Ravings From The Bog

Audio Travesty! Rolf Harris To Re-Release Two Little Boys
November 14, 2008, 9:51 am
Filed under: Culture, Entertainment, Fun, Memories, Music, News, Nostalgia, Thoughts, UK | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Oh shit! Anything but that…well maybe not anything! Anything but that and Seasons In The Sun by Terry Jacks, pleeeeeese!

OH MY GOD! Turn it off, QUICK!


Ray Lamontagne Coming To Belfast Waterfront Hall!
October 22, 2008, 10:22 pm
Filed under: America, Belfast, Culture, Entertainment, Life, Music, Thoughts, UK | Tags: , , , , ,

Christmas has come early in the Bog Raver house! My tickets arrived this morning for the 5 February 2009 Ray Lamontagne concert in Belfast’s Waterfront Hall. Initially I thought I might need to travel to Glasgow or Liverpool to catch his show but happily, the Belfast date is featured on his website.

If you haven’t heard any of his music, check it out. I have three of his albums now and not one dud song between them – highly recommended!

Jethro Tull – Aqualung
August 24, 2008, 11:18 am
Filed under: Culture, Entertainment, Life, Memories, Music, Thoughts | Tags: , ,

This is one of my favourite all-time albums. Why? Like most of our favourites, it has memories associated with it. Mine are of 1978 when I was 16. A friend at the time, Feargal Tracy, was a Tull-nut and was always trying to convert us. The title track, especially, is superb. It builds faster and faster to a crescendo and is great to listen to at high volume when on your own in the car!

My Top 5 Favourite Movies and Why!

1.     The English Patient – easily numero uno! The lovely and eternally smouldering Kristin Scott Thomas is perfectly cast in her best role ever. I have watched this film perhaps twelve times and intend to watch it again and again. I just want to don my tux and cut in when Almasy is dancing with Katharine and whisk her away into the desert to have her to myself. Watching the film made me read the book. It focuses more on the other romance between Hana and Kip, but I think Anthony Minghella got it just right in his screenplay based on the original book.

2.     American Beauty – Lester Burnham is my hero! It may be my own mid-life crisis or my tedious job, but I identified very strongly with Kevin Spacey’s portrayal of this character right from the start. Clever dialogue, tightly paced direction by Sam Mendes and fantastic cinematography gel together to deliver a paean to individuality within Middle America.

3.     Amelie – a cheer-me-up movie of the highest calibre. Charming, funny, romantic and full of life; this one has it all! Audrey Tautou will always be Amelie to me. Rich colours, a fantastic soundtrack and my own experience of visiting Montmartre in Paris (and the bar in which much of the story is set) make this one special for me.

4.     The Way We Were – I watched this one again last night. Streisand’s best role by a country mile and Redford playing Redford with a theme tune to die for. I actually bought it this morning off iTunes! The strongest aspect of this film for me was the subtle changes in the balance between the Katie and Hubble, which didn’t need dialogue most of the time, and this from two actors who reportedly didn’t like each other. Superb casting for the main roles. Perfect movie making.

5.     Brief Encounter – for anyone who has ever harboured an illicit desire but hasn’t acted upon it and yet, has pondered “what could have been?” Rehashed in 1984 with De Niro and Streep in Falling In Love, Noel Coward’s Brief Encounter will take some beating. Evoking the buttoned up attitudes and morals of 1945, I think sometimes that we would be better off today if we had some of the reserve and moral backbone evident in this time capsule.  

Bubbling under:

Once Upon A Time In America

Jerry Maguire

Tequila Sunrise

Passport to Pimlico


What A Wonderful Life!

The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming

And on, and on…


Tales From Topographical Oceans
August 16, 2008, 11:58 pm
Filed under: Culture, Entertainment, Fun, Life, Memories, Music | Tags: , , ,

Next on my list of fantastic artwork on album covers etc, is the cover of the 1973 album, Tales From Topographical Oceans by Yes.

Back in 1978, my friend, Paul Doherty or Pol O’Dochartaigh, as he is now officially known, was a Yes-nut. While I was never as taken with Yes as he was, this album cover has stuck with me. Again, the vision the artist has is incredible, and I’m jealous!

Many Saturday afternoons were spent listening to this album in Paul’s house in Coolnasilla, while deciding what to do that evening.

I must download it from iTunes…

Imperialism For Personal Gain
August 2, 2008, 11:47 pm
Filed under: America, Politics & Current Affairs | Tags: , , ,

It was probably the glut of American TV shows that I watched in the 1970s like Chico and the Man, Starsky and Hutch, Ironside, etc, etc, but I’ve always had a fascination with all things American. The “movies” didn’t help either. The Way We Were, Jaws, Serpico, The Godfather and repeats of West Side Story; all of these and many, many more put British films to shame. Of course, there was the general anti-British feeling in West Belfast in the 1970s. And then there was the music… I was an early Springsteen fan due to my uncle’s influence – Saturday afternoons listening to  “The Wild, the Innocent and The E-Street Shuffle”, and “Greetings from Asbury Park” cemented America in my affections and imagination. Many years later, with my brother working (illegally) in Atlantic City, I had an excuse to visit the US four or five times. On one journey back from AC to New York, I was actually able to drive through the night with Born To Run blasting from the rental car’s tape deck whilst passing Asbury Park, NJ – surreal for a Springsteen fan from Ireland!

Back to my main point; basically I’m a sucker for a good story, easily lead, whatever you want to call it. I have fallen for the Hollywood version, and now with a Whitehouse full of bad guys, filling their boots with profits generated from their hiking of oil prices, it is clear that my father’s cynicism about America has some basis in fact. He told me once that I should look to see which side the US was backing in any conflict anywhere in the world and I would know which side was the “bad guys”.  This is and was true in Chile, El Salvador, Iraq (1980), and of course, the genocide of the Palestinian people by Israel, etc.

However, and I’m happy to say almost all of the Americans I have met in my experience, either in person, or on the internet, are generous, helpful, lovely people. I know from my reading that many, many Americans are concerned at the abuses of power being perpetrated in their names – it’s as though S.M.E.R.S.H. from the Bond films has taken over Washington.

Let’s hope that George Clooney, Matt Damon or some other Hollywood hero comes to the rescue soon.