The good people of Radio France Internationale (RFI - pronounced 'air eff eee') were kind enough to invite your blogger along to a recording of their live music show 'La Bande Passante' at the Flèche d'Or last night.
Invitation was accepted gladly. In truth, we almost snapped their hand off at the elbow; top of the bill was the brilliant Emily Loizeau. Sure enough, she put on a great show. The programme will be broadcast on Saturday 22 September and available to hear on the RFI website soon after.
All of which reminds us that we listened to RFI in Dublin while learning French and planning The Great Leap Forward (i.e. the move to Paris). How come? Well, all thanks to an eclectic local Dublin radio station.
NEAR FM is a community station on 90FM which serves the north and central city area (the name stands for North East Access Radio). It has a diverse range of music and information shows - and every morning at 8:00 it carries the international news in French from RFI.
Many's the morning that your bleary-eyed blogger-to-be would fall out of the leaba and tune in for half an hour of French over breakfast. Even if the word-for-word comprehension wasn't great to begin with, the ear got attuned to French accents and very soon the understanding increased greatly; we definitely recommend it as a language learning technique.
At the more manageable hour of 5pm on Saturday there's another French language programme on NEAR FM. 'Quartiers Francophone' is a news and information programme presented by Robert Cuthbert.
Even if you've no intention of learning French, NEAR FM has a fantastic range of eclectic music shows. Pick of the bunch for Irish alternative music fans is The NEAR FM Sessions on Thursday evenings from 7 to 8, featuring live studio sets from local acts.
Check out NEAR FM by podcast on their website, or tune in to 90.3 FM if you're in the northside or central Dublin.
2003 - Witnness 2003, a comprehensive review by Brian Kelly of the 2 days of what transpired to be the last ever Witnness festival (in 2004 it was rebranded as Oxegen when Heineken stepped into the sponsor shoes).