- 20 Jul 16
In his Hot Press interview, Ireland's Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform opens up on his favourite artists, albums and live gigs – and there's a few surprising inclusions among them
In this fortnight's Hot Press, Pascal Donohoe, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, discusses everything from the repeal of the Eighth Amendment and supervised injecting centres to his views on Boris Johnson and the Church's stance on gay marriage.
But the life-long Hot Press reader can’t help flexing his musical muscles – and credits the magazine with much of his education on the matter.
"One of the earliest memories I have of Hot Press was reading the review of Green by REM – ‘Orange Crush’ was on that album – and never having heard of REM, I remember reading that article and it giving me a hint that there’s a big world out there of music. I can’t remember what the order was, but I read a review in Hot Press of Spike by Elvis Costello.”
The Minister is photographed in the magazine holding a copy of that remarkable Elvis album, which includes his song about Maggie Thatcher, ’Tramp The Dirt Down’, the searing ‘Let Him Dangle’ (a protest song against capital punishment which recounts the execution of Derek Bentley, whose conviction was later quashed) and Costello’s biggest US hit, ‘Veronica’. Parts of the album were recorded in Dublin, with a cast that included Donal Lunny, Derek Bell of The Chieftains and Davy Spillane.
"They’re two clear memories that I have of Hot Press,” the Minister adds. "Also the gig reviews – and that’s lead me to now being a really big gig-goer. Even in life as a Minister I go to a lot of gigs. And it introduced me to artists, music and albums that have played a huge part in my life."
While the likes of Bob Dylan and The Waterboys – among many more – are mentioned amongst his personal favourites from over the years, there's a few unexpected revelations – including a love for Queen Bey.
"This weekend I was at Beyoncé in Croke Park on Saturday night. I’m not a typical member of the 'Beyhive' – but I do think Lemonade is a great album,” he says.
For much more on the Minister's musical life – including his favourite album to rock out to, his take on the Garth Brooks saga and his qualities as a dancer! – pick up an issue of the new Hot Press, on sale tomorrow.
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