What happens in Vegas cabs…

WelcomeToVegasNite“You goin’ around eatin’ horses out there? Aw man, that’s f*&$£d up!”  And in a flash, we stole the culinary innocence of our chatty Thursday morning cab driver in Las Vegas, who was treated to a debate about the respective virtues of horsemeat, rabbit, snails and frogs which are clearly a no-no in the Nevada desert.

It all stemmed from a lost-dog poster I noticed tacked onto a pole as we were waiting at a red light. It just so happened that the “Have you seen Spotty?” missive was tacked directly beneath a giant sign advertising cheap hot-dogs and my mouth blurted out the obvious link before my brain could check it for political correctness. Not that it matters, the opportunity was exquisite. Read more of this post


Digital Signage technology trends for 2013

Scala signage installation at a Jaguar showroom

Scala signage installation at a Jaguar showroom

This is a feature I wrote for InfoComm International in March 2013. Catch the full feature on the InfoComm website.

Like Julie Andrews’ Maria von Trapp in The Sound of Music, it can sometimes be hard to catch the digital signage world and pin it down. As industries go it’s still relatively young, so tracking global growth in terms of size and pace can be difficult. Digital signage’s defining metrics are variable and its penetration into local markets varies wildly.

A 2011 study by Global Industry Analysts estimated that the global digital signage systems market would reach $13.8 billion by 2017. Researchers said a retail boom in countries such as China, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong and India would help the lead the way. The United States is the largest regional market worldwide; Asia-Pacific the fastest-growing.

Having weathered the recession, the digital signage industry is thriving thanks in part to a number of technology trends…. 

NearFM: Delorentos, Little Green Cars, Heathers

NearFM Qu'est-ce que c'est le Craic?Calling all francophiles and lovers of Molière’s mothertongue: I recently joined French radio programme “Qu’est-ce que c’est le Craic?” on Dublin community radio NearFM to update listeners on the Irish music scene. We touched upon the success of Irish group Delorentos, who recently won the eighth Meteor Choice Music Prize, an award for the best Irish album of the year – for their third album ‘Little Sparks’. I also introduced Little Green Cars, The Sea Sessions in Bundoran and Heathers. To catch my music update, listen from 22min14 seconds on the link below. The full programme opens with a fantastic interview of newly appointed French deputy for Northern Europe Axelle Lemaire.

Francophones et Français D’Irlande: Emission du 19 fevrier – Axelle Lemaire, députée des français d’Europe du Nord nous représente depuis juin 2012 à l’Assemblée Nationale. Elle nous explique cette nouvelle fonction qu’elle est amenée à définir elle même et apporte notamment une bouffée d’air à l’Assemblée nationale en essayant d’ouvrir le débat franco français à l’international. A partir de 22min14: je presente la chronique musique: Delorentos, vainqueurs du Meteor Choice Music Prize pour leur album ‘Little Sparks’, Little Green Cars et Heathers.

Link to full programme:

Rencontre avec Axelle Lemaire, députée des Français d’Europe du nord. by Eléonore Nicolas on Mixcloud

NearFM: Lisa Hannigan, Le Galaxie

I’m running a regular music and culture slot on NearFM’s French programme, “Qu’est-ce que c’est le craic?”, literally translated as “What’s the craic?”. The programme, which runs on Wednesdays at 4pm for 30mins, is great for anyone trying to improve their French or get in touch with French culture. See below for a discussion on Lisa Hannigan, Le Galaxie and concerts running in Dublin over the bank holiday weekend. This week’s programme also covered French language speed-dating with Frenglish Dublin. After that, culture-vulture Catherine Gâteau speaks to us from Paris where she reviews Hopper’s gigantic exhibition at the Grand Palais in Paris.

Like the Facebook page and follow the show!

Avis aux amateurs de français! Francophones et francophiles à Dublin, ceux qui souhaitent se reconnecter au français, améliorer leur français ou se sentir plus chez eux à Dublin: cette émission est pour vous! L’émission française de NearFM s’appelle “Qu’est-ce que c’est le craic?” et passe tous les mercredis à 16 heures. Une rediffusion se fait le vendredi matin et elle est accessible en podcast sur le site de NearFM et sur la page Facebook de l’émission.

Présentée par Eléonore Nicolas, avec maintenant une chronique musique/culture Irlande par moi-même, découvrez l’émission complete du 24 octobre!

Extrait – chronique musique:

The writing’s on the wall – graffiti in Ireland

The Drogheda Graffiti Jam of 2012

The Drogheda Graffiti Jam of 2012

Hopping a fence and scrambling down the overgrown banks of the river Boyne by the side of a bridge in Drogheda is an unusual activity for a hazy Sunday afternoon. A cloying smell of spray paint hits about half-way down, as three young be-hoodied pups, taking it in turns to cover a side wall with colour, look up and then carry on with the task at hand.

Under the Bridge of Peace, groups of older lads are having a smoke as they contemplate their work. On both sides of the river, the gigantic internal supports of the bridge are covered in half-completed large-scale graffiti work. At the foot of the walls are dozens of cans of spraypaint; ladders and pulleys rest against the stone-work.

It’s the annual Bridge Jam in Drogheda, the biggest event in the Irish graffiti calendar. It is a highlight of the year for the Co Louth town and one of the longest-running and most reputable events in the world of international graffiti. The Jam is organised by RASK, the ‘godfather of Irish graffiti’. He had chuckled at the description a few days earlier, saying that, having recently turned 40, he was more like the grandfather of Irish graffiti.

Read more of this post

The Hot Press Interview with Conor Harrington

Conor Harrington Underbelly (Martha Cooper)

Conor Harrington Underbelly (Martha Cooper)

This fortnight’s edition of Hot Press magazine hit the stands on Wednesday, with a big interview  conducted by my good self with Irish-born and London-residing street and fine artist Conor Harrington.

It kicks off a mini-series I’m working on for the magazine about different aspects of street art, where I’ll touch base with some of the key players in the various outdoor art scenes linked to Ireland.

Sometimes dismissed as vandalism, the scene of recent years has not only produced fascinating work in its own right but also launched some remarkably successful careers.

In this issue, Conor spoke to me at length about what drives artists to brave the wrath of the law and paint illegally and how his work took him on a dark excursion into the bowels of the Paris Metro as a participant in the very rare Underbelly project.

Grab a copy of Hot Press to find out more.

Video Interview with Texas Frontwoman Sharleen Spiteri

I was thrilled to interview Sharleen Spiteri of Texas for Irish music and culture magazine Hot Press this week – a big day for me as I loved her as a teenager – and they caught it on video.

The lovely Ms Spiteri was in Dublin for the launch of this year’s Arthur’s Day celebrations, which feature Texas as a headline act.

This is what Sharleen Spiteri of Texas had to say to Monica Heck for Hot Press.

The interesting bit about this year’s line-up is that a) they’ve ditched the ticketing system and b) any artist could appear in any pub in Ireland, as people across the country vote for their local pub to be the host of one of the big names on the bill including Tinie Tempah, Ellie Goulding, Amy Macdonald, Fatboy Slim and Mika.

The winning names will be a secret until the night so nobody knows who’s about to walk through the door. And all the events are free. Voting is online until September 16.

Hot Press also interviewed Amy Macdonald at the launch.


This is my personal link to Texas, that song was so big when I was a teen it always brings me back: