Steve Wickham: On My Culture Radar

The Waterboys member on his favourite restaurant and Game of Thrones predictions

Steve Wickham: “I’m not fond of cities, all the pushing and shoving and the trains and taxis. That’s probably why I live in Sligo.”

Steve Wickham: “I’m not fond of cities, all the pushing and shoving and the trains and taxis. That’s probably why I live in Sligo.”

 

Current favourite book?

I’m a voracious reader, I get through a book every few days. It’s a great antidote for when you’re stuck on a train, travelling around to gigs. The last book I read was Reality is Not What it Seems by an Italian writer called Carlo Rovelli. It’s an excellent look at quantum gravity. He has a notion there’s no such thing as time and infinity, and he talks about the cloud of possibility for each electron.

Restaurant

It has to be Rugantino, in Sligo. It’s right beside the river, and it does genuine rustic Italian food. There’s a couple of great cooks, smart waiters, and a really cool guy who runs it called Antonio. I usually order the daily special, which might be something like seafood pasta or Italian sausage and pasta. I’m not fussy with my food and the chefs are so good that I know I’ll like it.

Comedian

Tommy Cooper tickled my funny bone. “I slept like a log last night. I woke up in the fireplace”. He was just so pure and tragic, and his face was amazing. He was a clown, simple.

Artist/designer

My wife, Heidi Wickham. She works in charcoal, and has an exhibition coming up in the Russell Gallery in New Quay, in Clare. The sign of a good artist is finding a truth in oneself and bringing it out, and she’s very honest in what she sees. She’s well known for drawing animals, but she also thinks outside the box – for example we went up to Iceland and she did work based on Nordic mythology. I have a great admiration for her, not only because she’s my wife but also I know how hard artists work.

City

I’m not fond of cities, all the pushing and shoving and the trains and taxis. That’s probably why I live in Sligo. I’ll always love Dublin because I was born there, but if I had to move anywhere it would be Paris. Cities usually gather human beings together in packed conditions and once people finish work, they’re gone. But there’s an elegance to how Parisians go about their business. The city seems inhabited by residents. You walk down the middle of a major boulevard and there’s a school and bread shop and a wine shop. It’s lived in. It’s the same for San Francisco.

Actor

Robert Duvall. He played Michael the fixer in The Godfather. But that’s not his greatest role over the years, and he was in The Judge most recently. He understands the craft of acting. I believe him when I see him; I don’t think he’s anyone else other than who he’s playing at that time.

Podcast

I listen to RTÉ’s Documentary on One all the time. There was a fantastic episode recently about two sisters, an American girl in Texas who went to visit her aunt who was an 87-year-old nun who’d come out from Galway in the 1980s and set up a school for African American children. There’s a cliché about nuns being psychopaths, but these nuns were amazingly clever. For that generation, there was no way they were going to inherit the family farm or get an education, so they went to Texas and got fantastic degrees and became involved in social activities. It was an absolutely amazing story, very moving. The person who made the documentary really uncovered something.

Social media profile

I like Twitter – not to contribute but to listen to the birdsong of it. I read a lot of Mike Scott from The Waterboys (@MickPuck). He’s like a grumpy old man on it, he just says what he feels. He’s quite vocal about things we all feel strongly about, like misogyny and racism. He calls people out for what they are. Generally I don’t do that, because you have to be very good with you words; writers and lyricists like Mike are able to articulate and condense the problem, and win battles that way.

TV show

I’m not a big TV person; I’ve never seen Breaking Bad or Love/Hate, for example. Having said that I do love Game of Thrones. I don’t know what I’m going to do once it’s finished. I’m guessing that it will end with Danerys on the throne, and she’ll marry the beardy guy. They’ve both got an immortal thing going on. 

Steve Wickham’s installation Geronimo appears at Ballymote Library on July 19th to 28th, as part of the Tread Softly festival.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.