The First Irish Gay Song

The Radiators photographed in the Dublin docklands in 1989. L-R Pete Holidai, Mark Megaray, Philip Chevron and Jimmy Crashe.

The Radiators photographed in the Dublin docklands in 1989. L-R Pete Holidai, Mark Megaray, Philip Chevron and Jimmy Crashe.

“Under Clery’s Clock” was Ireland’s first openly gay-themed song. It was written by Philip Chevron, the lead singer and guitarist with Ireland’s greatest unsung punk band, The Radiators from Space.

I loved their album “Ghostown”, but only got to see them play once before they broke up in 1981 and Philip moved to London, later joining the Pogues. They reformed briefly in the late ‘80’s to play an Aids benefit in Dublin (I was there) and to record the song. Steve Averill* (a.k.a Steve Rapid - the band’s original singer, and the first person ever to hire me as a photographer) was designing the single cover and we found a crumbling warehouse down the docks for a location. Though I’d worked with many bands by then, I was particularly thrilled to be shooting the Radiators.

Cover shot for the re-issue of “Ghostown”. You can see the rain in the background.

“Under Clery’s Clock”, described as “an exquisitely haunting lament about two teenage boys who arrange a rendezvous under the Dublin landmark of the title” was a coming out for Philip as well. Sadly he died in 2013, but I think part of his spirit will be back on the Dublin streets later today as the biggest ever Pride march passes Clery’s clock on O’Connell Street.

*Steve is currently posting a great series of pictures and stories of the early Dublin rock scene on his Instagram.

RIOT!

RIOT is a truly amazing show, filled with hope, love and revolution. I’ve seen it twice, and if I was in Ireland this week I’d go and see it again. The show has been on a sell-out world tour and is back to do a short run as part of the Dublin Dance Festival - get a ticket while you still can (available here).

It was a lot of fun doing these promo shots in Hang Dai, Dublin. Poster design, art direction, digital alchemy and general Pantification by the ridiculously talented Niall Sweeney.

You can see more of my pictures of performers in this gallery.

I'm a creep

When I first met the wonderful Helen Sloan, she told me that all photographers are creeps. I was a bit taken aback, but she’s right - photographers want to see without being seen, to capture things that wouldn’t necessarily happen if people were aware that we’re there, quietly shooting away. Just as when this sleeping man caught my eye at Le 104 the other day, though I was quickly outcreeped by his girlfriend Agathe, who snuck in for a close-up. She’s also a photographer, of course.

The puppeteer of Notre Dame

Irma and Pascal photographed in Paris, November 2017.

Irma and Pascal photographed in Paris, November 2017.

Pascal and Irma Delamaire were friends of my mothers for many years, although I only met them for the first time shortly after I moved to Paris in 2017. Pascal and I quickly discovered that we’d much in common, including that earlier in life we’d both been puppeteers. My fledgling puppetry career was over before I left my teens, but he’d gone on to perform for many years, ending up on the best pitch in Paris – performing classical puppetry from inside a booth directly opposite Notre Dame.  When he looked up during the show, all he could see beyond the puppets in his hands was the two bell towers of Notre Dame, and it gave him a great sense of connection with all the other puppeteers who’d performed in the same spot, with the exact same view, for hundreds and hundreds of years. I love that.

30 Hours in Dublin

A quick visit, but I was able to see something I often pine for when I’m in Paris.

I also got to pick up the Irish edition of Nicole Flattery’s new book, which I’m really looking forward to reading. Nicole is a brilliant, seriously funny writer. I met her shortly after arriving in Paris, and we did some portraits in the Centre Culturel Irlandais that have become her author pictures.

There’s another portrait of her in the ‘Writers’ gallery which is being used as the author picture in the UK edition of the book. It’s out today - highly recommended.

Behind the scenes with the Gloaming

After shooting the Gloaming ahead of their show in the beautiful Théâtre de l'Athéné, I stayed on to get some informal portraits during the rehearsal.

The Gloaming, Théâtre de l'Athéné, Paris.

The Gloaming, Théâtre de l'Athéné, Paris.

Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh.

Iarla Ó Lionáird.

Iarla Ó Lionáird.

Thomas Bartlett, aka Doveman.

Thomas Bartlett, aka Doveman.

Caoimhín’s socks.

Caoimhín’s socks.