Banter Review of the Year (069, Dec 2013)

If we were simply talking about the review of the Banter year, there would certainly be lots to talk about. This was the year of peak Banter, 27 events and counting as we roamed from Cork to DerryKinsale to Londonthe Burren to Belfast and Dingle to our spiritual home at the Twisted Pepper in Dublin, where it all began.

We talked about everything from craft beers and Bruce Springsteen to bikes and farming. We had fascinating conversations with people like Alan McGeePeter HookDr Steve MyersMaeve O’RourkePaul MorleyMary FitzgeraldNeil Hannon and tons more. 2013 was a blast – and we’ve some amazing stuff already in the pipeline for 2014.

As has become the norm at Banter (and we did this in 200920102011 and 2012), we end the year with the review of the year. It’s always a splendid night out as our panel run the rule over the events, news stories, heroes and villians of the last 12 months.

Our panel for the review which will probably cover everything from horseburgers and the Anglo tapes to Martin O’Neill, the Clare hurlers and the selfie: Aine Lawlor (presenter of RTE Radio One’s News At One, RTE TV’s The Week In Politics and Facing Cancer), Alison Curtis (Today FM DJ and producer), Paddy Cosgrave (Web Summit, F.ounders) and Ciaran Walsh (managing editor Le Cool Dublin and co-founder Sweatshop).


RTE’s Aine Lawlor

Date, time and venue: Monday December 16, 6.30pm (doors open 6pm), Twisted Pepper, Middle Abbey St., Dublin 1.

Admission is free, but you must sign up in advance to our guestlist here.

PLEASE NOTE: the invite list for this event is now full. Additional spaces may become available nearer the date so check back for more information.

The Banter Salon at Other Voices, Dingle (068, Dec 2013)

A year ago, we made our way on the Banter bandwagon to Dingle for the very first Banter Salon as part of the Other Voices’ event in the town. A year on, and having travelled with them to Derry and London in the meantime, we’re very happy to heading back to Foxy John’s for more.

Joining us for the weekend will be:

David Gray – expect a long-form, one-off, tea-time interview at the start of the weekend with the singer-songwriter ahead of the release of his new album in 2014.


Eimear McBride – the author of the amazing “A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing” and the winner of the first ever Goldsmiths Prize for fiction. Written nine years ago, “A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing” was rejected by mainstream publishers and was eventually published by Galley Beggar Press in Norwich and was acclaimed by reviewers, with Anne Enright calling McBride a “genius” for the book’s “truth-spilling, uncompromising and brilliant prose”.


John Grant – we welcome him to the Banter Salon for an indepth interview about the music he makes, the music he listens to and the music which he is inspired by.


Alice Maher – an Irish artist of international standing, Alice’s work is an ongoing narrative about change in effect all around us, as seen in Becoming, the recent spectacular IMMA retrospective of her career to date


Pat Leahy – the Sunday Business Post’s deputy editor and political editor is the editor of two of the finest books about Ireland’s recent history, “Showtime” (2009) and this year’s “The Price of Power: Inside Ireland’s Crisis Coalition”


Gerard Barrett – the young Kerryman behind Pilgrim Hill, one of the year’s most powerful and compelling films, talks about what it takes to make a masterful debut from a first-time film-maker, the reaction to that film, the cinematic appeal of rural Ireland and what comes next for him

Jack Reynor – the star of What Richard Did, Dollhouse and the forthcoming blockbuster Transformers: Act of Extinction will be appearing alongside Gerard Barrett to talk about the  who, what, why, how and where of his acting

Transformers 4 - Michael Bay Announces Jack Reynor   Lead Role  Mark Wahlberg Image__scaled_600


Michael Moynihan – Irish Examiner sports journalist and the author of the fascinating“GAAconomics” book about the secret life of money in the GAA. Like all great investigations, “GAAconomics” follows the money in hurling and Gaelic football to come up with an absorbing tale about our national games.


Donal Ryan – the Tipperaryman’s debut book “The Spinning Heart” won widespread praise, garnering the Irish Book of the Year Award before being longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and topping the bestseller lists. His second novel “The Thing About December” has just been published.


David Arnold – the English film composer and musician on scoring James Bond movies, Little Britain, Dr Who and Sherlock, working with Adele, Shirley Bassey, Ton Jones and Bjork, the gig as musical director for the 2012 London Olympics and getting the chance now and then to do his own thing.


The Banter Salon takes place at Foxy John’s, Dingle on Friday December 6 (5-6pm – the David Gray special), Saturday December 7 (2-6pm) and Sunday December 8 (2-6pm) and there will be special musical guests each day. Admission is free, but space is strictly limited so get there early.

Full information on all Other Voices’ activities in Dingle over the weekend, from the performances in the church to the music trail, here.

Living for the City: the new Dubliners (067, Nov 2013)

We’ve already had two quite exceptional and well-attended outings in Banter’s autumn/winter series about life in Dublin in the 21st century. After our looks at bikes and gaffs, it’s time to turn the focus on the new Dubliners who’ve moved to Ireland to make a home and a life for themselves.

7225-Immigrants-620x413New Dubliners pictured at a recent citizenship ceremony

It’s a discussion which has been prompted by many chats and observations over the last 12 months. The Irish migration narrative is usually all about people leaving Ireland and the whole generation emigration discussion, but this ignores the fact that many thousands of people are also moving in the other direction. Between the ongoing citizenship ceremonies, the many new businesses helmed by new arrivals and the fresh energy and enthusiasm provided by the newcomers, Ireland’s migrants are making a valuable, if unheralded, contribution to this country.

The New Dubliners will look at the city through the eyes of those who’ve moved here to make the city their home by talking a group of new Dubliners about their experience of living in the city: the good and the bad, the stuff that keeps them here and the things which make them pine for home, the ins and outs of making a home here.

Our panel: Wissame Cherfi (film-maker), Monika Sapielak (Centre for Creative Practice), Hassan Lemtouni (cafe owner) and Minhee Won (financial data research specialist). We’ll also be screening Wissame’s award-winning short We Are Dublin on the night

The details: The New Dubliners will take on Wednesday November 27 at the Twisted Pepper (Middle Abbey St., Dublin 1) from 8pm. Admission is free and you just need to sign in advance to the invite list here.