Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Benda Bilili!

Sitting in the IFI's busy foyer, it's hard to put words on the film I've just seen. About five minutes ago the credits rolled on an incredible piece of cinema called Benda Bilili. It's the story of group of physically handicapped musicians from the Congolese capital of Kinshasa.

And you have to see it.

Because writing about  it would only be an attempt to evoke its magic. The documentary doesn't flinch from hardship, yet in band-leader Papa Ricky it finds a voice of unbridled optimism. And in teenager Roger Landu -who makes an instrument from a milk can, a stick and a guitar string - it launches a bona fide star.

Hey you, watch this!

Aviva, late punters!

Good morning from Pearse Street, Dublin.

A combination of a well-made, laid-back lunch and the fact that I got the 16.45 bus out of Galway caused me to miss the first sixteen minutes of Ireland v. Uruguay.

Sure what harm, myself and Colm thought. They'll only be getting warmed up. But, as we hurried along underneath the South Stand, fate let out a good Irish roar. As we took our seats (10 rows from the pitch, happy days!) a quick glance at the scoreboard revealed that  not only had we missed Ireland's first goal but Uruguay's as well.

But a team doesn't  finish third at the World Cup by sitting back. From my persective, behind the Irish goal, the South Americans looked class. Moving with purpose and strength, Uruguay made it obvious which team were potential champions and which team would be happy just to qualify for a major tournament.

The game wasn't level for long. Uruguay put away two well- worked goals in quick succession. An accurate description of the build-up to the goals and who put them won't be forthcoming here. One of the things you take for granted when you watch it at home is how quickly the game can move. Especially when Diego Forlan and his team have the ball.

The Irish went in 3-1 down after 45 minutes. Now, at home half time is about analysis, the ravings of Dunphy and the more prosaic musings of Giles. But if it wasn't for the Katy Perry tune blaring from the PA, the Aviva would have shaken with the grumbles from my belly. I decided to have the hot dog.

It was a prime piece of Irish pork, made from a pig that was cuddled to death instead of slaughtered, slathered in organic, carmelized onions. Or it was an over-priced snack that was inhaled rather than savoured. You decide, dear reader.

Ireland went at the Uruguayans in the second half, with the boys in green making up for in spirit what they lacked in skill. James McCarthy was felled in the box and Keith Fahey converted the penalty. Game on, as they say.

An equaliser may have proved beyond Trapattoni's team, but the Ireland supporters on the lower tier of the South Stand were in fine voice. We All Dream Of A Team Of Gary Breens and Olé Olé Olé were aired regularly, but the highlight was a reprise of an eighties' classic. Depeche Mode's I Just Can't Get Enough bounced around the stadium, an unlikely, but somehow perfect, terrace anthem.

So Uruguay shaded it by a goal. But Ireland showed they had some fight in them and when they return to the Aviva, hopefully it'll be to a full house

Altogether now:

I just can't enough, I just can't get enough!"

Sunday, March 27, 2011

And we're off

Hello there,

It's a taken a while but I'm finally launching my blog. Forgive its basic appearance - there'll be tinkering a-plenty in the future!

I'm going to write about whatever takes my fancy - though one theme will most likely dominate. I've  spent the last 4 years writing about music and I'll continue to do so, because I love it!

Though life is full of other distractions. I'm going to my first international football game in the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday. As we say in Tuam, that could well be some sketch so I'll throw a few words at it.

Stick with me dear reader, the adventure begins