Recorded during our annual trip to Dingle, Co. Kerry for the Other Voices festival, here’s Dublin born neurologist Dr Suzanne O’Sullivan telling some tales from the frontline of psychosomatic illnesses. As she explains in her book It’s All In Your Head, the winner of the Wellcome Book Prize 2016, psychosomatic illness, where your body acts as if it’s sick but there isn’t anything wrong, are common but misunderstood and rarely discussed. Here, she talks about some of the extreme cases she has treated and what may have been behind them.
We were delighted and honoured to welcome legendary sports broadcaster Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh to Banter for our 150th outing. Recorded in a packed house at The Yacht pub in the heart of Raytown in Dublin during the No Idle Day festival for Young Hearts Run Free, here’s the mighty Mícheál talking about some infamous games, characters and occurrences during his formidable career to date.
It’s time for the the annual Banter review of the year, the show where we look at the news stories of the past 12 months which have had the most traction. As you can imagine, there was lots of mention of Brexit and Donald Trump from our guests Fintan O’Toole from The Irish Times, Elaine Buckley from the Fair Game podcast, Anna Cosgrave from the Repeal campaign and Emmet Condon from Homebeat and Another Love Story, but there was also room in the mix for other stories too, including Robbie Brady’s header against Italy, Leonard Cohen, Axel Foley and much, much more.
It’s time for our review of the year in arts and culture and it’s also the first broadcast from our now annual trip to Other Voices in Dingle, Co. Kerry. Eithne Shortall, the Chief Arts Writer at The Sunday Times – and the author of the soon to be published debut novel Love in Row 27 – joined us by the fire in the back room of Foxy John’s in downtown Dingle to run the rule over the arts and culture highlights and lowlights of 2016. Here’s Eithne on the books, films, music, theatre, TV shows and much more of the last 12 months.
We’ve heard a lot about 1916 this year so it struck us as a good idea to find out what Irish farmers were up to 100 years ago, as things took an unexpected turn that Easter in Dublin. We were joined by Dr Arlene Crampsie from UCD’s School of Geography at the Bloom festival in the Phoenix Park to discuss the state of the land 100 years ago and the difficulties and challenges which Irish farmers faced.
It’s the first time we’ve had an Olympic medal winner at Banter and that was swimmer Allison Wagner who won a silver medal for the United States at the Atlanta 1996 games behind Irish swimmer Michelle Smith. Allison and former Canadian Olympic swimmer Nikki Dryden joined us for a dive into the deep, murkier end of the swimming pool with a look at the current state of the anti-doping movement as we asked why more attention is not being paid to systematic doping schemes in sport.
It was a pleasure to say hello to Michael Shamberg. The producer of Django Unchained, Pulp Fiction, Erin Brockovich, The Big Chill, Contagion, Gattaca, Get Shorty, Garden State and tons more – and currently advisor to BuzzFeed Motion Pictures – talked to us about the state of the movie business in 2016.
Bruce Pavitt will always be associated with the Sub Pop label. He was one of the co-founders of the hugely influential Seattle grunge label in the 1980s and he joined us at Banter in Lisbon to talk about the label’s genesis, the rise and rise of Nirvana, record labels today and his involvement with new tech play 8Stem.
Marian Goodell is one of the founding board members of the Burning Man Project and is now the organisation’s first CEO. She joined us on the Banter stage to talk about her long and winding road to Burning Man, what keeps her turned on about the event and what comes next for the worldwide community of Burners.
Bill James is probably best known as the influential American baseball writer, historian, and father of sabermetrics but there’s another side to him too and that’s his interest in our cultural obsession with murder and popular crime. Aside from talking about his books Popular Crime and the forthcoming Man From the Train, about an early 20th century serial killer, Bill also talked stats and polling – and dodged a question about Tipperary hurling.
There’s a first time for everything and this was Banter’s first onstage encounter with a bishop. Paul Tighe is the Navan-born bishop who is part of the Vatican team who put the pope on Twitter and has been a member of various influential Catholic Church councils on communications and culture. He talks about what the church has been doing in the realm of social media and culture and what else it hopes to do in the future.
We began our Portuguese debut with Bradley Tusk the morning after Donald Trump’s shock victory in the US presidential election. The political consultant, who worked on Michael Bloomberg’s successful run for New York mayor amongst many other campaigns, broke down what went wrong – or right, depending on how you look at it – for the candidates. Bradley also has much to say about his client Uber and his bete-noir, current New York mayor Bill de Blasio.
One of the biggest crowds we’ve had at Banter in ages was the one that showed up to hear Blindboy Boatclub from The Rubberbandits talk about this, that and the other during the Beatyard festival in Dun Laoghaire. Here’s a conversation about art, politics, surreality, Limerick, sex, mental health, hip-hop, fish fingers, religion, fashion and other matters.
For Banter 101, we’ve another legend in the bag and it’s someone that anyone who has lived or worked in Dublin will need no introduction to: say hello to Mattress Mick. We brought the don of bedding to our stage at the Beatyard festival in Dun Laoghaire over the summer and he gave us a masterclass in the art of selling and a deep dive into his own lifestory. He also showed he was a generous soul and gave away a mattress to one lucky person in the audience.
We promised you a legend for our one hundredth Bantercast and we think we’ve delivered. There is only one George Clinton and we’d the privilege to talk to the great man at the Beatyard festival this summer. Here’s George in conversation in a packed room – there’s a lot of whooping and hollering in the background because people couldn’t believe he turned up – about his life on and off the mothership.
This is Bantercast number 99 and the first of four podcasts in a row featuring some colourful legends. We welcomed chef, writer and food business owner Yotam Ottolenghi to the Banter tent at the Ballymaloe Litfest in May for a freewheeling conversation about his life and times – and he’d much to say about taste, lifestyles, his own rise to top and much more besides.
We kick off our autumn/winter series with a fascinating conversation about bees. Erin Tiedeken from the All Ireland Pollinator Plan joined us at Bloom to talk about how one third of Ireland’s bee species are threatened with extinction and the efforts being made by the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan to ensure bees can survive and thrive. Funding for implementation of this plan has been provided by Bord Bía and the Heritage Council.
It’s always good to speak to a legend and they don’t come more legendary than Neneh Cherry. She was in Dublin a few weeks ago to speak to us at the National Gallery of Ireland as part of the MusicTown festival. It’s an enthralling encounter with a diamond interviewee who had much to talk about regarding her life and work.
When it comes to putting on events and festivals, the hardest issue most organisers will have to deal with has to do with funding. As part of EventBrite’s Free: Celebrating Free Events For All exhibition at Teeling’s Whiskey Distillery in Dublin in April, we were joined by Colin Hart (founder and creative director of independent ad agency The Public House), Sam Bishop (manager of Happenings and founder of Street Feast and Granby Park) and Aine O’Mahony (marketing and event management consultant) to talk about the ins and outs of sponsorship.
One of the questions which comes up again and again at different Banter discussions has to do with who sets the news agenda. Be it the general election or Syria, people are curious about why certain stories make the mix, the filters which are used to make those decisions and the stories which don’t make the cut as a result. This Banter discussion at Wigwam in Dublin brought together Susan Daly (editor, The Journal), Richie Oakley (editor, The Times Ireland edition) and Vincent Murphy (editor, Morning Ireland, RTÉ Radio One) to talk about their work, the decisions they make, the factors which inform those decisions and other issues around the editorial process.