Belfast Telegraph

Madonna strop at awards just like antics up in Stormont, says Phil Coulter

Phil Coulter
Phil Coulter

By David O'Dornan

Music great Phil Coulter has compared witnessing pop diva Madonna throwing a strop at an awards ceremony to our bickering politicians at Stormont.

The Londonderry-born composer and musician was nominated for a prestigious Grammy award for Best New Age Album with his record Highland Cathedral in 1999.

It saw him rub shoulders with the cream of the music industry - but he said what he saw from the Queen of Pop reminded him of the antics of our warring parties up on the Hill.

Phil (77) said: "Sitting in the front row was Madonna. She was nominated for three different categories and, as the results were read out, tried to look cool, wearing a smile.

"Best Female Pop Album, and the winner is... Macy Gray. Madonna's smile stays frozen. Several categories later, another of her nominations. Pop Album of the Year, and the winner is... Steely Dan.

"Now it's getting harder to keep that frozen smile. Later in the evening comes the biggie. She has another shot. Record of the Year, and the winner is... U2. That's it! She's heard enough. The frozen smile is gone. She stands up, throws her wrap over her shoulder, beckons her partner and they storm out of the auditorium.

"The toys were out of the pram. Brilliant! I had to smile. I thought to myself that the last place I had seen adults behaving like spoiled children was closer to home, in Stormont."

In his new autobiography - Bruised, Never Broken - Phil takes another swipe at local government over its treatment of the 'town he loves so well' during the Troubles after he returned from a spell in Los Angeles.

Phil also recalled how an Orange march interrupted an early recording of a Christmas special at the Grand Opera House in July 1989.

Fortunately, he goes on to explain that his audience saw the funny side.

He said: "As the deathly quiet descended on the Opera House, from outside, floating over on the air came an unmistakable sound, clear as day and familiar to every man, woman and child in the audience.

"The Friendly Sons of Ulster Pipe Band were in full flight, rehearsing for the big day and marching down Sandy Row. It started as a snigger, but within seconds it had become a roar as 1,200 people joined in a communal belly laugh. Merry Christmas!"

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