Paul Linehan: On My Culture Radar
The Frank and Walters frontman on his love of horse racing and ‘The Young Offenders’
Paul Linehan: “Morrissey has an uncanny ability to highlight life’s injustices with a dry sense of humour and sinister undertones”
The Frank and Walters. Photograph: Joleen Cronin
Current favourite podcast?
I love that podcasts are like radio stations where you can choose the subject you’re interested in. I have an app called Podbean to listen to podcasts, and I particularly like The Final Furlong, as I’m a fan of horse racing, especially National Hunt racing. The guests are experts, and it’s in-depth and informative.
My favourite restaurant is The White House in Kinsale. I love to visit Kinsale for a day out with the family. We’d do the Scilly Walk to Charles Fort and afterwards we’d call into The White House and have something to eat. It’s a family-
run business; the staff are very friendly and the food is delicious. Normally I’d have the Italian chicken if it’s on the menu. It’s a restaurant I find hard to leave, as I don’t feel the desire to be anywhere else. When I walk in it’s like putting on an old pair of slippers that still smell good and you love the feeling of writing on the sole of them with a biro.
My favourite city is Athens in Greece – I love the city so much that it inspired me to write a song about it on The Frank and Walters’ last album called Goddess of Athena. The people are so friendly and the obvious history of the place makes it
enthralling. Around the Acropolis, there are ancient streets and markets that transport you back in time to what life might have been like so many years ago. We discovered an amazing restaurant in the Monastiraki district, called the Oineas, where I had the nicest deep-fried cheese I’ve had in my life.
My favourite comedian at the moment is Fred Cooke. I love his energy and his off-the-wall sense of humour. He’s also a great musician and does an amazing version of Bohemian Rhapsody with two melodicas at the same time.
My favourite TV show has to be The Young Offenders. It’s a very observational and insightful show with genius writing from Peter Foott. For six weeks it lifted my spirits during what seemed like one of the longest winters I’ve ever witnessed. It’s very nostalgic for me, because it shows Cork and the places I grew up, where my buddies and I did similar things to Conor and Jock. I love Billy’s character, too – the band and I were honoured they chose After All for the big scene in the last episode, and gobsmacked that he and the cast did such an amazing version of it. Growing up, there were characters like Billy in my school who were tough but had redeeming features, and were just unlucky to be brought up without a good start in life.
Social media account
My favourite person on Twitter is @_Davy_Russel_. He tweets regularly and lets you know what’s going on in the daily life of a National Hunt jockey. Davy comes from Youghal, Co Cork, and he’s a very gracious and humble man. He’s had an amazing year riding as he was crowned champion jockey for the third time in Ireland, he was the leading rider at Cheltenham, he won the Galway Plate and
the Aintree Grand National.
I’ve just started Morrissey’s Autobiography as the band and I have been fans of his music since The Smiths. He has an uncanny ability to highlight life’s injustices with a dry sense of humour and sinister undertones. It starts off unusually as it’s very much a stream of consciousness with no chapters, but once you get used to it, it’s great. It’s a bit like being inside his head, which is a good thing. I think.
The Frank and Walters, Marlene Enright and Ye Vagabonds play with the Cork Opera House Concert Orchestra tonight. corkoperahouse.ie