Arts Column with Conor Malone 29.05.14

The Paperboys

The Paperboys

This Week’s Highlights: This week in the arts kicks off in style tonight at The Balor with legendary Canadian folk six piece The Paperboys. There’s another legend up the road in Derry tonight as Madness lead singer Suggs takes to the stage with an autobiographical one man show. Also today, children’s tale The Jungle Book is at The Alley in Strabane and Call Mr Robeson – a tribute to actor, singer and human rights campaigner Paul Robeson – is on at The Playhouse in Derry.

Hit one man show A Night In November is at An Grianan, Letterkenny tomorrow night while The High Kings play The Millennium Forum, Derry and Our Lives Without You – a theatre of witness production dealing with the legacy of the Ballymurphy Massacre – is at The Playhouse.

Singer songwriter Declan O Rourke is at An Grianan on Saturday, Man In The Mirror – a tribute to Michael Jackson – is at The Millennium Forum and local entertainers Joe Cauley and Trevor Burnside are at The Playhouse.

Paperboys Doing The Rounds

A tune I’m loving on youtube at the moment is The Paperboys version of All Along The Watchtower live at University Village in Seattle. It’s a wonderful folky take on the Hendirx classic – the intro starts off with just the rhythm guitar chords, then there’s a flute and fiddle jig played over it before launching into the song itself proper. In the middle there’s a wonderful bluesy trombone solo followed by a killer sax solo all leading to a killer percussion driven ending. Talk about taking a song and putting your own stamp on it. Check it out on youtube for yourself .

The Paperboys are a near legendary Canadian folk band who have been on the go since 1991. They’re one of these bands that is very hard to pigeonhole – there’s obviously strong Bluegrass, Old Time and Celtic influences but they’re anything but traditional. There’s also healthy servings of Ska and Reggae and strains of Soul, Pop and Funk. One of the best descriptions I’ve heard of them is Guinness with a tequila chaser while listening to an Americana jukebox.’ That just about covers it.

They’re quite likely the best multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-generational, multi-lingual, genre bending band you’re likely to hear this year.

The Paperboys play The Balor tonight, Thursday May 29, at 8.30pm. Tickets are €15 and are available from The Balor on 074 913 1840 or online at

Suggs Story

Madness frontman Suggs takes to the stage at The Millennium Forum in Derry tonight. But if you’re going expecting a music gig think again. Suggs : My Life Story is a one man show – part play, part comedy, part music hall – in which the legendary frontman looks back on a chequered life.

The inspiration for this project came on Suggs’ 50th birthday with the death of Sugg’s beloved cat. Motivated by thoughts of his own mortality, he resolved to discover what happened to the father that he never knew. Stunned by what he learns, Suggs is taken back to his childhood on the tough streets of 1970’s Soho and his first appearance on Top Of The Pops aged just eighteen.

It’s hilarious and moving in equal measure, one man tour de force that has been playing to rave reviews. Suggs : My Life Story is at The Millennium Forum Derry tonight Thursday, May 29th Tickets are £24.50: The Forum on 048 7126 4455.

A Night In November

A timely bit of programming this. As the World Cup approaches you can relive the heady days of Alan McLoughlin, Windsor Park, USA ’94, Ray Houghton, Giants stadium and Jason McAteer nutmegging Roberto Baggio, when Marie Jones smash hit one man show A Night In November comes to An Grianan.

A Night In November is one of the most successful Irish plays ever written. It tells the story of Kenneth, a Protestant dole clerk played in this production by Padraic McIntyre. The hatred and bile he experiences spewed towards the Republic of Ireland on the terraces of Windsor Park during that famous qualifying match for the 1994 World Cup causes him to question his beliefs and identity as a middle class Protestant and ultimately leads to him travelling to New York to cheer on the boys in green at the World Cup finals.

It’s a passionate and often hilarious show.




Back to the top of the page