This week, it’s all about the demon drink. On Easter Monday last, we took part in the nationwide Cruinniu Na Casca event with a series of Banters in Dublin Castle. Here, we’re joined by Tara Flynn (actress, comedian and writer), Dave Lordan (writer, poet and dramatist) and Derek O’Connor (RTE.ie Culture editor) to talk about the part which drink plays in Irish culture, what the depiction of alcohol tell is about ourselves and if the relationship between drink and the arts inform and influence a dependency culture when it comes to sponsorship and funding.
As part of the nationwide Criunniu Na Casca event, we spoke to the one and only Fachtna O Ceallaigh, one of the few no-nonsense, straight shooting managers left in the game who still has loads to say and do. There’s lots to dig into here from this encounter in Dublin Castle, from his days writing about music for The Evening Press to managing acts like Clannad, the Boomtown Rats, Bananarama, the Bothy Band, Donal Lunny, Morrissey (for seven eventful weeks), Eamon, Ricky Gervais (when he was in Seona Dancing), Dread Broadcasting Corporation and, currently, Hare Squead.
Is there for a future for the critics? That was the topic for discussion at one of the Banters in Dublin Castle as part of the recent nationwide Criunniu Na Casca event. Cristín Leach (art critic, Sunday Times Ireland), Ian Maleney (writer and critic for The Wire, The Quietus, The Irish Times and Fallow Media), Graham McLaren (director of the Abbey Theatre) and Nadine O’Regan (arts editor, Sunday Business Post) joined us to talk about the role of the critic in 2017, to assess their importance at a time when everyone’s a critic and to muse if arts and culture organisations will miss the critic when he or she leaves their free seat for the last time
Over the summer, we’ve been doing a monthly residency at the Bullitt Hotel in Belfast and it produced a fascinating discussion on the future of work. We were joined on the night by Adrienne Hanna from Right Revenue, Kevin Curran, Professor of Cyber Security at the University Of Ulster, and Philip Brady from Citibank to talk about how groundbreaking developments in technology and artificial intelligence will mean many changes for workplaces in the years and decades to come. Are any our jobs safe from the robots? Indeed, will Banter in 2027 just feature a bunch of robots having a chat about pesky humans? The sound quality on the podcast you’re about to hear may well have been better had it been a robot rather than me in charge of things so apologies for this.
This week, we’re delighted to say hello to Olan O’Brien from All City Records. Olan was a Banter guest in our very early days and he was great value for the interview, but we never recorded that one so it was fantastic to make amends for that at the Shore Shots Festival in The Model in Sligo a few weeks ago. A great conservation about running a record shop, operating a record label, the state of hip-hop today and various other matters.