24 May 2022

MY DUNDALK LIFE: 'Describe Dundalk people? Mad as brushes'

Jinx Lennon

MY DUNDALK LIFE: 'Describe Dundalk people?  Mad as brushes'

Dundalk's punk poet Jinx Lennon

Dundalk punk poet Jinx Lennon has been challenging norms since the 1980’s. He is an artist whose unique wit shines through in his music

What’s your favourite thing about Dundalk?
My favorite thing is bringing the town with me where I travel through my performance, and my way of seeing things. No one can take that away from me.

What would your perfect day in the local area be — and why?
I don’t do perfect days. I like sitting up the woods playing guitar, walking down the railway line, spinning about the peninsula with my family.

What would you like to change about Dundalk?

There’s a great working class spirit in town, but the energy goes mainly into football.
The next Joyce is probably drinking and betting in Bridge Street, but would have no inclination to put pen to paper, ‘cos there’s a “know your place” attitude to the arts for working class folk, compared to cities like Manchester, and I do feel that in Dundalk art is seen as the playground of the ‘high brow’ and that’s a shame because there’s great potential here.
I’d like to hear more Dundalk accents in local music.
David Keenan, The Gakk, Pete Johnson, Jim Johnson are a few that get the Dundalk accent out. We could do with a dozen more.

What annoys you about the town?
The monoculture of football is a bit claustrophobic. You’d swear there’s nothing else, but...... the lack of a proper accident and emergency in our local hospital, for such a big town is a big concern to people here.
The fact that the DKIT is miles away from town, means the student population from outside town don’t really mingle with the locality, as they’ve got off-licences and Supervalu nearby, and its easier to hop on a bus to Dublin instead of walking into Dundalk.

What plans do you have for the rest of year?
My wife Sophie is expecting our baby at the end of august so it’ll be hands on for us. I’m doing Electric Picnic in september. I have a new album to record soon enough.

How would you describe Dundalk people?
Mad as brushes.

Where's the best place to go for a walk in the local area?
I have my own spot, I’ll not mention it ‘cos I don’t want the mountain bike mafia following me.

What’s your first memory of Dundalk?
First memory is being and looking in a shop window at toy planes in the Demesne near the Square, while Petula Clark’s hit record of the time ‘Downtown’ played from inside the shop.

What's your favourite story you've heard about Dundalk?
That Hitler had sent spies up to Oriel Park to take notes on some renowned local athletes who were training for the Berlin Olympics of 1936 .That’s a movie right there.

What's your favourite Dundalk slang/phrase?
A Hard Man’s Soup/Moonman/would you what?/ you’re there...... /if there was work in the bed he’d sleep on the floor .

Where is your favourite pub in Dundalk and why?
I like Seans Tavern, The Stags Head cos they look like pubs.
The town is filled with post modern bars or shiny purgatories that wreck my head.

What do you think of the local arts scene?
The local music scene here is coming into its own now and I’m impressed by the Hendy brothers of local band TPM who organise a lot of music events as an alternative to the Spirit Store.
That’s proper and healthy, to have a few more places doing different things. Local label Pizza Pizza records put on events in Spirit Store and release local artist albums and Classified records support local music.

Is there anything you think Dundalk's arts scene in lacking/could do with more of?
It definitely needs something like Limerick where they have a proper inclusive music centre Local Limerick artists like Steve Ryan from the band Windings helps out the likes of young band Powpig( the up and coming girl band ).
He’s at it full time and is making a living at it. Limerick is rough and ready like Dundalk the difference is it has support structures and funding.
Until Dundalk supports its creative people properly instead of paying ‘lip service’ to the concept it’s no use crying if the likes of Newry get city status over us .

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