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Tonight: Ray Davies in Conversation with Joseph O’Connor!

For all those heading to see Ray Davies speak later tonight at the National Concert Hall we hope you will have a great time and here is a tune to get your excitement levels a little higher. The Kinks released the song, “You Really Got Me”, on August 4th, 1964. Speaking in the documentary, Imaginary Man, Ray responds to a question about the song by saying, “64, the end of 64, that’s when I was born. I was literally born when that was a hit.” In that case this year will mark the fiftieth anniversary of Ray Davies’ rebirth as the artist, icon and rock legend that we have all known him as. So Happy Fiftieth Birthday, Mr. Davies!

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I’m thinking of the days…

Seeing as today is Saturday, once again we bring you a song by The Kinks. This time the song of choice is “Days” and the days we’re thinking of are the nine days left until Ray Davies will stride onto the stage at the National Concert Hall on May 19th. Remember this year Dublin Writers Festival will have an extended nine day run, from Saturday the 17th through until Sunday the 25th. We have whole host of exciting events coming up so check out our full line-up to make sure you don’t miss out. In the meantime, sit back, turn the speakers up to 11 and hit play:

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We are the Sherlock Holmes, English speaking vernacular Help save Fu Manchu, Moriarty and Dracula

We’re counting down the days until Ray Davies speaks at the National Concert Hall and for the past few Saturday’s we’ve been featuring a song from Ray’s band, The Kinks, in anticipation of the event. The first song we featured, “Waterloo Sunset”, is one of my favourite songs by the band and the song today, “The Village Green Preservation Society”, is my other favourite. Hope that you will enjoy it too. Follow this link for more information about Ray Davies’ upcoming appearance at the National Concert Hall. As an added bonus today we are also including a documentary about Ray Davies called Imaginary Man so that you can learn a little more about the rock legend before seeing him speaking about his life, work and new book, Americana: the Kinks, the Road and the Perfect Riff, live on May 19th.

EXTRA BONUS: Kate Rusby’s well executed cover of “The Village Green Preservation Society”

Artist Date

G_W_Russell_BathersI first came upon George William Russell on a sunny June day last year. I was reading The Artist’s Way, which recommends that participants take themselves out on an “artist date” each week, something that will help them to further their own work. Something beautiful, something alone.

On that day, I was struggling, finding it hard to drag my creative energies and desires into the material world. I had recently left an all-consuming and high-responsibility job within the tech industry in order to spend a few months on pursuing “my dreams”. Such as they were, these dreams involved putting pen to page with laser focus and finishing the novel I’d started the year before.

I thought I knew what I was doing, but I didn’t really. I just launched in on day one and Continue reading

The World of Self-Publishing: First-Hand Insights

books upstairs windowWhy self-publish?

A number of years ago I wrote a book of fifty essays about various different aspects of life in Dublin. I sent it to a relatively small number of publishers and was somewhat surprised by the feedback…

While a lot of positive insightful comments came back, nobody wanted to run with the book. A writer I knew suggested self-publishing as an alternative.

In those days I believed, as I still do, that the publishing industry works quite well (if you can get into it). You submit a manuscript, it is accepted and then goes on its own mysterious way out into the world. I like this idea because, unlike self-publishing, it doesn’t Continue reading

How to Write the Great Dublin Novel

To hear a Londoner tell it, there’s no greater challenge facing an author than trying to capture the spirit of their great city. You’ll never match Dickens they’ll tell you.

Parisians will make a similar claim for their metropolis. Ooh, Zola. Ooh, Hugo.

Codswallop.

You want a real challenge, consider the poor sod from Dublin who has to toil under the shadow of the mighty Joyce. Or Doyle.

But stop shivering, don’t despair. You, too, can write the great Dublin novel if you just follow these tips.

Continue reading

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Seek him here, they seek him there, In regent street and leicester square.

If it’s Ray Davies that you seek then it won’t be Regent Street or Leicester Square that you’ll find him this May 19th. Rather you can come see him at the National Concert Hall, where the rock legend and former front-man of iconic sixties band The Kinks will sit in conversation with Joseph O’Connor and read an extract from his new book, Americana: the Kinks, the Road and the Perfect Riff. It’s sure to be an event that is not to be missed so get your tickets now.

To tide you over until the day itself here’s a classic from The Kinks. The song is “Dedicated Follower of fashion” and this particular video makes use of some excellent, vintage video footage. Enjoy!