Keep rockin', and then die | In their own words - John Spillane and music makers of Cork

While the Covid crisis has continued to change the face of music in numerous ways, this parish has sought to reach out to artists of all genres and keep telling their stories through the tough times. Here are a few select quotes from interviews that appeared in Downtown in 2021.
Keep rockin', and then die | In their own words - John Spillane and music makers of Cork

John Spillane on success as he turned 60 in 2021.

  • Elaine Malone on the impact of the housing crisis on Cork arts: “I’m really disheartened by dereliction (in the city), and how often good spaces are left to rot when they could be used for housing or arts spaces.”

  • MueseuM’s Darren Keane on the need for publicly-funded music venues in Cork: “The Events Centre isn’t going to happen, the Triskel caters to an older age group, so we’ll need a space to avoid the ongoing turnover of venues. And wouldn’t it be great to have it? There’s so much goodwill for public projects and people aren’t listening.”

  • Auld Blue Eyes’ Ian O’Callaghan on balancing music with working on the frontline throughout Covid: “It was fairly hectic at the start. Lots of people at our work got sick, and they weren't coming in. Everyone else was expected to do double the hours. I kept that up for a while, but, at a certain point, there was kind of no end in sight, and 'I thought, like, I can't keep doing 60- or 70-hour weeks'.”

  • Cyprus Avenue’s Ger Kiely on what’s kept the venue going all along: “Our thing is music. We've been doing music for, coming on to thirty years now. That's what we're proud of. Most places don't do music, they don't see a return on music. But we see the value in it”

  • Quiet Lights’ Jonathan Pearson on what his festival was missing this year: “I'm very sad that we don't have the Kino this year. That's the one thing that I'm very sad about, I think it's a real loss. And I think it's the biggest venue loss in Ireland, not just in Cork, y'know, that we've lost that.”

  • Dali’s Hope Alo on what the city needs next: “We've lost those places - like we had the Print Shop, Camden Palace, all those kinds of artsy places that were putting on DIY gigs, I think we need to see more of those going back. We need to see more places run by independent owners.”

  • John Spillane on success with his new album as he turned 60: “I’ve always liked a variety of things to do, but I’m so proud of this record, and that’s going to encourage me to write more songs. That’s the best thing I can do, and wouldn’t it be sweet if the best ones were at the end? Just keep rockin’, and then die.”

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