met Ding Dong Denny O'Reilly, who has fallen foul of a bishop.
- me head!! Ding Dong Denny O' Reilly isn't feeling the best. Or looking
it, either. Sitting in the corner of a Temple Bar Pub, dressed in his
trademark vomit - encrusted shirt, filthy slacks and slip on white shoes,
the Hairy Bowsies' front - man downs another pint, belches loudly and
contemplates the day he's had so far.
been the best, mainly because he was forced to rise at an unearthly
hour to go on the Gerry Ryan Show and defend himself against the wrath
of Michael Cox, a Tridentine bishop who claims to have put a curse on
both Gay Byrne and Ding Dong following a controversial Hairy Bowsies
performance of a blasphemous song about confession on the Late Late
Show ( The story made the cover of the News of the World). Still, for
a man with a religious curse hanging over his head, he doesn't seem
overly concerned. In fact, he's somewhat surprised at the bishop's reaction
to his song - a charming little ditty listing a variety of sins which
he allegedly confessed to a priest in his youth (his offences included
spitting on a baby, puking on a nun and attending Mass in his mother's
"Personally, the way I seen it was it was just a true life thing"
he explains in his Dublin hard man accent. "I just was commenting on
a particular incident when I went to confession and told all dem sins.
He seemed to be horrified by de sins - sure, I'm horrified myself. But
sure, what'd be the f**kin' use of being a Catholic if you couldn't
commit a few sins? Of course, it's not surprising that the bishop isn't
a fan. The Hairy Bowsies aren't exactly everybody's cup of tea. An unreconstructed
trad band with a mission to re - establish the true Irish values of
' puking' fighting, drinking, spitting, hating the Brits and incest'
they've arrived on the Irish music scene with a n impact like no group
Born and bred in Inchicore, Ding Dong is Dublin to the
core. "I'm as Dublin as coddle, stout and being held up by a syringe"
Following a youth spent in and out of detention centres
and reformatories, Ding Dong came to music after a prolonged spell in
a Northern prison for 'asserting my belief in national self - determination'.
He founded the Hairy Bowsies last year with his drinking buddy Scribbler
O' Donoghue. " a true Irish intellectual who, like me is more interested
in 'The Cause than the Corrs".
Fusing elements of Irish history with
a lyricism reminiscent of our greatest balladeers, the Hairy Bowsies
see themselves as true patriots, cultural commentators on the real Ireland.
Tracks like The Crack We Had the Day We Died for Ireland, My Heart is
so Full, You'd Swear I had Tits and their poetic and heart - rending
account of the Great Famine, the Potatoes Aren't looking the Best have
been winning the hearts and minds of audiences all around the country
over the past few months(as well as offending the odd bishop).
Dong sees this as confirmation of his status as a true Irish Artist.
"I'm an artist and a rebel", he declares, rubbing the scar that runs
from his left eye to the side of his mouth. "I'm under the same kind
of torment as the likes of James Joyce and Beckett and all dem shams.
I'm not saying I'm de same as dem, like. I'd have to say dat if I was
Beckett I would've arranged to meet Godot in a boozer, ye know what
I mean? I think that was a bit of a mistake - there would've been a
bit more crack in the play.
Ding Dong Denny O' Reilly plays Midnight @ The Olympia on Friday 28th April, Friday 16th of June and Friday 28th July.