BANTER is a series of monthly informal discussions on pop culture stuff which has been running for two years. All events are hosted by Irish Times journalist Jim Carroll. Previous Banters have included The Sonar Festival Story, The State of Irish Radio, The Future of Print Media & The Irish Palette. Podcasts of these Banters can be downloaded below.

With so many people on in January detox & fitness mode, we've decided to run with a health infused installment of Banter for this month - The Joys Of Running featuring Ian O'Riordan, Raedi Higgins, Barry Redsetta and Banter host Jim Carroll. Full details below...



hosted by Jim Carroll

Doors 7.30 | Talks starts 8pm Sharp Adm: €5 Advance Tickets at Bodytonic Store or on the door

The Lowdown:

Look out your window and behold the sight of the Irish nation running, jogging, crawling and triathloning outside in the open air. The Irish running renaissance is one of the more welcome features of the recession as people decide to keep mind, body and soul together by putting one foot in front of the other and keeping going until they run out of breath or their shin splits or hamstrings tell them to stop.

This Banter panel rounds up everyone from 10k newbies to marathon veterans to discuss the joys (and pains) of running. Why do we do it? What do we get out of it? Where does it go from here? Will we be heading back to the gyms when we have money in our pockets again? Or is running now an addiction for life?

On the starting line: Ian O’Riordan (Irish Times and author of “Miles to Run – Promises to Keep”), Raedi Higgins (Runs Like A Girl), Barry Redsetta (Pogo, Jam the Box). Man with the stopwatch: JIm Carroll

This Banter takes place at the Twisted Pepper (Middle Abbey Street, Dublin 1) on Thursday January 19. Doors open at 7.30pm and the Banter starts at 8pm sharp. Admission is €5 or you sign up to our free invite list here before Friday 13 Jan.


Taking place on Thursday 24 February 2011, this installment of Banter saw Cici Cavanagh of Fade Street fame, Sunday Tribune TV Critic Patrick Freyne, script writer Derek O'Connor & Kite Entertainment's Darren Smith, discussing the current state of affairs with Irish television from RTE's dominance of the airwaves and the new frontier of irish made shows in the current climate. Check out the podcast here:

Well Done Steak: Irish Food In 2011 & Beyond took place on Thursday 27th January in The Twisted Pepper with Elaine Murphy (The Winding Stair), freelance food & wine writer Aoife Carrigy & David & Darragh of The Happy Pear joining maitre d' Jim Carroll to gab about the current state of Irish food in 2011. Podcast and photos in the oven as we speak...

"We Are Where We Are, So What's Next? Reviewing 2010, Previewing 2011"

Taking place on Wednesday 15 December 2010, this installment of Banter saw Gerry Godley (Improvised Music Company/Lyric FM), Sophie Gorman (Irish Independant Arts Editor), Richard Seabrooke (Offset Festival) reflecting of their various fortunes in 2010 and where they think we're headed in 2011. Check out the podcast below:

Banter 16: Publishing 2020 took place on Wednesday November 24th 2010 and saw Hugh Linehan (Online editor irishtimes.com), John Ryan (Broadsheet.ie and formerly of Blogorrah.com, New York Dog and dozens of other titles), Michael McDermott (Le Cool Dublin) and Blathnaid Healy (RTE), chatting with Jim Carroll about the changing face of media and the new frontier with the advent of the internet and various technologies changing the rules in the present day industry. Check out the podcast below


As part of the venue's Beatyard weekender, War Stories: Tall Tales from The Battlefields of Irish Clubland saw three likely lads Billy Scurry, Shane Johnson (Fish Go Deep) and Tiddlerz providing a no-holds-barred look at what the hell really went on back in the day when the strobe lights were flashing. Podcast to come once the legal eagles have finished with it.

Septembers Banter saw a return to the newly refurbished Mezz room in the Twisted Pepper with the focus being on the do's, dont's and how to's of running a festival in Ireland. It featured speakers Cillian Stewart or Castlepalooza fame & Paul Brown of the Earagail Arts Festival, waxing lyrical with Banter impresario Jim Carroll dictating proceedings.

July’s Banter saw us taking a trip to Letterkenny for the Earagail Arts Festival and a discussion titled 'Outstanding In Their Own Fields - Where The Irish Music Festival Goes From Here'

Over the last decade, the Irish gig-going community have demonstrated a huge appetite for summer music festivals. The attention paid every year to the Big Two (Oxegen and Electric Picnic), the number of standalone gigs for superstar acts (Lenny Cohen isn't coming back to Ireland for the third summer in a row because he likes the full Irish breakfast) and the rise of a new breed of micro-festivals like Castlepalooza, Indiependence and Glasgowbury is testimony to our fondness for letting our hair down in big fields up and down the country.

But will the current recession mean an end to this love affair? Has festival fatigue set in as the same old bands dominate the line-ups? Do punters want something more than just the communal good times in a wet Irish field? Has the rise in popularity of trips to foreign events like Glastonbury and Primerva lessened the appeal of the homegrown bash? And will we still be giving out about the kids at Oxegen and the price of Electric Picnic tickets in five years time?

On the panel: Paul McLoone (Today FM, The Undertones), Una Mullally (Sunday Tribune, TG4's Ceol Ar An Imeall), Declan Forde (POD Concerts and Electric Picnic booker) and panel chairman Jim Carroll.

For June's Banter we welcomed extra special guest Andy Votel, founder of Twisted Nerve & Finders Keepers records, to chat about his life in the music scene thus far. This took in his experiences in Manchester in the 90s as a remixed and artist for Grand Central and brushes with the likes of Texas and obsession with obscure foreign folk oddities. Check the recording out below...

March's Banter sessions took place on Saturday March 13th as part of the Beatyard and once again featured Richard Brophy stepping into Jim's shoes.

For the first talk, Richard delved into the raging storm surrounding the sudden growth of the Headshop industry in Ireland and the surrounding media furore. Joining him was a member of the local drug trade, who discussed the impact its had, the risks and the balanced point of view from a society beyond tabloid headlines.

The Donnacha Costello Story

For the second, Richard spoke to probably Irelands most celebrated and successful exponent of dance music, Donnacha Costello about his music, the influence of the likes of Steve Reich on his work & more.

February's Banter featured local journalist and writer Richard Brophy stepping in for Jim Carroll, who was away. The talks featured local promoters Come As Soon As You Hear discussing the merits of creative clubbing, the benefits of emphasising performance, unique ideas and the art of transforming a space and the various groups bubbling under in this niche of the Dublin scene.

The Lerosa Story

For the second hour, Richard spoke to local Italian expat and heralded producer Lerosa. This talk took in his releases on labels like Ostgut, the benefits of using hardware in the studio and his experiences as a foreigner in the small underground Dublin House and Techno scene.

The All-City Story with Olan O'Brien

Nearly ten on years from opening its doors in Dublin's Temple Bar and having operated out of four different buildings on the same street, All City's Olan O'Brien charts the trials, tribulations and triumphs of Dublin's only dedicated hip-hop and graff supplies store. Plus he talks about how the shop's label has evolved to the stage where its "7 x 7" release with cuts by HudMo, Mike Slott, Onra and friends was one of the must-have compilations of '09 for beats heads worldwide.

In Bloom: Irish Bands Now

2fm DJ Jenny Huston's new book In Bloom - Irish Bands Now tracks the current state of Irish rock with profiles of many of the leading players on the scene. However, just how healthy is Irish rock at present? Is it the same as it was in the 1980s and the 1990s? Are all these bands just hometown heroes with little chance of doing anything beyond Ireland? An assessment of the current state of Irish rock music with Jenny Huston and Nick Kelly (Irish Independent)

Gigging for a living

Peter Symes from Skinny Wolves on the who, what, how, where and when of promoting shows and running a record label

How to run a weekly clubnight

Is this really the hardest gig in showbiz? Dave Parle from Antics and Giles Armstrong from Electric Shock tell all

The Choice Cuts story

Interview with Choice Cuts¹ founder Mark Murphy

Review of the Decade

A rocket-powered blast through 10 years of pop culture - which will probably cover all you needed to know about the last 10 years but couldn¹t fit on a Tweet - with Richie 'Jape' Egan, Nadine 'Sunday Business Post/Phantom FM' O'Regan and Bodytonic's Trevor 'Tayor' O¹Shea.

90s vs 00s

A head-to-head with Dublin techno kingpins Francois (repesenting the 1990s) and Sunil Sharpe (repping the 00s) about which decade produced the most thrilling sounds and nights out in the capital city. The rumble in the Dubland jungle! The thrilla on Middle Abbey Street! The no-holds-barred heavyweight bout of the season! In conjunction with the Dublin Electronic Arts Festival (DEAF)

Meet the new media cats

Niall Byrne (Nialler9 blog, State magazine and the Irish Independent¹s Day & Night magazine) and Una Mullally (UnaRocks, the Sunday Tribune and Soundcheck) poke around in the Venn diagram between blogs, Twitter and the established media. In conjunction with Hard Working Class Heroes/

2019 AC: After Copyright

A keynote discussion with Anna Troberg, the Vice Chairman of the Swedish Pirate Party, who received 7.1% of the vote in the recent European elections in Sweden and secured the party its first seat in the European Parliament. A lively discussion from first principles about how the creative landscape might look 10 years hence, addressing the hot button topic of the hour. In conjunction with the Darklight festival.

Final Scratch Me Arse

Two pioneers of Irish clubland, Tonie Walsh and Paul Webb, shoot the breeze about the very early days of Irish clubland.

The A to Z of DIY

Dylan Haskins (Hideaway House, Exchange Dublin) and Niall McGurk (Hope Promotions) discuss alternative all-age gig spaces in Ireland and the politics of doing gigs in gaffs, church halls and community centres. The discussion was preceded by a screening of Roll Up Your Sleeves, Dylan¹s documenary about DIY culture and alternative ways of organising, working and thinking which is now out on DVD.

The state of Irish music radio - past, present and future

Paul McLoone (Today FM) and The Golden Maverick (Power FM) are the talking heads as we put Irish radio under the microscope.