Dublin Songs and Stories was an idea spawned many moons ago during a chance conversation between ourselves at CHTM! and the legend that is Johnny Moy. After many attempts at sitting down to organise something, we finally got around to hosting our first night in the Sugar Club early last year.
The atmosphere that night in June 2015 surpassed anything we could have dreamed of. We had this idea of taking a slice of Dublin life- of music, arts, politics and history, and putting it on a stage to see what we would come up with. We had Maser to Jim Fitzpatrick, Lewis Kenny to Barry Gleeson- with an absolute barrel of laughs and memories to take home with us. As we had decided beforehand, any money made from these events would go to a charitable organisation. With that in mind, Pieta House was our benefiting charity for the evening. Our second night followed on from the same theme- a wide mix of great people onstage with amongst others, BP Fallon, ADW, Ailbhe Smith and Steve Averill doing their bit for the Rape Crisis Centre, with similar results. Our last evening in December was as eclectic as the first two, with Robert Ballagh, Frank Murray, Stephen James Smith and Landless amongst others blowing the crowd away in aid of Inner City Helping Homeless.
As said, to date our events have raised money for Pieta House, Dublin Rape Crisis Centre and Inner City Helping Homeless. On March 31st, we’re running the fourth chapter of our evening of music, chats and culture, this time in aid of Crumlin Children’s Hospital- a place that is close to our hearts.
Tickets in advance are recommended, the last night was near a sellout. Also, you can save yourself €2.50 by booking in advance! You can get them here. It kicks off at 7:30pm in The Sugar Club once again. We advise getting there on time! The event page is up now too, be sure to click attending if you’re coming along.
Rory O’Neill aka Panti Bliss needs little introduction. Panti’s moving speech from the stage in the Abbey and her alternative Queen’s Speech showed us that despite our amazing result in last May’s referendum, we in Irish society have a long road to travel before it can be said that we truly cherish ‘all children of the nation equally.’ As we’ve said on here in a great article by Donal, ‘before there was Panti, there was Mr. Pussy’ so we’re hoping to cover everything from Dublin’s drag scene to that historic result last year, the Queen of Ireland and beyond.
Speaking of The Queen of Ireland, we’re delighted to have producer Katie Holly joining Rory on stage for a chat about the film and her involvement in the Women in Film and TV who look at women’s representation (or lack of it) in the film and television industry. Katie, alongside her accolades for producing The Queen of Ireland, she has held that role on a string of other Irish productions, One Hundred Mornings, Citadel, The Savage Eye, Irish Pictorial Weekly, Jump, The Pervert’s Guide To Ideology and more.
PJ Gallagher is probably best known for his role as the inimitable Jake Stevens and the dirty auld doll in Naked Camera. This year sees him make his acting debut in ‘Young Offenders,’ a film based around the large amounts of cocaine captured off Cork’s coast in 2007 and the film’s two protagonists quest to ‘rescue’ one bail that apparently went astray. We’re hoping to talk to PJ about the film (we might even show a clip,) about growing up in Dublin and about his career through stand-up, hidden camera and beyond.
A feature of the first three Songs and Stories nights has been a celebration of Dublin street art and street artists. It made sense then to ask Will St. Leger who has featured on CHTM! many, many times before to come along for a chat at this one. We’re big fans of his work, from his ‘Bertie Bills’ left at Molly Malone to his ‘Famine and Byrne’ print, his female torso on the plinth of City Hall to his current (and rather quality) ‘Collins Rising’ print. One of Will’s latest projects, commissioned by GOAL was to place an ‘unexploded missile’ on King Street “to mark the fact that rockets and missiles continue to land in civilian areas in Syria every day, killing innocent men, women and children in the process.”
As well as street art as a common theme in our first three nights, we’ve also tried to capture the growth of a breed of poet in Dublin with Lewis Kenny and Stephen James Smith stunning the crowd to silence (as well as bouts of belly laughs) with words of their love for this city. Chapter IV showcases another talent in the same vein- Caelainn Bradley. Caelainn is a Dublin-based writer and spoken word poet. “She has performed at events and venues such as the Monday Echo, St. Patrick’s Day Festival, the Axis, New Year’s Festival, Body&Soul, Latitude Festival, Knockanstockan. She writes about people and love and the city and streetlight reflecting off broken glass.”
NC Lawlor has a name that you might not know (though you should,) and a face that you definitely do; he’s a raw blues and lap-steel busking institution at this stage. While you may know him from spreading his good sounds from the top of Grafton Street, he has also played support to the likes of Billy Joe Shaver, Jim Lauderdale, James Burton and Sea Sick Steve. Of late, he has been working with Shane McGowan on various projects including a Late Late Show appearance.
Rue are a group that we have to say… we’re very excited to have onstage. Made up of Radie Peat and Cormac Mac Diarmada of our good friends Lynched, alongside musician Brian Flanagan, this group of musicians play more instruments than we can name. ‘They present a truly eclectic mix of traditional songs and tunes from both sides of the Atlantic played with immutable conviction. Expect whaling songs and murder ballads underpinned by a wash of harmonic swells and drones and a barn-dance or two thrown in for good measure.’ This is going to be a good one…
On the night, we’ll also be showcasing the street photography of Peter O’Doherty and CHTM!’s unofficial fourth member, Luke Fallon.