights to Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond, a documentary which details Carrey's intensive method acting to prepare for the role of Andy Kaufman in the 1999 docudrama Man on the Moon.

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Watch: The trailer for James Franco's Tommy Wiseau biopic, The Disaster Artist has landed

Retelling the making-of story behind the one of the greatest bad movies, The Room, the much anticipated first official trailer for Franco's The Disaster Artist is upon us at last.

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Black Rebel Motorcycle Club to release new album in January, share first single

The Californian rock trio's eighth studio album, Wrong Creatures will be released on January 12th 2018.

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Watch: Harry Styles takes on Fleetwood Mac in Live Lounge cover

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Sigrid to perform at the Academy, Dublin in March

The Norwegian singer-songwriter has announced that she will be playing Dublin's Academy on Friday 23rd of March.

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Scottish Band Take Pride In U2 Covers Album

It'll be a "sort of homecoming" when the band December launch their album of imaginative U2 covers in Dublin later this month.

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Watch: Matt Damon shrinks to save the world in new trailer for Downsizing

Matt Damon, Kristen Wiig, Christoph Waltz and Jason Sudeikis star in this new satirical sci-fi comedy directed by Alexander Payne (The Descendants, Sideways).

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TV Soap Star's Daughter Found Dead At Music Festival

The 25-year-old daughter of Holby City and Coronation Street star, John Michie was tragically found dead yesterday in mysterious circumstances in woods beside the 'Bestival' music festival in the UK.

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University Rankings Highlights Need For Greater Emphasis On Research

Trinity College Dublin has moved back inside the top 200 ranked universities, according to the latest Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

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Kelly Clarkson Is Back With New Album & Book

Not content with just bringing out a new album, the Grammy award-winning songwriter has also penned a book that is due to hit the shelves at the end of October.

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Colm Toibin, Angeline Ball, Patrick Bergin & Ingrid Craigie On The Abbey Stage

Following the sell-out success of 2016’s Josephine Hart Poetry Hour at the Abbey Theatre, some popular faces from the Irish acting world will be reading poetry by W.H. Auden at the national theatre on 17 September.

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Mavis Staples brings a positive attitude to her politically charged new single, 'If All I Was Was Black'

The Chicago-born rhythm and blues singer tackles race on the single taken from her upcoming album of the same name.

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Watch: trailer for new doc about guitar legend Eric Clapton

The film, Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars will be premiering this week at the Toronto Film Festival.

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Listen: Van Morrison covers Count Basie and Jimmy Rushing for his new single

The Northern-Irish singer-songwriter has released a cover of 'Goin' to Chicago' for his 37th album, Roll with the Punches, which is due out on September 22nd.

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Ed Sheeran isn't optimistic about the fate of his Game of Thrones character

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Listen: Hudson Taylor share new single 'Feel it Again', announce Irish tour

The Dublin-duo have unveiled their new single, 'Feel It Again', which is taken from their upcoming EP.

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George Hook offers "profound apology" for "totally inappropriate and unacceptable" rape comments

The Newstalk host opened Monday's broadcast of High Noon with a new statement, in which he expressed his regret for "perpetuating the stigma" around rape culture in Ireland.

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The The to play their first live shows in sixteen years, announce new box set collection

After releasing their first new material last April, Matt Johnson and co. are set to make their live comeback in June, with two dates scheduled.

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Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan Retires

Following a torrent of controversies, the Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan has decided that enough is enough. Objectively, her decision is not before its time…

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Newstalk Issues Apology Over George Hook's Neanderthal Views On Rape

A storm of controversy exploded yesterday when George Hook blamed a 19 year old rape victim for what happened to her. His station Newstalk has now issued an unreserved apology...

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Listen: The Horrors share new track 'Weighed Down' from upcoming album V

The London quintet have unveiled a third song from their fifth album V, which will be released on September 22nd.

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Cyclists to demonstrate for approval of proposed Dublin bike path

Dublin Cycling Campaign is hosting a mass cycle along Dublin’s Quays to demonstrate support for a proposed segregated cycle route.

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Listen: Charlotte Gainsbourg announces release of her seventh album and shares new single, 'Risk'

The French singer and actress will follow up 2010's IRM with Risk, which was co-written with Guy-Maunel de Homem-Christo of Daft Punk.

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Happy Birthday, Aimee Mann!

The former Til Tuesday singer is celebrating her fifty-seventh birthday today, we're looking back on our interview with her from 2001.

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Watch: Annie Mac at the Hot Press Chat Room, Electric Picnic 2017

Annie Mac drops the beat onstage and drops knowledge in this interview.

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Watch: Phill Jupitus at the Hot Press Chat Room, Electric Picnic 2017

Check out this exclusive interview with the hilarious Phill Jupitus

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Hard Working Class Heroes Conference 2017 schedule has been announced

This year's Hard Working Class Heroes Conference will be taking place at the Chocolate Factory on Kings Inn Street, Dublin between Thursday 28th and Saturday 30th of September.

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Jeff Tweedy announces Vicar Street show in January

The Wilco frontman will be performing at Vicar Street, Dublin on January 30th 2018.

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Listen: The National have released their new album, Sleep Well Beast

Their seventh album, Sleep Well Beast is the follow up to 2013's Trouble Will Find Me.

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Listen: Foo Fighters share new song, 'The Line' from upcoming album Concrete and Gold

Dave Grohl and co. have unveiled the song one week ahead of the release of their ninth album which is due out on September 15th.

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Session Motts announce Dublin and Galway gigs

The Dublin trio have announced two shows for the end of September and the start of October

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WATCH: Beck shares video for 'Up All Night With You'

Taken from his upcoming 13th album, 'Colours' the track was released back in September 2016.

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Masego to play Dublin's Academy at the end of October

The Jamaican-American multi-instrumentalist will be performing in the Academy on October 25th.

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Martin 'Pharma Bro' Shkreli to sell $2m Wu-Tang Clan Album

The controversial former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, who first gained infamy for hiking up the price of the HIV drug daraprim from $13.50 to $750 is selling the only existing copy of Once Upon a Time in Shaolin on EBay.

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Newton Faulkner has released an animated video for his single, 'Hit the Ground Running'

'Hit the Ground Running' is taken from his sixth album of the same name.

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New Michael Jackson compilation, Scream to be released on September 29th

The new thirteen-track compilation will also feature a newly created bonus track, entitled 'Blood on the Dance Floor x Dangerous', which was mixed by The White Panda.

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Watch: Ian Bailey at the Hot Press Chat Room, Electric Picnic 2017

Ian Bailey came to the Hot Press Chat Room to give an exclusive interview with Olaf Tyaransen

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Come and meet the brewers at the Irish Craft Beer Festival

The line-up for Thursday's Hop Press Talks have just been announced!

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Watch: Soulé at the Hot Press Chat Room, Electric Picnic 2017

Soulé visited the Hot Press Chat Room to speak with Olaf Tyaransen.

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Down to Earth singer, Taylor Swift wants to try to trademark more English words

Taylor Swift is again in the news for attempting to trademark another selection of well-used sentences in the English language.

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David Keenan to play headline show at Whelans this January

The singer-songwriter will be performing his first headline show at Whelans on January 5th.

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