About Darren Byrne

Blogger, writer, movie buff, amateur dramatist and all round nice guy. When I'm not spouting about on Culch.ie, I can be found Tweeting inanities @DarrenByrne or @Culch_ie. I am the admin behind Culch.ie and if you want to contact me for anything, drop me a mail.

Competition Closed: The Iveagh Garden Concerts with Rufus, Mike and Lisa


Well, this lot almost slipped past my radar. How did that happen? Did you know that there are three frickin’ awesome gigs lined up for The Iveagh Gardens next week? Wanna win some tickets to see Rufus Wainwright, The Waterboys or Lisa Hannigan? Then keep reading… Rufus Wainwright begins the Iveagh Gardens Nights on Wednesday evening. I have been a huge fan of Wainwright since I first heard his version of Hallelujah for the Shrek soundtrack. Now, I know purists will scoff at me for saying that, but I’ve since dived into his full back catalogue. In fact, his newest album, Out of the Game is fantastic. It will be an evening of stories, drama, humour and some brilliant music. He kicks off at 9pm on Wednesday 18th July with support from Krystle Warren. Tickets €44.05 (a strange number) including booking fee are available from Ticketmaster. Mike Scott’s Waterboys hit … There’s more

Free Music (And it’s pretty damn good)


I‘ll have to hold myself back here. I’m itching to make some crude joke about getting the clap. I failed. The Clap is a Dublin based rock band made up of brothers, Cathal, Dara & Donal Melinn on piano, guitar and drums respectively, Daniel Knowles on bass and Simon Moore on vocals. Rock music has been the driving force for the Melinn brothers for years and despite the occasional sibling bust-up, they happily spend hours writing and rehearsing until each song has been thoroughly arranged. The lads sent me (and I’m sure a million others) an email. They’re trying to get their name out by offering free music to one and all. And while this isn’t the first time I’ve recieved an email like this, this is one of the rare times that I really like the music. The Clap’s cabaret-/jazz- rock sound is very cool. Sure, it’s raw and … There’s more

Soundtrack Review: Ted is Easy Listening Cheese


In complete contrast to the edgy, outrageous, controversial fare we experience in the movie itself, Ted‘s soundtrack is a mix of a gentle (and sometimes amusing) score from Composer Walter Murphy and a selection of easy listening tunes and cheesy classics. In the live action/CG-animated comedy, Seth MacFarlane tells the story of John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg), a grown man who must deal with the cherished teddy bear who came to life as the result of a childhood wish…and has refused to leave his side ever since. I’m not going to let this become a review of the movie itself (I’ll pop that post up closer to the release date), but I’ll openly admit that Seth MacFarlane has made possibly the funniest film I’ve ever seen. So, I was understandably looking forward to the soundtrack. In fairness, I was looking forward to the iPhone app, the t-shirt, the poster, the mug, … There’s more

Meh. Oh look, more subpar Tim Burton.


I just watched the trailer for Tim Burton’s latest movie, continuing his never-ending pursuit to remake, rework, reimagine, rejuventate, revive, rejig and redo every movie ever made. At least this time he’s not tearing down the pillars of my youth (Alice in Wonderland, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). Instead, this time he’s revisiting (just when I thought I’d run out of ‘re-’ words) one of his own stories. Frankenweenie is a black-and-white stop motion-animated remake of Burton’s 1984 short film of the same name, his take on Mary Shelley’s classic, Frankenstein. In the film, a boy named Victor loses his dog and uses the power of science to bring it back to life. As with all Burton movies in the last decade, it could be fun, it could be a waste of time. He’s just so hit and miss. In the last ten years, the only original tales Burton has … There’s more

Competition Closed: The amazing Dionne Warwick in Vicar Street this Thursday night

*** Competition Closed *** *** Winners: Caroline Kelly, Lisa Byrne and Stephen Lynch *** Say A Little Prayer, Walk On By, A House Is Not A Home, Deja Vu, Is This The Way To San Jose, I’ll Never Fall in Love Again…the woman is an absolute legend. I can’t wait to see her. Why don’t you join me? Culch.ie is giving away three pairs of tickets to see Dionne Warwick in Vicar Street tomorrow, Thursday 24th May. The five-time Grammy Award winning music legend is a cornerstone of American pop music and culture. Warwick’s career, which currently celebrates 50 years, has established her as an international music icon. She has earned more than sixty charted hit songs and sold over 100 million records across the world. The show will be a wonderful celebration of the music and life of a pop legend, a musical icon. Tickets for this concert are … There’s more

Competition Closed: Jeff-fah-fah Dunham in the O2 Dublin


  *** Competition Closed – Winners will be notified shortly *** *** Congratulations to Colin, Gary, Dave and Caroline *** I am a huge fan of Jeff Dunham. Yes, like everyone else, I fell in love with that cookie little go-getter, Achmed the Dead Terrorist, long before I knew that Jeff Dunham likes to stick his hand up a variety of characters, but he has grown to become one of my all time favourite comedians. I love his Comedy Central specials, I own the DVDs and I even have an Achmed doll. Yeah, I’m that guy. So…I was thrilled to hear he’ll be in the O2 Dublin this Saturday on his Controlled Chaos tour with all of his usual friends Walter, Bubba J, Achmed, Peanut and José the Jalapeño on a Steeeek and a few more besides. I can’t wait. If you fancy joining us on Saturday, I have a … There’s more

Competition Closed: Join us for Spring Break

We’re huge fans of the 80s supergroup Spring Break at Culch.ie. Playing the biggest American 80s hits even better than the originals, every single time we’ve been to see them has been an amazing night. Yes, that is me getting into the action (thanks to @cloudsteph for the awesome hair). That’s one of the most fun things about a Spring Break gig. Everyone embraces the cheese and leaves their irony and cynicism at home. Dressed up with big hair, colourful clothes, state trooper sunglasses and as more hair product than John Travolta’s career has ever seen, the loyal crowd loves this band.   And then there’s the music. Spring Break is a seven-piece band that never fails to set the night alight. Their diverse line up of live drums, bass, guitar, two keyboards and five different lead singers provide these multi-instrumentalists the scope to move through all the hits of … There’s more

Competition Closed: Interview and Ticket Competition: Presidents of the United States of America


I chatted with Presidents of the United States of America’s drummer, Jason Finn about the band’s current tour. Culch.ie are also offering you the chance to win tickets to see the band in Vicar Street on St Patrick’s Day night. It’s easy to enter. There’s more

“The best stories infuse wonder” – Andrew Stanton’s TED Talk

This is lovely. I always love the TED Talks and this one is no different. It’s a glimpse into the mind of a great story teller as tries to explain what makes the greatest stories. Andrew Stanton is the writer of Disney’s newest film, John Carter, but he is responsible for Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Up, Ratatouille, Wall-E, some of the most wonderful modern stories.

Theatre Review: The Master Builder and The Goddess of Liberty

I‘ve seen some fine theatre in the past week, including Bookworms in the Abbey, The Master Builder in The New Theatre and The Goddess of Liberty in the Project Arts Theatre. Below is my video review of the latter two plays. I’d love to hear what you think. Both The Master Builder and The Goddess of Liberty run until Saturday 18th February. For more information, click on the links below.

Theatre Review: Bookworms in The Abbey Theatre

I went along to see Bernard Farrell’s Bookworms in The Abbey Theatre on Wednesday. Check out my thoughts on it below. Bookworms plays from February 9th until to March 17th in The Abbey Theatre, Dublin, and here’s a few links I mention in the video:

Culch Valentine’s: Darren’s Favourite Romantic Movie Moments

Hi there gorgeous, So, Valentine’s Day. Starry-eyed loser, star-crossed lover or cross-eyed malcontent, you’re bound to have an opinion on it, yes? Be it a memory, a barely-concealed urge to vomit, a poem for your other half that makes the rest of us vomit, a scribbled note on what a perfect valentine’s would be for you, a history lesson on the relics of St Valentine, an angry swipe at Hallmark, a cry for help because you don’t know your partner much better than you know your postman and you’re deathly scared of trying to shop for them or anything in between, we share those feelings and each day in the run up to the 14th one of Culch’s writers will bring you their own personal Valentine’s thoughts. With love and last-minute garage chocolates, Culch Yeah, I’m a romantic, I’m a sucker for a good tale and I’ve been known to … There’s more

Album Review: Camille O’Sullivan’s Changeling

This is my first video review for Culch.ie, so I would appreciate any feedback you have, not just on the review but also on my irritating voice and awkward looking face. Camille O’Sullivan’s Changeling is a superb album, featuring a wonderful artist in her prime. Check out what else I have to say about her below. Changeling is available tomorrow in Dublin shops and will be on general release and on iTunes from 10th February. The excellent single Revelator is available now on iTunes, alongside Camille’s cover of Nick Cave’s The Ship Song. If you want to see her in person, she will be doing an in store appearance in Celtic Note, Nassau St, Dublin, singing few tunes and signing CD’s from 1pm tomorrow. If you are nearby, pop in before the match. She will also be on a tour of Ireland and the UK from 18th February. Check out … There’s more