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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”

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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!

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Sunny Afternoon

Four weeks will see rock legend Ray Davies taking to the stage at the National Concert Hall, where he will sit down in conversation with Joseph O’Connor and discuss his new book, Americana: the Kinks, the Road and the Perfect Riff. Hop over here if you want to buy tickets or get more information. As we count down to the event every week we are bringing you a classic hit from The Kinks. Today’s offering is “Sunny Afternoon.” Enjoy!!!

Who is Michael Pennington?

questionMichael Pennington is a man of many talents: a potter, an actor, and a writer but is perhaps best known as a stand-up comedian. In 1996 the then unknown Pennington appeared as a contestant on the ITV game show Win, Lose or Draw and mentioned that he was a stand-up comedian. He also mentioned the stage name he performed under, a name that would soon propel Pennington Continue reading

Dawn O’Porter at the Twisted Pepper

I really enjoyed Dawn O’Porter session at last year’s Dublin Writers Festival. She was in conversation with Roisin Ingle and here to talk about her first book Paper Aeroplanes. She is a very engaging speaker and I was delighted to see her back again, this time interviewed by Anna Carey in the Twisted Pepper as part of Banter. O’Porter is a wonderful interviewee – very open, very funny and very passionate about her books and characters. The crowd at the Twisted Pepper was almost entirely female, lots of well-dressed women in the late twenties and early thirties, queuing politely for the sold out session and many buying the newly released Goose on their way in.

The two books follow the lives of teenage girls Renee and Flo, growing up on the island of Guernsey. O’Porter also grew up in Guernsey which she describes as being trapped on an Continue reading

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The Kinks: All Day and All of the Night

Following on from last week, today we bring you another hit song from The Kinks. The track is “All Day and All of the Night” and the video is a spirited, live performance of the song at the Providence Civic Center, some thirty-odd years back. Remember that Ray Davies, former front-man of The Kinks, will be appearing at the National Concert Hall, on May 19th, in conversation with Joseph O’Connor. Ray will be reading from his new book, Americana: the Kinks, the Road and the Perfect Riff, and chatting about his life and experiences. An event not to be missed, further details here.

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Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Ray Davies…

In just six short weeks, on Monday May 19th, Ray Davies will be taking to the stage at the National Concert Hall at this year’s Dublin Writers Festival. The former front-man of the iconic sixties band, The Kinks, will be there not to sing nor to play guitar but instead will be sitting down in conversation with Joseph O’Connor to talk about his life and his new book, Americana: the Kinks, the Road and the Perfect Riff. Tickets are still available and are priced at €20 and €18 with a concession. Don’t miss out on this exciting event!

It will hopefully prove to be a great night’s entertainment and a fantastic start to this year’s festival. In anticipation of this, and to whet your appetite a little, every week we will be posting a song by The Kinks. Today’s song, “Waterloo Sunset”, is one of my favourites from the band and is presented here for your weekend listening pleasure.

Anita Shreve Shines at Smock Alley Theatre

Anita ShreveIn the intimate setting of the Smock Alley Theatre, Anita Shreve sat down in conversation with Sinead Gleeson. The writer began proceedings by reading a very brief extract from her new book, The Lives of Stella Bain. As she read aloud her own words we viewed the world through the eyes of the protagonist as she awoke in a field hospital in 1916 France to the realisation that she has no notion of her own identity.
After that tantalising snippet from her new novel, Anita chatted about her past and her work. She shared her memories of her early days as a teacher and her short story writing, her winning of the O. Henry prize in 1976, through to the publication of her first novel, Eden Close. Then we heard of her breakout success with The Pilot’s Wife, which was featured as part of Oprah’s Book Club, and her continued success up until the release of her newest novel, Stella Bain, which went through an incredible 9 drafts and a period locked in a drawer.
There were some standout moments, including an epic Oprah Winfrey impression and an anecdote in which it transpired that Anita only realised her novel, Resistance, had been adapted into a movie when a passing stranger happened to mention watching it on Netflix.
When it came to the Q&A the audience offered up some great questions. Here we learned, amongst other things, that Shreve does not try to imbue any particular ideology into her work and that her focus is on the story. She also revealed that she doesn’t talk about a book while she’s working on it, likening a story to a bottle of soda. She wants to keep all the fizz in the story so keeps the lid on tight until it’s time to drink it.
As the evening drew to a close everyone decamped to The Gutter Bookshop, across the street from Smock Alley Theatre, where the writer met fans and signed copies of her book. And so ended the second and final of our DWF-Off The Page preview events. There are now only 6 weeks left before the festival itself returns on May 17th, with a huge range of events in a host of venues over nine days. Full festival details will be announced very soon so keep an eye here and on the events section our website.

To learn more about Anita Shreve and her novels you can visit her website.