Posts Tagged ‘Dublin’

Imelda

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

Imelda

Six Photos

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

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Gitch

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Gitch 1

Gitch 2

Wellington Quay, Dublin.

Molesworth Street, Dublin

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

Masons 1

Masons 2

Masons 3

Dolphin House

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Dolphin House

Nick Cave

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

Went to the Nick Cave gig in Vicar Street last night.  Fucking superb.

Picked up a signed copy of the new book and even snagged some free sachets of Bunny Munro brand hand cream on the way out!

A brilliant, brilliant gig. So good that it couldn’t even be ruined by the caustic Australian woman who, during the extended Q&A, rather rudely asked Cave whether he thought his new book was misogynistic or not, before being forced to admit that she hadn’t in fact read the book at all, but, not to be outdone, then tried to back up her misogyny accusation by referring disparagingly to the projected backdrop of a fully clothed woman dancing.

Cave was very polite, but eventually told her that he was “fucking offended” by her accusation. She continued to caterwaul from the balcony for a few more seconds before eventually being booed into silence by the crowd.

I was a bit drunk . . . but I’m almost certain this actually happened.

Yeats and Crowley (thoroughly mad bastards)

Monday, April 20th, 2009

I had an afternoon to kill in Dublin last week so went along to the WB Yeats exhibition at the National Library.

Some remarkable objects on display…

Samples of Yeats’s automatic writing.

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Samples from his notebooks.

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His elemental weapons, made while an “Adeptus Minor” in The Hermetic Order Of The Golden Dawn. Pentacle, Dagger, Wand and Cup.

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Yeats was a member alongside Aleister Crowley (before Crowley was more or less chucked out following a great power struggle). Crowley fancied himself as a bit of a poet too and looking up my old copy of his Confessions has yielded some excellent quotes about Yeats…

I remember one curious incident in connection with this volume. I had a set of paged proofs in my pocket one evening, when I went to call on W. B. Yeats. I had never thought much of his work; it seemed to me to lack virility. I have given an extended criticism of it in The Equinox (vol. I No. II, page 307). However, at that time I should have been glad to have a kindly word from an elder man. I showed him the proofs accordingly and he glanced through them. He forced himself to utter a few polite conventionalities, but I could see what the truth of the matter was.

I had by this time become fairly expert in clairvoyance, clairaudience and clairsentience. But it would have been a very dull person indeed who failed to recognize the black, billious rage that shook him to the soul. I instance this as a proof that Yeats was a genuine poet at heart, for a mere charlatan would have known that he had no cause to fear an authentic poet. What hurt him was the knowledge of his own incomparable inferiority.

I saw little of him and George Moore. I have always been nauseated by pretentiousness; and the Celtic revival, so-called, had all the mincing, posturing qualities of the literary Plymouth Brother.

and…

There was one literary light, W. B. Yeats, a lank dishevelled demonologist who might have taken more pains with his personal appearance without incurring the reproach of dandyism…

I’m almost certain I remember reading that Yeats later described Crowley as a “poet of merit.” But I can’t find the quote.

You can read one of Crowley’s earliest collections of poetry, White Stains, published under the pseudonym George Archibald Bishop and is full of thinly veiled erection metaphors like “My Gigantic Charms” here.

Mezza!

Saturday, January 31st, 2009

Shove over Iskanders, with your surly, disagreeable staff and your “if you’re not so pissed you haven’t already shat yourself, you can’t come in” door policy.  Last time I was in there it was about half past two in the morning and there was an English guy with his forehead split open, blood pissing down all over his face, who was insisting on having a kebab before his equally inebriated “mates” brought him to wherever it was they were going to bring him to.  Not the hospital, obviously. Probably to Tripod or some other equally disheartening back-alley whore house.  He got served, not an eyelid was batted.

I admit that I was drunk too, but in a reserved and charming kind of way.

Mezza on Parliament Street (right opposite The Turk’s Head) now officially have the best kebabs in Dublin.  Official because I say they’re the best kebabs I’ve ever had, and I’m a man who likes his kebabs.

Look at the size of this Lamb Shawarma.

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The picture doesn’t do it justice.  That pile of exquisitely seasoned lamb is almost two and a half inches tall.  That works out at easily over half a pound of slaughtered and slowly-cooked infant sheep.

I had to abandon the salad a third of the way through and just concentrate on the lamb.  I still wasn’t able to finish it.  Then I got the meat sweats.

A friend of mine posits that the reason Iskanders is always crammed with belligerent drunks is due to simple muscle memory.  They’ve been there before and so they go there again.  On auto-pilot.  A bit like the zombies in Dawn Of The Dead, only not as fresh or bright-eyed or intelligent.  Or as well-dressed.  Also, zombies, as a rule, don’t tend to accuse you of skipping the queue before you’ve even had a chance to join it.

So, take my advice.  Try Mezza.  That’s Mezza, for kebabs.

It probably seemed like a good idea at the time.

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

I’ve been reading about WWII while I’m writing Project Luna: 1947, which is how I found this (yes, I am using the Pete Townsend “research” defence).

The Swastika Laundry, Dublin. Didn’t shut down until the late sixties.

Picture from carlbphotos.

Wikipedia.

“In Dublin, Ireland, a laundry company known as the Swastika Laundry existed for many years in Dartry and Ballsbridge (both on the river Dodder) on the south side of the city. It was founded in 1888 as the Dublin Laundry Company. Upon the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, the company’s customers were concerned about the company’s name. Accordingly, it was changed to “Swastika Laundry (1912) Ltd”.

The Laundry’s tall chimneystack was emblazoned with a large white Swastika, which was clearly visible from the surrounding streets. The name and logo eventually disappeared when the laundry was absorbed into the Spring Grove company.”

Eraserhead

Monday, October 20th, 2008

I went along to see Eraserhead at the IFI on Thursday evening.  Good to see that there was a decent crowd there, maybe 100-120 people.  We were very close to the screen, only three rows back, and during some of the more claustrophobic scenes it began to feel like I was actually inside the film, which, if you’ve seen Eraserhead, isn’t an entirely good thing.

They were showing the remastered version, which looked great and sounded incredible.  The soundtrack was, at times, almost oppressive – full of mechanical clangs, gusting wind, the low guttural groans of subterranean industry and the hiss of high pressure steam lines.  Some years ago I worked occasionally in a sprawling industrial fertilizer plant and there were points during the movie where I felt like I was back there.  Constant noise like that can sometimes feel as though it has it’s own mass or pressure, pulsing against the sides of your head and swelling in your ears.

The whole experience left me feeling a little strange and off-kilter but nine pints of Guinness and a kebab soon brought me round.

Irish Hellfire Club – Montpellier Hill

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

When I was a boy my Dad used to tell a ghost story of sorts about the Irish Hellfire Club. It always stuck with me and so a couple of weeks ago my oldest bother, Gerry, and myself took the short hike up Montpellier Hill in the Dublin Mountains to take a look at what is left of the club.

The story my Dad told concerned a group of wealthy types who used the club for drinking, gambling and sometimes, when particularly bored, conducting the odd satanic ritual.  One night while they were playing cards there was a knock on the door.  When it was opened they were met with an old man seeking shelter from the storm that raged outside. They let him in and he warmed himself by the fire and then sat down for a couple of hands. He soon began to win and with each successive game his pile of money grew larger.  One of the wealthy types dropped his cards then, and when he reached down and pushed the long table cloth back to retrieve them he saw to his horror that the visitor was in possession of a large cloven hoof complete with hairy leg.

There was a bit of ballyhoo then, screams and such, and as the devil went about his work he laughed so hard that he blew the roof off the building. Flaming logs fell from the hearth, tapestries blazed, aristocrats died roaring and the legend of the Irish Hellfire Club was born. Years later, when the club was rebuilt, the roof was constructed in the style of a bridge’s arch, each stone interlocking with its cousins to form an incredibly strong structure. The roof still stands today.

I’ve heard the same story from other people too, and there are other, somewhat different stories about the Hellfire Club, many featuring a black cat. The cloven hoof story has also been attached to Loftus Hall in CountyWexford where the devil is said to have appeared in similar circumstances, in that case he disappeared through a hole in the ceiling.

Below, the woods at the foot of Montpellier Hill.

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Front of the club, looking down on Dublin.  Most dates list it as being built around 1725.

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Rear of the club, with me for scale (I’m six foot).

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Rear of the club including a Neolithic (4500-2000BC) passage tomb surrounded by a stone circle.  One of the stones would have stood in the space which the room with the semi-circular window now occupies.  It is said that the missing stone was incorporated into the stonework of the building, furthering the “cursed building” legend.

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Here’s a screenshot from google maps showing the intersection of the stone circle and the room at the rear of the building.

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Inside there are three imposing fireplaces and about a dozen large niches which must have at one point held statues.  The council have put in a concrete stairs and box-iron handrails so you can go up to the second floor without breaking your neck.

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Broken obelisk at the rear of the building.

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It’s an interesting and lonely place, well worth a visit even if only for the incredible views of Dublin.  There are plenty of Dutch Gold (lager popular with Irish bums, dirt cheap but tastes almost literally like piss) cans lying around inside and some graffiti, although not as much as you would expect.

Some more images on my flickr page.

And the guys at Blather have some info, including the Loftus Hall/Hellfire Club crossover.

Also some interesting background info and short video here.

Pints – Films – Kebabs – More Pints

Monday, September 1st, 2008

Was up in Dublin on Saturday for a day of pints and films with my brother, Gerry. Went to the IFI to see an incredible 70MM print of Vertigo at 2.15. I’ll never understand why so many people hate Jimmy Stewart, he’s brilliant, and he’s really on top form in this movie. Was great to see the crazy, trippy, bad acid dream sequence on the big screen.

Went to JJ Smyths afterwards for a few pints, then a lamb shawarma in Iskanders (best fucking kebabs in Dublin), then a bit of a stroll to try and beat the bloat.

Back to the IFI at 7.00 for Sean Meadow’s new film, Somers Town. Wasn’t sure what to expect, had heard some dodgy rumours about blatant product placement in this one (it was entirely funded by Eurostar). Really enjoyed the film, had some genuinely hilarious moments, and never tripped over the bittersweet edge into cheesy saccharine territory. There was some product placement but to be honest, I don’t think I would have noticed if not for the rumours. The mid-afternoon pints and kebabs did mean I almost fell asleep at one stage but that was down to me being a greedy bastard, the film was thoroughly excellent.

A quick jaunt over to Reeds then for a few more pints. Not a bad Saturday all told.

It’s been a good couple of months at the IFI: got to see Dead Man’s Shoes with a Q&A by Paddy Considine, a 70MM print of the three and a half hour version of Lawrence Of Arabia, then Vertigo, Somers Town and in a few weeks we get the finest comedy available to humanity. . . Withnail and I.

The fucker will rue the day!

Tom Waits

Sunday, August 3rd, 2008

Went to see Tom Waits on Friday night in the Phoenix Park. Sweet-fucking-Jesus-having-a-wank-up-on-the-cross was it amazing. He came on at 8.25pm and played until after 11. Just brilliant with a nice mix of old numbers and his later brand of insane, grinding, fucked up noise.

Found this footage on youtube, sound quality is pretty awful.

When he played Tom Traubert’s Blues the audience creamed their jeans (even the women!).

This is from 1977 . . .

Seasick Steve and a bunch of stupid fucks . . .

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

My brother Gerry sent me this great video of Seasick Steve calling out a guy in the audience for being a cunt.

We were at this gig. It was in Tripod, which must be the worst venue in the whole of fucking Dublin (actually, no, it ties with The Academy on Middle Abbey Street – they are both entirely shit, but in subtly different ways).

Tripod is basically a nightclub that sometimes has live music. This means that whenever a good band or act comes to play, you can be sure that at east 30% of the audience are there only because of the nightclub vibe.

It was Seasick Steve for fucks sake and every second person at the gig was dressed in their best clubbing gear – I saw dozens of feather haired pricks wearing fitted black shirts with white collar and cuffs (always the hallmark of a complete cunt) actually standing with their backs to the stage while they talked really loudly about whatever big-titted retard they happened to be polishing their wilted, poisoned cocks to that week.

We saw one ridiculously short twat actually standing on his tip-toes at the bar beside a much taller girl. What did he think, that if stood on his tip-toes for the rest of his life she might never notice.

I’ve no problem with people who want to get dressed up and jump about like a bunch of epileptic fuckwits and wave glowsticks around like a fifteen year old at his first Scooter concert . . . just don’t come to a fucking blues gig to do it.

So, that’s why Tripod is shit.

The Academy is shit because it used to be called HQ and back then it was the best venue in town – just a really fucking great place to watch a gig – great beer, cool crowd of people who really cared about seeing the gig and who knew to shut the fuck up when the band was on. I saw some great acts there: Buddy Guy, Peter Green, John Paul Jones playing old Led Zep tracks on his eight string bass, Robert Plant and The Priory Of Brion, Big Bill Morganfield.

But of course they had to fuck with it and rip out all the seats so they could fit more in and rearrange it and these days it’s just a complete clusterfuck with really bad acoustics.

Gigs these days seem to be full of people who don’t like music.

I was at an Australian Pink Floyd gig in the Olympia a few years back and when we got there we realised that they had sold most of the balcony seats to some corporate event, there were hundreds of middle-aged pricks in dinner jackets all standing around drinking wine from plastic glasses. They all sat down then (we were completely surrounded by them) and spent the next two hours taking the piss out of the music and rolling their eyes and having a chat.

Who are these people? Where do the come from? And why don’t they fuck off with themselves?

Dead Man’s Shoes

Monday, June 30th, 2008

Was up in Dublin for the weekend, went to see Dead Man’s Shoes at the IFI. I’ve seen this six or seven times but it was good to see it on the big screen.

They also showed Paddy Considine’s new short film, Dog Altogether, which was excellent. Considine did a Q&A afterwards, seems like a good egg.

Even the three borderline-retarded mooks sitting across the way from us who laughed a little too loudly at the violent bits and then sprayed deodorant on themselves halfway through the short couldn’t spoil what was a thoroughly pleasant afternoon. There was a technical hitch with the sound system that meant the short film had to be started again after about thirty seconds, the largest and most stupid looking one opined loudly that “Paddy Consintine won’t be happy with that!”

As we left they were discussing the sound Considine’s hand gun had made, apparently, because of the distinctive “whoop” it could only have been a “.22” They also agreed that one of the executions had been “text book.” Stupid fucking twats.

Here, have a clip . . .


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