Movie Review: The Hobbit – The Desolation of Smaug

Desolation of Smaug

I’d wandered out of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey last Christmas being slightly disappointed. I’d struggled to articulate why to my mates but in the weeks that followed I’d got to understand that I’d expected more of the LOTR feel. With Peter Jackson returning in place of Guillermo del Toro it was clear that we weren’t going to get a new vision of Middle Earth but more of what we’d come to expect. The first film, in what eventually has become a trilogy, had to lay a good bit of groundwork but in the Desolation of Smaug, things really get going. We know that the group comprising of Gandalf, Bilbo (“the burglar”) and our 14 dwarves are headed for the lonely mountain to reclaim the lost kingdom of Erebor from the titular dragon. I don’t really want to get into how the story plays out as it’ll contain spoilers but … There’s more

Christmas FM is back for 2013

The Christmas FM crew

First off… before you say it (you were going to, weren’t you?)… yes, I do realise that my last (and only one of TWO so far!) post here on Culch was about Christmas FM 2012 almost a year ago, but I hereby solemnly swear and promise – in a sort of “early New Year’s resolution” type way – to post far more often in the future. Anyway – with that said… once again, the time of year has rolled around where many of us think of stuffing the turkey (careful now!), roasting their spuds (ah here!), heating up the sausage meat (quiet you, down the back!), pulling a cracker (just stop!), covering the pudding in cream (er…), gifts, trees, snow and jolly fat men dressed in red… Yes!.. it’s the month before Christmas and all through the house… in fact, all through the LAND, the charity radio station Christmas FM … There’s more

Congregation 2013

Congregation 2013

  November 30th and cities & towns around Ireland will have tumble weed blowing through them as the social media brigade heads down to sleepy west of Ireland village Cong.  Remember the John Wayne movie, the Quiet Man – well that, Ashford Castle and now are putting Cong back on the must visit map.   Congregation is kinda different to your normal pile ‘em high in hotel rooms with a high flying oil snake salesman selling social media kool-aid. Not in Cong.  First you cannot buy a ticket (although I am now thinking I could probably find a buyer for mine on eBay) – no sir you have to write a blog post and send it to them and if they upload it to the site - then you’re in.  At least this means you get to do your home work in advance.  On the day you get to present … There’s more

Theatre Review: The Bear’s Tuxedo in the Theatre Upstairs


This was a bit of a treat last week. I didn’t know much about the play, so went along with an open mind. I just barely made it in time (stupid traffic!) to the Theatre Upstairs at Lanigan’s Bar, Eden Quay, to catch Keith James Walker’s new play, The Bear’s Tuxedo. THE BEAR’S TUXEDO takes you on a cosmic journey through the torn flamboyant fibres of one man’s being. That man is the mercurial Billy Sendoza. Billy is a gay Californian funeral director with an attachment to the arcane and a penchant for the preposterous. Join Billy as he swaps the sands of Southern California for the unforgiving scorched desert of Mexico on a journey of personal redemption. THE BEAR’S TUXEDO is a surreal exploration of how one man’s inability to separate his dreams from reality contaminates and distorts not only his own life, but the lives of those around him. … There’s more

Movember – Support Me, Support Men’s Health


This is the month where men are real men. This is the month where men prove their manliness by growing fluff beneath their noses. This is Movember. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, during November each year men all around the world grow mustaches to raise awareness and funds to combat prostate and testicular cancer, as well as men’s mental health challenges. Starting on November 1st, participants completely shave any facial hair, then begin the courageous task of growing and grooming a mo. Men everywhere use their faces as a walking, talking billboard in order to prompt conversation and raise awareness for men’s health issues. Those who’d like to participate in this worthy effort can register at After registration, male participants, or Mo Bros as they are called, create a personal Mo Space page to serve as an outlet to promote their Mo-growth and receive donations to … There’s more

New Music Review: Tod Doyle and The Troubled – These Days

tod doyle and the troubled

It was in my review of the Spirit of Folk Festival that I noted: my find [?] of the gig, if not the year was, the now very highly recommended Tod Doyle and The Troubled. I fell so in love with their song Kirbman, that I forgot to record it. I’ll make sure to rectify that Tod, I promise. I was walking through the woods, not towards the stage, when not for the first time I was drawn towards a sound. And as I sat down to see what they were like, as one does at a festival and a new sound, this song started playing….  First formed in Budapest in 2012, in the same year released their debut album “These days” and since have been hard at work touring and promoting the album across the water in Ireland and the UK. How good do others think they are ? … There’s more

Irish Blog Awards 2013 – Winners

blog awards ireland 2013

Who said blogging was dead ? So very far from it seems, if you take a look at the nominations list. Anyhow and for the now, these are the best that are Irish blogs for 2013. Go forth. Pick one. Read one. Leave a comment on one. Wish ‘em well done. Well done all. Best Great Outdoors – Greenside Up Best Music Blog – Dublin Concerts Best Popculture Blog – Brand New Retro Best Food / Drink Blog – One Man’s Meat Best Health and Wellbeing Blog – Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer Best Technology Blog – The Sociable Best Photography Blog – Foxglove Lane Studio Best Eco/Green Blog – Greenside Up Best Sport/Recreation Blog – Sports News Ireland Best Blog of a SME business – One Fab Day Best Arts and Culture Blog – The Irish Aesthete Best Designed Blog – Molly Moo Best Mobile Compatible Blog – Squidgy Moments … There’s more

New Music EP – Carriages


I first heard Harry Bookless and Aaron Page of Carriages play The Spirit of Folk Festival 2013. They were on the main stage and this was a folk festival. And in my head that conjures up images of bearded men with pipes and a sheep under one arm and a woman doing crochet quietly in the corner. And though the festival was very far from that, a little further afield was the music that emminated from the PA system.   And in my head there’s a wee little man with a telephone directory and a rolodex flicking through at a pace of knots searching for category to file them under, or in between some sound that I’ve heard before. And all he and I could come up with was a quasied version of the intro to U2′s Numb meets The Who’s Teenage Wasteland, played backwards at a slower beat. In context … There’s more

Tonight: Midnight Openings For FIFA14

ea sports, fifa14

As the countdown to FIFA 14 continues, games retailers around the country have confirmed they will be opening their doors at midnight tonight, September 26th 2013. I have played it. And yes and as always with EA and FIFA it is good. More on that to follow…. Suggested cost I’m told will vary around €64.99 – that said, if you know of any good deals or promo’s around the country feel free to note ‘em below or over on the bookface. Of note to taller people. It is the one game I have always owned, even when I was wi-fi less that lasts a full 9 months. If you are gonna buy 1 game etc… Midnight Openings: Gamestop will open 24 of its stores at midnight at Letterkenny; Dundalk; Castlebar; Cork (Douglas, Blackpool, Wilton SC and Patrick Street); Tralee; Mallow; Killarney; Dublin (Henry Street, Santry, Donaghmede, Clarehall, Pavilions SC, … There’s more

Review: Spirit of Folk Festival 2013

spirit of folk 2013

Above image: Myself with organiser Martin Duffy, courtesy Brian Greene. Year 3, my third year at The Spirit of Folk Festival kicked off Saturday 22nd September and though it was only for 1 day and night, it was as always so very beautiful. It seems funny to want a passage of time to never end… and this year was no different. A bit like the happiest game of snakes and Ladders played within a Jamesless giant peach, it is a very beautiful thing to see a feeling turn into an event and watch it grow only then to ram it into a calculator and press the square root button. And then you realise that the #soF13 family could have asked me to come to the field with nothing but a tree under my left oxter and it would have been as beautiful, solely because of the people there. Now add … There’s more

The Hot Sprockets set to play The Late Late Show

And about fohoking time. Yup absolute legends and total frickin’ gentlemen The Hot Sprockets have just announced that they will indeed be playing The Late Late show. Tomorrow. Friday. Sept 20th 2013. Last time we met was at Indiependence 2013. listen to ‘The Hot Sprockets chat @ Indiependence 2013’ on Audioboo The choon of choice for Fridays show, Soul Brother is from their soon to be released second album. You can find their first album Honey Skippin in iTunes and all good record stores. More info: The Hot Sprockets website   Hot Sprockets on facebook @thehotsprockets

Welcome: The Spirit of Folk, Festival 2013

spirit of folk 2011 (117)

This weekend sees the very much anticipated return of The Spirit of folk Festival 2013. has been and gone there since it began way back in 2011 and this it’s 3rd year is one I simply cannot wait for. I’ll grant you #SOF13 is probably not the type of gig where you’d spot that many fake tan pushers, complete with Gucci aftersahve flavoured Beckham Wellies, because I’m worth it ? More this gig really is about The Spirit of Folk. For me, for us, it is the place where myself and Brian Greene were made to feel part of The Family in 2011 as they aired on The Sodshow. And we had tea there. It is were Anthony McGuinness  and I first met The Hot Sprockets. It is were Darren and Ellie went shamanic drumming and Brian interviewed a viking. It is bring your own Germania beer, a hug … There’s more

Glasnevin Cemetery and Museum

Glasnevin Museum

Invitations to cemeteries don’t come along all that often, thankfully, but when it’s Glasnevin Cemetery and Museum, you’d do well not to decline. Established in 1828 by Daniel O’Connell, the cemetery is completely non-denominational and has a total of 1.5 million people buried inside its walls. That’s more people below ground than there are currently within Dublin city. Mad. On arrival our group was welcomed by Mervyn Colville, museum manager and board member of Glasnevin Trust. After tea, biscuits and a Q&A session, Shane MacThomais, the lead historian, guided us through the museum’s many exhibits. Visitors can look up the family’s history in the database, browse information about famous figures who are buried there and even listen to stories of the many gravediggers who have worked in the cemetery over the generations. Visitors will have particular cause to check out the info panel on Rosie Hackett, with the newest Liffey … There’s more

Theatre tip: War of Attrition


As you may be aware, we’re big of Devious Theatre from Kilkenny. Their work is some of the best amateur theatre in the country and they’re bringing their latest show, War of Attrition, to the Dublin Fringe Festival next week. “We’ve created the conditions for war, but no one wants to fight.” Daisy is the unwitting star of a viral video, Psycho Chugger, which currently sits on 178,234 YouTube views. And it’s ruining her life. Alan is the one who made it. A blogger who goes by the name of Generalissimo Malaise, he targets the ‘everyday arsehole’. Chris is a homeless man who just got caught in the crossfire of their feud. Devious Theatre bring their destructive new comedy to the streets of Dublin. There will be casualties. The show is directed by Niamh Moroney, produced by Ken McGuire and stars John Doran, John Morton and Roseanna Purcell. It will … There’s more