Putting the Alternative in the Spotlight

Donal Dineen

Putting the Alternative in the Spotlight

13 March 2017
3 min read

Radio presenter, DJ, filmmaker, former TV presenter, photographer and cultural curator. To scores of Irish people Donal Dineen is the first and last word on what new sounds will truly blow your mind. The Kerryman has long been that left-of-centre voice giving due credence to the acts in the shadow of the mainstream.

A champion of the many who are continually innovating, creating and embarking on new musical frontiers, Dineen was for a time the face of alternative music in Ireland via No Disco, the TV show he hosted in the 90s. With its late night slot and Dineen’s assured tones handing viewers the keys to a whole other musical kingdom, it was adored by anyone with an aversion to the charts and was, at the time, the only Irish TV programme showcasing alternative genres or anything within the alt stratosphere.

In 2016, Dineen and filmmaker Myles O’Reilly brought back a 21st century iteration of the pioneering TV show, this time under the moniker This Ain’t No Disco. With the internet as the broadcast medium, it showcases performance, collaboration and conversation with the wealth of under-represented musical visionaries Ireland boasts today.

In partnership with St Patrick’s Festival 2017, the next edition sees the duo embark on New York City for the mother of all Irish international cultural exchanges.

Donal tells us more:

“The motivation behind This Ain't No Disco is primarily to capture and document the extraordinary quality and scope of music being produced in Ireland at present. We believe strongly that it is a golden age of Irish music, one that is largely ignored by the Irish media. There's greater variety than ever before and there's an amalgamation of those new sounds, which means there's considerably more colour and vibrancy than previously. We have resolved to document this period in the most creative way possible because we believe it is important from a historical point of view alone.

The motivation behind This Ain't No Disco is primarily to capture and document the extraordinary quality and scope of music being produced in Ireland at present.

The support of St Patrick’s Festival allowed us to dream bigger and made it possible for us bring one of our greatest songwriters, Conor O'Brien (Villagers), to New York to work with the producer Nico Muhly. These collaborations rarely happen of their own accord. The resulting document we firmly believe is an extraordinary insight into what happens when two worlds collide. An explosive creativity materialised between the two. The resulting track that they made together is not only worth its weight in gold but it's a very valuable insight into a process which others can access and refer to forever. 

We are immensely proud of what we concocted in NYC and we're very much looking forward to sharing it via the festival screening on March 17.

We believe strongly in providing artists with a platform where their skills and craft can find its true expression. It's a music show for musicians but one that should provide real insights for the audience into the art of making it.”

The New York City episode is available to watch via This Ain’t No Disco’s Facebook page from 8pm, March 17, 2017.