The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


Last Tuesday I watched David O'Doherty continue his quietly savage assault on the shibboleths of Post Boom Ireland as he wrote, recorded and released what he termed 'the ultimate power ballad' about a girl who had overdone the fake tan. He had high hopes that this musical masterpiece would go all the way to number 27 in the Irish singles charts. In order to achieve this, David followed a masterplan not unlike that employed by many a boyband Svengali, down to the soft focus promo video shot on a beach and the trademark white suit.

Last Sunday, I watched 'maverick master of the garden' Diarmuid Gavin convince another well to do Irish family to pony up in excess of €25,000.00 for a garden designed by him that they were going to have to build themselves.

It was hard to know which was the most bizarre sight; O'Doherty burning all two hundred copies of his single in four hours on three borrowed laptops on the floor of his flat or a family of wealthy Dubliners stump up the equivalent of the deposit for a house so that they can get into some big time DIY.

Both programmes offer a vision of Ireland that was strangely similar; the person using their own precious time and capital to acquire something that was both visible and yet transitory. At least, O'Doherty slaved away in service to his own vision whereas the home owners chosen by Gavin's producers have to pay for and execute a garden that was not of their design or inspiration.

I am not sure what these programmes are trying to tell us about Ireland but as slices of pop culture they are certainly fascinating to watch.

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Nuggets from our archive

2000 - 'Rock Criticism: Getting it Right', written by Mark Godfrey. A thought provoking reflection on the art of rock criticism.