Irishnesstimes!: The Right Honourable Desmond Guinness in the House

Comments

1
Please tell who it was that sat in the house of lords for 72 years and never uttered a word so I can read the wikipedia.
2
You should read "A Pint of Plain: Tradition, Change, and the Fate of the Irish Pub" by Bill Barich, in which the author attempts to find "authentic", "traditional" pubs in Ireland. While he finds a few, he finds mostly questioning the concept of "authentic" and "traditional" instead, since most Irish don't go to the pub anymore -- they'd rather drink Stella at the new sushi joint that moved in where McConnell's was for a hundred years. A pub shuts in Ireland every day, while elsewhere in the world the
3
Thanks for the tip, Jen. I might go to this. I was in Dublin once, on my first trip to Europe in 1979. It certainly doesn't have the beauty of Paris or Rome but I loved those colorful Georgian doors. The highlight of my time there was my visit to the office of this band.

On that same trip, I hitchhiked to Galway and County Clare and then back to Dublin. I loved the Cliffs of Moher (the Cliffs of Insanity in The Princess Bride) and the little town of Doolin, with the great traditional music in its two pubs.
4
Horslips!
5
since most Irish don't go to the pub anymore -- they'd rather drink Stella at the new sushi joint

I don't doubt that's true now but when I was there in '79 I was amazed that everyone seemed to be drinking Guinness. I don't recall ever seeing an amber-colored beer in a pub.

6
Fnarf, you're actually familiar with Horslips? Cool. I know they're not completely unknown to Americans but very few people know about them. I got turned on to them in the mid-70s when I was browsing through one of my two favorite record stores in Eugene. The store was playing a rock song with flute-playing that sounded like Ian Anderson so I asked the clerk if it was new Tull record. She pointed to the cover of this superb album and it has remained my favorite of theirs. I got to see them once, in a bar in suburban Minneapolis on a bitter cold winter night in '79. Before they played, my friend and I got a chance to have a nice talk with Barry Devlin and Charles O'Connor, and the show was fantastic.
7
@6, I'm not a huge fan, but I listened to them back in the days when I was seeking out not dissimilar (but from the other side of the Irish Sea) "folk played on rock instruments" like Steeleye Span. I've lost that taste for the most part today. Horslips are too prog for me as well, though I do love the sound of the uillean pipes on pretty much anything.
8
I think my mom ran the Dublin Marathon the same year (maybe 1999 or2000, I'm forgetting). I came along and spent the day drinking in pubs near the route.
9
The House of Lords dude is apparently this guy, Dominick Browne.
10
Fnarf, even if you're not a huge fan like me, you're at least familiar with them. I liked Steeleye Span too, although not nearly as much as Horslips. Horslips has played some reunion shows in Ireland the past few years and, unfortunately, they just don't have it anymore. They're not terrible, but they're tepid. But I like their stuff from back in the '70s as much as I ever did. They were wildly popular in Ireland back then. Almost ever Irish person I talked to raved about them. I believe they're credited with being the first band to mix Irish traditional music with rock (or, at least the first band to make it popular.)

I don't think of Horslips (or Tull) as being prog bands in the same way that I think of King Crimson or Gentle Giant as being that way but I imagine they (especially Tull) are usually put in that category.
11
Tull is (was) definitely prog (give "A Passion Play" another listen), but they fit into that electric folk-to-Bach continuum that runs from Steeleye to Yes. The only one of that sort of band I can listen to today is Fairport Convention, though, and only their own compositions, with a few exceptions. And that's almost entirely down to the greatness of Sandy Denny. (OK, the Pogues a little too). There's something about the stiff folk drumming that doesn't translate to a rock kit for me; English and Irish folk both are better without a drummer. Did you know that the bodhran, as used in Irish folk, is almost entirely a modern-day (1960s) invention, even more recent than the guitar?

My other favorite fake Irishism is "craic", as in a good time had down at the pub -- which is actually just "crack", from northern English/lowland Scots (via Ulster), and was given the bogus Gaelic spelling in the 1970s to make it sound more "authentic" and Irish, nothing to do with those English bastards, I'm sure.
12
"A Passion Play" and "Thick As A Brick" -- both brilliant -- are the only two albums by Tull that I think of as prog (but what I think of as "prog" likely differs from whatever the generally-accepted definition is.)

Nope, didn't know that about the bodhran. Interesting...thanks. Always wasn't aware of "craic." I guess that's what you don't want to see on an Irish appliance repairman (unless, I suppose, you're gay.)

I really liked Ireland but not enough to pay a return visit. When I was staying at a bed and breakfast near the Cliffs of Moher, I met three students from Yale and we hung out for a day. Two of them were a brother and sister: George and Ann Packer. Many years later I was in a bookstore and saw a book called The Village of Waiting by a George Packer. When I saw the author's photo, I recognized him as the same guy I had met. It's an excellent book about his time in the Peace Corps in Togo and, as you probably know, he's gone on to become a well-known writer (his book The Assassin's Gate, about Iraq, is excellent) and Ann is also a writer, a novelist.

13
This may have been as close as I'll ever come to a progeny of the Mitford Sisters and I missed it. Darn.