Catching Up With…First Fornight’s J.P. Swaine

Tonight, First Fortnight and Bluestack Records launch There Is A Light, a compilation album featuring some of Ireland’s most exciting new acts, at Whelans, in aid of the Green Ribbon campaign, which is raising awareness of mental health issues. First Fortnight co- founder J.P. Swaine talks about growing up in Tallaght, his favorite and much- missed record shop and how looking forward to the next event is one way of winding down.

Image: Facebook

First Fortnight co- founder J.P. Swaine.


What’s been the highlight of your year so far?

Has to have been January and the 39 events First Fortnight produced. It has hectic, epic, amazing, exhausting. One moment that particularly stands out for em happened in the Project wathcing the audience reaction to Sorcha Kenny’s play DOLLS. An exquisite mix of wonder and discomfort.


When did you first realise you wanted to be involved in the arts / event management?

I didn’t /haven’t realised that; I keep waiting for it to stop!!! I’m driven by acts that lead to social change; I find myself in the arts because of that.

In three words, describe 
There Is A Light

Music for minds.


How do you wind down after a gig?

Start organising something else! I don’t know…I tend to operate in alternate cycles to the events themselves, usually by the time it starts my attention is on the next thing. My week has been totallly occupied by stuff thats happening in September, the event this week has to be sorted long before so I suppose im already wound down. I run and play sports is another way of answering also.

In three words, describe the live scene in Ireland.

Low cost excellence.


Whose career do you envy and why?

Bob Geldof: he has managed to stay relevant in so many fields for such a long time.

Vinyl or digital downloads?

Digital all the way.


What is your favourite record shop anywhere in the world?

The sadly departed Final Vinyl on Camden Street, Dublin 2.


Name one rare record you don’t own, but you want more than anything.

To have organised the worlds largest table quiz (I assume this what you meant?!).


Name one piece of music memorabilia that you wish you owned.

Gabriels Obo (the actual obo).


What is the one thing in your life that you couldn’t go without?



Name one record, one book and one film that everyone should hear / read / see.

The Wickerman; The Maribou Stalk Nightmares by Irvine Welsh; Massive Attack’s Blue Lines.


Name one overrated TV series and one underrated TV series.

Over rated: The West Wing. Under rated: repeats of The Crystal Maze.


Pick the director and lead actor for a biopic about your life.

Christopher Nolan and Channing Tatum (I have some secrets and surprising twists…)


Describe the perfect night in.

Watching The Sunday Game after watching Dublin win in Croke Park earlier that day.


Describe the perfect night out.

Sunny evening with pints and friends standing outside on Dame Lane.


Where did you grow up and what are the best and worst things about that place.

Tallaght. Best thing was friends, family and school. The single worse thing was the lack of a live music venue.


What is your biggest fear?

Hurting people I care about.


Who is the person in your life without whom your life wouldn’t be the same?

Paddy Swaine.


What is the most important lesson life has taught you, so far?

Not to fear death, welcome it with a belly full of experiences.

If you could give one piece of life advice it would be…

Home is the place you rest so you have energy for the wonders that lay outside, not a place to hide from them.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.