Arts Column with Conor Malone - January 10, 2013

A belated Happy New Year

A belated Happy New Year

First off, I’d like to take the opportunity to wish all of you a very happy 2013. A little late, I know, but this is the first arts column of 2013.

January is a quiet-ish time arts wise. People are tightening their belts after Christmas, artists tend not to go on tour because they’re aware of this, so even those people that do want to go out don’t have an awful lot of choice. However, there’s still a couple of things this week that might tickle your fancy. The bulk of stuff seems to be taking place in Derry this week, as they start their year-long City Of Culture programme.

If you’re a fan of showband music, there are two shows to choose from tonight (Thursday).

The Ronan Collins Showband Show is at An Grianan, Letterkenny and Ireland’s Showbands is at The Millennium Forum, Derry.

There’s more music at The Millennium Forum tomorrow night (Friday) with Homegrown, featuring Derry musicians Paul Casey, Bronagh Gallagher and Paddy Nash & The Happy Enchiladas. Sticking with The Millennium, Donegal comedian Conal Gallen is there on Saturday.

Over The Wire, a play set in the aftermath of the burning of Long Kesh, begins a six night run at The Playhouse, Derry on Monday, January 14 until Saturday, January 19. Fans of country music can enjoy a tribute to the Kings & Queens of The Grand Ole Opry at An Grianan, Letterkenny next Tuesday, January 15.

Neil Delamere

One genre that seems to be more or less immune from seasonal whims is comedy. No matter what time of the year it is, people are always up for a laugh. So, I’d expect a sell-out crowd at The Alley, Strabane this day week (Thursday, January 17) for Neil Delamere and his new show Delamere Mortal.

Delamere is one of Ireland’s most prolific writers of new material too, churning out a brand new show every year so, even if you’ve seen him before, you can be sure that it’ll be a totally different routine.

Neil Delamere is at The Alley, Strabane next Thursday January 17 at 8pm. Tickets are £18 sterling and available from The Alley on 048 7138 4444. If you’re still a bit strapped for cash post-Christmas or the date doesn’t suit, you can wait a month and catch him at An Grianan, Letterkenny on Friday, February 15.

Jack L – The 27 Club

One gig that I am looking forward to later on this month is Jack L who brings his incredibly successful new show The 27 Club to The Balor.

The age of 27 has a spooky resonance in the world of music. From blues icon Robert Johnson – who legend has it sold his soul to the devil at the crossroads – to contemporary stars such as Amy Winehouse, with the likes of Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain also included, the list of musicians who died aged 27 is both startling and eerie.

In this show, Jack L pays homage to this list of legendary musicians with a rip-roaring celebration of their lasting musical legacy.

With such a wide range of music and vocal styles represented, there’s very few vocalists that would have the talent, versatility and stage presence to pull this off but Jack is a special talent and, backed by an equally capable four-piece band, this is a show that you’ll want to make it your business to see.

Jack L’s The 27 Club is at the Balor Ballybofey on Saturday January 26 at 8.30pm. Tickets are €20 and available from The Balor Box Office on 074 913 1840 or online at

Arlo’s Back

One of the more disappointing cancellations of 2012 was that of American legend Arlo Guthrie whose scheduled September show at McGrory’s in Culdaff was pulled at short notice due to a family illness.

The good news is that Arlo has rescheduled and will now play McGrory’s on Saturday, January 19. Doors are at 8pm and there’s support in the form of special guest Jess Klein.

Arlo Guthrie is a terrific songwriter and performer watching. Even more, listening to Arlo is like experiencing your own little bit of American music history. The stories he tells between songs are as amazing as the music itself. The scheduled September show was a sell-out but, on the off-chance that there may have been some tickets returned, give McGrorys a ring on 074 937 9104.