Saturday, 18th November 2017
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Blind Date

When this show started in Britain back in the eighties it quickly became the most popular programme on telly with audiences in their millions. It waned in popularity towards the end of its run but it made the name of its host Cilla Black who always asked if she had to buy a wedding hat if two of the contestants seemed like they had a spark between them.

Now this show has been resurrected and is on TV3 but instead of hitting the highlights like it once did it now seems as if it is just repeating the old, jaded format that it once began. Other than the fact that the two winning contestants get a bit of a holiday out of it there doesn't seem to be any other redeeming factors in the show. The set looks like it was made by primary school children let loose with a glue gun and some shiny paper. The contestants are still as gormless as ever and you really have to wonder why they still have to give replies in the form of rhymes and terrible puns that just make you want to cringe. One of the worst things about the show, and it's difficult to pick out what is the worst, has to be the fact that there is no audience in the studio yet the entire programme is littered with a laughter track that makes no sense to what is actually being said at any given time.

Perhaps the real shame is the host of the programme though. Al Porter is a genuinely good comic but here it seems as if he is constrained by the whole format of the show. It seems as if he is only performing at half strength and it is a real shame.

In fact the whole show is a real shame, and that is a polite euphemism for what you might really want to say about it. Blind Date as a format was long dead and buried and it is not a good idea to have dug it up and see if new life can be breathed into it. As it stands it's a zombie show with bits and pieces of the body falling off it and laughter track or no laughter track can fix something as fundamentally wrong as that.

Brigid and Eamon

If Blind Date is all about the possibilities of new romance then this show shows that if love if blind then marriage is an eye opener. And it's a hell of a lot more fun than the former.

The programme is about two people who have been married for so long that they no longer have love or even passion to be a part of their marriage. They have a rake of kids, a house and jobs that they don't really care too much about. The only thing that does seem to give them pleasure is getting on their spouses nerves and the more that they do it then the better it is for them. Everyone in Ireland knows a couple like Brigid and Eamonn, a couple for whom fighting and rowing is their raison d'etre. Set as it is back in the 1980's gives an added twisted dimension to the show. The acting is spot on and just on the right side of crazy. A great show that proves once and for all that Ireland can, when it gets things right, make really good comedy shows.

They're rare but they do exist.

Barcelona, an Art over's Guide

Presented by Janina Ramirez and Alistair Sooke this show was filmed before the entire Catalan

Independence furore started but is no less interesting for that.

The two presenters have various parts of the city that they are interested in more than others and they separate for those. Ramirez focuses on the high-lights of the medieval parts of the city, the churches and forts that made Barcelona famous hundreds of years ago. Sooke is more interested in contemporary Barcelona and what that has to tell us about what the city is like now.

In particular the legacy of the painter Miro. Both of them come together on one individual building and that is Gaudi's cathedral the Sagrada Familia which dominates the central skyline of the city and is still being built 100 years after the first stone was laid. This is a well presented show and if you were ever thinking of heading to Barcelona then it would be great as a guide to get you around the city and to places that you might never of known about or even thought about.

A great programme.

Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill (The Gloaming)

Saturday 4 November 8pm

Between The Bars is a series of monthly events taking place in St Patrick's Gateway that are built around music, food and wine, with a different mood set for each show, both visually and aurally.

Martin Hayes is regarded as one of the most extraordinary talents to emerge in the world of Irish traditional music. His unique sound, his mastery of the fiddle and his acknowledgement of the past and his shaping of the future of the music, combine to create an astonishing and formidable artistic intelligence. He has drawn musical inspiration from sources as diverse as the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, the Spanish viola da gamba master, Jordi Savall, and the jazz genius, John Coltrane, but remains grounded in the music he grew up with in his own locality, in Feakle County Clare where the music which he learned from his late father, P. Joe Hayes, the renowned founder/ leader of the long-lived Tulla Ceili Band, profoundly influenced his musical accent and ideas. His latest performing project is with The Gloaming, a band which has burst on the music scene with a rare combination of Irish tunes, ancient sean-nós song, brave explorations and exhilarating and explosive medleys with a distinctive new sound. The virtuosic fiddles of Hayes and Ó Raghallaigh, the soaring voice of Ó Lionáird, Cahill's minimalist guitar work and Bartlett's sparse, yet insistent, piano, deliver an astonishing, combustible and unforgettable listening experience, deeply rooted in the tradition but moving into an entirely new musical dimension of rhythm, melody and texture.

Dennis Cahill is a master guitarist, a native of Chicago born to parents from the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry. He studied at the city's prestigious Music College before becoming an active member of the local music scene. Cahill's spare, essential accompaniment to Martin Hayes' fiddle is acknowledged as a major breakthrough for guitar in the Irish tradition. In addition to his work with Martin, Dennis has performed with such renowned fiddlers as Liz Carroll, Eileen Ivers and Kevin Burke, as well as many Irish musicians on both sides of the Atlantic. He is a sought after producer for musical artists whom he records in his own Chicago studio and is also an accomplished photographer. Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill met in

Chicago in the 1980s. They formed the jazz/rock/fusion band, Midnight Court, which allowed them to experiment with a variety of new music styles. When Martin reclaimed his traditional roots, reinvigorated, and after recording two solo albums, he began a new musical relationship with Cahill, beginning with the lyrical music of East Clare. They played long, sometimes thirty-minute, multi-tune sets in their concerts, starting from the simplest of melodies, building in intensity, but never abandoning musicality and ideas.

Tickets from Momo restaurant, online at http://www.uticket.ie or phone 086 158 9944

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