Steve Wall is the lead singer of legendary Irish rock band The Stunning - more recently, he's been making a splash with his new career as an actor. 

Following his portrayal of legendary trumpet player Chet Baker in the feature film My Foolish Heart, Steve recently filmed Raised by Wolves, a new sci-fi series with Ridley Scott, completed an episode of Tin Star with Tim Roth and played a leading role in RTÉ's The South Westerlies.

When it comes to music, The Stunning have recently reissued their debut album, 1990's Paradise in the Picturehouse, on vinyl and have accompanied it with a beautifully-crafted songbook, featuring the story of the making of the album with never-before-seen photos and the inspiration behind each of the tracks. 

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We asked Steve for his choice cultural picks... 

FILM

I'm a big fan of Volta, an Irish streaming service run by Element Films. It has a terrific collection of films. You pay per rental and it's way cheaper than the likes of Apple etc and it’s Irish! This week I’ve earmarked the award-winning documentary Gaza by Irish filmmakers Garry Keane & Andrew McConnell. When I was a student in Galway back in the eighties, I joined the NUIG film club and every Monday night, no matter the weather, I’d look forward to sitting in the dark and being transported away by the likes of Tarkovsky, Bergman, Kieslowski, Jane Campion and the like. The standard of Irish films is so high now, and others I’ve enjoyed are the brilliant A Bump Along the Way with Bronagh Gallagher, The DigMicheal Inside and the hilarious Extra Ordinary.

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MUSIC

An Irish musician called Oliver Cole has just released a beautiful album called Father, Brother, Son. He lost his mother and brother to the same rare form of cancer a couple of years ago and the songs are a celebration of life, love and the bonds that hold us together. Just great songwriting. Musician/actor Maria Doyle Kennedy has been putting out a single every month and the music keeps getting better with husband Kieran Kennedy producing and playing most of the instruments. They recently put out a song called Keeps on Spinning and it blew me away. And watch out for Larry Beau, a truly unique artist. Check out the video for his song Shine Light on YouTube, it's fab. It’s a hard time for musicians so maybe consider buying LP’s, CD’s, t-shirts or tickets for online shows for Christmas presents. Oh… did I mention The Stunning have just published a songbook?

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BOOK

My reading has been terrible over the last few years compared with the amount of books I used to consume as a young man. Definitely technology has affected it and I spend a lot of time on screens, most of it for work purposes. I've become more impatient with books and it takes me longer to finish one if I do manage to even get that far. However, I’ve been enjoying Winter Pages Volume 5, a collection of various artists works curated by the writer Kevin Barry and Olivia Smith. I can dip in and out of it. Also during the last year, I read a collection of short stories by Andre Dubus called Dirty Love which I enjoyed; Angus Mitchell’s biography of Roger Casement and I re-read James Joyce’s Dubliners, which was even better second time round.

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PLAY

Like gigs, this year has been a washout for theatre. I watched a play online, Cyprus Avenue by David Ireland, a powerful piece of black comedy about sectarian hatred in Belfast. Stephen Rea plays the central character and his performance was spellbinding. It was a live performance filmed in the Royal Court in London before the pandemic and I think watching it with a live audience present helped add to the theatre experience. During the recent Dublin Theatre Festival, I watched an experimental piece of site-specific theatre online and it just didn't do it for me. For some reason some forms of performance are much harder to make work online. It’s a new challenge that we’re all trying to figure out.

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TV

I absolutely love Schitt's Creek, especially the town mayor character. Very few shows make me laugh out but that one does. And I’m a sucker for those house renovation-type programmes, like the Great House Revival, where someone buys a crumbling pile of damp bricks and mortar and through sheer determination or pure naivete brings it back to its former glory. Or any show about people fixing up old stuff and saving it from being thrown in a skip. It’s always great to see skilled workers making someone else living conditions better like in Home Rescue and DIY SOS. I admit I even get misty-eyed on the big reveals. And… as I’ve said before I’m a big Nationwide fan. It’s always full of positive stories of what people are up to all around the country. Now that’s rock’n’roll.

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GIG

Mundy the great Irish troubadour does an online show every Sunday night which he broadcasts from his Facebook page. He invited me to join him last week and it was so good to play with a fellow musician and share stories and chat about the songs. Lots of people tuned in and left comments and requests. We played a load of songs together and I even debuted a new one. It was quite magical, especially when we played Will Ya Go Lassie Go together.

ART

These days I'm seeing more art on Instagram than in galleries. I follow a few really good artists such as Rachel Ballagh, Orla de Brí, Corban Walker, Sonia Wickham and Sarah Walker. And photographers like Barry McCall, Moira Reilly, Liam Carroll and Greg Williams who has amazing access to the stars. I love the work of the artist Oliver Comerford who happens to live near me in Harold’s Cross. I can’t wait to get back to vising some galleries when this lockdown is over, I always get inspired and new ideas are born for all kinds of things.

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PODCAST

I love Broken Record a series of music-related interviews where the writer/journalist Malcolm Gladwell and music producer Rick Rubin talk to the likes of Jack White, Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), Lucinda Williams and a host of others. Rubin's understanding of the creative process makes for a deeper discussion. Plus the interviews with just himself and Gladwell are brilliant.

TECH

I have to say I love the banking apps. When I think of all the time spent queuing in banks and filling out those little slips of paper, it definitely makes it easier. I use Transferwise for when I get paid in other currencies, which is brilliant.

THE NEXT BIG THING

I think the next big thing has got to be photovoltaic solar power, which converts the energy from the sun into electricity. It's already becoming popular but it’s expensive to install. We should all be able to power our own houses and cars from panels on our roof. Maybe one day we’ll have solar-powered electric guitars!

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The Stunning's Paradise in the Picturehouse is out now and available to purchase here