The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


Marseille is the Cork of France. Both cities are ports on the south coast. The two have a very independent attitude and distinctive mindset (exemplified by Eric Cantona and Roy Keane).

And both share an intense rivalry with the capital city (the terrace scenes during PSG v OM games look terrifying and insane even just on television).

[If we were to extend our Ireland-France analogy, that would make Kilkenny equal Lyon (cultural city, always champions of their sport), Limerick = Bordeaux (the latter a recent temporary home to Irish rugby), Tramore = Saint Tropez (glamorous coastal resort) and Clones = Paris (self-explanatory). And Dingle would be Biarritz. But we digress.]

Having swatted away the hapless Irish in Paris last Friday, the French rugby team will be in Marseille this weekend for their final group match on Sunday, against Georgia (while expecting - DEMANDING - that Ireland beat Argentina at the Parc des Princes later that day so that Les Bleus can avoid a dreaded Cardiff quarter-final against the All-Blacks).

One well-known Irish rugby fan will, to his misfortune, be in Marseille rather than Paris this weekend. Neil Hannon and his Divine Comedy are playing the Marsatac festival on Saturday night.

Neil HannonNow in its ninth year, Marsatac 2007 also features Architecture In Helsinki, Kill The Young, Simian Mobile Disco, The Cinematic Orchestra and many others.

Hannon is an unlikely figure to be seen in the southern port city. The foppish Fermanagh man is adored by the intellectually-élite Parisian bobo (bourgeois bohemian) community, and belongs more in Le Marais, the capital's bobo quarter, than Marseille, home to some aggressive Paris-hating French rap. He may need a Scarlet Pimpernel to get him out of the city after the show.

The Divine Comedy's set in Marseille is unlikely to feature their most French song. At their Paris show last year 'The Frog Princess' wasn't played, perhaps omitted diplomatically.

Now your blogger has plenty of love for his French friends (and yes, the occasional Frog Princess) - but after last Friday's result, the triumphalist gloating we've had to endure, and the danger to us if Ireland don't do France a favour on Sunday, who could blame us if we reach for the guillotine? Here's 'The Frog Princess':

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Nuggets from our archive

2002 - Interview with Rodrigo y Gabriela, by Cormac Looney. As with Damien Rice's profile, this interview was published before Rodrigo y Gabriela's career took off overseas. It too continues to attract considerable visits every month to the article from Wikipedia.