• Sweden's news in English

In the spotlight: Ireland's hidden Eurovision hero

14 May 2013, 15:05

Published: 14 May 2013 15:05 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Stagehand Kevin Moorhouse, 44, swapped his native Wexford for Gothenburg in 1999 and has barely looked back since. He has worked on gigs for legends such as Paul McCartney, U2, and Bruce Springsteen before being asked to make the trip down to Skåne to work on Eurovision 2013.

"I've been working on concerts since 2000 but this is by far the largest I’ve ever been involved with. The crew has just 45 seconds between each act to set things up for the next performer so everything has to be precise," Moorhouse tells The Local at Malmö Arena.

"I’ll be in constant radio communication with the lighting engineer. For me, a good show means nobody shouting in my ear."

The Irishman took the plunge into Sweden 13 years ago and quickly settled into Gothenburg where he lives with his Swedish wife. His early lack of svenska didn’t matter a bit and he got his career break whilst working in a pub.

"I took a job working in an Irish bar which is what many expats do. Struck up a conversation with a regular customer, who asked if I wanted to help out on a Tina Turner concert, and it has since turned into a full-time career.

"Fortunately I love what I do, you wouldn’t work the hours involved if you didn’t," says Moorhouse.

Being on the road has its perks as the stagehand gets free tickets to any concert he wishes to attend in his spare time. On occasion he even gets to party with the rockstars - not that he always recognizes them.

"A few years back I was working on a U2 gig and got talking to a few guys at the bar. I asked them if they were drivers and they said 'no, we are are the band'. I told them 'no, you’re not as I know what Bono looks like' and they replied 'we're the support act, Snow Patrol'. I was a bit mortified," recalls the 44-year old.

Gothenburg is very much home for Moorhouse where he is an established member of the Irish community. He is the President of the local gaelic football club and despite the odd bout of homesickness, he believes he made the right call in opting for Sweden.

"The standard of living over here is just so much higher. You follow the rules and you don’t get away with a lot.

"Ireland needs to learn from Sweden. We had a recession here but nobody even noticed as the government stepped in and took charge of the banks," he says.

His advice for any other Irish expats who want to follow his lead is simple; "Knuckle down and take on a job even if it isn’t something you like. Find your Irish pub and make contacts," he says.

"If you come here then it's very hard to leave. If you do then you’ll probably come back."

Eurovision is one of the highlights of Moorhouse’s long stage career. He will even miss his parents 50th wedding anniversary party due to his work commitments on the pop extravaganza.

Story continues below…

"I left school at 15 and have been working ever since which isn’t a bad complaint. I’ve made a habit of being in the right place at the right time, it must be the luck of the Irish."

"Once Eurovision ends we’ll be working 12-hour days to take the stage down. Then I head straight to Stockholm for a Bon Jovi concert followed by Pink," he tells The Local.

"After that, I am taking a day off!"

Patrick Reilly is The Local's Eurovision correspondent in Malmö. Tweet him questions if you like.

Follow Patrick on Twitter here

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Nobel Prizes
'I'd say he's arrogant but I'd be lying': Swedes on Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan performing in France. Photo: David Vincent/AP

Almost two weeks have passed since Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature and he has yet to acknowledge the win. The Local asked Swedes what they think of the singer's silence.

Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast by thousands
A Swedish migration authority office in Stockholm. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

The country has also slashed its prediction for 2017.

Swedish researchers plan new trucks for women drivers
File photo of trucks in Sweden. Photo: Thomas Johansson/TT

Could vehicles adapted for women attract more female truckers to the profession?

These stats show Swedish driving isn't so gender equal
File photo of a Swedish woman driving a car. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

A new survey shows that few Swedish women get behind the wheel when driving with their male partner.

Revealed: Game of Thrones could be coming to Sweden
Game of Thrones cast members at the Emmy Awards in September. Photo: Jordan Strauss/AP

The producers of the hit show have asked for three rounds of location pictures of Swedish island Gotland.

Prime Minister to meet Swedish troops in Iraq
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and his Kurdish counterpart Nechervan Barzani. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Prime Minister Löfven is set to meet Swedish troops in Iraq on Tuesday.

Swedish politicians wage war on winter time
Soon it will look like this on your way home from work in Sweden. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Should Sweden stick with summer time all year round?

'Don't turn the Pope into a global teddy bear'
Sweden's Queen Silvia and Princess Leonore visiting Pope Francis in the Vatican last year. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

It's time to hold the Pope to account and make sure he turns his words about reform into action, argues a minister of the Swedish Church ahead of Pope Francis' visit to Sweden.

Löfven: 'Sweden will double its number of troops in Iraq'
Stefan Löfven and Haider al-Abadi during the visit on Monday. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has promised to double his country's number of troops in Iraq following a meeting with Iraqi counterpart Haider al-Abadi on Monday.

Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
Should Swedes think fairtrade with porn? Photo: Karin Malmhav/SvD/TT

A fairtrade attitude to pornography would be beneficial, Sweden's health minister told The Local.

Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available