notes on Kate Thompson & Keith Gray

Only managing to write about Monday’s event with Kate Thompson (KT) and Keith Gray (KG) now. As promised the talk was lively and interesting - graciously led by the nicest man on earth, Robert Dunbar (I’m paraphrasing Roberts questions here. He delivered them much more eloquently on Monday than I can reproduce).

Both Keith and Kate’s books are tagged with ‘Not Suitable for Younger Readers‘ on the back cover. Do you have a say on whether or not that appears on the cover?

KG: Unfortunately I don’t. On my first book Warehouse was one of the first books that carried the label and the publisher hoped that it would make the book look more dangerous and appealing.

KT: ‘Not suitable’ isn’t quite the same as age branding. I feel that the content in both books [Ostrich Boys and Creature of the Night] need a certain understanding.

‘Are there any taboos left in teen writing?’

KT: There shouldn’t be. That may not be the case, but there shouldn’t be. It is really more about how it is dealt with.

The talk also gave some insight into how each writer works. For instance, Kate doesn’t think about her readership as she is writing - admitting that she writes mostly for herself - while Keith is mindful of his audience as he writes.

Another difference between the two: Ostrich Boys took Keith 3 years to complete whereas Kate often drafts her books in one long all night writing spree.

That Very Hungry Caterpillar was there too and has some ideas from the night.


monday music 101

I spent today on Merrion Square in Dublin being spun left and right, upside down and right side up again. First they do it slowly. Then fast. Then really really fast. Until suddenly you’re remembering, 78 feet above the ground, that you haven’t posted on your website since Thursday.

No Music Monday 101 this week, I’m still dizzy.

Sinéad has found something interesting in New Zealand group The Ruby Suns, go have a listen. (Sorry for stealing Sinéad!!)

Written by david. in: Listening, music | Tags: , ,

music 101 | Colm Ó Snodaigh

A copy of Colm Ó Snodaigh’s album Giving fell into my lap on Friday. I’ve only managed to listen to it once (and a half) so this might not be the fairest judgement delivered on the album. First impressions are worth something though.

Giving is an eclectic mix - it was hard to find a definite thread that runs through all of the tracks apart from Ó Snodaigh’s own vocals which sometimes exude confidence, while at others shy away. The confidence on the album overall is a mixed bag - the songs jump from weakly written, Adieu, to impressive, subtle and haunting tracks like Lechaileach Arís and Is tú mo Ghrá.

The album is far removed from the usual sounds that Kila deliver - which is an interesting move for Ó Snodaigh. It does focus heavily his voice, which comes into it’s own in some of the tracks. Good for a Monday night in with a book and a glass of whatever you’re having yourself.

Written by david. in: 101, Review, music | Tags: , , , ,

monday music 101

Everything is running a bit slow after the blog awards. Here’s todays 101 - just a little later than usual.

I’ve had the Delorento’s living in my ear all this week - discovering them nearly three years since they were the ‘next-big-thing in the making’ (according to Mr Sheridan). There is something very calmative in the songs on their album in love with detail. The confident vocals supported by the lyrics, repetitive without becoming irritating, are what stand out for me. The percussion and bass create a great, and subtle enough, atmosphere for each song that makes listening to the whole thing a real pleasure.

The band sound familiar, even on first hearing, which really can’t be a bad thing for a first album. Overall the Delorento’s have mightily impressed me - so much so that I have just booked myself two tickets to see them in the Olympia in April.

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For those that don’t know (I didn’t until yesterday) Adrian Crowley has become a resident of Whelans. Well, he is every Wednesday throughout March at least. Wednesday night will see him alongside Mumblin’ Deaf Ro and Boa Morte. Aoife has an interview with Ro (as the Mammy calls him).

Written by david. in: 101, Listening, Review, music | Tags: , , , ,

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