Archive for March, 2015

At The Mike Stand with Mark Geary

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

Mark Geary

Mark Geary’s been there. He’s also done that, and while not wearing the actual t-shirt, he may well have written a song about the experience instead. Having arrived in New York City’s East Village in the early ’90s, the transplanted Dubliner soon became immersed in the city’s live music scene, and was, before long, rubbing shoulders and swapping set-lists with the likes of Jeff Buckley and other upcoming stars. During the subsequent two decades, he’s developed a reputation as being one of the most inspiring, hard-working and passionate performers out there, one who’d write a tune as quickly as lend a guitar string to a fellow artist in distress. At first playing iconic downtown venues such as Sin-E alongside the late, lamented Buckley, Mark has progressed, developing his style to suit his ever-growing audience and the advancements in his personal life, as well as his career in music. Often associated with fellow stalwarts of the New York scene Brendan O’Shea and Jenna Nicholls, two long-term friends and fellow NYC-based talents, with whom he’s shared many a stage with, he’s also performed with Joe Strummer, Glen Hansard, Elvis Costello, The Pretenders, Coldplay, Josh Ritter and many others. An accomplished songwriter and composer, he also created the score for the award-winning 2005 movie ‘Loggerheads’, and along with fellow Irishman Karl Odlum, wrote the music for 2010’s ‘Sons of Perdition’. With four studio albums, two live recordings and several collaborations (including his own tune, ‘Christmas Biscuits’ with long-time friend and collaborator Hansard) already released, Mark will play several dates in New York in the coming weeks to road test a number of tunes from his upcoming, asyet untitled, album. Mr. Geary, welcome to ‘At The Mike Stand’. By Michael Fitzpatrick.

Catch Mark Geary perform live at: The Living Room (Brooklyn) on April 3rd, The New York Irish Center in Long Island City (Queens) on April 4th, and at this writer’s favorite bar in the world The Scratcher, on Manhattan’s East 5th Street, for a free show on Sunday April 5th. Mark, welcome to At The Mike Stand.For more extensive gig details, with addresses, ticket information and so on, check out the artist’s website:

What would you like your own tribute act to be called?

I kinda like the idea that the tribute act might be better than me, ‘Mark Geary Done Better Tribute Act’, has a ring to it

What song would you most like to have written?

Radiohead’s ‘Paranoid Android’, Bob Dylan’s ‘Desolation Row’ and Nina Simone’s ‘I Want A Little Sugar In My Bowl’.

Who’s your favorite namesake?

Probably Mark Helprin, author of ‘A Winter’s Tale’ (Which has since been made into a movie starring Colin Farrell, Russell Crowe and Will Smith – Editor).

Who’s your favorite character from literature?

The Count of Monte Cristo

What’s the greatest place you’ve visited?

I’ve been touring a lot through Switzerland, I’m stunned by how beautiful it is, there is an order and a calm to the place, that is both reassuring and baffling

Who would you most like to meet/have met?

I’m not sure I buy into the whole ‘never meet your heroes thing’. There is an idea that perhaps it’s because your heroes weren’t that impressed with you.

When’s the last time you laughed out loud?

I was listening to a radio interview with an Irish politician, who clearly hadn’t read the new party’s press release. It was toe-curling and tragic and f***ing funny, in equal measure

What act would you like to have seen perform live?

I get to see lots of music, bands I think play more now than ever, because basically they have to, records sales have gone, so you work and tour for as long as you can. I saw Bruce Springsteen, Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes and Radiohead all in the space of a few weeks, but sometimes I go months without seeing anything, I just kinda shut myself away from it, so I hear what I’m trying to write. Other times I listen and listen to everything, I write and read everything, in order to rob all the ideas I love.

What team(s) do you support?

I’m a Man Utd fan, should I talk about that this year?? No no, my heart has become hardened and cold, there is no joy, just an awful sinking feeling, kinda like what a Liverpool fan feels every year!!!!

What period in history would you most like to have visited?

Not sure visited, or perhaps a really quick visit, but I’m pretty into history and World War Two. ‘Band of Brothers’, ‘Fury’, not a bad film, it showed the war from the perspective of a tank crew, so required reading is everything by Stephen Ambrose, who wrote ‘Band of Brothers’, ‘D-Day/Citizen Soldier’, just fantastic writer. Woody Allen has a line; ‘In the event of war, I’m a hostage’.

Who or what, would make you leave a room?

Hmmm, well fear always is a good indicator that its time to leave a room, or run from a room. I’m not a fan of bullies and arrogance, that can make me leave a room, I’ve often had to throw a little comment in their direction before I leave though.

Have you ever walked out on a movie?

Oh god, a lot of times. I wished I had walked out of that Terence Malick film, ‘The Thin Red Line’? I think it lasted longer than the actual war, and took place in real time, agony. I think I might have left that “Will Smith and his kid movie, ‘After Earth’ oh my God what a pile of s**t!!

What movie role would you like to have played/play?

Oh I guess I’d like to see how I got on doing a war movie. Which guy I played, everyone wants to be the hero,  and I guess no one ever wants or sees themselves as the geeky nerd with the computer!! I did do a movie ( a horror ) with Christopher Walken and all i wanted was to stay alive in the movie and say some lines.

Who do people say you look like?

Oh please please don’t ask me! I get really odd ones. I’m cringing even saying this- hahaha there has been moments of Ronan Keating, and then there’s a Jamie Oliver thing, I’ll leave it there!

What’s the first album you remember buying?

This sounds like such bollocks and hipster, ( a word I’ve come to hate) but its true, I shamefully stole a “ street legal” Bob Dylan record from a charity shop, years later I bought the charity shop, (that’s not true).

Who’s your favorite Beatle?

John, Paul, George, Ringo.

What’s your favorite Christmas song?

Mmmmm,  I happen to like mine, but my favorite is ‘The Little Drummer Boy’, by David Bowie and Bing Crosby.

Who’s the most rock and roll person who ever lived?

Mother Teresa.

What artist/song/genre do you secretly enjoy listening to?

Oh its no secret, I don’t get into guilty listening and all that. Cheesy pop, awful country and western, the more “tears in beers” the better, soft rock ballads all of it. If its a proper song it will be ok.

What book can you read again and again?

Theres not a lot that I do read again, but ‘The English patient’ and ‘100 Years of Solitude’, I’m also actually re-reading ‘The Virgin Suicides’, the book just destroys me, beautifully written, tragic.

Who Would Be In Your Supergroup?

I have a suspicion I wouldn’t be in it.

What movie can you watch over and over again?

‘The Godfather Part 2′ and ‘On the Waterfront’.

Who’s your favorite cartoon character?


What’s mankind’s most wonderful invention?


What’s mankind’s most irritating invention?

Job interviews.

What actor would play you in a movie about your life?

Ronan Keating.

Signs You’ve An Irish Partner

Monday, March 16th, 2015

1. You appreciate the work of Yeats. Years ago, you didn’t even know what a ‘Yeat’ was.


2. It probably won’t make you sweat, it could however, make you jump. Hence, it’s a ‘jumper’, not a ‘sweater’.

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3. There’s a slight chance that you now know who Val Doonican is.

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4. You know little about golf, but Rory McIlroy is the best player ever to play the game. Much better than those Jake Nicholls or Albert Palmer lads.


5. You used to wonder why there were so many green, white and orange things in your home.


6. Not so long ago, you thought 1916 was how army dudes said quarter past seven.

7. Your partner is allowed laugh at, ridicule, mimic, insult and degrade Irish people, things, places, habits, customs, history, culture or food. You do it and you’re dead.

8. You’re starting to get Tommy Tiernan’s ‘Navan’ references.

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9. You’d never heard the word ‘ecumenical’ before watching ‘Father Ted’ and now you know all about; hairy hands syndrome, a lovely horse, Pat Mustard and micro-cakes.


10. You can name a Cranberries song other than ‘Zombie’.


11. You’re not sure whether Sinead O’Connor is a tortured artistic genius or a mad oul’ badger, and you’re too afraid to ask.

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12. You’ve watched your partner proudly drink Guinness in front of Americans/Brits/New Zealanders and Equitorial Guineans, even though you know he/she really can’t stand the stuff.

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13. Nowadays, rather than stare in dumbstruck awe when someone says ‘Sure, ’tis a soft oul’ day thank God’, you nod and say; ‘Aye’.

14. You can quote lines from; ‘The Field’, ‘The Snapper’, ‘The Commitments’ and ‘In The Name of the Father’.


15. You, or your partner, has never; ‘Come into the parlour’, and would probably be afraid to.

16. You’re almost positive ‘Day-Lewis’ is an Irish name, but you’re not 100%, and sure, there’s nobody to ask without looking like a right eejit.


17. You can spell ‘Tiocfaidh Ar La’ better than most people who scrawl it on the bathroom walls in bars across New York/London/Sydney/Papua New Guinea.

18. You’re still not sure whether the ‘Shillelagh’ is a winged mammal, stringed instrument or weapon of mass destruction.

19. You will not ask for ‘a dash of blackcurrant’ in your pint while your partner is within earshot.

20. Like your partner, you know the choruses to every Irish ballad song ever written, because they don’t have verses. Hang on, what?

21. You’ve learned that a wedding reception isn’t over, until nine hours after the bar closes and every song ever written has been butchered by a drunken uncle, who knows an average of nine words from every song.

22. You know that the above uncle wasn’t drunk. He was stocious, hammered, manky or ossified.

23. When your partner says she/he saw U2 play at the Dandelion Market in Dublin where only 14 other people attended, you just keep your opinions to yourself if you know what’s good for you.

24. Ballygobackwards isn’t a real place, and mahogany gaspipes aren’t real things.

25. You just might know who used to say ‘Roll it there Collette’ and later, ‘Roll it there Roisin’. And it wasn’t Bob Marley when he visited Wexford.

25(a) You know that Gabriel Byrne and Gay Byrne are different people.


26. You know that Peter O’Toole, Spike Milligan, The Edge, Saint Patrick and Jack Charlton weren’t Irish. You also know not to bring it up.

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Things Not To Say To Your Bartender on Saint Patrick’s Day (and the things he/she might say back).

Sunday, March 15th, 2015


1) Duuuuude!!!! I’m Irish too yo!

Maybe one of your grandparents were, and they’d be so proud to see that green vomit on your girlfriend’s fake Aran sweater.

2) $8 For A Plastic Cup of Beer?

Yes, but you get to keep the cup.

3) But I’m Irish, don’t I get a discount?

No, but the 146 other gobshites who said that before you in the past 12 minutes did.

4) I’m a chick, and I’m wearing this random firefighter’s/cop’s hat, even though he’s married and thinks he’s gonna get somewhere with me, I’m just here for the free booze and the selfies. 

Ok Miss Cliche, you’ve had enough.

5) Do you have green beer?

Occasionally, when we leave it out in the sun too long.

6) Top of the mornin’ to you me lassie/laddie.

I’ll get your coat.

7) Happy Saint Patty’s Day!!

Excuse me, Saint Who?

8) I Love Your Accent, Is It Real?

Of course it is, I was born in Denmark, and raised in Milwaukee, but the bits you hear, are from my time spent working as a Norwegian language instructor in New Zealand.


9) Can I Plug This In Somewhere?

Plug what in, your magical personality creator? Yes, bend over and ask your grandmother to plug it in, oh, sorry, she’s your girlfriend?



10 Yeah, I was thinking of quitting my job and just waiting/bartending for a while, it looks like such fun.

You’re in finance? Yeah, I was thinking of giving this up, just to chill in corporate for a bit, but I’d be surrounded by douchebags.

11) Do you guys have, like, wine? It’s an Irish bar, I wasn’t sure whether to ask.

Yes, but it’s made from potatoes and severed leprechauns’ arses.



12) $8 for a ****king beer?!

No, it’s $8 for a regular beer, a ****ing beer is $14.

12a) $8 for a beer?

Well, it was, but it just went up to $23, arsehole tax, you see.

13) Can you make my shot extra strong?

Sure, just let me call up the Jack Daniel’s/Jameson/Johnny Walker etc people and ask them to change their recipe for you.

14) What’s your cheapest drink?

They’re all $57 each pal.

15) I’ll tip you next time. 

You won’t, because I won’t even look at you, never mind serve you. And when you’re standing there, I’ll give everyone except you a buyback, even the busboys.

16) So, can you do all the Tom Cruise ‘Cocktail’ stuff?

No, but have you seen Jack Nicholson in ‘The Shining’?.

17) Are you trying to get me drunk?

Yes, because you’re an elderly man with bits of yesterday’s soup, at least I hope it’s just soup, in his beard, and I desperately want to touch your bum.

18) Oh, the guy who used to work here used to give us a break on the bill.

That’s why he ‘used to’ work here.

19) I’m a close personal friend of the owner.

So you’ll know he passed away 46 years ago.

20) Hey, is that waitress single?

She sure is, and she’s not been asked out by a drunk, boring, ugly bastard who’s 24 years older than her, in a while, and you look like just her type, so don’t even pull your fly all the way up or hide that wedding ring, oh, that steak sauce on your hands, it is just steak sauce right? Leave it there and just go for it dude!

21) Hey, where’s the other guy?! (Note – The other guy left/was fired 18 months ago). 

He heard you were coming in so he took the night off.

22) We used to come here all the time.

You mean, you were here once, over the holiday season, when somebody else was paying the tab.

23) This drink (which I’ve never heard of/ordered/tasted before), you made it wrong. 

Oh? I misheard you. I thought you said get that drunk guy to vomit into my drink when I’m not looking.

33) Dude, can you put on the big game?

Sorry man, we’ve no TVs. Shut up.

25) Y’all got pool table?

No, because tossers like you kept putting the balls in their mouths to perfect that dumbass accent.

26) Do you have a bathroom?

No, here, use this bag.

27) What’s this for? (Note – Points at something they’ve never seen before, like cocktail shaker, or soap).

It’s for scratching my more delicate areas when you’re not looking.


Words By Bosco Coppell, Research by Sean Hannigan.



















At The Mike Stand with Jo Kinsella.

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015
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Jo Kinsella

Kilkenny-born, New York-based Jo Kinsella is one of those busy types that makes us want to buy a faster pushbike. You see, there’s just no way that us folk here ‘At The Mike Stand’ are able to keep up with her schedule on our rusty old Raleigh Chopper. The award-winning actress, no stranger to New York’s, or indeed Ireland’s theater scene, was kind enough this week to slow down for a few minutes and answer some dreadfully nosy questions for us in between readings, auditions and performances. Jo is well-known and respected in dramatic circles due to her numerous lead and supporting roles in US-based and European productions of Laoisa Sexton’s ‘For Love’, John B. Keane’s plays; ‘The Year of the Hiker’, ‘Moll’ and ‘Big Maggie’, Brian Friel’s ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’ at The Irish Repertory Theatre, Jimmy Kerr’s ‘Ardnaglas on the Air’, ‘An Adult Evening with Shel Silverstein’, James Joyce’s ‘Eveline’ and of course her star turn in ‘House Strictly Private’ (also by Jimmy Kerr). An incredibly talented and popular figure on the New York stage, who is currently involved with the ‘A Memory’ series of short story sessions at the National Academy of Television and Science hosted by HBO, Jo has also contributed voiceovers to the upcoming Tara O’Grady album, ‘Irish Bayou’. Jo, welcome to ‘At The Mike Stand’.

By Michael Fitzpatrick.


What would you like your own tribute act to be called?

Craic, rí,rá agus ruaile buaile with Josie.

What song would you most like to have written?

I don’t desire to have written anyone’s song, I wouldn’t take that glory from anyone but I have to take my hat off to any band who can make a room go mental and that band for me is Chumbawama, for their release of ”Tubthumping”, AKA “I Get Knocked Down’ in August 1997. I spent that summer in Sydney getting down on my hunkers & jumping up again sweat pumping adamant to last the entire song…..Brilliant memories!

Who’s your favorite namesake?

“Josie and the Pussycats”.

Who’s your favorite character from literature?

St. Nicholas.  

What’s the greatest place you’ve visited?

Sailing the Whitsundays (74 islands in the Great Barrier Reef) Australia

Who would you most like to meet/have met?


When’s the last time you laughed out loud?

This morning with my husband.

What act would you like to have seen perform live?

(I’d like to have attended) Woodstock.

What team(s) do you support?

Mooncoin, Kilkenny,and Liverpool.

What period in history would you most like to have visited?

The 1920s.

Who or what, would make you leave a room?

Don’t know about a room but I’ve left a few subway cars with no air-conditioning during the New York summers, and we’ve all fallen victim to that empty subway car thinking we’ve scored a seat until that smell hits…

Have you ever walked out on a movie?

No, but I wish I walked out on ‘The Exorcist’ all those years ago when my friend and I agreed to go together. Later she admitted she had her eyes closed throughout the entire movie. I was disturbed for years later, especially driving home alone at night through Silversprings, the haunted stretch of the road to our house.

What movie role would you like to have played/play?

Scarlett O’Hara in ‘’Gone with the Wind”

Who do people say you look like?

I was told by an English guy I once snogged that I looked like ‘’Antonia de Sancha” I was so flattered and I couldn’t wait to see what she looked like. There was no Google back then , eventually I found her in “Hello” magazine and was so let down when her head appeared long and she kinda looked like a horse.

What’s the first album you remember buying?

I used to make my own, taping songs from the radio with the tape recorder we got from the stamps we saved up at Texaco petrol station.

Who’s your favorite Beatle?


What’s your favorite Christmas song?

‘Fairytale of New York’.

Who’s the most rock and roll person who ever lived?

Elvis Presley.

What artist/song/genre do you secretly enjoy listening to?

I used to think the Saw Doctors were uncool but now I love listening to them while driving alone with our baby. I get so nostalgic, goosebumps and a warm feeling in my heart. Only a voice from your own nation can take you home which I want to pass on to our little one.

What book can you read again and again?

I read scripts rather than books. These days I seem to be lucky enough being busy working on fresh new scripts sent to me reading them over again.

Who Would Be In Your Supergroup?

 Anto, Katlyn and Tomás.

What movie can you watch over and over again?

 ‘Home Alone’.

Who’s your favorite cartoon character?

 Doc McStuffins.

What’s mankind’s most wonderful invention?

Skype, it’s amazing how families can connect worldwide.

What’s mankind’s most irritating invention?

Video games

What actor would play you in a movie about your life?

Geraldine Hughes.

Who is the most irritating character in literature/movies/television history?

No offense he’s brilliant at what he does but irritates me, Jim Carrey.


Irish Music Scene Rocked By Claim that Geldof Doesn’t Mind Mondays

Friday, March 6th, 2015

Simon Le Bon

Irish political activist and occasional singer/songwriter Bob Geldof, is reported to have claimed that he has no problem with the first day of the week, despite writing the hit song ‘I Don’t Like Mondays’ back in the late 1970s. Mr. Geldof, who fronted Dublin rock band The Boomtown Rats during the ’70s and early ’80s, was talking to BBC News recently, most likely about Band Aid or some political thing , when we’re nearly sure he said something about the whole ‘Monday’ scenario.

If the allegation is indeed true, it will surely pull into questioning the ethics and morals of an entire generation of Irish songwriters, who may well have been lying to decent, hard-working record-buyers for years. ‘I Don’t Like Mondays’, was a Number 1 hit for The Boomtown Rats in Ireland and the UK in 1979, which was a tumultuous year for Ireland, including as it did, the visit of Pope John Paul II, Charles Haughey being elected as head of the Irish Government and Shane something, the lead singer of boyband Westlife, being born.

One man we interviewed, Benny McCarthy from County Cork said; ‘What next, Bono claiming that all isn’t quiet on New Year’s Day, that it might have been a bit noisy? Sinead O’Connor stating that some things do actually compare to you? Phil Lynott’s boys not being back in town, deciding to stay away for another evening? Johnny Logan em, well, I can’t think of one of his songs but imagine him doing something not like the song said. I mean, it’s bullshit, boy’.

It is not the first time a singer/songwriter from Ireland has fallen on controversial times. In the early ’70s rumors circulated that Red Hurley’s natural hair color was charcoal gray, while ‘Westmeath Bachelor’ Joe Dolan was reputed to be a proud father of nine, and cousin of fourteen, from South Armagh. A neighbor of Mr. Geldof’s, Lord Edmondsbury, the 18th Duke of Wellington, who asked not to be named, has since said: ‘I done a bunk down the boozer on Tuesday lunchtime, where I seen Bob. Told me Monday was in his top five days of the week, innit’.

Words by Bosco Coppell. Picture by Caroline’s Naval Antiques.