The dome

Monumentally good: John Francis Flynn, at the Dome, reviewed

John Francis Flynn is monumentally good. He’s kick-yourself-for-missing-him good. He’s so good that when he spoke between songs in the upstairs ballroom of an old Irish pub in Tufnell Park, it was almost a disappointment: how could the man making this extraordinary music be so normal? Flynn is part of a cohort of Irish musicians revisiting traditional music. There’s the Mary Wallopers, in broad terms the most Pogues-ish. There’s Lankum, shortlisted for the Mercury Prize for their eyebrow-raising, droning experimentalism. There’s Lisa O’Neill, subdued and stern. And there’s Flynn, whose music dances from the unadornedly old-fashioned and Irish – the ‘Tralee Gaol’ played solo, on tin whistle – into something

In praise of the Dome

London’s City Hall stands empty. The bulbous, Foster + Partners-designed ‘glass testicle’ — in Ken Livingstone’s words — occupies one of the best sites in the capital: Thames-side, squaring off to the Tower of London, and overlooking Tower Bridge. But in December, its occupiers — the Mayor, the London Assembly and the Greater London Authority — deserted their glitzy £43 million headquarters for a cheaper building more than five miles east at the Royal Docks in Newham. It took them less than 20 years to outgrow their purpose-built home. According to the architectural commentator John Grindrod, City Hall is a giant glass-and-steel metaphor. ‘The building represents the role of the