Lovely Day For a Guinness

The Pour of the Pint

250 years ago, Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000-year lease at £45 a year to rent St James’s Gate brewery in Dublin. Tomorrow, September 24th, has been designated as Arthur’s Day and will feature celebrations all around the world. Unsurprisingly, the biggest party will take place in Dublin as dozens of bands will converge on Ireland’s capital city to raise a toast to Arthur. The day begins at 17:59 with an invite-only concert at St James’s Gate itself featuring Tom Jones, Kasabian and Estelle. Four Dublin venues (Vicar St, the Academy, Tripod and Whelan’s) will put on gigs that will include Richard Hawley, Lisa Hannigan, David Gray and the Undertones. And Live at the Local sees Noah & the Whale, Mick Flannery and dozens of other acts perform at 28 Dublin pubs throughout the night. Sounds like it’s going to be a busy day. For those of you who’d like to celebrate Arthur’s Day early or in the confines of your own home, here are a few drinking songs to accompany the creamy pints of stout

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Happy Birthday, Bruce!

BruceSpringsteenTheOregonian

One of my favourite musicians, Bruce Springsteen, celebrates his 60th birthday today. I’ve been a big fan of his music ever since I bought Born in the USA on tape sometime in the late 1980s. I played it quite a lot (it didn’t have much competition back then) and it’s still one of my favourites of his. Soon after, I bought the rest of his albums on cassette, including the Live ’75-’85 box set. I’ve been to see him live in concert on two occasions and he was brilliant both times. You haven’t lived unless you’ve seen Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band in action. They’re on stage a lot longer than most bands and they play with a lot of fun, energy, and skill. Not only is he an amazing performer, but he’s also a wonderful songwriter. However, he’s been criticised for singing lots of songs about cars and girls, but that’s only half the story. I love songs like Born to Run and Thunder Road in which he creates scenes and characters that could come straight out of a movie. I also like his story songs such as The River and Highway Patrolman and other songs on the Nebraska album. Nebraska along with Darkness on the Edge of Town are my favourite Springsteen albums, even though they don’t necessarily contain his best songs. I think that he released his best work in the first half of his career and that his albums from the last twenty years, even though they contain great songs, are not among his best work

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