Monday, July 31, 2006

For the Love of God

... and his sweet mother Mary, and all the saints in heaven, in the name of all that is holy.... who is it in RTE that has such a death wish on Brian Kennedy's career? What did the cherub son of Belfast do the deserve such a fate?

Those of us who saw Brian at his brilliant best in the early 90's at the Jazz Cafe in London singing Sam Brown numbers, know what a genius he is. He'd the voice of an angel. It was like the most expensive and luxurious chocolate indulgently melting down your throat. He was a master with a microphone taking us to musical heights with his fabulous talent. And a showman too, managing to keep the pathetic girlie groups teased, whilst nodding to those women in the audience who appreciated great soul music and any of their boyfriends who were unsure of their sexuality.

Alas, my boyfriend of the time was all to sure of his sexual needs and his ever insistent requests that we get my best friend involved in a bedroom experiment, forced me to have a very public breakup with him (the boyfriend not Brian) in the foyer of the aforementioned establishment. But he did have the decency to fuck off home leaving Brian's gentle renditions to soothe the badly bruised blankpaige. Was it any wonder that he captured my heart? On the train back to Morden, I realised that Brian was so right, in this town you listen with your eyes.

I have to confess, I was selfishly pleased that Brian never had the commercial success that he so richly deserved. While the rest of the country had Ritchie Kavanagh's 'Aon focail eile', Brian was a secret only a few hundred of us shared. Backing vocals for Van Morrison meant that he was only ever going to be heard by people who prefer poetry to music and clearly didn't value the ability to sing in key.

I worried when I heard about the River Dance gig, but again consoled myself that only Foster & Allen fans would get to hear his fabulous voice. Brian would still be mine. I'd be one of the few people who actually appreciated his talents. I've never liked football that much, but George Best's funeral concerned me more than a little for showed the world what we privileged few knew. East Ulster folk are nice but incredibly dour people and Brian Kennedy can make you cry.

So enter that homophobic, music hating RTE executive who decided it would be really cool to have our Brian sit on a big rock somewhere gazing misty eyed out to the Atlantic and crooning a series of 'come-all-yea's of the worst possible kind. Imagine the cheek of it, putting our angel on a Sunday evening graveyard slot! Then there was the Eurovision debacle, where we heaped more ridicule on the only talented male singer still living in the country. We all know RTE don't want to win the feckin' thing but that's still no excuse for reducing Kennedy to a performing poodle in a talent show held in small rural town with 20 years of aural in-breeding.

It was only through judicious avoidance of certain television stations and newspapers that Blankpaige escaped the whole ordeal relatively unscathed. But flopping in front of the tv tonight with a basket load of ironing, I wasn't prepared for the cruel Kennedy karaoke that I witnessed. Car crash television of the worst possible kind. Didn't Brian Cullen not promise to end this sort of senseless waste? A girl is suppose to be wearing her sexiest undies and have her hair perfectly coiffured before any spontaneous meeting with Brian. She's not suppose to be sitting in a paint-splattered track suit, with no makeup on and stuffing a golden grain biscuit down her hole.

Tonight I witnessed the saddest sight on television and Brian made me cry again for all the wrong reasons.


Anonymous annette said...

Oh well said...I can't believed he's accepted the mantle of Daniel O'Donnell - I've been to all of his gigs except the last one in the Olympia - I couldn't bring myself to see him reduced to that schmaltz.

It must be paying though...and I can't imaging Germaine Greer talking to him about is mammy!

9:05 a.m., July 31, 2006  
Blogger Omaniblog said...

What a fine piece of writing. I didn't see the programme, didn't even know it was coming.

But it must have been better than the "Silent Witness" I watched last night. Even seen Sam Burton (I think that was her character's name.) in the first series of "Silent Witness"? I used to love her. Now it's changed into a completely different thing, much more 'edgy' and boring.

I saw Brian being interviewed on UTV and got the impression that he was thinking of trying to become a bigger star, to catch up on unrealised potential. Maybe that drive lies behind his descent to schmaltz?

11:04 a.m., July 31, 2006  
Blogger Twenty Major said...

You're also overlooking his woeful attempts at writing a novel.

The man is twee with a capital TWEE.

2:28 p.m., July 31, 2006  
Blogger Paige A Harrison said...

As you are a recognised master of prose across Blogosphere, Twenty, I'll take your word that Brian's prose were TWEE. Have you read both of his novels? Could you guide me to a better exploration of the trials and tribulations of coming out?

4:22 p.m., July 31, 2006  
Blogger Twenty Major said...


1 - I'm coming out by Diana Ross.

It just can't be beat.

10:34 p.m., July 31, 2006  
Blogger parnellpr said...

Homophobic? Is he gay then?

He is a honey whatever ...


1:16 a.m., August 01, 2006  
Blogger Paige A Harrison said...

I can't believe no-one corrected my obvious mistake! I meant of course Sam Cooke and Jackson Browne not Sam Brown. (Musically, there is a difference!) I really should learn to read as well as type.

Twenty Major - Blackrock Public Library, here I come.

Pippa, indeed he is and a talented one at that. That's why this descent into schmaltz is so unnecessary.

10:14 a.m., August 01, 2006  
Blogger Curly K said...

It is indeed worrying to see the way poor old Brian is taking the Daniel O'Donnell slots etc. I'm with you, bring back the days when only a few of us really knew about him and admired him.

11:45 a.m., August 01, 2006  
Blogger Omaniblog said...

So what are we going to do about it? He must have an agent to whom we can draw attention to Blankpaige. For all we know there may be a raging debate going on among his closest advisers, and this blog may be just what's needed to tip things in the right direction.

How about a list of great artists who lost their way after a great start...

Please someone start that list. (I bet Sinead would be worth consulting.)

1:05 p.m., August 01, 2006  

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