Shortened Suite - Meadhbh Boyd

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My first release on my new label Bad Boyd. You can own your own copy for just £1.79 by clicking here.  

I’d like to thank everyone for the support and encouragement, especially Denise Mangiardi, Niall Acott and Ray Staff at AIR Studios, to Eva Slusarek for photography and Lauren Kinley for the cover illustration. BBC Radio 6 Music Tom Robinson and Cian O Ciobhain at An Taobh Tuathail for the airplay. To my writing / musicking mentor from afar, Chilly Gonzales.

And the family, bf CH, and friends who partly inspired the music. A special shout out to the swarm of Associates from Tate Modern around the world. Thanks to you for listening.

If you like it, spread the word. I will be thinking about gigging soon, and looking for collaborators. Reach out, don’t be shy.

These cats were a gift from my grandmother who passed away last August. She bought them while on holiday in Killarney, County Kerry when she was a teenager (in the 1940s). The horn player lost the bell of his saxophone before I acquired them but the rest are in good nick. She gave them to me one Christmas - individually wrapped in soft tissue paper, in an old Milk Tray box. Those sweets were long eaten. So many people would chuck out packaging but, she was a thrifty lady.
 I bought the victorian-style glass dome recently - it’s nice that the cats have somewhere special to live now. I often think of her, and other dead people. I realise that sounds morbid. I find her letters every now and then - years of correspondence from my young adulthood to last year some time.
 Death. Is just so strange. Sometimes it’s like I plain forget that people are dead, that people die. That makes me feel like a proper idiot. Sometimes ignorance is bliss - but then realisation crash-lands you back to real time. Once you get through a certain grieving period things return to relative normality - and death reinstates itself as an abstract happening. People live on in your memory.
 You sometimes forget about any negative personality traits, in a weird way romanticising their, and your shared past. That’s how they should remain, this is how people should be remembered and celebrated. They existed. They gave life a ‘lash’ and in some cases like my grandmother (or your loved ones), they leave this world leaving a mark of power and influence that will long outlive you or I.  Recently I have been thinking about existence in the frame of shared narrative. Stories. Links. Existential challenges. Ephemeral moments. The things that words can’t articulate. I think about this because of the mystery of the disappearing plane. I know it’s tragic but, what an amazing thing to happen. We can cushion ourselves with technology and knowledge - that makes us forget that we are totally fucked sometimes, that the chances of being outwitted or diddled are very real. 
Martin James Burton Photography

Reproduced with kind permission from Martin James Burton Photography, Check out the rest of his work - there are some really great portraits.  This image was taken at University College Cork Alumni Gala Dinner event, November 2013: Meadhbh Boyd (fiddle), Neil O’Loghlen (flute). 

+eva photography blog: Portrait photography: Meadhbh Boyd

Eva is a star. Simple as that. 

+DAVID BOWIE - COBBLER BOB
+Jim Lang - Composer

Jim Lang wrote the music for Hey Arnold, I love it.

Watching cartoons in bed due to being knocked off my bike yesterday by a double decker bus two minutes from home. The ‘designated’ Cycle Lane - a false security measure - was obstructed by parked cars. I pulled out in front of the bus. I indicated right for a long time, looked back, and before I know it the bus is right up close on my right side. Bus wasn’t travelling too fast. Everyone was well annoyed because the traffic stopped for a few minutes - I hate this about London - often zero compassion, or perverse onlooking. I saw that guy at Camberwell a few weeks ago. Everyone standing around looking, or complaining. Where I come from (Rep of Ireland) almost everyone would go out of their way for you, make you tea, give you water, comfort and reassure you. Instead I got tens of people looking on, not acting or doing anything meaningful. No one comforted me when I was hyperventilating and in shock, except the ambulance chaps who said “alright, now, get yourself together, nice slow breaths”

My left arm is very sore and there are bruises all over my legs. I’m very thankful worse didn’t happen but, pissed that I’m missing a day and a half of work with the E17 Puppet Project and it affects my being able to play piano /violin. Boo! What can self-employed people do when this happens, does insurance cover this kind of thing? Loss of earnings? Arrgh… What a dose.

Painkillers, Minstrels, pots of rooibos and cartoons are helping, though. I’m more than likely not going to cycle in London again, not worth the risk, particularly if drivers have blind spots or choose to ignore the fact that there are more vulnerable road users sharing main carriageways.

+Artist Shows What Disney Princesses’ Happily-Ever-Afters Really Look Like

fat arse from eating McDonalds?

Lemaitre at Fabric | Live review 
Lemaitre is a Norwegian indie-electronic duo formed in 2010 by Ketil Jansen and Ulrik Denizou Lund. They performed their second London gig in Fabric to a decent crowd on a freezing cold night.
The duo’s big expansive sound is no doubt a challenge to mix live. The overall levels were good – the clean and at other times gritty Fender guitar cut above the low end of the synths and drums. Splitting Colours featured a really sweet children’s choir track, gritty effects on guitar and glistening piano. Cut to Black is an anthemic summer track that just keeps giving – with a particularly civilised midweek audience who smiled to themselves, yearning for the hot weather again. Fiction was a lively mid-tempo hit with sparse instrumentation at parts, great panning, a badass riffing guitar, fat bass synth and 007-like piano chords underneath.
 The duo are well-read musically, quoting Stax vinyl, Justice, Phoenix, and Daft Punk among their influences. However the music of Lemaitre is more than the sum of its parts - so lining them conveniently alongside Daft Punk doesn’t do them justice. The 20 year old man-child geniuses are early on in their development but already have five EPs under their belts.
It’s refreshing and more natural to see musicians / producers who are competent, confident and passionate enough to have some banter during a gig and surprise a crowd – a rare occurrence in a time when people expect bands to sound note-for-note like the compressed mp3s they have bought. They looked like they really enjoyed themselves, and audiences love to see that. Audiences also love to be manipulated, and they were – powerful sub bass, and dynamic drops were scattered throughout.  The music is much more impressive live than it is recorded, although the records are also a huge achievement.
In terms of staging, there was a self-designed white 3D model centre stage - the same used in their Relativity sleeves – on which fuzzy responsive visuals were projected. Between songs, they displayed an effortlessness in swapping instruments, live programming, and improvisations.
Sceptics, Lemaitre’s second encore - exemplified their skill in manipulating sound, combining classical harmony that child prodigy Mozart would have been proud of, with the sounds of our time: dubstep, grime, and pop. The only negative comment is that there should have been even more people there to enjoy it. 
Verdict: 5 stars
Meadhbh Boyd
For further information about Lemaitre and future performances visit their website.
Jane Bussmann is known primarily as a comedy writer who has contributed to a whopping 50 shows including a special edition of the standard-setting series Brass Eye concerning paedophiles - which is the “most complained about” piece of television in British television history. Amazing.
In this show she grabs some charities and celebrities by the horns and has a good go at them - for the overwhelming artifice - and at us tax payers for basically facilitating “bent governments” extravagant spending, including a duty-free trainer and Moet outlet. P&G nappies, Vivienne Westwood and Madonna – all get an honourable mention for their supposed self-serving, PR /branding trips to the land where The Lion King is based. Oh, and Scarlett Johansson’s breasts get a mention too.
She speaks about her experiences living in Mombasa - including routine 24 hour power cuts research, and personal interest in the subject of “Awfricah”, as she says in a generic mock posh accent. Joseph Kony gets a mention too – the guy who oversaw mass abductions children and got away with it. Some bitter realisations are hard to swallow but she has a rude lightness in her delivery.
Bussmann provides some mortifying examples of press, emails, real footage, including one cringe-worthy clip of One Foundation’s spiritual leader, Bono. He “hijacks” a stage. He proceeds to make himself look very silly by waving his arms (with peace signs) and singing some awful vocal improvisation while the amazing Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni ba vamp behind him.
If one could make any suggestion for improvement it would be to see more equal bashing of these celebrity “givers” – Geldof only gets a fleeting mention in relation to Live Aid and a daft comment he made about the holocaust. Poor Bob, and he’s even in the title. The ultimate irony in her performance is that she wears several layers of tee-shirts and holds a thick wad of notes – making her look exactly like the charity muggers, or “chuggers” we so despise, and dodge on nearby Tottenham Court road.
Bussmann is not a polished comedy performer but, she doesn’t need to be. Neither should people judge it on its entire accuracy, as she says herself, “Guardian Comments Section – it’s not an academic article!”.  The show as a whole is engaging in terms of its subject area and is well presented but, would be better suited as a structured episode, or a feature article.
Verdict: 3 stars

Meadhbh Boyd
Frank Skinner: Man in a Suit

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Soho Theatre, Friday 15 November - review for The Upcoming 

Frank Skinner returns to the stage after a six-year hiatus. Man in a Suit is like a 60-minute witty, on-the-pulse, train-of-thought status update in that it lacks a central thread.

Age, ageing, and male perspective inform a lot of the content in the show.  He’s 56, he’s lived a lot – let’s hear about it. Age has graced him with experience, authority, and a unique perspective. The first portion of the show is a warm-up for the middle and end – covering everything from the gentle syllabic art of the haiku to hilariously visual bedroom politics, or “smut”, which he acknowledges he is known for.

Skinner’s flow is easygoing, allowing plenty of time for crowd interaction and the unknown. It is impressive to see a performer of any sort, particularly comedy, take on a sizable chunk of the front row throughout the gig. Sometimes this doesn’t work, but in this case it contributes to call-back material that sometimes helps resolve dangling threads. He discusses his distinctly showbiz/celebrity dilemma of where and how to get rid of his old suits of yesteryear – the ones with the wide lapels – give directly to a charity shop, or sell on eBay? He is both self-depreciating and selfish: try and fault him but he will beat you to it.

The comedian speaks about when he met HRH Prince Charles who asked him: “Are you on YouTube?”. He recalls playing a prank on an ex-lover’s six-year-old child,  life in London, commuting, competitive charity, homelessness, the Southbank. Although the material covers more areas, it is his anal sex story that garners one of the most laugh-out-loud moments. The way he connects anal sex to the shiny foil of a crisp packet and Plato’s cave is spot-on and very effective.

The structure and pace of the show as a whole is loose, and for this reason gives the sense that it isn’t 100 per cent honed. Skinner himself discusses the current polarised state of stand-up comedy: on one end of the scale you have massively well-known comics who want to be adored in sell-out stadium arenas by Joe Soap, and on the other, niche intelligentsia comics who want to be adored by a small exclusive clique of bohemian types. He raises the question of whether shows should be ”perfect” – so rehearsed that there is no room of error. In this case, the audience got plenty of bang for their buck.

Runs until November 23 at Soho Theatre (SOLD OUT), then Leicester Square Theatre January 21 - February 22

Spotted this beaut on Brick Lane. It is possible that it’s already covered up with a new layer. I love the impermanency of it. Who needs a ‘gallery’? 
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