Category: Archive

Shave for the last dance

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Eileen Murphy

Save the last dance

Did anyone really think that the flashy blond god of Irish dancing would be content to end his career after a show in Texas? Of course not. Well, for those of you who just knew that there had to be an encore, we say, go to the head of the class. The once and future Lord of the Dance, Michael Flatley, has told friends that he’s planning a return to the stage next summer as the star of his new dance extravaganza.

Having exhaustively examined the complex theme of silvery chiffon vs. deep red velvet (that’s good and evil, to the rest of us) in “Lord of the Dance” and “Feet of Flames,” Michael will next tackle the mysteries of the seven wonders of the universe. (Yes, yes, we know his tappin’ tootsies count as numbers eight and nine, but the boy is as modest as he is filthy rich.) No word yet on how Michael plans to incorporate the stories as diverse as that of the Sphinx and, say, the hanging gardens of Babylon, but we’ve got a feeling that we’ll be seeing a lot of silver lamT sarongs, braided wigs and headbands with bejeweled asps. And who knows what the girls will be wearing . . .

Our favorite hoofer has a lot on his plate these days, what with his upcoming wedding to Dublin model Lisa Murphy, his long-delayed autobiographical movie, and his soon-to-be-released music CD. (The kid plays the flute, remember?) But he’s apparently hard at work on the new show, for which he will do all of the choreography.

Insiders report that the show will be on an even grander scale than the previous two productions, and will have seven separate premieres — one at or near each of the wonders, of course.

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But, excited as we are for Michael, we can’t help worrying about his health as he starts this ambitious new project. The guy is in his mid-40s now, and dancing — especially his signature hard-clogging style — is tough on the legs. In an interview last week, Michael mentioned that during his last tour, he’s have to soak his legs in a bath of ice water to keep them from swelling up. (And no, we weren’t going to suggest the same treatment for his head.)

Recycling, celebrity-style

Waste not, want not, we always say. It’s a lesson that Irish pop sensation Samantha Mumba obviously learned at her mammy’s knee. When she heard that Latina bombshell Jennifer Lopez was ditching her choreographer/husband Chris Judd after, oh, 15 minutes of marriage, Sam wisely snapped him up.

Don’t worry — sensible Samantha hasn’t ditched her longtime beau, ex-pop star and fellow Dubliner Mark Henderson. Her interest in Judd is purely professional. She’s hired him to appear in her next music video, which will ensure that it gets maximum exposure on MTV and some of the tabloid TV shows, since Judd’s relationship with J-Lo has catapulted him into the gossip hall of fame.

Speaking of Samantha, we hear that she’s been under strict orders not to appear in public with her sweetie. Even though they are reportedly head over heels in luuuuv, Sam’s manager, pop svengali Louis Walsh, insists that, in her public persona, she remain single and available. This is probably so that she can continue to be linked, for publicity purposes, to high-profile celebs like Eminem. But despite the publicity machine, Sam and Mark have been able to carve out some private time, jetting off to the Canary Islands and California for romantic holidays.

Bonding with the car

In a stellar example of life imitating art imitating, well, the fantasies of car-lovin’ men the world over, we hear that 007 star Pierce Brosnan has splashed out euro 200,000 on a flashy Aston Martin sportscar, identical to the one his character drives in the upcoming Bond adventure, “Die Another Day.”

The limited-edition sports coupe is a dead ringer for the one in the film, though we suspect that Pierce passed on some of the more celebrated options, like the ejector seats, the missile launcher, the automatic weapons, the tire-ripping hubcaps or the sexy blonde/brunette/redhead in the front passenger seat. Well, actually, we’d bet the farm that it was the missus, who put her foot down about that last one. We have only one question, though: where do you put the baby’s car seat?

The language of flowers

You know, when the chips are down — really down — you can count on your family to always rally around you. Just ask Noel Gallagher.

The Oasis head man was injured, along with other members of band, when their taxi collided head-on with another car in Indianapolis almost two weeks ago. Though he suffered lots of cuts, bumps and bruises from the accident and wound up in the hospital, Noel says that no one seemed to pay much attention to his pain. As proof, he says he received only one “Get Well” card to cheer him while he was enjoying repasts of green jello and watery soup. And not even one lousy flower arrived to brighten the place up. But he was philosophical about it.

“That’s what happens when you stop selling albums,” he told the crowd at the Roseland Ballroom in NYC, when the band resumed the tour.

“Not even my record company sent me a bunch of flowers,” he said.

But, hey — that’s why God invented siblings. Noel’s brother, hell-raising lead singer Liam Gallagher, unexpectedly presented his big bruv with a lovely boooo-kay, to the delight of the audience. The always-feuding brothers had declared a truce. The flowers were fresh. Vibrant. Massive. Colorful. Well-watered.

Noel was touched by the gesture, until he discovered that the flowers were bedewed with something other than Miracle Grow. Apparently, Liam had watered the flowers — himself. Thank goodness it was a bouquet, and didn’t require fertilizer.

Ronan’s ditties ‘Coaster’ on

Every generation throws its heroes up the pop charts, according to Paul Simon. Well, the proof of this is, if not in the pudding, than in the statistics compiled by the Perforning Rights Society in the UK. The group keeps track of which songs are covered most by performers in Britain and Ireland. And — hold onto your hats — the pop star who tops the list with the most songs in the top 20 is former Boyzone frontman Roonan Keating.

The blond pop singer has proved to be a popular choice with pub bands these days, with the catchy “Life is a Roller Coaster” clocking in a No. 4, “When You Say Nothing at All” at No. 10 and “When the Going Gets Tough” sneaking in at No. 11.

Actually, that last one, while a hit for the late, lamented ‘Zone, really shouldn’t count, since Boyzone themselves simply covered the Billy Ocean original. But maybe we’re just bitter because, at the time, Ronan referred to it as an “oldie” that “your mammies would know.” The little whippersnapper.

Others in the list of most-covered artists are Robbie Williams with “Rock DJ” (No. 18) and “Angels” (No. 2), and The Beatles with “I Saw You Standing There,” (No. 8). And coming in at No. 1? “Dance the Night Away” by The Mavericks.

Morton to act up a ‘Storm’ in U2 video

We certainly hope that the guys in U2 — all of whom have entered the fortysomething zone — aren’t planning to take their lead from wrinkly rockers like ‘rosmith or the Rolling Stones. Those bands have made a point of casting only pretty young models and actresses in their videos. They seem to think makes them look cutting-edge and hip, but really, it just makes them look like they’re in danger of breaking a hip.

This thought occurred to us recently when we heard that U2 has hired actress Samantha Morton to appear in the video for their new single, “Electric Storm.” The 25-year-old Morton, who starred as the main, waterlogged oracle opposite Tom Cruise and Colin Farrell in “Minority Report,” will pose in a series of “sexy and seductive scenes” in the video, according to the Sunday World. We think this is fine, as long as they cast Colin as well. Or at least, get Larry Mullen Jr. to show a little skin . . .

Only ‘real music’ for Slane

Attention, Westlife, Six, Ronan Keating and all the rest of the pop band generation: the only way you’ll get to Slane this year or any other is to buy a ticket.

Well, actually, they’ll probably get comped in, herded over to the VIP section and plied with champagne if they get within a mile of the castle walls. But they will not — repeat, not- – be invited to perform. So says the castle’s rock and roll lord, Henry Mountcharles.

“I have no time for manufactured groups at all,” he told the Sunday World recently. “What I have a lot of time for is bands that write their own songs.”

Lord Henry could be considered something of an authority on the modern music scene. For the last 21 years, he has allowed some of the biggest acts in music to play in his back garden. The list reads like a who’s who of rock: U2, Thin Lizzy, Bruce Springsteen, Robbie Williams (who cane from the boy band Take That but has managed to live it down).

“[I only want] the type of bands who have been together for years and have made their way up the ranks,” said Lord Henry. “The bands who played the gigs where only 10 or 12 punters turned up. That is real music.”

This year’s real lineup features the Stereophonics, Nickleback and Counting Crows. While they don’t have the same worldwide stature of last year’s headliners, U2, Lord Henry says it’s not fair to compare.

“After last year’s U2 doubleheader and the Ireland vs. Holland football match, it was always going to be difficult to emulate it this year,” he said. But, he says, the acts lined up for this year are “fantastic.”

“We could not believe that they all agreed,” he said. “The Stereophonics have been lined up to play for a couple of years now, but the likes of Nickleback playing is a real coup for us.”

Lord Henry might have strict standards when it comes to music, but he’s far more liberal when it comes to his circle of friends. The Westlife ban is nothing personal, he says.

“Don’t get me wrong,” he said. “I am very good friends with Louis Walsh and respect what he does a lot. But that scene is not for Slane Castle.”

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