Tag Archives: irish

Farewell Ealing Tweetup…

I wrote on my Computer Weekly blog here about the handover of the Ealing Tweetup to Hayden and all the other regulars at the event. It’s been a lot of fun putting these events together and seeing how the event has grown over time – it’s a shame to say goodbye, but I’m sure it’s going to continue growing because the event has a great amount of momentum behind it now.

When I could see the event getting bigger I thought about how it could easily be sponsored. Getting some free food and drinks would make it more attractive to the regulars and would help to start bringing in a bigger audience.

Of course, getting corporate sponsorship is a double-edged sword. It’s great to get free drinks, but it can be hard to keep something like a Tweetup as an informal gathering once companies start pumping money into the event. They want to know who is attending, what company attendees are from, what position they hold, and especially whether there are any people from the media in attendance – being close to the BBC and Sky in west London that’s been quite a common occurrence anyway.

But I don’t think we ever let the sponsorship take over the tweetup. People have been directed together, go and have a chat to so-and-so, but there has never been a formal name-list, name badges, list of attendees. It’s never been that kind of event and I hope it stays that way, even if it means buying a pint in future.

I’m really grateful to the companies that have sponsored the Tweetup – namely 1e and Xerox. They have all realised that to go ‘too corporate’ would ruin their involvement in the event and instead of people feeling genuine gratitude at their help in pulling together something interesting, there would have been a negative reaction at any over-controlling nature.

I hope future sponsors of this, and similar events, can also see the value in getting positive mentions online and building relationships with the blogging community. Good luck for the future tweetups in Ealing!

Introducing the Ealing Tweetup

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Ealing Tweetup has a supporter!

The green power management people with an office in Ealing, 1e, have agreed to support the next Ealing Tweetup on February 15th…!

Ealing Tweetup

1e supported the recent launch of Angelica Mari’s new book in London. Just take a look at the images here to see how much fun that party was – and the great thing is that the same band who played at the book launch will be at the next Tweetup.
Reboot book launch @ Waxy's on Dec 2 2010

Yes, it’s the Biblecode Sundays playing live in Ealing on February 15th… check out this link for more information and to sign up for your place…!

Reboot: The Book Launch on Dec 2nd @ Waxy’s

There is a great blog post here by Rod Trent of 1e that outlines the book launch planned for Angelica’s book on December 2nd in London. It’s going to be a great party and a great way to launch the new book. You can see Angelica’s video invitation here. If you are still not sure about coming then think about this:

  • The first 50 people to arrive get a free copy of the book
  • Everyone gets a free EP of music from the BibleCode Sundays
  • The BibleCode Sundays are playing live
  • We are taking over the Church bar in Waxy O’Connor’s right in the middle in London -and the bar is free thanks to 1e.
  • The food is also free thanks to JD Marketing (they do the marketing for Betfair, who feature in the book).
  • There is a £100 Amazon voucher for whoever uploads the best social content from the evening, tweet, photo, video, blog…
  • 1e are giving away goodie bags full of pens, squeezy polar bears, mints, and various other things, though the bag itself might be the most useful item to carry all the other freebies!

As if you needed any more reasons to party, me and Angelica are getting married the next morning. Yes, launching a book on Thursday and getting married on Friday… and Angelica leaves the country to move to Brazil on Sunday, so this might be your last chance to say goodbye. She will remain as an associate editor of Computer Weekly, but she is entering the realms of virtual working. So you won’t see her often back in London – or me for that matter!

Click here to go and register for the event on LinkedIn…

James Gardner, CTO of the DWP with Reboot

A movie-themed Christmas party

I know the lads who play in the BibleCode Sundays, a really good Celtic rock band from west London. They are a great band and don’t get the recognition they deserve in terms of album sales, but if you go and see them in a pub you will be blown away – and will almost certainly come away as a convert, seeking out their stuff online.

Andy Nolan plays accordian in the band and he has recently written a movie called ‘Clan London’ based on gangland London, particularly in the Irish community. I haven’t read the script, but from what I can see of Andy’s comments online it looks like West Side Story with more violence, more Guinness, and with a bit of Goodfella’s chucked in for good measure.

Andy is already casting the movie and he has a director ready to work on the project, but he is still working on more funding and distribution for the project, so he has organised a big party in Hendon, north London, on Dec 11th.

Guests include Noel ‘Razor’ Smith, world-champion boxer Steve Collins, the director of the film, Stephen Patrick Kenny, and there will be a DJ slot by Tony Lundon of Liberty X. The BibleCode Sundays are going to play a live set as well so it looks like it will be a really good evening, and should focus a bit of attention on the forthcoming movie – both Steve Collins and Razor have agreed to take parts in the film!

The party takes place at the Claddagh Ring in Hendon. Details are all online here. I’m going to be there. Let me know if you plan on coming too!

Drums

Christy Moore @ the RFH

Christy Moore played the Royal Festival Hall last night. He launched straight into a series of songs without a break before finally pausing to say hello. A request came out of the darkness and Christy initially ignored it, before stopping and telling the audience member that he played for nine years before anyone ever requested a song so he always appreciates *every* request.

He also reminded the audience that his gigs in London back in the day were not in such auspicious surroundings, it would be a bunch of musicians in a pub in Kilburn playing all night just for the beer they could drink…

Christy did all the hits and some of his more recent stuff. When he finished he announced an extra song, ‘Victor Jara’, because he had just read something in the newspaper about Thatcher and Pinochet. Christy was always political, but when he did ‘Ordinary Man’ this evening, the theatre felt charged with electricity. It could have been written about the recent financial collapse, though Christy released the song 25-years ago.

This was a great gig, but it was all over so early. A 7.30pm start with no support act meant that we were all cast off into the night before 9.30pm…

Christy Moore @ RFH

Biblecode Sundays in Ealing this weekend

London Irish super-group Biblecode Sundays are playing Ealing this weekend with a small gig on Saturday night at the Rose & Crown pub. It’s an unusual venue for a band that headlined the Shepherd’s Bush Empire shindig on St Patrick’s Day earlier this year, but one the band is looking forward to – and it’s free for punters visiting the pub.

The band is a true mix of the great and good, with music in their blood from birth. Lead singer Ronan MacManus is the son of Ross MacManus, who achieved fame with the Joe Loss orchestra. He is also the brother of Declan, better known as Elvis Costello. Andy Nolan on accordion played with Shane MacGowan and the Popes. Drummer Carlton Hunt is from ska outfit Bad Manners, and bass player, Enda Mulloy, is the son of Tom Mulloy of the legendary Mulloy brothers.

Their best-known song ‘Maybe it’s because I’m an Irish Londoner’ name-checks many of the areas around Ealing and the Uxbridge road, so it’s a return to home turf for the west London five-piece. That song soared up the charts back in March as St Patrick’s day revellers attempted to purchase enough copies online to get the Biblecodes to number one. They were defeated by Ellie Goulding fans, but still managed to make a dent on the national singles chart with a song about the Irish community in west London.

The Rose & Crown, Church Place, St Mary’s Road, Ealing, W5 4HN

Saturday 25th September, 2010
Band on stage at 8.30pm, curfew 11pm, bar closes at midnight.

Bible Code Sundays at Ealing

The Pope in Britain

I’m a Catholic because I’m half-Irish-half-English and, as my dad isn’t much of a believer, I ended up getting baptised – not that I actually go to church. My attendance record is pretty much based on weddings and funerals.

But, when I was asked if I would be interested in working with the government Cabinet Office to follow Pope Benedict around the UK during his visit, providing live commentary via Twitter and blogs, I jumped at the chance. Though I’m not a follower, the teachings of his church have permeated their way into my consciousness just because I was always surrounded by Catholics when I was growing up – and who wouldn’t want to be embedded with a head of state providing a live Twitter feed of what really happens ‘backstage’?

But it was the former Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, who invited the Pope to the UK. And Brown is no longer in office. And the current Prime Minister is either less interested in the Pope visiting, or more attuned to the scandal that will be caused by his visit. Most probably the latter as the child sex scandal furore only seems to be getting worse and the present Pope was previously in charge of handling complaints against the Vatican, and should therefore be acutely aware of the issues – and be handling them rather better.

So the regular media will continue to cover the visit, but all additional nice-to-have coverage (like a live blogger backstage) were all canned.

It’s a shame as I was looking forward to trying to offer some insights. The views of the church often rub directly against my own liberal opinions – I was working in Malta last week and I was surprised to hear that divorce is illegal there because the church won’t allow it. The Catholic church has some way to go to reach the standards considered acceptable in a modern-day society where free expression and respect for Human Rights are considered essential.

But the church has an immense history and tradition and is followed by hundreds of millions of people. I was looking forward to exploring these questions of how faith collides with modernity, but now I won’t get the chance anyway. Another thing I can blame on David Cameron.

What a shame.
Art installation, Central St Martin's