Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My interview with Extratime.ie

Very good website on all things eircom league. Joe Sexton interviewed me last week on all things Cork City and it can be found here! Check his blog at http://eejitry.blogspot.com/ Alan Smith, another Cork writer also does a good bit for extratime.ie, it's a very good website for keeping up with all the news on the Eircom league.


Extratime with ... DJ Stevie G

By Joseph Sexton

Red FM presenter and club DJ Stevie G is a well-known figure on Leeside. Known as the Godfather of the Cork hip-hop scene after his long residency in Sir Henry’s, Stevie has been very active in recent years, organising musical workshops for youngsters and supporting the music community. Although famous for his support of Manchester United, Ste-vie is a fixture in the stands at Turner’s Cross for Cork City’s home games. ExtraTime.ie caught up with him last week to talk about City’s past and present, as well as its future prospects.

Q: How long have you been going to see Cork City?

Well, I’m old enough to remember the first couple of games. I would have been 8 or 9 back then. Now at that time there hadn’t been any team in Cork for a while. We’d all heard about the heyday at Flower Lodge back in the 70’s, but already by that stage I was already a big [Manchester] United fan. I always loved my soccer, and I went down to the games a lot during the 80’s. Of course it’s a big thing these days, it’s almost as if it has to be one thing or the other when it comes to following the national League or English football, but we never saw it like that. If anything, the two were complementary. I’d follow the Cork hurling and football teams, as well as the national team, and I went to a lot of games in 80’s. Like a lot of people, I found my interest waned during the Bishopstown era, but I still went to games regularly enough. Work commitments have got in the way at times, but for the last few years now I’ve been able to get down to see every home game. I’ll never claim to be a die-hard City fan, of course, but I’ve always followed the club’s progress throughout the years.

Q: Can you remember the first game you went to?

I can’t remember because I was so young at the time. I can remember there being a great buzz around the Lodge back around 1983, when Cobh had a good cup run. But my first City memory would be a cup game against Derry. The exact year escapes me, but I can remember it being a huge thing at the time. They brought a massive crowd down with them, as they always do. The game looked to be petering out towards the end, and then City nicked a goal in the last few minutes. I’ll never forget it. It could be nostalgia, but I remember it being absolutely packed down there that day- maybe more than 10,000. It was madness; people were already leaving, and they had to rush back in. That would be my first real memory anyway.

Q: Who would be your favourite City player over the years?

I’ve always liked strikers, so I’d have to mention Pat Morley. Everyone remembers Dave Barry of course; he was a great player over the years, pulling the strings from mid-field. I’d have a lot of time for John Caulfield too, another good, honest forward. Of course, there have been some great defenders down through the years, but I’d always be inclined to go for the front men, or those in the middle.

Q: And what about the current City team? Who would be your favourite?

These days it’s hard because you get attached to players, and then they’re gone. I thought Mooney was unbelievable in the short time he was at the club, but for me it’s got to be Joe Gamble. He’s got great energy levels. It’s great to see Colin Healy playing here too, but for me Joe Gamble epitomises the last few years. I know he was close to leaving recently, but he’s been here now for a while and I hope he stays put as the team rebuild.

Q. What would be the highlight for you in the history of Cork City FC to date?

Obviously, there’s the Bayern Munich home game [UEFA Cup in 1991], and the away game too. Galatasaray also [1993]; being a United fan as well, United ended up losing to them just weeks later. City ran them close, and could have gone through, and that was great. You only have to look at what those Galatasaray players went on to do in later years. Then we had those great Euro runs in recent years, but for me it’s got to be winning the league in 1993 and 2005. I know they’ve won a couple of cups, but I just don’t find it to be the same thing. Winning leagues is the ultimate test for any side, so I’d have to go with those.

Q. What are your thoughts on the present uncertainty surrounding the club?

It’s unfortunate, but there’s so much good feeling towards the club. Of course, there is a fantastic hardcore support, but we do need bring in the wider public in Cork. I know there’s a huge ‘barstool’ thing; people go on about the bandwagon, and I know some people don’t want them. I can understand that. If you look at Munster, they were getting really low crowds even just a couple of year’s back, despite reaching European finals. We’ve seen situations with very low numbers heading up to follow the football side in All Ireland semi-finals, and then everyone’s looking for a ticket when they make the final. Even hurling, the real top dog for support, isn’t immune to this. City will have to look to draw in part of this element to grow. It’s important to keep the community thing going, and the hardcore is already there. Even through the last few months, the attendance has remained solidly above 3,000 a game.

I think the raw materials are there. With a bit more acumen, with a bit more support from the business community and some stability, the club can come through and improve in the future. The supporters trust is a massive thing; it’s great to see the fans pulling together. Maybe the club will end up following the Barcelona model, maybe not; but I don’t see the club going to the wall. Rumour has it that there are one or two people with muscle and ability looking to step in too, and I’d welcome that. These people apparently welcome the idea of getting [supporters trust] FORAS on board, which would be great. I’m sure it will all work out one way or another. Let’s not forget the mess Ramblers are in though- I think the FAI and the league have got to look after things a bit better but it can be done.

Q. Finally Stevie, what does Cork City mean to you?

It’s our local team. It’s the community. As I’ve said, the way it happened for me by the time Cork City came along, I’d already been crying when [Manchester] United lost. There was no City, there was hurling and football, and the stories of the great days of Cork soccer in the 1970s, Miah Dennehy and the like. So while I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t already formed the allegiance to United in my formative years, I’ve never had time for the whole barstooling thing. I can’t watch games in pubs myself, it does my head in. But what City means to me is the local banter. I’ve travelled to Old Trafford for years, but when it’s in your own town it’s just that extra bit special. You can’t beat that. We’re a sporting town, and it’s soccer right in the middle of town. Turner’s Cross is the place to be, I don’t think it was ever going to work in Bishopstown. It’s about local soccer, and the players we’ve seen especially in the last couple of years, but even going right back.

There are ignorant people out there who’ll say, ‘oh, I went there and the quality was crap’, but it’s not a bit like that. There’s better quality than a lot of top level soccer, all these hyped-up games on Sky and internationals; games with teams dogging it out for 120 minutes to get to penalties. Most teams in the league play good football now. Sure, there were times back in the day where there was a bit of hoofing, but sometimes you’ve got to hoof it too! But there’s quality football down there and a good vibe and I would encourage anyone to try it out. It’s fantastic. The Friday night thing is great also. For me it means that even with work I can make it down. It’s the perfect way to kick off the weekend. But most of all it’s about going down and getting behind your local team.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Norman Whitfield R.I.P.

Another great songwriter and producer passes on. One of the central figures behind Motown, the man is a musical God. I'll be paying tribute on my Black on Red show on Saturday on Cork's RedFM

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Impressionists and PPP at the Pavilion, and the final Jam Junior

Both at the Pavilion!

One of the most exciting acts in modern day hip-hop and soul played in Cork on Saturday at the Pavilion. The Platinum Pied Pipers are now known simply as PPP and they have been causing quite a stir with some quality music that blurs the boundaries between hip-hop, soul, techno, funk and jazz.
Those who are already aware of PPP will not have been suprised at their brilliance, but for those who didn't make it, their sound is best described as future soul. They have already collaborated with the likes of Dwele, Sa-Ra, Ta’ Raach, Dilla and Tiombe Lockhart, and if you are aware of any of these guys you will be have some sense of the PPP vibe. Fans of their peers, such as Erykah Badu, Estelle, John Legend, Cee-Lo and more would also have enjoyed this and PPP producers Waajeed and Saadiq have regularly worked with all of these artists.
Their first album “Triple P” is a modern day classic, and it featured everything from bumping hip-hop with Dilla and to underground soul with Tiombe Lockhart. PPP are much more than this though, and their cover of Paul Simon’s “50 Ways to Leave your Lover” hinted at an even greater diversity; one which new album “Abundance” seems set to explore even further. The first tracks released from the new album have an almost Motown and classic soul feel, but with PPP you can always be guaranteed that the sounds will be fresh and innovative aswell as funky. Waajeed and Saadiq joined me first on Black on Red for a chat and then the whole crew tore it up later on at the Pavilion. Karma and Koltrane were great on vocals and with extra live drums too this was a show that will live long in the memory. You couldn't meet nicer people, i'm proud to have had these guys in our club and on my show!
One of Corks best young music hopes kicked off their monthly residency at Jam in the same venue last Friday. The Impressionists have got even better since their Blastbeat battle of the bands win a few years ago and they are now a real force to be reckoned with as live performers. They have a new EP about to drop and they previewed some of these tracks by playing a blistering set.
As one of the many acts who played Jam Junior through the years I am particularly proud of the Impressionists, and I would like to take the time out to thank out all of the performers and indeed crowds who made Jam Junior such a success over the last few years. We had our last ever Jam Junior at the Savoy last week but the over 18’s Jam will continue every Friday at the Pavilion. At both the Savoy in Cork and the Boiler-room in Clon we had some great nights and everyone from Suzi K and Ian Ring to all of the rappers deserve great credit for helping making it so good. There are too many DJ’s and rappers to mention here now, but thanks to everyone for the memories. I've included some pics of the last one, with guests such as Gio and Bony plus many more! If i get time in the future i'll put together a proper tribute to Jam Junior.
When we started all those years ago, there were no proper teenage discos in Cork. The kids were ushered in and rushed out of venues such as Sir Henry's, where i used get annoyed about the fact that young people were treated like crap at teen discos. I loved all my years at Sir Henry's but when i moved to the Savoy I was determined to do teenage gigs properly. I didn't want it to be a take the money and run gig. Graffiti, Breakdancing, rapping and more are now part of almost every teenage show, and Jam Junior pioneered this in this country and set the trend. Now that others have caught up and now that many discos use this formula, there is not as much need for Jam Junior, but for so many people it will be remembered fondly.
In particular I was proud to have Bony performing on the final ever show, as many years ago as a 13 or 14 year old he alongside his then band member Jaae did their first ever gig there, and after becoming one of the most popular Cork rappers he has now become immersed in youth culture activity himself, and nurtures young talent at various workshops and youth centres around Cork. Out of all the great shows and performances over the years at Jam Junior, watching the likes of Bony putting his knowledge and experience to such good use makes me happier than anything. The youngsters he works with look up to him the way many of the young rappers and DJ's used look up to me when they first did gigs with us. The torch has been passed on and the music is in good hands. I'll still be doing other youth culture activities and workshops but it was time to move on from the big huge teen gigs at the Savoy. Jam Junior is now gone, but the Jam is far from over. This is only the beginning...........

This article was adapted from last weeks Downtown in the Echo

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Tuesday tune of the day

Brand new Platinum Pied Pipers!

Touching down in Cork on Saturday aswell!

Yo this is my blog that's updated pretty much every day before 1pm Irish time

Hope you enjoy!

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    About Me

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    I'm a DJ from Cork in Ireland. I work with RedFM, presenting Red Drive, The Hitlist and my specialist show, Black on Red. I'm probably best known for being one of the main hip-hop/soul DJ's in Cork and Ireland. I've been DJing in Cork since the early 90's in legendary clubnights such as Sweat in Sir Henrys, Mor Disco, Free La Funk, Yo Latino and also Jam and Jam Junior at the Savoy and the Pavilion. I've also held down long term residencies at clubs around Ireland such as Brown Sugar at the Kitchen in Dublin, U-Turn at Ri Ra in Dublin, Jazz Juice at the GPO in Galway, Thompson Garage in Belfast, the Soul Clinic, Dee-Bop, Meltdown and Mo Bounce in Limerick and i've played abroad in the United States and the U.K. on numerous occasions. I also write a music column for the Evening Echo and i'm a regular contributor to the U.K.'s Blues and Soul, the longest running black music magazine in the world. These days i run the Pavilion, a music venue in Cork, which hosts my Jam night every few Fridays http://www.pavilioncork.com also you can catch me at http://djstevieg.podomatic.com