Many thanks to our brilliant panelists Garry O’Neill (Where Were You?), Mick Heaney (The Irish Times) and Eimear Fitzmaurice (Not Saying Boo/Forward Slash/Bodytonic Music) and our audience (another packed house on this occasion) for insightful views, funny quips, great anecdotes and plenty of cultural anthropological brain food on the who, what, why, how and where of the hipster then, now and to come.
If you haven’t done so already, check out Where Were You?, Garry O’Neill’s fantastic book on Dublin street culture, which was one of the inspirations behind this panel.
The first Banter of ’12 took a look at the joys (and pains) of running with Ian O’Riordan (Irish Times and author of “Miles to Run – Promises to Keep”), Raedi Higgins (Runs Like A Girl) and Barry Redsetta (Pogo, Jam the Box), with couch-to-10k newbie JIm Carroll keeping an eye on the split times. Topics included the current boom in running, previous booms in running (or, as Ian noted, “the jogging boom” which has now become the running boom), the Olympics, running in Kenya, races, shin splits, ultramarathons, training regimes, the costs of running and much, much more. A great turn-out too and we’ll definitely be doing more sports-related Banters in the future.
Banter’s annual Review of the Year session – It’s The End of 2011 As We Know It (And We Feel OK) – turned out to be a fantastic evening’s entertainment and brain stimulation thanks to our reeling-in-the-year panelists Sinead Gleeson, Miriam O’Callaghan and Conor Pope and some superb contributions from the Bantering classes in the audience.
Topics covered included elections, the euro, positivity, optimism, the media, Twitter, sovereignty, independence, Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Ireland, the Arab Spring, the Occupy street movements, Other Voices, Wikileaks, referendums and good news stories.
Interview with Arthur Russell biographer Tim Lawrence as part of Sound Now, Seek & You Will FInd, a special celebration of Arthur Russell’s life and music as part of The Beatyard weekender. Tim is the author of the fantastic “Hold Onto Your Dreams”biography of Russell and the excellent “Love Saves the Day” history of 1970s’ American dance culture. A wide-ranging coversation about Russell, New York, dance culture, disco, Talking Heads and much more.
This Banter Uptown session, in conjunction with the Mindfield folks, saw us deliver an all-guns-blazing obituary for pop culture in the beautiful surroundings of Merrion Square, Dublin on a lovely sunny Sunday afternoon.
The panelists raking over the ashes of pop culture past and present were Todd Zuniga (Literary Death Match), Nathan Rabin (A.V. Club, The Onion) and Una Mullally.
This freewheeling, wide-ranging eulogy referenced (deep breath) John Morley (the one-time Chief Secretary for Ireland who was the first to mention popular culture in an 1876 speech), R, Kelly, Odd Future, Black Eyed Peas, Community, Youtube videos of cats, authenticity, irony, short attention spans, Bosco, Twink, Dan Charnas’ The Big Payback, Weird Al Yankovic, Timothy Leary, Shaun Dunne’s Homebird and much, much more.
It was also the only Banter to date which featured (a) Shane McGowan in the audience heckling panelists by singing The Village People’s “In the Navy” and (b) a bunch of children running around the place (which certainly cut down on the amount of cussing and swearing from the stage). If you weren’t there, you missed one hell of a do because it was not recorded.
Since it was founded in Barcelona in 1994, Sonar has established itself as the world’s leading electronic music festival, where music-makers and music fans go to hear, see and experience cutting-edge sounds and art.
As well as the Barcelona event, Sonar has also begun to hold a simultaneous festival in A Coruña in Galicia and has hosted events in London, New York, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Frankfurt, Chicago and Tokyo.
The inside story of the world’s leading electronic music festival, as told by Enric Palau and Georgia Taglietti, two of the people who make it all happen.
Climate Wise Women is a global initiative to promote women’s leadership on climate change and to give a human face and voice to this issue.
It features women leaders from regions and communities directly affected by climate change putting their narratives on public view in a traveling speaking tour. While the world continues to debate whether climate change actually exists, communities are counting on Climate Wise Women to find bold solutions and provide leadership.
The Climate Wise Women who spoke in Dublin at Banter were Constance Okollet, chairperson of the Osukuru United Women’s Network from Tororo in Eastern Uganda, and Ursula Rakova, executive director of Tulele Peisa, an organization seeking to voluntarily relocate 1,700 Carteret Islanders whose islands and food supply are rapidly eroding to mainland Bougainville, Papua New Guinea. They were joined by Gavin Harte (Earthtalks.org).
On the day after the TDs elected to the 31st Dail meet for the very first time, Banter talks to a couple of new Irish businesses about life in 2011.
As our new government prepare to take office against a backdrop of economic doom and gloom, life outside Leinster House for new, aspiring Irish businesses goes on as normal. The well-documented problems which businesses face on the ground won’t change overnight just because there’s a new man at the helm of the Department of the Taoiseach.
But while these are tough times for business people like our three guests, this state of affairs has not stopped them – or hundreds like them – from giving it a go. Instead of expanding energy on giving out or planning a life abroad, they’re spending their time and energy working on nascent business ideas and seeing where it all goes from here.
On the agenda: innovation, ideas, ingenuity, funding, optimism and the future.
On the panel: Anne Bedos (Rothar), Colin Harmon (3FE Coffee & Café), Al Coleman (Onlineadvertising.ie and TEDxLiffey). “Going forward”: Jim Carroll.
Banter’s TV special starred Cici Cavanagh (Fade Street), Patrick Freyne (TV Critic), Derek O’Connor (scriptwriter and film-maker) and Darren Smith (Kite Entertainment) discussing the current state of Irish television, from RTE’s dominance of the airwaves to the new breed of Irish-made shows.
Well Done Steak: Irish Food In 2011 & Beyond was our dinner party special with Elaine Murphy (The Winding Stair), Aoife Carrigy (freelance food & wine writer) and Darragh Flynn (Living Foods, The Happy Pear) joining maitre d’ Jim Carroll to gab about the current state of Irish food in 2011. A couple of months after Well Done Steak, a group of food writers and bloggers got together to put on their own bi-monthly food session called For Food’s Sake, which organiser Aoife Carrigy says very kindly, “was inspired by and spawned from Banter”. Podcast and photos from this Banter unfortunately got slightly overcooked in the oven.
We Are Where We Are, So What’s Next? Reviewing 2010, Previewing 2011 was our idiosyncratic review of the year that was. Gerry Godley (Improvised Music Company and Lyric FM), Sophie Gorman (Irish Independant Arts Editor) and Richard Seabrooke (Offset Festival, Dynamo and The Small Print) reflected on their various fortunes in 2010 and where they think we’re headed in 2011.
A very lively panel with Hugh Linehan (Irish Times online editor), John Ryan (Broadsheet and formerly of Blogorrah, New York Dog and dozens of other titles), Michael McDermott (Le Cool Dublin) and Blathnaid Healy (RTE) about the changing face of media and the new frontier with the advent of the internet and various technologies changing the rules in the present day industry. Plenty of zingers, great one-liners, rowdy remarks and controversial opinions in the podcast. We’ll be back to this topic again. November 2010.
As part of the venue’s Beatyard weekender, War Stories: Tall Tales from The Battlefields of Irish Clubland saw three likely lads Billy Scurry, Shane Johnson and Tiddlerz (wearing the snazziest shoes ever seen at Banter) providing a no-holds-barred look at what the hell really went on back in the day when the strobe lights were flashing. The legal eagles are still working on clearing the podcast for broadcast. October 2010.
What it says on the can: the dos, donts and how to do thats of running a festival in Ireland with expert advice and guidance from Cillian Stewart from Castlepalooza and Paul Brown of the Earagail Arts Festival. One of the best Banter sessions to date with a very clued-in and inquisitive audience, some of whom went on to do their own festivals in 2011 (such as the Spirit of Folk festival). September 2010
Another Banter Uptown session saw us taking a trip to Letterkenny for the Earagail Arts Festival and the Outstanding In Their Own Fields – Where The Irish Music Festival Goes From Here discussion in July 2010.
Over the last decade, the Irish gig-going community have demonstrated a huge appetite for summer music festivals. The attention paid every year to the Big Two (Oxegen and Electric Picnic), the number of standalone gigs for superstar acts (Lenny Cohen isn’t coming back to Ireland for the third summer in a row because he likes the full Irish breakfast) and the rise of a new breed of micro-festivals like Castlepalooza, Indiependence and Glasgowbury is testimony to our fondness for letting our hair down in big fields up and down the country.
But will the current recession mean an end to this love affair? Has festival fatigue set in as the same old bands dominate the line-ups? Do punters want something more than just the communal good times in a wet Irish field? Has the rise in popularity of trips to foreign events like Glastonbury and Primerva lessened the appeal of the homegrown bash? And will we still be giving out about the kids at Oxegen and the price of Electric Picnic tickets in five years time?
On the panel: Paul McLoone (Today FM, The Undertones), Una Mullally (Sunday Tribune, TG4’s Ceol Ar An Imeall) and Declan Forde (POD Concerts and Electric Picnic booker)
In June 2010, we welcomed extra special guest Andy Votel, founder of Twisted Nerve & Finders Keepers records, to chat about his life in the music scene thus far. This took in his experiences in Manchester in the 1990s as a remixer and artist for Grand Central and brushes with the likes of Texas and obsession with obscure foreign folk oddities.
Richard Brophy in charge of proceedings again. March 2010.
A discussion on the raging storm surrounding the sudden growth of the headshop industry in Ireland and the surrounding media furore. Joining him was a member of the local drug trade, who discussed the impact its had, the risks and the balanced point of view from a society beyond tabloid headlines.
The Donnacha Costello Story
Interview with one of Ireland’s most successful exponents of dance music, Donnacha Costello about his music, the influence of the likes of Steve Reich on his work and more.
Richard Brophy took over the hosting duties for this one. February 2010.
Come As Soon As You Hear
Lcal promoters Come As Soon As You Hear discuss the merits of creative clubbing, the benefits of emphasising performance, unique ideas and the art of transforming a space and the various groups bubbling under in this niche of the Dublin scene.
The Lerosa Story
For the second hour, Richard spoke to local Italian expat and heralded producer Lerosa. This talk took in his releases on labels like Ostgut, the benefits of using hardware in the studio and his experiences as a foreigner in the small underground Dublin House and Techno scene.
The All-City Story with Olan O’Brien
Nearly ten on years from opening its doors in Dublin’s Temple Bar and having operated out of four different buildings on the same street, All City’s Olan O’Brien charts the trials, tribulations and triumphs of Dublin’s only dedicated hip-hop and graff supplies store. Plus he talks about how the shop’s label has evolved to the stage where its “7 x 7” release with cuts by HudMo, Mike Slott, Onra and friends was one of the must-have compilations of ’09 for beats heads worldwide.
In Bloom: Irish Bands Now
2fm DJ Jenny Huston’s new book In Bloom – Irish Bands Now tracks the current state of Irish rock with profiles of many of the leading players on the scene. However, just how healthy is Irish rock at present? Is it the same as it was in the 1980s and the 1990s? Are all these bands just hometown heroes with little chance of doing anything beyond Ireland? An assessment of the current state of Irish rock music with Jenny Huston and Nick Kelly (Irish Independent)
The first in a series of Banter short sessions. December 2009
Gigging for a living
Peter Symes from Skinny Wolves on the who, what, how, where and when of promoting shows and running a record label
How to run a weekly clubnight
Is this really the hardest gig in showbiz? Dave Parle from Antics and Giles Armstrong from Electric Shock tell all
The Choice Cuts story
Interview with Choice Cuts¹ founder Mark Murphy