Banter at Kinsale Arts Festival (087, Sep 2014)

After two visits to the town in 2013, the Banter series of talks and interviews returns to the Co Cork town for the Kinsale Arts Festival in September. We’ve sessions covering food, music, gardening and film-making and cracking guests for you to meet on Saturday and Sunday 27 and 28 September.

Here’s the line-up

Rory O’Connell (Saturday 1pm Lord Kingsale)

Rory-o-connell-fullMaster chef at work. Rory O’Connell has spent over 20 years cooking in the world’s finest kitchens alongside leading chefs and cooking advocates, including Nico Ladenis at Chez Nico, London, Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat Saisons in Oxford, Alice Waters at Chez Panisse, California and Mrytle Allen at Ballmaloe House. Rory co-founded the Ballymaloe Cookery School with his sister, Darina Allen, and is also festival director of the Ballymaloe Literary Festival. His first book, “Master It: How to Cook Today” won the Andre Simon Award for Best Cook Book 2013.

Mary Reynolds (Saturday 2.30pm Lord Kingsale)

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Meet the gardener. Mary Reynolds, who won a gold medal at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2002 for her Celtic Sanctuary Irish wildflower garden, is a designer who seeks to create landscapes which are expressions of each individual place. A film about Mary’s story called Wild – which was written and directed by Vivienne de Courcy, stars Emma Greenwell amd Tom Hughes and was partly shot in west Cork – is due for release in 2015.

Iarla Ó Lionáird (Saturday 4pm St Multose Church)

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Cúil Aodha calling. Iarla Ó Lionáird is a singer, songwriter and musician with an unique voice and approach. Whether as a member of the Afro Celt Sound System and, more recently, the wonderful Irish-American band The Gloaming or as part of a plethora of other projects and collaborations from Ghost Trio and Crash Ensemble to work alongside Nico Muhly, Gavin Bryars, Dan Trueman and David Lang as well as film credits for Hotel Rwanda, Calavary and others, Iarla has long exhibited highly individual artistic ambitions when it comes to Irish music.

Pat Collins (Sunday noon The Black Pig)

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Pat Collins is a Cork-born filmmaker who has directed over two dozen acclaimed documentaries since leaving the work of criticism (he edited Film West magazine) and film festivals (Galway Film Fleadh programmer). He has won multiple awards for work which includes Michael Hartnett: A Necklace of Wrens, Oileán Thoraí, Marooned, Gabriel Byrne – Stories From Home and Pilgrim. In 2012, he released his first feature drama, Silence, about a sound recordist returning to Ireland for the first time in 15 years to take up a job recording landscapes free from man-made sound. His most recent work is Living In A Coded Land, a superb vivid look at the people and places of the Irish Midlands

Selling Irish food to the masses (Sunday 1.30pm The Black Pig)

A conversation with Sully (Cully & Sully) and Kieran Murphy (Murphy’s Ice Cream) about the business of food. How do you get a new food brand off the ground? What kind of work and research is involved in moving beyond just local sales and reach? What are the ups and downs on turning your food into a brand? What lessons are to be learned from scaling up?

Nuala O’Connor (Sunday 3pm The Black Pig)

Nuala O’Connor is the Dingle-based writer and producer behind some of the most compelling Irish documentary films in recent years. She worked as a producer and writer on such TV shows as Bringing It All Back Home (and won an Emmy Award for it), River of Sound (the seven-part series on Irish traditional music presented by Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin), The Raw Bar and The Limits of Liberty, a three part television history of 20th Century Ireland presented by Diarmaid Ferriter. In the last 12 months, she has worked on both Moment to Moment, the acclaimed documentary about The Gloaming, and Céiliúradh, the celebration of Irish music and culture at London’s Royal Albert Hall during the visit of President Michael D Higgins to the UK in April. She was also a traditional music reviewer for the Irish Times for many years.

Full information on all sessions and everything else going on at the festival from September 19 to 28 here. Big thanks to Marie McParlin and all at the festival for the return invitation to the town and their help in putting this on.

Living for the City: Dublin’s new cafe society (086, Sep 2014)

If it’s September, it’s time to go back to the Twisted Pepper. It’s been a while since we did a Banter in our spiritual home on Middle Abbey Street but we’re back in situ for what is looking like an action-packed autumn-winter schedule.

Our first night out for the autumn, the latest in the ongoing Living for the City series on living, working and playing in the capital, is a look at the city’s new-school cafes. A huge number of cafes have opened in the city in the recent while and it seems as if more are opening or expanding with every passing week. Where has this growth come from, what’s behind it and what’s next as taste buds get more adventurous?

Our panel of cafe fanatics are Maisha Lenehan (Bibis), Barry Stephens (147),Aisling Rogerson (The Fumbally) and Ketty Elisabeth (French Foodie In Dublin). You can check out Ketty’s photos and reviews of these cafes and dozens more in the city here.

Photo by Alpha https://www.flickr.com/photos/avlxyz

Photo by Alpha https://www.flickr.com/photos/avlxyz

The small print: Banter on Dublin’s cafe society takes place on Wednesday September 24 at the Twisted Pepper (Middle Abbey St., Dublin 1). Doors open at 6pm and the Bantering gets underway at 6.30pm. There is a limited free guestlist available and you can sign up for it here.

Banter at CultureTECH 2014 (085, Sep 2014)

It’s our second year in a row at CultureTECH, the week-long messy celebration of creative innovation which runs in Derry from September 15 to 21. We had a fantastic time at the festival last year – and we’ve also enjoyed ourselves enormously on visits to the Maiden City with Other Voices in ‘13 and ’14 – so it was an easy decision to say yes when we got the call from Mark Nagurski to come to the northwest again.

Our line-up for the Banter Big Kahunas evening is as follows:

Jamie Byng – publisher and managing director of Canongate

John Leland – New York Times journalist and author of Hip: The History

Steve Carson – Head of BBC Northern Ireland Productions and formerly Chief Editorial Advisor and Director, Factual Group at RTÉ

Hannah Donovan – Co-founder and design Director at This Is My Jam and previously Head of Creative for Last.fm

The event will take place at the historic St Augustine’s, Palace Street, Derry on Culture Night, Friday September 19 from 7pm. Admission is free, but advance booking is required and can be done here.

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Banter at Other Voices at the Electric Picnic (084, Aug 2014)

After various adventures over the last two years in Derry, Dingle and London, Banter is delighted to join Other Voices as they head into the woods at Stradbally Hall on their first ever visit to Co Laois and the Electric Picnic. By comparison, this is the third Picnic in a row for Banter, though we’re swapping our usual digs with Naoise Nunn and Mindfield for Other Voices’ bijou tent in the woods.

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On Saturday afternoon (4pm, Other Voices tent), Melvin Benn (Festival Republic) and Philip King (Other Voices) will join me to talk about the yin and yang of the modern festival. We’ll look at the long-term history of these musical feasts, how festivals have changed over the past decade or so, the new eclecticism which reigns at the better events, the differences in festival culture between countries and the future for these events.

A talk about festivals at a festival within a festival – prepare for the most meta hour of your weekend. There will also be a very special musical guest too who we can’t tell you about quite yet but, trust us, it will be worth it.