between.‘ _l

Deacon Blue‘s Ricky Ross. captivated by- her intense. abandoned presence on stage. wrote ‘Real (ione Kid‘ as a tribute to her. She‘s always been an acclaitned performer. so has she built tip a persona to hide behind on stage or when dealing with people professionally“?

‘I think I have a lot in the past. I‘m trvingto be more myselfon stage. Because I tend to be spontaneous and a hit sort of l unpredictable.~ She laughs again.

So it would seem. In contrast to the ethereal Twiggy lookalike that gazed out wanly from the sleeve of Maria McKee. McKee herself. reports suggest. is an outgoing soulwhoenjoysbeingthe centre of attention. ‘Yeah. I do. I enjoy that. I‘m quite j hyperactive and sort ofgo off on tangents. bouncing off walls. and a lot of my friends l find that quite amusing. I can entertain a roomful of my friends for hours. just being ridiculous. I really like doing that! But. at the same time. I‘m not one of those people who can‘t be in a room unless they're the centre of attention. I like to sit back and watch as well. be quiet .‘

Is she an easy person to get to know'.’

‘l‘m probably almost too gregarious for my own good. I probably have more friends than most people have hairs on their heads.‘ she giggles.

Iispecially in Dublin. where ‘everybody in the city is my friend!‘

Dublin is the place these days. The pull of Nassau has been supplanted by the lure of the I-iffey. The tales that crawl back on bleeding stumps conjure up a musicians‘ end ofthe rainbow. where U3. llothouse Flowers. (iavin Friday and the rest are endlessly jamming. boozing and fraternising with incomers like McKee and [Elvis Costello. The image sits uneasily with the reality of mass emigration caused by chronic unemployment. One good friend of mine would choose to live in Dublin again over anywhere else in the world. but knows that l the chances ofa job there are negligible. l Musicians with outlets for theirtalent all j over the globe don‘t have that concern. ()r as (‘raig Walker. singer for young Irish band l Power Of Dreams. once put it. ‘Dublin‘s a J

great place to live if you're rich.‘

McKee won‘t be drawn on any ofthat. picking instead on my hastily-coined definition of it as a ‘cultural boom‘ city.

We‘re getting offthe point. but I substitute ‘creative‘.

“It has that. but it's not as strong as it is in other places. And that‘s not why I moved here. I moved here because I liked the peace that I felt. and the people I met. a lot of whom aren’t musicians. A lot of my best friends here aren‘t musicians. some ofthem aren‘t even artists. There‘s just something about it that‘s very soulful. Ireland‘s a very ancient place. I like the fact that it has so much respect for its culture. Not that it's a melting pot of all kinds ofcultures.

Sometimes I wish it was more ofa melting pot. ‘cause [grew up in IA. where anything goes.’

And comes back again'.’ Not. one suspects. in Maria McKee‘s case.

Maria .llt‘Kt’r’p/uys The Pavilion. Glasgow on Frill J

The List 33 March 7 4 April 199111