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Sunday 5 February 2023 Dublin: 8°C
Andrew Paton/INPHO Stuart Byrne pictured during his Shelbourne days.
# Tips
A friend recommends: Stuart Byrne on Ozark, Christopher Nolan movies and U2
The former Shelbourne star, who has a new album coming out on Friday, on his viewing and listening habits.

WHAT PEOPLE DO with their so-called free time has changed drastically over the past few weeks since restrictions on our personal freedoms began to be implemented in a bid to curtail the spread of the coronavirus. Streaming services, television, books, podcasts and other forms of entertainment have become especially important during those free moments to ourselves, or those alongside family, that each of us needs now more than ever.

But many of us will also waste time searching for ‘the perfect watch’, or find ourselves so overwhelmed by the plethora of options that it becomes difficult to actually start reading one book in particular. ‘What if it’s not the right one?’ So, The42.ie and TheJournal.ie have teamed up and are reaching out to some familiar names for dependable recommendations to be shared with you all. Today’s tips come from former former Shelbourne, Drogheda and Longford midfielder Stuart Byrne, who is now embarking on a music career and whose new album, ‘Maybe Not Today,’ is set to be released on all platforms on 15 May.

STUART BYRNE

I’ve been writing and producing my album for the last three years, so that has taken up nearly all my free time. Unfortunately, I had to put that on hold for six-to-eight months. We bought a doer-upper house three years ago and I’ve been working on it myself in stages to save money. We’ve four kids, so it’s been interesting. We got a builder involved for the final stage and finally got it finished in January. Well, 90% finished. I’ve only been able to re-focus on the album in the last four months and that’s why I’ve been able to finish it and release it this Friday.

The release page can be found here.

Stuart Music / YouTube

Books

This will be quick. I have a real problem with sitting still for any period of time. I’m the kind of person who needs to be doing something all the time. So I’m not much of a reader! In fact, I don’t read at all. So, unfortunately I don’t have any books to recommend.

TV

It’s only very recently that I’ve even started watching any kind of TV. I’m a movie person, but the switch from cinema to TV has meant I’ve had to make myself get into the habit of watching a TV series. I’m still struggling with it, but I do have some recommendations.

The Last Dance is probably the best thing I’ve watched on TV full stop. I’m not one of these American sports fans at all, but The Chicago Bulls thing was unavoidable for me, since it coincided with my teens.

The early ’90s saw the global commercialisation of sport. Sky Sports took over the Premiership and TV companies really started to see the profits they could leverage from sport. Michael Jordan was just a phenomenon.

My wife and I treat ourselves every Friday to wine and something to watch. We got into Ozark when it was first released a couple of years ago. I like a bit of darkness, so it’s right up my street. The acting, writing and direction are all stunning.

We got Disney+ for the kids and that’s brilliant. I’m a Star Wars fan and I would recommend The Mandalorian. The production is incredible and again, it’s got a dark edge to it.

If you’ve got kids and want some light-hearted relief, then Workin’ Moms is very funny. I might get a bit of stick for that!

Movies

I miss movies. I want this series thing to sod off. It takes up too much time in your life. The last movie I saw in the cinema was 1917. It’s breathtaking on the full screen. It’s available now on streaming. In terms of other recommendations, anything from Christopher Nolan: Inception, Interstellar and Dunkirk in that order of preference.

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Music

Music is keeping me sane at the moment. I’m from Cedarwood Road, so being a U2 fan is in the blood. I did go off them a little, only a little, after ‘Zooropa,’ but I do think their latest album, ‘Songs of Experience,’ is some of their best work. ‘The Little Things That Give You Away’ is probably one of my favourite U2 tracks. Especially this version: 

U2 ALV / YouTube

At the moment, I’m listening to The Coronas and Dermot Kennedy – two fantastic Irish artists.

These are my favourite tracks from both:

The Coronas / YouTube

Dermot Kennedy / YouTube

Stay safe. :)

Stuart Byrne’s new album ‘Maybe Not Today’ is released on all platforms on 15 May. You can follow him on Twitter – @StuartMusic1.

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