The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011

Entries for 'Aidan Curran'

01

Having turned down the eco-unfriendly Glastonbury festival, Radiohead's green demands will be met at their concert in Arras, France on 6 July.

Flushing meadows: RadioheadThe show, part of the northern town's Main Square Festival, will be one of the most energy-efficient music events staged in Europe this summer. Up to 80% of the show's electrical needs will be supplied from renewable sources.

The Radiohead concert will be powered with energy drawn from biomass - in other words, human waste. This is thanks to a new €12 million waste treatment plant in Calais. The centre, opened in January, incorporates a process developed by engineers in Thailand in which sewage material is treated with nitrogen at high temperatures. The result, euphemistically called 'bio-oil' or 'brown energy', causes much less pollution than traditional oil when burned.

As part of the festival's commitment to using this new energy source, the contents of onsite portaloos - including those backstage - will be brought directly to the treatment plant by truck every night. Bio-oil will provide the energy for the concert's sound system, which means that what fans hear on the night will come entirely from the waste treatment process.

In addition, an onsite biogas converter (as used by the Indian government) will generate additional energy from smaller-scale activities like the catering tent and press centre.

"We are happy that Radiohead will play at our green festival," said the event promoters. "The band have always practised recycling, and they say they are interested in this sewage conversion system."

A Radiohead spokesperson praised the festival as "a valuable contribution to promoting sustainable development. Radiohead are committed to reducing their emissions, which is good news for conscientious music lovers around the world."

Here's 'Karma Police', which a slanderous, polluting 'playa hata' might unfairly allege recycles 'Sexy Sadie' by The Beatles:


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30

Bell X1You've probably been following (via On The Record) the adventures of Bell X1 (right) in the USA.

With the States slayed, the Celbridge band's next objective is to conquer the old continent. In April and May, Bell X1 will be supporting Nada Surf on the latter's European tour.

The two bands will be calling to Spain, Germany, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands... and it all kicks off in France, where Nada Surf have always been more than one-hit wonders.

After rolling off the ferry at Cherbourg, Bell X1 will be down the road at Caen on 21 April. The following night they hit Paris, with a show at the Bataclan - a lovely ballroom-style hall in the hip Rue Oberkampf part of town.

The French leg of the tour ends with a concert in Lyon on April 26.

With luck, the three French dates should help Bell X1 to build on their current exposure in France. 'Flock' has just been released here on the Rykodisc label and is on the listening posts of the bigger record stores. What's more, 'Flame' and 'Just Like Mr Benn' have been getting airplay on Paris radio.

And no, none of the French DJs have called the band "Bell Onze".

What the DJs have been mentioning without fail, though, is Bell X1's link to Damien Rice. Their former Juniper bandmate is very popular in France, a country which always loves sensitive artists - especially those visitors who do their interviews in French, like Damo does. We don't know if Paul Noonan spent as much time on his French homework as he obviously did studying 'Soundings'.

You can check out the full Bell X1 European tour schedule on their MySpace page. Here's 'Alphabet Soup', which features a reference to an Irishwoman who spent a lot of time in France:


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28

While everyone in England has been chattering about Madame Sarkozy, here in Paris all the talk is about a different female pop star and pin-up.

Mylene FarmerThe big music news in France isn't the Teenagers album or summer festival line-ups. No, word on the boulevard is about two 2009 stadium shows by France's biggest female singing star, Mylène Farmer (right). The Quebec-born singer is often referred to as the French Madonna, for reasons that will become apparent as you read on.
 
We don't need to spend much time discussing her art: it's bland Pet Shop Boys/Dido-esque synth-pop that hasn't changed much since she started selling millions of units in the mid-'80s. Apart from her music, though, Farmer is a highly entertaining character whose story includes controversy, tragedy and mass hysteria. In other words, a proper pop star.
 
Born near Montreal in 1961, Mylène Gautier changed her surname to that of Frances Farmer, the American actress today remembered only for her psychiatric problems. Moving to France as a child, young Mylène moved from modelling to acting before meeting her future partner Laurent Boutonnat, who kickstarted her musical career by co-writing her singles and directing her videos.
 
As was the vogue in the '80s, Farmer's videos were epic productions, usually Barry Lyndon-esque costume dramas of over ten minutes. Costumes were often optional, however. The promo for 'Libertine' features what is considered to be the first full-frontal nude video appearance by a pop star. In a more recent video, 'L'Amour N'est Rien', she performs a complete strip-tease. Another video, for 'Je Te Rends Ton Amour', features Farmer as a blind woman raped and crucified in a church. And controversial film-maker Abel Ferrera directed the video for 'California', with Farmer playing a prostitute who murders her pimp.

The songs were just as provocative, often with sexual references or Lolita-esque characters. Farmer's shock-value and saucy image fuelled her incredible success - to date she has sold over 25 million albums worldwide.

Being a scantily-clad pop star meant that Farmer inevitably attracted stalkers. In 1991 one deranged fan arrived at her record company's Paris offices, demanding to see her. On being told that Farmer was not there, the man produced a gun and held the staff hostage. The situation ended tragically, with the stalker killing a receptionist before shooting himself dead.

The incident persuaded Farmer to move to California and live in near-reclusion. Her subsequent career has been conducted with minimum public appearances; typically, one press conference or interview per album or tour. This has only served to intensify the hysteria and speculation surrounding her.

The controversial poster for Mylene Farmer and her 2009 Paris showsFarmer is back in the news this week, with the announcement of 2 concerts at the Stade de France in Paris in September 2009 (yes, a year and a half from now). With depressing predictability, the posters (left) that are now plastered all over the Paris metro have raised some controversy.

They depict Farmer sprawled in a car park - according to some critics, suggesting that she has been either run over by a car, raped or has fallen from a height. Seeing the poster for ourselves, those are debatable interpretations - but once again Farmer has generated massive publicity for herself by doing very little.

So, for the most part Farmer's records are nothing worth hearing. There's one exception - we've already featured a fantastic single called 'Moi Lolita' (a predictably 'shocking' Farmer title) that she wrote for her protegé, a teen singer called Alizée. The 2001 single was a Top Ten hit in the UK and received plenty of daytime airplay in Ireland. Apart from the dubious lyrics, it's a brilliant piece of disco-pop.

Here's one of the rare not-awful Farmer songs, accompanied by an even rarer video where Farmer keeps her clothes on (the snow-covered setting was probably a factor there). As if to compensate for the lack of nudity, this 2005 song is heavy on the curse-words. It's called 'F*** Them All' and in France there were no asterisks or bleeps. The song is in French except for the chorus (the title, shouted) and a venomous English middle section. Imagine our thrill at hearing this on Saturday-morning kids TV:


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27

The Fondation Cartier is one of the hippest and most interesting cultural exhibition spaces in Paris. The building itself - all glass and greenery - is impressive yet intimate. Similarly, its shows are ambitious but always accessible and informative.

Patti Smith by Annie LiebowitzYour blogger saw the excellent 'Rock n'Roll 39-59' exhibition there last summer. And this spring the Fondation Cartier rocks out again, as it presents a selection of visual work by rock icon Patti Smith (right).

The exhibition is centred on Smith's photography. Unlike the sharp, provocative images of Robert Mapplethorpe (who took the famous cover shot of Smith for her 'Horses' album), her black and white Polaroid pictures are often blurred and impressionistic, making the viewer fill in the details and outlines.

One interesting series of photos depicts personal belongings of artists who influenced her: Mapplethorpe's slippers, Virginia Woolf's bed and Herman Hesse's typewriter. The viewer's instinct is to work back from the possession to its celebrated owner.

The show also features drawings and films made by Smith since her teens.

Though Smith and her music evoke late-'70s New York, her personal inspiration has come largely from Paris. Famously, she has spoken of Rimbaud as a major influence on her lyrics, creating new interest in the French poet. She first came to Paris in 1969, and drawings from that period can be seen in the show.

Among all the Frenchness there's an Irish contribution to Smith's exhibition. Kevin Shields has collaborated on an audio piece called 'The Coral Sea'.

As well as the visual exhibits, there are a number of live music events at the centre during the show's run. To kick things off, the lady herself will perform readings and music dedicated to Virginia Woolf. On 6 April Smith will be joined by longtime associates Lenny Kaye and Tony Shanahan for an acoustic concert. Other concerts during the exhibition period will feature Tom Verlaine and Jeffrey Lewis.

The show runs from 28 March until 22 June.  

Here's some vintage live action from Patti Smith, performing 'Free Money' live in Stockholm in 1976:


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25

Blossoms outside Notre DameLast Friday being March 21, this Easter weekend was officially the start of spring. Paris is famous for being beautiful in springtime - and your blogger can confirm that the city looks and feels fantastic at the moment.

At lunchtime today the sun was shining. We strolled down the Champs-Elysées, where the trees were beginning to show new leaves. Across Place de la Concorde to the Tuileries, with the Musée d'Orsay to the right across the river and the Louvre straight ahead. The Seine was swollen with brown water from faraway mountains; artists sat on the bank sketching the Ile de la Cité with swooping pencil strokes. Most of the weekend tourists had left for home, so both banks were relatively quiet. Bliss was it in that afternoon to be alive...

...and then around four o'clock a large black rubbish bag of a cloud tore open and spilled rain on everyone. Back to work tomorrow, then.

If you live in Paris, springtime is also when you start dreaming of escape from the city. If you listen carefully over the din of traffic on the boulevards, you can hear fresh new grass rustling in the mountain breeze, bicycle wheels whirring down country lanes, church bells ringing over villages and valleys.

Poney ExpressThere's a song on the radio these days which captures this longing to burst out of the city and into the country. Poney Express (left) are a duo, Anna and Robin. They make the sort of breezy acoustic pop that lots of French acts seem to be exploring these days (Cocoon being our favourite).

Aside from his Poney Express work, Robin is the bass player with popular French indie band Louise Attaque. Popular, that is, except with your Paris correspondent. In our very first French Letter article, back in January 2006, we named them as being among the chief culprits in making the tuneless, joyless rock that dominated the French scene on our arrival. Thankfully, we've found loads of brilliant French pop since then - and Robin's new act is higher in melodies and joie de vivre than his old one.

The song we're talking about, 'Paris De Loin' ('Paris from afar'), exudes this desire to escape the capital. It opens with a pulsating bassline full of adrenaline, and then bursts free with acoustic strumming and brushed drumming like those whirring bicycle wheels we described above. By the time Anna and her breathy voice gets to the opening line ("Quitter Paris..." - 'Leave Paris...') you're already miles away in some rural paradise, drinking wine and eating fine food in the sunshine.

Poney Express have plenty other nice songs which you can hear on their MySpace page. In May they'll be supporting Jonathan Richman when the great man tours France before visiting Ireland. Which reminds us that there's an Irish connection to Poney Express - Sean O'Hagan arranged the strings on 'Daisy Street', their forthcoming album. 

There's no official video yet for 'Paris De Loin', but someone in the YouTube community has obliged with the customary song + still photo home-made video. And here's an acoustic version of the song that the pair performed for the Takeaway Shows:


Paris De Loin


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18

No doubt the highlight of your ongoing Saint Patrick's celebrations will be Jean Michel Jarre's show at the National Concert Hall in Dublin on 18 and 19 March.
 

The Frenchman will be performing his classic 'Oxygène' album in its entirety. What's more, he'll be doing so on the same analogue synthesisers (around 50 of them!) he used for the original recording back in 1976.

Listening to 'Oxygène' today, it sounds surprisingly solid and contemporary. True, it lacks the electricity of fellow electronica-pioneers Kraftwerk's best tracks -
but Jarre's masterpiece has none of the swishy panpipe-moods blandness typically associated with his later work. The career of Jarre-lovers Air seems to have followed a similar path; where 'Moon Safari' was fresh and well-written, later albums such as 'Pocket Symphony' are ghastly elevator music.

If you're heading along to see Jarre this week, you're lucky to see him in such an intimate setting. The typical JMJ live show involves hundreds of thousands of punters, one of whom tends to be a Guinness Book Of Records person doing a quick head count.

In 1990, 2.5 million fans watched him perform beside the Grande Arche at La Défense, the business district at the edge of Paris. He topped that with his 1997 Moscow concert, attended by a mindblowing THREE AND A HALF MILLION PEOPLE. In other words, the entire population of the Republic of Ireland.

Here's a recently-made video for the most famous track off Jarre's greatest album - the instantly-recognisable 'Oxygène IV':


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12

A review of the album 'Carry The Meek' by Ham Sandwich

Carry The Meek by Ham SandwichReview Snapshot: We could say that Ham Sandwich's debut is filling while having no filler, but that'd be very laboured and boring and 'Carry The Meek' is neither of those things. It's catchy and confident, drawing on '90s US college alt-pop and featuring an impressive performance from co-singer Niamh Farrell. With several radio-friendly singles already to its credit, this is the first of 2008's great Irish albums.

The Cluas Verdict? 8.5 out of 10

Full Review:
Ham Sandwich, a terribly bland name for a band? Au contraire! What other Irish act is getting this much attention just for their name? And it's surely no worse than calling your group something lame and unoriginal like Nirvana or Oasis.

At the other extreme, it's unfortunate that Podge McNamee's perceived wackiness has coloured many people's reaction to the band and their music. However crucial he may be to the band's visual image and live show, on record he couldn't be said to hog the limelight - he has few lead vocals, no epic guitar solos and there isn't any song here called 'My Name Is Podge'.

Contrary to those expectations, then, the Kells group's debut album is neither blandly boring nor irritatingly wacky. If anything, 'Carry The Meek' could have done with a bit more idiosyncrasy - it depends greatly on the familiar chugging rhythm of US indie bands of the last decade, and the slower tempo of the closing tracks (especially 'Sleep' and 'Thru The Grass') ends the album on a relative downer. That said, the anthemic 'Sleep' is a fine song, and second-last track 'Ashes' has an epic touch to it too.

The first half of the album has more character about it, thanks in no small part to the impressive Niamh Farrell. She swoons and soars her way through the charming 'St Christopher' and 'Keepsake' before turning on some serious rock n'roll attitude for 'Click... Click... BOOM!!!' The latter's thuggish bassline intro and triumphant chorus make it the album's standout track.

McNamee and his deep rumbling voice, as noted above, keep a relatively low profile and generally confines his vocals to backing or repeating Farrell's lines. Only in the middle of 'Never Talk' do the two sing different lyrics, and the song is all the more exciting for the dramatic tension it suggests. Perhaps this pair can capitalise on their strong personalities to greater effect in future, playing off each other more in their lyrics and arrangements to capture the two-up-front strike force of their live shows.

As for the album to hand, it's radio-friendly and well-produced by Karl Odlum, and the time devoted to recording it has paid off handsomely. And with all the attention lavished upon the band's two singers, let's not overlook main songwriter and bassist Johnny Moore, who has contributed some expertly-crafted pop songs (like 'Words') full of wistful romance and broken hearts.

Quite simply, this record sounds great. 'Carry The Meek' is a marker that other Irish albums of 2008 - and beyond - will have to match.

Aidan Curran


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11

The annual South By Southwest (SXSW) music convention opens today in Austin, Texas. Acts from around the world will perform in showcases and hope to catch the eye of record industry figures.

SXSW 2008 There's a sizeable French presence at this year's event. The French Music Export Office will hope to capitalise on a successful 2007, which saw worldwide sales of 27.6 million units for la musique française. As we noted in our recent Victoires de la Musique feature, though, that figure includes French-made albums by non-French acts like Feist.

Intriguingly, the French delegation will take part in what they call "a speed-dating session involving French and American music professionals." Always the old 'French lover' routine; works every time.

At the time of writing, 13 acts have been confirmed as representing la hexagone in Austin this week. However, like with Feist, the definition of a French act seems quite broad and almost arbitrary on the part of the French Music Export Office. The criteria is that the act's releases be produced in France
, thus representing the French music industry. For instance, the French delegation is putting forward Digitalism - who are from Germany. But as their 2007 album 'Idealism' was released on the Paris-based Kitsuné label, the Teutonic techno duo find themselves on the other side of the Maginot Line for SXSW.

It's the same story for two other non-French Kitsuné acts. First, the LCD Soundsystem-esque Thieves Like Us. Two of their three members are Swedish and one is American, and the three met up in Berlin. And Los Angeles-based
producers Guns n' Bombs were born in places like Italy and Denmark. No matter: for SXSW they'll all be wearing berets, going "ooh la la!" and so forth. Le French touch is certainly a useful flag of convenience for electronica acts hoping for an easy sale worldwide.

Herman DuneSimilarly, many pop fans will be surprised to see the gentle indie-folk-pop of Herman Dune (left) lining out for France. Surely they're Swedish too? Well... no. The Herman Dune family have a French father and a Swedish mother, that's for sure.

But they see themselves as Gallic as Edith Piaf eating croissants while strolling down the Champs-Elysées: "The band is French," they unequivocally told Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet in January 2007.

There's also some confusion about the nationality of Yael Naim, also representing France in Texas. Born in Paris, she moved to Israel at a young age and grew up there. Naim returned to Paris in 2000 to begin her music career. The matter is complicated by current anti-Israeli feeling in France, including a call to boycott a prestigious international book fair in Paris because it features Israel as the country of honour.

In any case, Naim can claim dual nationality and as a French-based recording artist she (like Feist) also won a Victoire recently. Enjoying priceless exposure as the soundtrack artist to the current Apple MacBook advertising campaign, Naim is primed to be one of the big hits of SXSW.

No such nationality doubts about The Parisians. We featured their Libertines-influenced garage-indie back in 2006 when they appeared on the in
fluential 'Paris Calling' compilation of new French bands. Continuing the Libertines connection are US-based Rock&Roll, chosen by Pete Doherty himself (so the story goes) to provide the music to fashion designer Roberto Cavalli's spring-summer 2008 collection.

Other French rock acts at SXSW are the Strokes-like Neimo and two Paris guitar bands with an eye to the dancefloor: Adam Kesher (actually a six-piece band with no
member of that name) and Cheveu. The electronic contingent is completed by Fluokids, while The Rodeo (anagram of Dorothée, the singer's name, who also fronts a band called Hopper) will provide indie-folk back up Herman Dune (who are French, okay?)

So, those are the acts officially being presented at SXSW by the French music industry. But that's by no means the end of the Frenchness in Austin
this week. Another 'Paris Calling' band, Brooklyn will be there, looking to build up momentum before the release of 'Clandestine' their debut album.  And you can count in yet another French electro act, The Toxic Avenger.

Here's our pick of the French acts at SXSW 2008: The Rodeo, performing 'I'm Rude':


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10

The 23rd Victoires de la Musique, the French recording industry's annual awards ceremony, took place at the Zénith in Paris last Saturday (8 March). The awards are the French equivalent of the Brit, Grammy and Meteor prizes. Your Paris correspondent was happy to see that many of our 2007 favourites were among the nominees, most of whom performed on the night.

The big winner on the night was Vanessa Paradis, who caused a minor surprise by taking the Best Female Artist honour that was expected to go to her competitor Zazie. The latter, a former model and voiceover artist turned singer, is insufferably self-righteous and makes bland, wishy-washy pop about fashionable social concerns (war is bad, consumerism is bad, you are bad, etc).

We were happy, then, that good triumphed over evil and Zazie was trumped by Madame Depp's harmlessly catchy radio-friendliness. Paradis also won the high-profile Best Chanson/Variety Album (code for Best Mainstream Album) for 'Divinidylle', written with French rocker M, a.k.a. Mathieu Chedid.

Zazie, smiling gamely through the snubs, gained some consolation when a tune she co-wrote won the night's most prestigious prize, Best Original Song. Regular readers will recognise the tune in question, 'Double Je' performed by Christophe Willem - a fantastic slice of disco-pop that was runner-up in this blog's equally-prestigious Best Song list for 2007. Thankfully, the award is presented to the singer and not the writer, so Willem accepted a much-deserved prize on his part.

Renan LuceThe other headline-grabber, from a French perspective, was Renan Luce. The young Breton singer-songer (left) was voted Best Album Newcomer and Best Live Newcomer on the strength of his lively 'Repenti'.

However, in doing so he defeated French Letter favourite Emily Loizeau. Nonetheless, the marvellous Mlle Loizeau gave a typically dreamy performance of the title track from 'L'Autre Bout Du Monde'.

Your blogger had a particular interest in the Best Pop/Rock Album category. Three of the four nominees were Dionysos, Keren Ann and Manu Chao - numbers 1, 4 and 7 in our own album countdown last year. Yet the prize went to the fourth nominee: bland '80s veteran Etienne Daho. Nonetheless, Keren Ann did herself proud with a fantastic rock-out version of 'Lay Your Head Down' (which you can watch at the end of this article) - and Dionysos lead singer Mathias Malzieu climbed over most of the stage set during his manic performance.

Chao, the Che Guevara of rock, didn't appear at the awards. Strangely, he wasn't nominated in the Best World Music category, where the prize went to recent French Letter featuree Yael Naim and her happy-clappy, laptop-flogging folk-pop.

Justice prevailed in the Best Electronic Music category - literally, as the duo of that name beat the David Guetta / Bob Sinclar axis of evil.
Feist in the video for 1 2 3 4The electro-metal pair were also nominated for Best Video with their memorable 'T-shirt' video for 'D.A.N.C.E.' - but the prize went to Feist for her equally-clever '1-2-3-4' (right). Veteran rapper MC Sol--

 -- "Hang on a second, croissant boy" says you. "Feist is Canadian, and not even one of the French-speaking Canadians at that. And, video connoisseur that I am [this is still you talking], I know this video was made by US director Patrick Daughters. Explain me that!"

-- Well, says your Paris correspondent, Feist recorded her last two albums in France - and that, apparently, is enough for the French music export board to claim her as French for the purposes of their statistics. For instance, at the recent MIDEM music industry conference it emerged that, of the impressive total of 27.6 million units of French music shifted worldwide in 2007, the biggest individual album seller was actually the 700,000 copies of Feist's 'The Reminder'. As it's the same French music industry that organises the Victoires, voilà pourquoi Feist was nominated.  Does that answer your question?

-- "Indeed it does," says you, "and I bow to your superior intellect."

Grand, so. Anyway, as we were saying, veteran rapper MC Solaar won the Best Urban Music prize - and a younger version, slam-rapper Abd Al Malik,  was a surprising (yet deserving) choice as Best Male Artist.

But the real talking-point of the night came with the Best Live Show category. Among the nominees were none other than Daft Punk - and when their name was announced in the list of nominations, the camera cut to two men in rubber-fetish masks (1 min 24 sec) seated in the VIP section. A shiver of excitement went through the hall - is it really them? If they win, will they collect their prize? WILL THEY SPEAK? A theatre - a nation - was rivetted.

Of course, the prize went to another nominee (flabby '60s rocker Michel Polnareff). And thus was squandered an o
pportunity that we may never have again, a priceless rock n'roll moment lost forever. Will our children ever forgive us?

Apart from that might-have-been moment, here's our highlight from the 2008 Victoires de la Musique ceremony: the aforementioned performance of 'Lay Your Head Down' by Keren Ann. Lou would have been proud of her:


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08

Your blogger has never been happier to be in Paris. Life here is very busy and exciting for us these days - and award nominations back home are a fantastic bonus. We hope it stays like this. Unfortunately, our fellow Irishmen in Paris are not seeing la vie en rose at the moment.

Wheel of misfortune: Pat McQuaidPat McQuaid (right), president of the International Cyclists' Union (UCI), is getting dog's abuse in France for threatening to sanction teams who compete in this year's Paris-Nice, due to start on Sunday. The row centres on ASO, the race organisers, and their decision to ban the Astana team from their events because of their record of doping scandals. As ASO also organise the Tour de France, and with their ban extending to Astana rider and defending champion Alberto Contador, a long-running dispute could spill over into this July's edition of the world's most famous cycling race.

Liam Neeson in TakenFor Jacques le Frenchman, having an Irishman threaten this year's Paris-Nice or Tour de France is akin to Michel Platini telling the Kerry team to withdraw from the All-Ireland final. Tough times for Pat.

Also feeling the strain in the French capital is Liam Neeson. It's just part of his latest film, though - 'Taken' sees the Ballymena man (left) dashing around Paris in a desperate race to find his kidnapped daughter.

Unfortunately, reviews have dismissed the film as a photocopy of vogue-ish TV thrillers like '24', so it looks like yet another turkey from an otherwise ultra-cool actor. Who's advising him?

And we're not mentioning the rugby again, alright?

Into this vale of tears steps an Irish troubadour for a Paris gig this weekend. Declan de Barra is supporting Nina Nastasia at the Nouveau Casino on Sunday night (9 March).

Declan de BarraThe Waterford singer-songer (right) is promoting his debut solo album, 'Song Of A Thousand Birds', released on his own Rogue Goat label. It's an atmospheric mix of Damien Rice's troubadour folk and Jeff Buckley-esque alt-acoustica. 

But the man isn't going to rest there - he's already hard at work on his next long-player, to be called 'A Fire To Scare The Sun'. 

You can listen to some of Declan's tunes over at his MySpace page, which also gives details of his upcoming gigs and the like. And if you stick around here until the bottom of this paragraph, you can watch him performing 'Throw Your Arms Around Me' on RTE's 'The View' back in October 2006: 


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Nuggets from our archive

2008 - A comprehensive guide to recording an album, written by Andy Knightly (the guide is spread over 4 parts).