Have you ever wanted to hire an upper class theatre buff who went to Trinity but insists they were accepted by Oxford to give you a posh walking tour of Dublin? It's a life goal, really.
Luckily for your dramatic side, The Westbury has now introduced complimentary theatre tours with the Abbey Theatre Tour Guide to explore the essence of Ireland's arts scene.
Guests staying at the hotel over the summer season can discover the city's most fascinating sculptures, theatres and galleries on a personal guided tour with James Hickson of The Abbey Theatre.
Strolling around the Georgian Quarter is the perfect introduction to the theatrical and cultural history of Dublin, and you definitely won't be bored with a theatrical man walking you around.
From stunning sculpture to beautiful buildings, discover some of the personalities, dramas, and places that have influenced its character and culture.
Whether you're a tourist or a loca, the iconic sights, forgotten tales and hidden gems bring an immersive story of Dublin to the tour.
The 90-minute tour leaves the Westbury hotel every Thursday morning of the summer at 10am, with James Hickson escorting guests along the theatrical route showcasing The Gaeity Theatre among others.
Anyone who embarks on the tour will also be treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of the Abbey Theatre, ancient Irish storytelling and drama at the Setanta Wall and a tailored tour of theatrical art in the National Gallery.
A pitstop at the Oscar Wilde sculpture as well as Phil Lynott and Luke Kelly tributes will also be visited, with Hickson bringing Wilde's personality, wit and works to life.
Highlights of the tour also include spaces dedicated to a variety of contemporary Irish and international artists, such as the National Library and the iconic Bewleys café.
To ensure the best possible experience for all, places are limited to just ten guests per tour so book as early as you can in order to join the ranks of Dublin drama.
The four-piece band have an undeniably dedicated fanbase, clearly responding to lyrics lamenting youth and everything else that comes along with it.
The group is comprised of Fitzgerald, Matthew Murtagh on guitar, Stephen Murtagh playing bass and Dean Gavin on the drumkit, and they are all in their early twenties.
Tales From The Backseat is a hugely impressive debut, and features some of the catchiest songs around right now.
Choosing tracks for the anticipated first album appears to have been a careful affair, the boys recorded most of it in North Hollywood with music veteran Tim Pagnotta.
It's no surprise that the musical offering flew to the top of the charts on home soil.
WE ARE NUMBER ONE!
We just got the news that our debut album 'Tales From The Backseat' is NUMBER ONE in the official album charts!!! Thank you to every single person who picked up a copy. It's an absolute dream come true for us.
Craig, Matt, Stephen and Dean pic.twitter.com/jS3oQHAD94
The boys make music with big pop choruses and indie lyrics, and if you're hearing their songs for the first time, you'll know every word by the time the track concludes.
The lead vocalist and his bandmates have a clear talent for writing music which garner a youthful audience, but does he feel the fans will grow alongside the group?
"I definitely think so. In the first album, there were songs from when we were young, so it made sense. The songs seemed to resonate with younger people. We would like to mature our sound, and that would hopefully intertwine with the fans getting older."
They've clearly figured out how to find comfort on stage, effortlessly show-casing their extensive touring experience.
Craig describes the special ability of their fans to relate their own adolescence with that of the boys' through his lyrics;
"When we go on tour, we do a lot of meeting the fans, we like to go to the merch table and we like to hear what they thought and we get to say hello," he says.
"A lot of the time what amazes me is that the songs are just stories that were specific to me as a teenager, but it’s amazing how someone can adapt the story to something that they’re going through."
From tales of fake ID's on nights out, to the turbulent relationships and friendships which parallel adolescence, The Academic paint a relatable picture of the unique energy of that time in a person's life.
It's immediately obvious when you see the band play live that they value their fans' enjoyment of music, and nerves are a thing of the past.
The band met while still in school, and began gigging once they secured their drummer Dean.
Roughly five years later, the lads are essentially pros at what they do, but touring outside of Ireland can be a game-changer for any group or musician.
"When we started and we were playing shows, you begin shy and just want to make sure that you get up and play well," the 24-year-old cites about their initial shows.
"We’ve been given so many great opportunities to go on long tours, like month long tours in the States and Europe and the UK, and I think particularly when you support so many bands over the last couple of years we’ve become so comfortable as musicians together," he added.
"Even more so than when we were just in a shed playing together. I definitely think you lose that scared feeling that you had, because you just have to get up in front of people and play."
The band have learned some valuable lessons on the road, from song-writing to making friends in high musical places, to general tips on how to command a stage. They keep one important thing in mind in particular;
"That’s one thing I think we’ve learned in the past year, is that if we’re not afraid, people won’t be afraid, and they’ll have a good time with us. When we toured with The Kooks, we just kind of watched them and loved how they were just having fun on stage and it wasn’t too serious."
"One thing that I always try to do when I go on stage, is to break down the wall and say let’s not be afraid to make a fool of ourselves."
"The whole thing is crazy, like the fact that people are staring at you playing music. They drop their barrier when they see you having fun."
Confirmed; we stared, we dropped our barrier, we had fun. Then we bought the t-shirt…
The lads give a lot of time to their fans, and are both aware and respectful of how powerful a fan's love of music can be;
"We appreciate everyone for all their weird and wacky stuff. Music makes them feel a certain way and we appreciate that no matter what it is or whatever song it was that made them attached to us."
Despite their youthful tracklist, high-energy set and the fact that they've only released their debut album this year, the lads have been penning tunes since they were in their mid-teens.
Craig reminisces on the tricks and tips of the trade which his years of the music industry has taught him;
"I’ve been writings since the age of about 15/16, and a lot of those songs are actually on the first album.I think in the beginning, so it’s five years now of song-writing experience, there’s a naivety and you’re not afraid to do anything. Then you start picking up tricks," he muses.
"The one thing I have learned now that we’ve been a band for so long, is that I always want the music to be catchy. One thing I’ve learned is that if it’s catchy, don’t be afraid of it."
For a band who are considered new to mainstream audiences, they have a level of maturity worth noting, especially when it comes to songwriting;
"That’s what people want to come and see, they want to sing along. You shouldn’t lose your innocence about song-writing, you can still think of crazy things and put them in," the vocalist says.
"The beauty is in the imagination, use it, and don’t be afraid to think outside the box. It’s very important."
When we asked Craig where he would be if The Academic was never formed, his answer remains musical, unsurprisingly.
"Maybe I would have finished college. I went to BIMM, so I would probably work in a musician’s field. Probably in the studio, that was nearly just as strong as songwriting for me. I enjoyed playing with bands too much, so I made that decision." Thank God he did, for our sakes at least.
After catching their big break after releasing Different from their first EP, radio stations took notice, and it all took off from there. The rest was indie-pop history, but do the lads ever disagree with each other?
You know us, we live for some drama…
"We’re not on the same page all the time (laughs). We usually are in sync when we know a song is good. If a song is obviously screaming out ‘Hey, I’m a good song’, we’re all on board. If there’s a more moody song or more emotional song, that’s when you can have arguments."
"We’ve always written songs together and made sure that everyone’s happy. We’d never really go ahead with a song if one member wasn’t fully happy." Creating absolute bangers and remaining diplomatic? Fair play boys.
We also wanted to know if there's a band out there that Craig would join, you know, if The Academic didn't exist of course. Which would be tragic.
"That’s a really good question, I’ve never been asked that before. We have a band on tour with us as support called Inhaler."
"The reason I enjoyed that band is that it’s so nice watching them because they’re like us four years ago. I’d love to step back to where they are now, getting support slots, heading out and being brand new again. That would be fun. Or else Fleetwood Mac would be great."
If you're wondering what 2019 will bring for the boys, it's some exciting new shows and a return to the studio to nail down some of the material written on the road.
The band will be making a big return to Iveagh Gardens in July, one year on from their concert at the famous outdoor venue, with some brand new (as yet unrecorded) music.
"What I would say we’re really excited about at the moment, is that we haven’t had any studio time in about a year. We’ve been writing songs on the road but we haven’t gotten to play them at all."
In terms of their landmark moments, their most recent gigs remain their favourites;
"I’d have to say, I think we’re all pretty blown away by the weekend we’ve just had. Two Vicar Street gigs and a headliner in Limerick, it was three in a row and every night was brilliant. It got better every time. We’re all still on a high."
The Academic have made some incredible memories in 2018, but they're just getting started.
Applegreen tweeted the snap with the message: "We had a very special ‘Friend’ drop by to Applegreen Lusk North!" Gas.
Courtney's partner Johnny McDaid plays a concert in Bangor, Co. Down tonight as part of the Snow Patrol 'Wildness' tour, and plays Malahide Castle in Dublin on June 7.
The actress, who is famed for playing Monica Geller on the hit TV show, was snapped hanging out with The Hunger Games star Woody Harrelson and X-Men actor James Marsden in Los Angeles earlier this week at Wiltern Theater where Johnny was playing a gig.
Courtney posted a picture to Instagram of herself with three famous friends on Tuesday, captioning the snap; "Great night with this lovable misfits at Snow Patrol concert."
Johnny's band are heading on a string of dates across Europe, and said that the public's obsession with his and Courtney's romance is 'bizarre'.
The couple announced their engagement in 2014, but have yet to tie the knot. He commented: “I think people are curious. I’m often approached from a perspective of people thinking they know something when they don’t.
“I think people are curious. I’m often approached from a perspective of people thinking they know something when they don’t. But often it’s just funny. I think I’ve gotten married 15 times in the last year.
“There is a missing part of that equation, I’m on tour at the moment and Courtney is in LA. So it would be really difficult for me to get married unless I do it by proxy or over Skype or something.”
He spoke to the Belfast Telegraph: “It is a bit bizarre but it comes with the territory. I expect the curiosity but I also respect my relationship and my love.”
Customers have been urged to book tickets as soon as possible to ensure their seat on the day. You can grab your shuttle tickets on the Ticketmaster website for the most convenient travel experience.
Buses will depart between 11am and 4pm from Western Way, Dublin 7 and the return service will operate directly after the event.
A discounted price of €30 for a return ticket (plus booking fee) is available up until May 26, while tickets purchased up until 3 June will cost €40 for a return ticket (plus booking fee).
For outbound journeys, it's important to book a time slot. Metallica fans also can't travel outside of their allocated time slot. Rules are Rules, ladies.
There is limited availability for this service and tickets will sell out, so we'd urge you to book right now. No tickets will be sold on the actual day of the concert, so planning ahead is key.
A Dublin Bus spokesperson expanded on the new shuttle service;
“The reality is that if you take the bus you don’t have the hassle of finding a parking space, leaving more time to enjoy the concert and then travel home safely. It is so much more convenient. Dublin Bus takes the hassle out of travelling.”
There you go, people. You've no excuse to be wandering around the castle, lost amidst your fellow drunk rock fans.
Scottish-born singer and nephew of Peter Capaldi, Lewis Capaldi, has won hearts all over the nation with his HILARIOUS social media antics and voice of a gravelly angel.
His new album, Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent, is out May 17 and features his UK Number 1 platinum-selling single Someone You Loved. It's officially the longest running number one single of the past 25 years, so he's hit the big time.
Part of the reason why he's found chart success is his campaigning on Twitter and Instagram, using absolutely gas photos of himself sporting various eccentric sunglasses and filming his strange antics.
If you haven't seen the thread of him having to unclog his toilet, you've missed out. Our personal fave is the stream of himself listening to Ariana Grande's latest album, which was set to knock his tune out of the charts.
In fact, his song made it back into the top 10, reaching number one and staying there. We're SO glad it did, because this down-to-earth chap with a love for Tinder deserves it.
There'll be a team at each venue who are expertly trained and qualified in assisting with panic, anxiety or any other concerns fans may have. Capaldi created the scheme after his own experiences with anxiety had a dramatic effect on him.
Speaking about the idea, the singer said; "I really wanted to put something in place to help those people feel comfortable and offer them support to allow them to experience the shows."
The 22-year-old's tunes have been streamed over 600,000 times, and the youngster was shortlisted for the BBC Critics Choice Award. Tickets from €37.35 are on sale now via Ticketmaster, grab yours now.
“Hi guys, just checking in with all of you who are concerned about me,” Britney said in the video, referring to her father Jamie, who she is very close with.
“My family has been going through a lot of stress and anxiety lately, so I just needed time to deal. But don’t worry, I’ll be back very soon,” she continued.
Her fans were deeply concerned about her treatment and suspected that her family had forced her to enter the facility.
Mental health has been known to play a big role in addiction as a whole. Brittany spears is a perfect example of this. She has finally understood that she cannot enter a drug rehab program without getting help with her mental health issues.
She wrote a detailed and emotional Instagram post about her dad’s health back in early January;
“A couple of months ago, my father was hospitalised and almost died. We’re all so grateful that he came out of it alive, but he still has a long road ahead of him. I had to make the difficult decision to put my full focus and energy on my family at this time.”
Britney also spoke out against her former manager, Sam Lutfi, who she claimed wrote fake emails in her name to communicate with her team; “My situation is unique, but I promise I’m doing what’s best at this moment,” she said.
“You may not know this about me, but I am strong, and stand up for what I want!” Britney continued in the social media video.
“Your love and dedication is amazing, but what I need right now is a little bit of privacy to deal with all the hard things that life is throwing my way. If you could do that, I would be forever grateful.”
We wish her well and hope her father makes a speedy and full recovery. We need Brit back to her best.
Stop the world, we're getting off. Beyoncé and Jay-Z have once again proven how iconic and culture-shaping they are by putting a painting of Queen Meghan Markle behind them, and now it's for SALE in poster format.
The Carters won the Best International Group gong at The Brit Awards over the weekend, and paid tribute to the Duchess of Sussex herself in an ode to their incredible APESH**T music video in the Louvre.
Captioning the unreal video, Beyoncé wrote;
"Thank you to the Brits for the award for Best International Group. I won this award back in 2002 with my besties, Kelly and Michelle." Destiny's Child is for life, it's not a phase, mom.
"How lucky am I to have been in a group with my other best friend, the GOAT Hova. In honour of Black History Month, we bow down to one of our Melanated Monas. Congrats on your pregnancy! We wish you so much joy," she concluded.
Well, all other artwork is now irrelevant. The Renaissance is CANCELLED. The Louvre is to be shut down, except for this one painting that precedes all others. Picasso never happened. It's only Meghan Mona Lisa that matters.
Prolific artist Tim O'Brien is the man behind the amazing painting, and has done some amazing works to represent American politics and culture.
Ariana has just broken an incredible record; Grande is the first artist since the Beatles to hold the number one album slot and Billboard Hot 100 top-three single slots at once, with 7 Rings, Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I'm Bored and Thank U, Next.
Corden rattled off the crazy statistics while Grande responded with humble graciousness and no less than 13 “sorrys,” “I’m sorrys,” and “I’m so sorrys.” It's the new "yuh".
Grande laughed along with the talk show host after the overwhelming achievements, and assured him, “I’ll take a break after this. I’ll go away for a little, I promise.”
Thank God, Corden spoke on behalf of us all when he responded with, “We don’t want you to,” but Grande was quick to reply, “I do! I’m tired of my voice.”
nonna just facetimed me and screamed “ANYTHING ELSE U WANNA DO?” my team made me this and it’s pretty so i’m posting it and also i’m so very proud and grateful for everything but i promise i’ll shut the fuck up after this. congrats team, i love u. thank u so much. pic.twitter.com/2c3upxO9lR
The 25-year-old star added that recently, “I usually don’t have anything to do …Personal life is still nonexistent,” and that she was planning on celebrating the Billboard records by going out to dinner with her mom or recording more in the studio.
The gal has an insane work ethic, and can do no wrong it would seem. 2019 is most definitely the Year of the Grande, and her tour starts in four weeks. We WISH we had tickets to see the queen perform in person.
Carry on slayin' the game Ari, we say "yuh" instead of "I'm sorry" because you should NEVER apologise for your hard-earned success. Get it, gurl.
Ms. Hill became musical from a highly young age, as well as showing a streak for community service and charity work. She acted, danced and was involved in performance art of all kinds from her formative years.
Excelling academically, she attended Columbia University in New York at the same time as joining the up-and-coming band The Fugees. As the lone female in the group, she guided them to achieve record sales.
The band became the biggest selling R&B act worldwide since Michael Jackson, and Ms. Hill then launched her solo career after releasing the commercially successful and critically acclaimed album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
The album deservedly earned her a record-breaking five Grammy awards, and she blazed the trail for female soul and R&B artists in the coming years.
The Cork gig slot comes after confirmed appearances at Nocturne Live at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire on June 21 and the Love Supreme Jazz Festival in East Sussex on July 7.
Tickets are priced from €49.90 including booking fee, and are going on sale at 8:30am this Friday, February 15 on www.ticketmaster.ie.
R&B singer R. Kelly has just announced a worldwide tour, despite the extensive abuse allegations against him going back three decades.
The world's most notorious musician's alleged predilection for engaging in sex acts with underage girls is the subject of a new documentary, Surviving R Kelly.
The series has rocked the entire world, watching the sheer scale of claims made against him over such an extended amount of time.
Kelly has consistently denied all the accusations of sexual misconduct, rape, emotional, physical and sexual abuse and holding women captive in a sex cult. He has also threatened to sue Lifetime for airing the docu-series.
The singer has an album, Trust, coming out soon and has dropped new music for his 'Day One Fans' on January 1.
Streams of his music has shockingly increased since more allegations were released to the general public, with numerous celebrities slamming his actions and treatment of black women.
R Kelly's alleged abusive treatment hasn't been a secret for the music industry; he even went on trial for child pornography back in 2001 but was acquitted of all charges despite a large amount of evidence against him.
It was also rumoured that he physically abused R&B singer Aaliyah, and it's been reported that he married her when she was just 15-years-old by forging legal documents.
Time will tell whether the tour will sell tickets, but reactions have been incredulous;
R Kelly – found not guilty with statutory rape, assault charges, child melestation… Releases banger after banger… Surviving R Kelly basically exposes everything to be true… Announces a tour… Makes my blood boil the front of this man. https://t.co/Ub3MXeAOEZ
How can you have the audacity to tour when you have held women against their will? Actually I rephrase, you have brainwashed women so they think your predator treatment is ok? Sri Lanka? S. Africa? Good luck with that tour