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Ireland's Greatest Living Musician

Jul 3

Written by:
Tuesday, July 03, 2007  RssIcon

As part of the annual People of The Year Awards, the 2007 edition will see a special award being presented to Ireland’s Greatest Living Musician. The 15 most popular nominees, chosen by the general public, will be whittled down to one by a “top class adjudication panel.”
The People of The Year Awards website gives some indication as to what genres they think most people will look to when casting their vote. Amongst the names mentioned are Phil Coulter, Enya, Paul Brady and Ronan Keating, all, well, nearly all, fine musicians in their own right, and all appealing to a very particular demographic, “The Mammy”, or “Female 35-50” as I’m sure she’s known to the marketing department of the awards sponsors. 
Of course, the names above are also mentioned as they are almost guaranteed to get that particular demographic voting. I don’t see names like Richie Egan (Redneck Manifesto, Jape), Ollie Cole (ex TURN) or Kryz Reid (Fairuza), for all their musical ability, inspiring the same response. Other contenders deserving consideration, though equally unlikely to get a look in include Dave Geraghty (BellX1, The Rotators), Shane McGowan (depending on your definition of “Living”) and purveyor of all that is good about Irish music at the moment Duke Special.
It is with regret that I must exclude Van Morrison from the running for inflicting Brian Kennedy upon us.   Likewise, Sinead O’Connor lost her shot at it the first time she heard John Peel play Horace Andy. Therefore, my choice for Ireland’s Greatest Living Musician is Neil Hannon, and not just because he penned “My Lovely Horse”. 
Starting with 1990’s “Fanfare for the Comic Muse” Hannon, who essentially is The Divine Comedy, has produced a vast collection of work that circumvents the law of diminishing returns (something Ryan Adams should take note of). In February 2007 Hannon was awarded the Choice Music Prize for “Victory for the Comic Muse”, The Divine Comedy’s ninth studio offering, perhaps more in recognition of an outstanding career than that particular album.
However, I have feeling that Neil Hannon won't win.  One can only hope, therefore, that the voting for this award helps to raise a lot of funds and awareness for a worthwhile cause, to make up for what is sure to be a decision based more on popularity and the cult of personality than on musical ability.  Yes, I believe Bono will win.

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5 comment(s) so far...

Re: Ireland's Greatest Living Musician

Last time I checked ould Ronan didn't play anything.. but himself and prepubescent heart strings -it's amazing how some good dental work changes public perceptions...give me Shane McGowan anyday.

By Katt on   Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Re: Ireland's Greatest Living Musician

These "greatest living" blah blah yokes are vanity proijects and money makers...seriously, ronan keating????? the man is a kareoke numpty who got lucky......

the whole thing stinks of tv 3333333333333333aka the most talentless tv station in the world.

By PARTON on   Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Re: Ireland's Greatest Living Musician

Oh I agree, I can't understand why they list Ronan Keating at all. I suppose the point I'm trying to make is that I'd like to see a genuinely talented musician win one of these awards every once in a while.

By Idiot Kid on   Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Re: Ireland's Greatest Living Musician

There's always the possibility that it'll be awarded to a trad musician... but I guess the winner will probably be one of either Van, Bono or (*shudder*) Christy Moore.

Van, please - just for the acceptance speech :D

By aidan on   Friday, June 01, 2007

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