Irish music who’s who pays tribute to the late Mic Christopher in new documentary about his life

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It tells the story of the singer-songwriter who tragically died 20 years ago at the age of 32.

The musical documentary Heyday: The Mic Christopher Story is screened at the Irish Film Institute (IFI) this weekend and will be available to rent on IFI @ Home for a limited time.

The film tells the story of the Irish-American singer-songwriter, from his humble beginnings on Graton Street, to rock band The Mary Janes, to his acclaimed solo work with songs like “Heyday” , upon his tragic death in 2001 at the age of 32.

Appearing in the documentary to discuss their relationship with Mic, an impressive selection of Irish talent, including Bronagh Gallagher, Glen Hansard, Lisa Hannigan, Paddy Casey, Rónán Ó’Snodaigh and Sharon Horgan, as well as international artists such as Josh Ritter and Mike Scott of the Waterboys.

Speaking to JOE, the creators of the documentary said there was “so much goodwill” on the part of the film’s participants to be part of continuing Mic’s legacy.

As for what made the singer-songwriter so special, director Alan Leonard said:

“I never met Mic. I didn’t know him but if you talk to his friends … Glen [Hansard] said it was the mix that made him so attractive to people.

“So he was very humble, he was very down to earth. He was just the perfect, cool guy par excellence.

“But he also had the charisma of a rock star… He’s that quintessential mix that I think doesn’t exist as often in this world as you might imagine and I think it caught everyone’s mind. world to him. “

Film producer Níall Carver added:

“A lot of times the lead singers in groups are egotistical and tough people to get along with.

“I think Mic challenged that stereotype by being the most charming man in the world in every way and having such a deep wisdom that he would share with everyone.”

Clip via Galway Film Fleadh

While Mic is perhaps best known for his single “Heyday” – famously used in the Guinness commercial where Michael Fassbender swims to New York – Leonard has drawn comparisons between the musician’s work with the Mary Janes and bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam.

“I guess like much of the population knew Mic through ‘Heyday’ and ‘Skylarkin’,” the director said.

“As Níall introduced me to Mic Christopher’s world, I discovered that his music was much richer than that.

“Prior to his solo album, he had two albums with his band The Mary Janes.

“Now the first one is very rock. It’s really good but it’s… almost like garage sound. It’s like Nirvana’s Bleach. It’s her album Bored of Their Laughing.

“But their second album, the one where they almost went mainstream, is called Sham and it’s like the perfection of grunge rock. It’s amazing.

“For reasons [we get into] in the documentary, he didn’t get the publicity he certainly should have had.

“There are songs on this album that are [that] the perfect sound of Seattle. I mean, it’s as good as anything you get on Sonic Youth, Soundgarden, even Nirvana, Pearl Jam.

“If you want me to describe Mic’s music outside of the mainstream stuff … the perfection of ’90s grunge rock on the Sham album would be a good way to present it.”

Heyday: The Mic Christopher Story is screened at IFI on Saturday December 4 to mark the 20th anniversary of the musician’s death, before being available for rental on IFI @ Home from Sunday December 5 through Thursday December 9 at midnight.

It will also air on TG4 on December 29.


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