Una Mullally

Society, life and culture on the edge

PopLives #39: Conor O’Brien

Every week this Q&A will find out what various heads in music, film, fashion, theatre, bukes, performance, tech stuff, and whatever else are consuming. Conor O’Brien fronts the band Villagers, who are currently on tour in Ireland with live dates …

Thu, Mar 14, 2013, 08:50


Every week this Q&A will find out what various heads in music, film, fashion, theatre, bukes, performance, tech stuff, and whatever else are consuming.

Conor O’Brien fronts the band Villagers, who are currently on tour in Ireland with live dates here. Villagers’ first album ‘Becoming A Jackal’ was nominated for the Choice Music Prize and the Mercury Music Prize, with the title track winning an Ivor Novello award. Their second album ‘{Awayland}’ was released to critical acclaim in January.

What are you reading?
I’m reading and enjoying Black Cat Bone by John Burnside, a birthday gift from James Villager. It is a book of poetry. Some of it is pretty inpenetrable, but there are moments of real beauty in there. I just finished Chicken With Plums by Marjane Satrapi. I’m becoming a graphic novel junkie.

Last film you saw and your verdict?
I never really find the time to watch a full film. I think the last film I saw was Terminator 2 when it was on the telly over Christmas. It wasn’t as good as I remember it being.

Last gig/concert you went to and your verdict?
The last gig I went to was Cian Nugent and his band upstairs in Whelans. It was incredibly beautiful. There’s no point in trying to describe it, really. You should go see him play.

Last stage production you saw and your verdict? 
I haven’t been to the theatre in such a long time. Is comedy included in the list? I went to see David O’Doherty in Whelans. He is spectacular. I still laugh spontaneously in the street when I think of that show.

Last gallery / museum / exhibition you visited and your verdict?
The last gallery I visited was the National Gallery. It was one of those strange evenings when the dusk seems to be glowing that little bit brighter and I can remember staring very intently at that crazy Fra Angelico tempera with the torturers being burnt by their own flames and the colours bursting out of the frame.

You have a golden ticket to Easons, what magazine is first on your list?
I’d probably go for either Mojo magazine of something like New Scientist or Focus; something high-brow to go with my exquisite taste for the finer things in life.

What are your most clicked bookmarks?
I don’t really return to websites that often. My last few bookmarks are: YouTube The John Brion Show featuring Elliott Smith ’00, Philip Beeching: Why companies fail – the rise and fall of HMV, David Hedderman – “Johnny and Julie” – YouTube, Neil to Earth – Reality check, the frontier of thought – Space as culture – YouTube, The More Loving One by W.H Auden- poets.org, Cosmos: A personal Voyage – Episode 8 (Carl Sagan) – YouTube, ‘Gallows humour’ – Wikipedia, Scientific opinion on climate change – Wikipedia

Do you have a favourite podcast or radio programme?
I like the JK Ensemble and The Blue of the Night on Lyric FM.

When you fall into a YouTube hole what’s the general subject matter of the videos you’re watching?
Sarah Silverman.

What song should we listen to right now?
‘It’s My Party’ sung by Lesley Gore.
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Which boxset/TV series do you have on the go at the moment?
Breaking Bad. It’s good, but it’s not that good. It’s just a little bit addictive like a violent form of ice-cream.

Which app do you use the most?
Spotify (but I still buy vinyl).

Do you play video games or mobile platform games, and if so, what’s your favourite at the moment?
I played The Walking Dead on Danny’s iPad recently during a long bus trip. That’s the only game I’ve played for a long time so I guess it’s my favourite by default.

What is your favourite club night of all time?
I rarely go out clubbing. I can’t remember the names of any of the clubs I’ve been to.

If you could transport one international cultural outlet (gallery, theatre, venue, club, etc) to your home town, what would it be and why?
MoMA – I haven’t been and I want to go without having to fly.

And finally, if you listen to one album this week make it…
‘Boatman’s Call’ by Nick Cave.

Previously on PopLives: Wallis Bird, Adrian CrowleyTegan QuinEllie MacnamaraSteve RyanMumblin Deaf RoRick O’SheaGrace DyasMark O’HalloranAmy ConroyLouise McSharryMaeve HigginsRay YeatesNialler9Jeanie FinlayKevin BarryBrigie De CourcyJohn ScottWillie WhiteNiall MuckianPhil BoyleAngela DorganRoise GoanJoshua GordonMick MinogueEilis BoyleAnnie MacBen FrowMichael McDermottSinead O’Connor,  Shane LanganKathy ScottEoghan KidneyMichael Roe, and Phillip McMahon

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