Cork-based artist Stanley Notte’s recently released piece of spoken word is a powerful but humorous reflection of Cork’s experience of the COVID-19 pandemic. Featuring language familiar to any Corkonian, delivered over a version of “Ghost Town” by The Specials, “Cork, Boi! Nothing But A Ghost Town” is bound to be a hit with those who are, as Notte puts it, “pure sick of it”.
With visuals of Cork displayed throughout, such as a brought-to-life version of the Father Matthew Statue, a monochrome Bishop Lucey Park, and the famous Jackie Lennox’s chipper, Notte successfully brings the rebel spirit to light in this short piece. With Cork voices, Cork places, and Cork artists, this is as Cork as any piece of art you’re likely to get.
Credits for the rich mix of haunting voices and music goes to singers Taly Murphy and Luna Olivia Avery. Originally imagined as a performance piece withnfour male voices in mind, Dave O’Connell of De Bunker Studios suggested Stanley perform the piece himself. Using video shot by Brendan Cotter and featuring drone photography by Kieran Walsh of Cobh News, the visuals feature family and friends capturing the essence of tough lockdown in Cork city.
Commenting on his latest release, Stanley said: “Since the pandemic started, I wanted to create something humorous around living with Covid-19 and try to lighten the heaviness it brought to our lives. Somehow the first anniversary, and the beginning of the end of lockdown, seemed the right time for this reflection. Cork and its rich language means a lot to me, and combining this piece of work with an overlay version of The Specials ‘Ghost Town’ matches the sense and mood beautifully. It’s Cork Boi. It’s Covid Boi.”
Stanley added: “Creating and recording with all the restrictions presented additional challenges. Everyone’s commitment, remote recordings and strict adherence to guidelines really brought out Cork innovation at its best.”