Upstart Festival Glounthaune Cork

Posted in Music on September 9, 2022 by Fanning Sessions


A personal highlight of 2021 was a one day outdoor festival in the Cork village of Glounthaune featuring Pretty Happy, Flywheel, A Cow In The Water, Pontious Pilate and The Naildrivers and Fyünkay. A brief train journey from Cork city, the festival was held in a scenic public park adjacent to The Rising Tide pub a short walk from the train station. After 2 years of pandemic restrictions the event was quite literally a breath of fresh air. That was a year ago and this Saturday sees a second outing for the aptly named Upstart Festival. The weather gods seem to be onside once again as the forecast indicates a dry day is in store. This year the lineup features The Love Buzz, First Class & Coach, FONDA, Little Known and The Cliffords. Whilst not all these names are familiar to yours truly, it promises to be another day to remember and the subsequent success of last year’s headliners Pretty Happy bodes well. Glounthaune was home to one of Cork’s most famous sons Cathal Coughlan who’s loss this year is sure to be on the minds of many in attendance. More details on the festival and interview with festival director.

Shush! Fanning Sessions Special

Posted in Music with tags on July 11, 2022 by Fanning Sessions

shush 199

A big thank you to Martin O’Connor for inviting us to curate episode 199 of the UCC library radio show ‘Shush!’. Long talked about, in the end it all came about quite quickly, just as well with such a large number of tracks available for selection. Given a free hand we decided to go with a show of personal favourites, sessions and demos featured on the Dave Fanning show in the years 1984-89 when yours truly was religiously listening. Maybe we should do a podcast 😉

2018 interview with Martin O’Connor for LibFocus.

Sessions / Demos: The Swinging SwineTie The BoyBam Bam & The CallingLight A Big FireBlue In HeavenThe Slowest Clock / The Wild Herrings / The Stars Of Heaven / Backwards Into Paradise / At The Window / The Subterraneans / The Practical Householders

Into Paradise (1989 Rehearsal Tape)

Posted in Music with tags on June 22, 2022 by Fanning Sessions


A recent post on the Into Paradise facebook page grabbed our attention – they had uncovered an unreleased demo from 1990 called ‘On Every Page‘. We contacted Dave and he provided some detail:

Jimmy Eadie found the tape.
On Every Page and Dive Instrumental live mixes were recorded in July 1990 , a month before we went to London to record Churchtown.
The Waterboys had cancelled a session in Ringsend Road studios, Ensign rang us to see if we wanted to use the free time.
Willie Mannion was the engineer on the session.
I think we only did the one night.
We then went to an early house at 6am and had a rake of pints and forgot all about the recording….

Dave also sent a number of further recordings and kindly allowed us post this track from a 1989 rehearsal tape.

Fans of Into Paradise should check out Dave’s recent appearance on Paul McDermott’s podcast ‘To Here Knows When’ to look at albums ‘Under The Water’ and ‘Churchtown’. Dave has been busy of late releasing solo material and most recently working with Shane O’Neill of Blue In Heaven, the pair releasing ‘age of finding stars‘ in April.

Haunted (1989 rehearsal)

Red Square (Session)

Posted in Music with tags , on June 9, 2022 by Fanning Sessions

red square

From Dublin, Red Square were Barry Moore (guitar & vocals), Niall Conheady (guitar), Paul Holmes (bass) and Dave Bell RIP (drums). They recorded 3 tracks for Dave Fanning circa 1986,  ‘Street Fight’ and ‘Trains’ have not yet been located. Thanks to Colm Kavanagh for this recording and to Gordon White for the request. Barry, brother of Christy, subsequently adopted the name Luka Bloom.


Cathal Coughlan (1961-2022)

Posted in Music with tags , , on June 1, 2022 by Fanning Sessions

cathal coughlan (c) bleddyn butcher

We were shocked and very much saddened at the news last week of the death of Cathal Coughlan. As religious Dave Fanning listeners in our younger years, Microdisney were omni present. We can still hear Dave naming with gusto the 1984 compilation album of their early material. Whilst in London in late 1989 we read incendiary reviews of The Fatima Mansions in Time-Out and decided to investigate. Needless to say, Cathal and the Fatima Mansions lived up to their billing. Over the subsequent years there were further Mansions and solo Cathal shows including a Cork City of Culture commission ‘Flannery’s Mounted Head’. Fast forward to 2018 and the excitement of the Microdisney reunion at the National Concert Hall followed a year later by the final show in Cyprus Avenue, there were so many memorable moments. The recent burst of creative activity disguised the fact that Cathal was not well and rendered last week’s news even harder to accept. As is our wont we turned to the radio for solace. This post will attempt to gather and list some of the tributes we found. For now it is a work in progress, so far we have listened to shows from Tom Dunne, Dan Hegarty, John Creedon, Cathal Murray, Dave Fanning, Gideon Coe and Vanessa Monaghan who interviewed Elvera Butler. A question posed on Twitter turned up many more which we are slowly working our way through and hope to add here. To lead off however, who better than Paul McDermott, producer of ‘Iron Fist in Velvet Glove – the story of Microdisney’ and podcast ‘To Here Knows When’ which dedicated an episode to Cathal’s album ‘Black River Falls‘.

Michael Carr (Select Irish, 96FM) with Paul McDermott

Métisse radio documentary

Posted in documentary, radio with tags , , , on May 7, 2022 by Fanning Sessions

Aïda & Skully [Métisse]

Métisse are an Afro-Irish musical duo featuring Aída Bredou of Côte d’Ivoire and Skully of Cork. A recent documentary ‘ Métisse: World Of Our Own‘ looks at their career from Skully’s first forays into music with Real Mayonnaise and The Chapter House. It was narrated and produced by Mark McAvoy author of ‘Cork Rock‘ and features interviews with Gerry Buckley of Real Mayonnaise, Ann Redmond of Porcelyn Tears and Chapter House and Dave Fanning producer (and Horslip) Jim Lockhart. For more on Métisse check out the Irish Examiner article ‘The Cork band picked up by Madonna‘. There was a Métisse session for Dave Fanning (produced by Jim Lockhart) but we have yet to locate a recording.

Real Mayonnaise (1981 Demo)

Posted in Music with tags , , on April 10, 2022 by Fanning Sessions

Real Mayonnaise

This demo tape recording is quite the find. Two of the tracks later appeared in 1986 as a single in rerecorded form and can be found here but the other two are new discoveries. Real Mayonnaise were Dave “Skully” Sullivan (organ), Dave Rudd (drums) and Jerry Buckley (bass, cello). Corrections, clarifications and memories as always most welcome. Thank you kindly to the archivist who dug this one out. Just spotted that Real Mayonnaize are now on facebook and have posted 3 tracks from this tape which they call the Gerard O’Leary Sessions on soundcloud. Incidentally Skully was recently the subject of an hour long radio documentary looking at his career with Métisse produced by Mark McAvoy author of ‘Cork Rock‘.

Horizontal Nightmare (1981)
Being Polite (1981)

Verta-Ray (1993 Demo)

Posted in demo, Fanning, radio with tags , on April 4, 2022 by Fanning Sessions

vertra ray demo cassette

Verta-Ray was a short-lived band based in Dublin. The lineup featured Brian Murray (vocals), Ian Beesley (guitar), Joey Wilson (bass) and Bryan McMahon (drums), The band recorded a 3-track demo in 1993 featuring; ‘What Are You Waiting For’, ‘You Don’t Understand Me And I Know That You Never Will’ and ‘If Not Now Then When?’. Joey and Bryan would later go on to form the much loved Future Kings Of Spain. Thanks to Pat Barrett and for the bio and Jamesomcm for the photo.

“Verta-Ray (named after Matt Verta Ray from Madder Rose) Recorded in July 24/25 1993 in Sun. Our first time in a studio. Lorcan Cousins on the desk. He told us Lee Ranaldo was in the day previously. Could’ve been a spoof. It impressed us anyway. We’d no idea what we were doing. We were 9 months old. Our first band etc. It cost a small fortune; we were 4 full time students! Peter Collins (filling in for Dave) gave it the first spin. Jim Lockhart called us later offering a Fanning Session. February 1994 the first on their new 24 track desk. We thought we’d “made it”. We hadn’t.”

Anyone got the 1994 Fanning Session?

verta-ray – ‘what are you waiting for’ (1993)

Crumb / ‘I Found That Essence Rare’ (2022)

Posted in Music with tags , , on March 12, 2022 by Fanning Sessions


Canadian record label The Beautiful Music have just released a compilation titled ‘I Found That Essence Rare‘ which apart from being an excellent listen happens to feature two tracks close to our hearts. The first is a David Long cover of ‘Hand Of Love’ by The Sound. Adrian Borland of course produced the first 3 albums by Into Paradise. The second is a great mashup by Crumb of Jimmy Webb’s ‘MacArthur Park’ with ‘Echo Beach’ by Martha & The Muffins. Wally of The Beautiful Music first heard the song on the Crumb MySpace page some years ago and there began the detective work. Crumb were Derrick Dalton (guitars, vocals), Dez Foley (drums, vocals) and Eamonn Davis/Fiachra McCarthy (bass). They released one album ‘Evenings & Weekends‘ in 2005. Derrick was a much loved member of Hey Paulette and Mexican Pets who sadly died in 2008.  Dez Foley was a member of Wilder and recently released an album as Acton Bell. The compilation is free to download and a CD copy comes with any purchase from the TBM catalogue.

Crumb – ‘MacArthur Park / Echo Beach’

The Blades (Complete 1981 Session)

Posted in dan hegarty, Fanning, radio, session with tags on February 20, 2022 by Fanning Sessions

the blades 1981Thanks to the continued efforts of Dan Hegarty we now finally have the complete 1981 session for Dave Fanning by The Blades. The band at that time were; Paul Cleary (vocals & guitar), Brian Foley (bass) and Jake Reilly (drums). The Blades of course play The Academy, Dublin on March 19th.

This Sunday at 10pm Dan Hegarty has a treat in store for fans of Power Of Dreams with an hour long documentary on their debut album ‘Immigrants, Emigrants and Me’.

Downmarket (1981)

Me & My Girl (1981)

Tears That Tell The Truth (1981)

Empty Shell (1981)

The Devlins (1990 Session)

Posted in Music with tags on February 2, 2022 by Fanning Sessions

Their first visit to a recording studio apparently, not that you would suspect it, The Devlins recorded this session for Dave Fanning in 1990, three years before their debut album ‘Drift’ would appear on Capitol Records. They would release 3 further albums, ‘Waiting’ (1997), ‘Consent’ (2001) and ‘Waves’ (2005). Colin Devlin released two solo albums ‘Democracy Of One’ (2009) and ‘High Point’ (2018). Colin and Peter Devlin last performed as The Devlins in 2015 but have not officially called it a day. Thank you Dan Hegarty for repeating this session on 1st Feb 2022. The Devlins were originally Niall Macken, Colin Devlin, Sean Devitt and Peter Devlin. Since album #3 Mark Murphy (guitar) and Guy Rickarby (drums) have replaced Niall and Sean. If rumours are to be believed The Devlins are currently working on new material.

Cuban Heels (1990)
Open Up Your Heart (1990)
Colours (1990)
I Think Its Gonna Rain (1990)

The Castanedas (1992 Session)

Posted in dan hegarty, Fanning, radio, session with tags , on January 26, 2022 by Fanning Sessions

castanedas repeat session sunday times

From Carlow, The Castanedas were Eric Cole (guitar/ lead vocals), Jim Jordan (guitar), Colm Walsh (bass) and Eric Murray (drums). Thanks to Dan Hegarty for rebroadcasting this session on Tuesday 25th January. According to Dan the session was recorded for Dave Fanning on November 13th 1992. Eric Cole now lives in Brisbane, Australia and Eric Murray is currently in the U.S. The newspaper clipping is from The Sunday Times.

Present (1992)
So Soon (1992)
Mind The Gap (1992)
Happy Bus (1992)

Ronnie Spector (1990 Interview)

Posted in Books, Fanning, interview with tags , on January 17, 2022 by Fanning Sessions

ronnie spector with dave fanning 1990

Sometime in 1990 Ronnie Spector visited Dublin for the second time. On the first occasion she and The Ronettes were ably supported by The Rolling Stones. On this occasion however she was in town to promote her recently published memoir ‘Be My Baby: How I Survived Mascara, Miniskirts, and Madness’. Ronnie sadly died this week at the age of 78. In tribute Dave Fanning revisited that 1990 interview on his show yesterday. Ronnie & The Ronettes played at the National Concert Hall on January 21st 2019, Ronnie performed at The Helix on December 14th later the same year.

Ronnie Spector interview (1990)

Ill Dependents (1996 Session)

Posted in Fanning, radio, session with tags , , , on December 22, 2021 by Fanning Sessions


Ill Dependents were the recording project of Hazo aka Paul Hayes a DJ, producer and rapper from Galway. They recorded this session for Dave Fanning in 1996 and released 3 EPs between 1998 and 1999. Scan courtesy photographer Paul McCarthy of a feature in Trace Magazine (1988) written by Will Ashon. Thanks to Dan Hegarty and Ian Wilson for digging this out of the RTE vaults.

Storm Comin (1996)

Dream Process (1996)

Many Disconnected (1996)

Rare (1995 Session)

Posted in dan hegarty, Fanning, radio, session with tags , on November 17, 2021 by Fanning Sessions


From Derry, Rare were Mary Gallagher (vocals), Locky Morris (bass), Seán Ó’Néill (guitar) and David Whiteside (drums). They released a single ‘Set Me On Fire’ on Setanta Records (1990) but waited six years before the next on Equator Records (1996). In March 1995 they recorded this session for Dave Fanning. It was repeated by Dan Hegarty on 16th October 2021. Photo courtesy irishmusicdb. Their 1996 single ‘Something Wild‘ never fails to cheer me up but the final track of this session is fast becoming a new favourite. If anyone has more details on the band, what they did or what they are now doing please get in touch.

Same As Always (1995)

Rollercoaster (1995)

One Kiss (1995)

Slow Rider (1995)

Michael Gerrard LMFM Sessions

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , on November 8, 2021 by Fanning Sessions

A recent tweet by Michael Gerrard stopped us in our tracks. The longtime LMFM and Boyneside Radio DJ and producer shared images of a number of homegrown compilations of sessions recorded for the Tony Clayton Lea Rock show in the 1990s featuring a who’s who of Irish acts of the time. A House, Aslan, Something Happens!, The Revenants, The Pale, The Joshua Trio, The Blue Angels, The Golden Horde, The Frames, The Stunning, The Sawdoctors, Engine Alley, Ghost Of An American Airman, Grasshopper, The Wilde Oscars, Brian Kennedy and Darling Sugar Honey all recorded sessions for the show. These acts were usually in Drogheda to play shows at The Boxing Club where Michael would invariably be on pre/post show DJ duties. If the following examples are anything to go by we could be looking at a great compilation release.

The Revenants ‘Here Comes A Regular’

The Blue Angels ‘Never Let You Down’

Bawl (1996 Session)

Posted in radio, session with tags on October 28, 2021 by Fanning Sessions


From Dublin, Bawl were Mark Cullen (vocals, guitar), Darren Cullen (guitar), Stephen McBride (bass) and Jason Cullen (drums). This session was recorded for Dave Fanning in May 1996 and rebroadcast by Dan Hegarty on October 27th 2021. Shortly after recording this session they released their debut album ‘Year Zero’. Circa 1999 they became Fixed Stars and in 2000 added A House alumni Martin Healy and David Morrissey to become Pony Club. In 2010 Mark Cullen formed The Unruly Trinity with Simon Quigley and Colm Keegan. Thanks to irishmusicdb for the photo and band chronology.

Older & Older (1996)

Beyond Safeways (1996)

Mistake (1996)

Dave Fanning: Classic Irish Tracks Uncovered

Posted in Fanning, interview, Music, radio with tags , , , on October 25, 2021 by Fanning Sessions

classic irish track

They say that buses come in threes, I wonder does the same apply to podcasts? We recently raved about a podcast revisiting classic Irish albums, well Dave Fanning has been looking at classic Irish tracks. Something Happens!, The Frank & Walters, The Saw Doctors and The Cranberries have featured so far and each installment is well worth a listen. Tom Dunne needs to write that Warren Zevon tour exposé but in the meantime catch his weekly ‘Music & Me‘ column in The Irish Examiner. And finally, this week’s classic Fanning session on the Dan Hegarty show is from Bawl (1996). Incidentally Something Happens!, The Frank & Walters, The 4 Of Us, Hothouse Flowers and An Emotional Fish all play Feile Classical this Thursday in the 3 Arena.

Noel Hogan: ‘Linger’ by The Cranberries

Leo Moran: ‘N17’ by The Saw Doctors

Paul Linehan: ‘After All’ by The Frank & Walters

Tom Dunne: ‘Parachute’ by Something Happens!

The Brilliant Trees (1996 Session)

Posted in Music with tags on October 23, 2021 by Fanning Sessions

the brilliant trees

From Finglas in Dublin, The Brilliant Trees are Alan Hoey (vocals, guitar), Tony Barrett (guitar), Sid Barrett (bass) and Dave Farrell (drums). They debuted with a single ‘Home’ (1993) and went on to release two albums ‘Friday Night’ (1996) and ‘Wake Up & Dream’ (1998). They split up in 2005 but returned in 2016 with 2 singles ‘I Know, I Know’ and ‘Summer Song’. This session was recently repeated on the Dan Hegarty show on 2fm.

Gone For Good (1996)

Talent (1996)

Keep Me Away From Her (1996)

Family Matters (1996)

In Tua Nua (1988 Acoustic Session)

Posted in Music with tags on October 8, 2021 by Fanning Sessions

On 19th May 1988 In Tua Nua visited the Dave Fanning studio for an interview and acoustic session to launch their second album ‘The Long Acre‘. According to the official timeline this was the third version of the band and they were from left to right: Lovely Previn (violin), Brian O’Briain (uilleann pipes, whistle & saxophone), Matt Spalding (bass), Jack Dublin (guitar), Leslie Dowdall (vocals), Martin Clancy (guitar) and Paul Byrne (drums). This session was recently rebroadcast by Dan Hegarty on his RTE 2fm show The Alternative. If a recording of the interview turns up we hope to share. Thanks Colm Kavanagh for locating a photo. In Tua Nua still perform, pandemics willing, Paul Byrne released a solo album in 2014 and Leslie Dowdall has just released a new EP ‘Brightlight’ on Bandcamp.

Don’t Fear Me Now

Jealous Knife

Everybody’s Darlin

Mise Freshin’ – Trad vs Hiphop

Posted in Music with tags , , , , on October 4, 2021 by Fanning Sessions

On St Patrick’s Day 2021 RTÉ Radio 1 broadcast ‘Mise Freshin‘ an hour long “mix and mash” of Irish traditional, folk and hip hop hosted by Ray Cuddihy. It was a great listen and by all accounts a success because Ray subsequently recorded a second episode. We’d been meaning to share but last weekend the show won Gold in the ‘Music Special’ section of the 2021 IMRO music awards so we’ve finally got our act together. Expect to hear Lunitic, DJ Mek, Scary Eire and Ill Dependents along side Lankum, Mary Wallopers and Planxty. Ray has also recently presented a number of ‘Late Date‘ shows adding his own inimitable and welcome stamp.

To Here Knows When – Great Irish Albums Revisited

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , on September 18, 2021 by Fanning Sessions

Paul Mc Dermott is no stranger round these parts, he is the man behind a series of excellent radio documentaries on Microdisney, Stump, Finbarr Donnelly and Michael O’Shea. Paul’s latest project is a podcast ‘To Here Knows When – Great Irish Albums Revisited‘ looking at the making of iconic Irish albums with one of the creators. The first episode featured Paul Page of Whipping Boy on their album ‘Heartworm‘ which has just been rereleased in an expanded edition by Needle Mythology (with new sleeve note by Colm O’Callaghan of The Blackpool Sentinel). Episode 2 looked at the Toasted Heretic album ‘Another Day, Another Riot‘ with Julian Gough which was also recently rereleased in digital form. We’re not big on podcasts here but Paul is on a one man mission to change that, both episodes were fantastic listens offering new detail on the recording of the albums and providing insight how the artists now feel about their creations at a 25 year remove. Episode 3 will feature Cathal Coughlan on ‘Viva Dead Ponies’ by Fatima Mansions which is also sure to be essential listening. We wish Paul the best of luck with the new venture and look forward to many more episodes.

Update: Adding Tom Dunne interview on the Newstalk Sean Moncrief show.

Episode 1: Paul Page (Whipping Boy)

Episode 2: Julian Gough (Toasted Heretic)

Episode 3: Cathal Coughlan (Fatima Mansions)

Episode 4: Shane O’Neill (Blue In Heaven)

Episode 5: David Long (Into Paradise)

Paul McDermott interview (21st Sep 2021)

PBR Streetgang (Session)

Posted in Fanning, radio, session on August 7, 2021 by Fanning Sessions

pbr streetgangFrom Northern Ireland and with 3 releases on Terri Hooley’s Good Vibrations, details are once again annoyingly sparse for today’s session from PBR Streetgang. Please get in touch if you have any information. Update: Thanks to Stuart Bailie we now know the band were fronted by Colin Crooks later of The Graceland Conspiracy and The Dollybyrds. 


Talking To You

Running Into Dust

These Days

Good Sons (1990 Demo)

Posted in demo, Fanning, Music on August 5, 2021 by Fanning Sessions


The beauty of a track like today’s is that it makes for an easy post. We have no information beyond what is on the tape inlay – the band name and the fact that it is a demo courtesy Dave’s outro. The track name is a guess as is the year. Hopefully someone out there will know more and come to the rescue. Things are moving at a snail’s pace round here, motivation is not very high. There might be posts on the way on The Kid Sisters, The Black Sessions and PBR Streetgang but don’t hold your breath. Incidentally The Pale track is a demo recording of ‘Butterfly’. The Wishing Stones session can be found here.

Deep Blue Sea (1990 Demo)

Abstract Analogue

Posted in Music with tags , on July 28, 2021 by Fanning Sessions

abstract analogue

We’ve been fans of the Abstract Analogue page since it’s inception, it is one of the few facebook pages we check daily. Stephen Rennicks tumblr page features interviews and long reads some dating from Stephen’s fanzine days with XL. There is also a monthly radio show ‘Time Travel‘ on Dublin Digital Radio. The following ‘Dusty Heads’ profile is a great introduction to what Stephen does and a lot of what he says articulates perfectly what we find ourselves doing here. That he still has his magazine collection is a bit of a sore point as we disposed of a considerable number of Hot Press issues from the late 80s / early 90s before taking the plunge ourselves. Congrats to molotov ape for the cool audiovisual.

Junkster (1995 Session)

Posted in dan hegarty, Fanning, radio, session with tags , on July 16, 2021 by Fanning Sessions


From Dublin, Junkster were Deirdre O’Neill (vocals), Aidan Lane (guitar), Mick Creedon (guitar), Graham Darcy (bass) and Donal McParlin (drums). They released an eponymously titled album on RCA in 1997 but saw greater success in the US than on these shores. O’Neill, Darcy and Lane were previously in The Joys. More details on irishrock but as always please get in touch with memories and corrections. Thanks to Dan Hegarty for rebroadcasting. The first two tracks appeared on the debut album, ‘Silver Boy’ was never released. Pete Holidai produced the session and co-produced the album in Woodstock. For more details have a listen to Dee talk to Dan as part of his ‘For The Record‘ series.

Going Down (1995)

Twister (1995)

Silver Boy (1995)

Mundy (1996 Session)

Posted in Music with tags , , on June 24, 2021 by Fanning Sessions


From Birr, Co. Offaly, Mundy released his debut album ‘Jelly Legs’ in 1996. The track ‘To You I Bestow’ featured on the excellent soundtrack to the equally impressive Baz Luhrmann film ‘Romeo + Juliet’. They recorded this session for Dave Fanning in 1996 fresh off a UK tour and it shows. The band were Steo Farrell (guitar), Shane Fitzsimons (bass) and Cion O’Callaghan (drums). Engineer was Paddy Breen, producer was Pete Holidai. The session was recently rebroadcast on the Dan Hegarty show.

To You I Bestow (1996)
Gin & Tonic Sky (1996)
Life’s A Cinch (1996)
Springtown (1996)

Blue In Heaven (1985 Session)

Posted in dan hegarty, Fanning, radio, session with tags on June 9, 2021 by Fanning Sessions

blue in heaven

From Churchtown in Dublin, Blue In Heaven were Shane O’Neill (guitar/vocals), Eamonn Tynan (guitar), Declan Jones (bass) and Dave Clarke (drums). Shane, Declan and Dave were previously in Amuse with Dave Long (Into Paradise). Shane, Declan and Dave would later form The Blue Angels with Quentin Cowper and Eamonn Tynan. Shane and Dave teamed up again in Supernaut and in May 2021 released an album ‘Moll & Zeis‘. Photo by Mary Lee (c) RTÉ Stills Department taken backstage at ‘Self Aid‘ (1986). Thanks to Dan Hegarty for continuing to plough through the archive and of course to the oracle himself Ian Wilson. Be sure to check out Mike McGrath-Bryan‘s radio preview in the Irish Examiner every Saturday as he has the inside track regarding what sessions will feature on Dan’s show. Check out this recent interview with Dan on the RTE Studio8 sessions.

Across My Heart (1985)
Brings Me Closer (1985)
Like A Child (1985)

The Wishing Stones (1991 Session)

Posted in Music with tags , on June 4, 2021 by Fanning Sessions

wishing stones

From Dungarvan in Co. Waterford The Wishing Stones were Darren O’Connor (vocals), Conor Power (lead guitar), Owen Kehoe (rhythm guitar), Brendan Hayes (bass) and Dermot Dwyer (drums). They released ‘Surely’ as a single in 1991 on Danceline Records produced by Mark Cagney and Sean McDevitt. It sells for up to €80 on discogs if you have a copy. John Clarke of 2FM declared it the best single of the year so far. They toured Ireland with Robert Palmer and UB40, Brian Travers of UB40 played saxaphone on this session.

She’s Gone

Love My Yellow Bicycle


Couldn’t Be Wrong

Roots Musings on Dublin City FM

Posted in Music with tags , on May 28, 2021 by Fanning Sessions


Roots Musings is an hour long weekly radio show every Thursday at 11pm on Dublin City FM hosted by Denis Goodbody. I listened to the Mulligan show this week and it struck me that the show would probably appeal to readers of this site. Mulligan Records was an independent Irish record label started by Donal Lunny and Seamus O’Neill in 1976. Check out this 10 minute profile on ‘Summerhouse’ broadcast on 29 August 1979. There was also an RTÉ Doc On One episode (1985).

By way of introduction to ‘Roots Musings’ here are a few of my favourite episodes. There are 247 shows in total archived on the show’s Mixcloud page.


‘Mulligan Records’

A tribute to the Irish record label which released 40 albums and a slew of singles, “all representative of quality, contemporary Irish music as it stood at the time”. Expect to hear: The Bothy Band, Mick Hanly, Andy Irvine, Paul Brady, Vinnie Kilduff, Sonny Condell, Midnight Well, Barry Moore, Scullion, Freddie White, Gay & Terry Woods, Deke O’Brien, Supply Demand & Curve, The Boomtown Rats and The Radiators.

’80s Irish’

Tracks from The Blades, The Radiators from Space, Hot House Flowers, In Tua Nua, The Stunning, Light A Big Fire, Trouble Pilgrims, A House, Scullion, The Golden Horde, The Four Of Us and Something Happens

‘More Dublin In The ’80s’

Music from D.C. Nien, Tokyo Olympics, The Shade, Big Self, Micro Disney, Fatima Mansions, Paranoid Visions, That Petrol Emotion, Tiberius Minnows, The Atrix, Stars of Heaven, Slowest Clock, The Subterraneans, My Bloody Valentine, Toasted Heretic and The Dixons.

‘In Concert: The Favourite Gigs of Ireland’s Music Community’

A companion piece to Michael Murphy and Niall McGuirk’s excellent book the show samples eleven of the contributions in combination with songs contemporaneous with the gig described.

‘Recollections of Punks & Friends’

Great Gig Memories From Punks and Friends‘ is a second volume by the Hope Collective. Expect to hear extracts from Charlie Harper of UK Subs on Hendrix, Pete Holidai of The Radiators from Space on Tyrannosaurus Rex, Fachtna O’Kelly on Bob Marley, Bernie Furlong on Siouxsie & the Banshees, Elvera Butler on The Stranglers, Russ Bestley on Killing Joke & Aztec Camera, Morty McCarthy on The Smiths, Miriam McGuirk on Fugazi and Orla Lee on The Pogues.

Another Day, Another Riot – digital release for third Toasted Heretic album

Posted in Music with tags , on May 24, 2021 by Fanning Sessions

toasted heretic - another day another riot

To celebrate the digital release of their impossible to find (unless you’re prepared to pay $900 for a used copy) third album ‘Another Day, Another Riot‘ Galway’s finest Toasted Heretic have just released a new single ‘Satellite Dishes’. Julian Gough and Neil Farrell spoke to Dan Hegarty on his show last week to bring him up to speed. Thanks Dee for copies of the original album artwork.

Further reading:
Julian Gough on Toasted Heretic 30 years on [Irish Times]
Toasted Special [Blackpool Sentinel] 

Dan Hegarty interview (2021)

Private World – Crucible

Posted in Music with tags , on May 19, 2021 by Fanning Sessions

private world limerick leader

From Limerick, Private World were Pearse Gilmore (vocals), Brian Kelly (guitar), James Hanley (keyboards), John Moriarty (bass) and Seamus O Muircheartaigh (drums). They may or may not feature this Friday when RTÉ Radio 1 Extra broadcast ‘Digging For Fire‘, “a mix of memoir, documentary and drama, exploring the nature of youthful creativity as the programme-makers remember their participation in the Limerick band scene of the early 1990s”. We hear The Hitchers and They Do It With Mirrors feature so it is not beyond the bounds of possibility. Incidentally The Hitchers are currently running  a fundit to release a their 1997 debut album ‘It’s All Fun & Games Til Someone Loses An Eye’ on 12” vinyl.


Luka Bloom – Rescue Mission (acoustic)

Posted in Music with tags on May 18, 2021 by Fanning Sessions

luka bloom

A recent tape listen brought two tracks from Luka Bloom to light. One of these, ‘Mary Watches Everything’ has previously featured but ‘Rescue Mission’ was new. Both were recorded live in studio probably as part of an interview. We’ve been fans of Luka since first hearing Dave play Red Square, we then saw him perform as Barry Moore before he adopted the name Luka Bloom. A frequent and well travelled live performer we last saw him in De Barra’s of Clonakilty. Luka has just released an instrumental album ‘Out Of The Blue‘ and has european dates lined up for late 2021. 

Rescue Mission

Globes (1992 Demo)

Posted in demo, Music, radio with tags on May 17, 2021 by Fanning Sessions


mixtape no1
We have absolutely no information on today’s demo, a track called ‘Real Thing’ by a band called Globes. If you recognise it or can fill in some detail please get in touch.

Real Thing (Demo)

The Cottons (1991 Demo)

Posted in Music with tags , on April 16, 2021 by Fanning Sessions

the cottons

From Tallaght/Clondalkin, The Cottons were John Noble (vocals), Ger Berns (guitar), Alan Cullivan (bass) – later of Puppy Love Bomb and manager to The Thrills, Pat Dillon (drums) – later of The Harvest Ministers. Edwin Ryan (harmonica) and Arthur Beasley (keyboards) also feature on this recording from Sun Studios where the engineer was Robbie Adams. Previously known as Jamie Cotton Band ‘Miss A Slippery Lane (Live)’ featured on the compilation Comet LP Two. Thanks to VCC for the recording.

The Someone I Want To Be

Loveology (Get You Laid)

Dub Dub Me Do

Uaneen Fitzsimons – No Disco Tribute

Posted in Music with tags , on April 11, 2021 by Fanning Sessions

On what would have been the 50th birthday of much missed Uaneen Fitzsimons, KillianM2 has posted an abbreviated version of the No Disco tribute (music videos removed for copyright reasons).

Manhole (1995 Session)

Posted in Fanning, Music, radio, session with tags , on April 2, 2021 by Fanning Sessions

From Cork, Manhole were Dick (vocals), Gussie (bass), Glen (keyboards), Gilbert (guitar) and Montage (drums). They featured on the Ten By Ten compilation which was the subject of a recent B-Side the Leeside profile in the Irish Examiner. Incidentally the Examiner has been doing sterling work of late, their radio preview of a Saturday is a first port of call to see which archive sessions will feature on Tuesday’s Dan Hegarty show. For further Manhole recordings check out Gus on Soundcloud.


The Denim Queen’s Wet Dream


Leisure Explosion

The Frank and Walters (1997 Acoustic Session)

Posted in Fanning, live, radio, session with tags , , on March 29, 2021 by Fanning Sessions

frank and walters grand parade

In 1997 The Frank and Walters released their second album ‘Grand Parade‘ on Setanta Records. A couple of weeks earlier on June 17th they dropped into 2fm to record an acoustic session for the Dave Fanning show hosted by deputy Pat O’Mahony. This session was detailed extensively in Hot Press magazine by Peter Murphy and can be read here. The band at the time were Paul Linehan (vocals/bass), Niall Linehan (guitar) and Ashley Keating (drums). All but 3 of the tracks featured on ‘Grand Parade’ the exception being the final track ‘Restraint’. Should anyone have a better copy of the session or a full recording of ‘Landslide’ please drop us a line.

Indian Ocean

Little Dolls



Sissy (1999 Session)

Posted in Fanning, radio, session with tags , on March 22, 2021 by Fanning Sessions


From Carlow, Sissy were from left to right Justin Kelly (guitar), Fergal Barry (lead guitar), Claire Noons (vocals), Sean McMahon (bass) and Padraigh Comerford (drums). They recorded a 4 track session produced by Paddy McBreen for Dave Fanning in 1999 of which we have the first two numbers. They were one of 6 Irish bands chosen by 2FM to go to Eurodisney in Paris to play shows over St Patrick’s week. Fergal, Sean and Padraigh went on to form Le Mons and later The Lemons. Fergal Barry died tragically in Prague in 2005 and is still sadly missed by Pádraigh and Sean. If you have the remaining tracks or any press reviews please get in touch.


Novelty (1999)

Crazy Time (1999)

Porcelyn Tears ‘Killing Eyes’ (1985)

Posted in Music with tags , , on March 10, 2021 by Fanning Sessions

Porcelyn Tears

From Cork, Porcelyn Tears were Ann Redmond (vocals), Kay Creedon (keyboards), Gerlyn Ryan (bass) and Grace O’Sullivan (drums). They apparently recorded three Fanning sessions but we do not have any recordings. This track was on a cassette from the Dennis Herlihy archive and was recorded in December 1985 at The Lab, Dublin. Ann Redmond later formed The Chapter House as detailed in this excellent Examiner feature ‘B-Side the Leeside: The Cork band picked up by Madonna

Killing Eyes (1985)

Real Wild West – Live at Eurorock (1987)

Posted in Fanning, live, Music with tags on March 9, 2021 by Fanning Sessions


“Dublin’s most uncompromising rockers” Dave Fanning

From Dublin, Real Wild West were Charlie Rafferty (bass & vocals), Paul Murtagh (guitar), Robbie Warren (drums) and Ian Smith (trumpet). Thank you stilpix for the very cool poster for a gig in The Project with The Golden Horde, Guru Wierdbrain, The Amazing Colossal Men and Duane Ripley and his Gogo Set. Fondly remembered by respected opinion Real Wild West recorded an album for Setanta Records which unfortunately never saw the light of day. Thanks to Cork Zine Archive for the tape recording.

Rollerskate Skinny ‘Horsedrawn Wishes’ at 25

Posted in dan hegarty, interview with tags , on March 4, 2021 by Fanning Sessions

rollerskate skinny

To celebrate 25 years since the release of ‘Horsedrawn Wishes’ the second album by Rollerskate Skinny, Dan Hegarty spoke to Steve Murray of the band. They talked about whether the band might reform, if there was any unreleased material and whether the lost third album would ever see the light of day. Photo credit: Paul McCarthy.

An Emotional Fish (1989 Session)

Posted in dan hegarty, Fanning, radio, session with tags on February 26, 2021 by Fanning Sessions


Formed in 1988, An Emotional Fish were Ger Whelan (vocals), Enda Wyatt (bass, keyboards), David Frew (guitars) and Martin Murphy (drums). Martin Murphy sadly passed away in 2017. The band released 3 albums, ‘An Emotional Fish’, Junk Puppets’ and ‘Sloper’. Ger Whelan continues to perform as Jerry Fish & The Mudbug Club. A big thank you to Dan Hegarty & Ian Wilson for digging out this 1989 session for Dave Fanning. Be sure to tune to Dan’s show this Sunday at 11pm on 2fm when he talks to Steve Murray on the 25th anniversary of the release of Rollerskate Skinny’s opus ‘Horsedrawn Wishes’.

Anyway (1989)
All Night Long (1989)
Hallelujah, Love & Stuff (1989)
Strange Things (1989)

JJ72 (1998 Session)

Posted in dan hegarty, Fanning, radio, session with tags , on February 18, 2021 by Fanning Sessions

jj72 examiner

JJ72 were formed in 1996 by Mark Greaney (vocals, guitar) and Fergal Matthews (drums). They were later joined by Hilary Woods (bass). They released albums in 2000 and 2002 and a third was recorded but never released at which point the band called it a day. On Tuesday 9th February Dan Hegarty revisited their 1998 Fanning session featuring all four tracks ‘Oxegen’, ‘Undercover Angel’, ‘October Swimmer’ and ‘Bumble Bee’. The show is available on the RTE radio player here (link to 2XM repeat on 10th Feb). Hilary Woods is a critically acclaimed solo artist releasing two albums in 2020.

Oxegen (1998)

Undercover Angel (1998)

October Swimmer (1998)

Bumble Bee (1998)

A House (1997 Session)

Posted in dan hegarty, Fanning, radio, session with tags on February 3, 2021 by Fanning Sessions


We didn’t know there was a 1997 Fanning session by A House so were very pleasantly surprised when Dan Hegarty gave it a long overdue outing on his show last night. Recorded just before the band broke up it features new versions of one song from each of the first 4 albums. We hope Dan plays the fourth track ‘Violent Love’ at some point and will update this post if he does. If you haven’t already checked it out we recommend Fergal Bunbury‘s latest musical project FBU62.

Endless Art
I Want To Be Allowed To Love You

13 Wonderful Songs

Bedroom Convention (1992 Demo)

Posted in demo with tags , , on February 2, 2021 by Fanning Sessions

bedroom convention

“the most original band in Cork”
Shane Fitzsimons, Rockfile, 23 July 1992

Hailing from Cork, Bedroom Convention were Hilary Coughlan (vocals), Eoghan Horgan (keyboards), Louis Lovett (sax), Dave Fenton (drums). Thanks to Cork Zine Archive for the cassette and Robin James for the reminder and band details. Hilary features on a track from the most recent Boa Morte album ‘Before There Was Air‘.

Bedroomish Convention

Enjoy The Sun

April Showers

Tuesday Blue (Sound Channel Demo)

Posted in Barry Martin, demo with tags , on January 25, 2021 by Fanning Sessions


Watching Tuesday Blue on the Late Late show prompted a root through the tapes, turning up the 1986 Eurorock performance and also 4 demo tracks recorded from Limerick pirate radio station The Sound Channel as played by Barry Martin. From Limerick, Tuesday Blue were Michael Ryan (vocals), Dave Keary (guitar), Ralf Lindeim (bass), Ray Fean (drums, percussion) & Tom Jones (keyboards, piano).

Dear Life

Escape The Escape

I Believe In You


The Stars Of Heaven (1988 Session)

Posted in Music with tags , on January 10, 2021 by Fanning Sessions

the stars of heaven by conor horgan

One of the few positives of 2020 was a weekly feature on the Dan Hegarty show The Alternative. On Tuesday nights Dan digs out two sessions from the archive to be featured on his RTE 2fm show. Over the course of the last six months he has featured Fanning sessions from Blink, Wilt, Emperor Of Ice Cream, Therapy?, The Stunning, Scary Eire, The Frank & Walters, Virgin Prunes, The Frames, The Golden Horde, The Thrills, Engine Alley, Whipping Boy, Kerbdog, The Young Offenders, Power Of Dreams, Sultans Of Ping F.C. and most recently The Stars Of Heaven. Next week’s session is from Shake.

The Stars Of Heaven were Stephen Ryan (vocals, guitar), Stan Erraught (guitar), Peter O’Sullivan (bass), and Bernard Walsh (drums). They recorded two sessions for Dave Fanning, the 1984 session can be found here. Two tracks from the 1988 session were released on the 1999 compilation ‘Unfinished Dreaming’. Everything But The Girl covered ‘Lights of Te Touan‘ on their 1994 Rollercoaster EP. We recently came across a short ‘Lost Albums‘ feature for @Last TV featuring interviews with Stan and Stephen.

Thanks to Conor Horgan for permission to use his band photo, Conor can be seen miming keyboards with The Stars Of Heaven on Megamix.

Smalltown Reel (1988)

Sing Me Back Home (1988)

Lights Of Tetouan (1988)

Money Talks (1988)

The Freakscene Christmas Album (2006)

Posted in Music with tags , on December 23, 2020 by Fanning Sessions

freakscene christmas album

Freakscene was an alternative club night which ran in Cork for approx 20 years. In 2006 they released a CD ‘Happy Birthday Jesus – The Freakscene Christmas Album’, a collection of original Christmas songs by Irish artists. Bands featured include Stanley Super 800, Niall Connolly, Boa Morte offshoot A Robot Me, The Grunts, Lotus Lullaby and more. It is available on Spotify, YouTube, iTunes etc but we suspect some of the band names are swapped. We’ll try to update with some bio info and a corrected tracklisting in time for next Christmas. Thanks to Bill of Boa Morte for the tip.

Fanning’s Fab Fifty on Mixcloud

Posted in Music with tags , , on December 22, 2020 by Fanning Sessions

fab50 1995

Towards the end of every year the Fanning’s Fab 50 posts see a significant increase in traffic so it’s fair to say it was part and parcel of Christmas for many. For each of us there’s probably one year that is remembered particularly fondly and is now gathering dust in the attic in the form of a cassette tape or two. For yours truly that year was 1986. Over the lifetime of the site we’ve added to our collection of listings thanks to the efforts of like minded individuals. Last year Tadhg took it upon himself to create Spotify playlists for many of them and they have proved very popular. We have just posted three quarters of Dave’s 2011 radio broadcast to mixcloud where it joins the 2013 edition which is there in all of it’s 4 hour 23 minute glory. 2020 has been tough for many of you so we’d like to wish you a well deserved Happy Christmas. Here’s hoping 2021 will see a return to something resembling normal service..

Blink (1992 Session)

Posted in Fanning, session with tags , , , , on December 18, 2020 by Fanning Sessions

Blink ireland

Blink are Dermot Lambert (guitar, vocals), Robbie Sexton (keyboards), Brian McLoughlin (bass), Barry Campbell (drums). Blink were signed to major EMI and released three albums. In 2020 they released a 25 track compilation of demos and outtakes called ‘A Demo Of The Universe’. Dermot Lambert was previously in Empty Shell and then with Brian McLoughlin in Rex & Dino. Check out this excellent recent interview for Nessymon. Dermot is active as a solo artist and has a popular show ‘Garageland’ on RTE 2XM promoting new Irish music. Thanks to Dan Hegarty of RTE 2fm for airing as part of his Tuesday night archive session feature.

Cello (1992)

It’s Not My Fault (1992)

Ed’s Got A New Car (1992)


Mary Stokes Band (1989 Session)

Posted in blues, radio, session with tags , on November 24, 2020 by Fanning Sessions

Mary Stokes Band 1989

Formed in 1987, The Mary Stokes Band were from left to right Beki Brindle (guitar), Mary Stokes (vocals), Dermot Stokes (piano), Dave McGuinness (drums), Joe Lahart (bass) and Brian Palm (harmonica). They recorded a Fanning session in 1989, the producer was Jim Lockhart. Some 33 years and 10 albums later the band are still going strong. They are currently recording a new album.

I certainly remember the day. Other than the sense of disbelief that we would go for five tracks – that was considered outrageous! … We took one break when the guitar player did an overdub on ‘Tough Times’, returning to the studio to record the next three tracks in one take each… road hardened, we were playing really comfortably as a unit! The engineer and Jim were somewhat agog…

Tough Times (1989)
Same Thing (1989)
Crazy About You (1989)
The Blues Aint Nothing (1989)
Fine Mellow (1989)

I Am The Waltons (Demo)

Posted in Music with tags on November 11, 2020 by Fanning Sessions


By request on facebook which of course means we can no longer find out by whom, this is a demo from I Am The Waltons, produced we believe by Stan Erraught (The Stars Of Heaven, Sewing Room). There was a subsequent Ian Wilson produced Fanning session featuring ‘Fear of Parked Cars’, ‘Kicking Heads Off Flowers’, ‘Tyndrome’ and ‘Fake’. According to MySpace the band were Saiden Walton (vocals), Cypher Walton (guitar) , Omen Walton (guitar), Scuba Walton (bass),  Bart Walton (bass) and Bubba Walton (drums). We’ll go with that until we find out more but suspect Colm Fitzpatrick (Hey Paulette, Sewing Room) was involved. Colm’s latest musical project is an ambient one Lexicon Of Sound. The Sewing Room back catalogue is now available digitally, ‘Drug Free, ‘And Nico‘ and ‘Sympathy for the Dishevelled‘ and we hear a similar fate awaits an I Am The Waltons release.

J Cloths Big Sermon (1992 Demo)

Engine Alley (1995 Session)

Posted in Music with tags , , , on November 2, 2020 by Fanning Sessions

Engine Alley 1995

On January 16th 1995, shortly before the release of their second album ‘Shot In The Light’ Engine Alley recorded a session for Dave Fanning. We had never heard this session before so a big thank you to Dan Hegarty for airing it once more. Engine Alley are Canice Kenealy (guitar & vocals), Brian Kenealy (guitar), Eamonn Byrne (bass) and Kenneth Rice (violin & keyboards). Jerry Fehily played drums on the session. 

Be sure to check out Dan’s 2fm show not just the Tuesday edition when he visits the archives to feature two repeat sessions; one from Dave Fanning and a second from Dan’s show.

Surprise (1995)

Innocent (1995)

I Can’t Help You (1995)

The Last One (1995)

To celebrate 25 years since the release of ‘Shot In The Light’ as part of his ‘For The Record’ series Dan recently interviewed Canice Kenealy of Engine Alley and asked him about a possible vinyl release (unlikely).

Canice Kenealy Interview (2020)

The Shanks (1992 cassette)

Posted in Music with tags , on October 24, 2020 by Fanning Sessions

the shanks 1992

From Newmarket, Co.Cork, The Shanks were Tim Murphy (guitar, vocals), Eoin O’Sullivan (guitar), Mick Hayes (bass) and Niall Lynch (drums). Thanks to Paul McDermott for the suggestion.

Nothing Left To Go Home To (1992)

Gustav (1992)

Funny (1992)

After 40 years Shellshock Rock sees DVD release as part of Cherry Red boxset

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , on October 23, 2020 by Fanning Sessions


To celebrate the release of ‘Shellshock Rock: Alternative Blasts From Northern Ireland 1977-1984‘ on Cherry Red Records, Stephen McCauley recently hosted a special edition of his BBC Radio Ulster show. It featured very enjoyable interviews with filmmaker John T Davis and Brian Young of RUDI interspersed with tracks from the 3 CD / DVD release. Said boxset now tops at least one Christmas wishlist.

Grand (2001 Session) – 4 remaining tracks

Posted in Music with tags , on October 19, 2020 by Fanning Sessions


A couple of years ago (yes where does the time go?) we shared a single track from the 2001 Fanning session by Grand. Today we are delighted to bring you the 4 remaining tracks. From Cork, Grand were Conor O’Toole (vocals & guitar), Tomás Mulcahy (keyboards), Colm O’Sullivan (bass), Niamh O’Shea (drums & vocals) and Johnny Richardson (guitar), with Lorcan MacMuiris (trumpet), Louise O’Flynn (cello) & Catríona Ohora (violin). The session was produced by Pete Holidai in May 2001, check out this cool video of proceedings.

Roundy House


I Could Be The One

100 Kindred Spirits

The Golden Horde (1984 Session)

Posted in indie with tags on October 2, 2020 by Fanning Sessions

the golden horde

Kudos to Dan Hegarty for keeping the Fanning session flame alight. Every Tuesday he features two archive sessions on his show, one of which is a Fanning session. Recent weeks have seen appearances from Whipping Boy, Engine Alley and Kerbdog. Up this week was a session recorded on 10th September 1984 by The Golden Horde. lists The Golden Horde circa 1984 as Simon Carmody (vocals), Bernie Furlong (vocals), Des O’Byrne (guitar), Donal Murray (bass) and Peter O’Kennedy (drums). According to Ian Wilson who produced, the band on this occasion featured Johnny Fean of Horslips on additional guitar. The photo is by Conor Horgan. When questioned on a recent David Hepworth and Mark Ellen video podcast appearance Dave agreed there should be albums of Fanning sessions but said he was “too lazy to do something about it”.

My Wild Love Experience (1984)

Teenage Head (1984)

The Conspiracy (1989 Session)

Posted in Fanning, Music, radio, session with tags on September 9, 2020 by Fanning Sessions

the conspiracy

The Conspiracy were Greg Pearle (vocals), Eamon Mitchell (guitar), Keith Geraghty (bass) and Michael Dunphy (drums). There was at least one further track in this 1989 session but unfortunately our tape ran out. We do have a demo ‘Say Goodbye’ which we’ll save for a future post. Eamon Mitchell kindly shared some memories with us on facebook..

The band formed in 1988 out of the ashes of the defunct indie band No Time To Cry. We performed supporting gigs in the Baggot Inn, The Tivoli and The Underground. We played a venue in Galway called Riffs beside where Monroes is now. We won a Battle of the Bands hosted by Leslie Dowdall in Raheny in 1988. We then recorded some demos in Temple Lane Studios. In 1989 we recorded a session for the Dave Fanning RTE 2FM radio show. By summer 1989 we had a loyal following and started headlining our own gigs in the Baggot Inn and Charlie’s on Aungier Street. Charlie McGettigan took over as manager and the band got some high profile gigs supporting Aslan (without Christy). At one point Paul McGuinness came to the Baggot to check us out. Alas London was calling and the band packed up and headed for the big smoke. With a new manager and a management contract signed the band set out to play the Rock Garden in Covent Garden, the Mean Fiddler in Harlesden supporting The Dixons where after our set Dave Fanning burst in with cans of Castlemaine XXXX for the band raving about the gig. The band supported The Fat Lady Sings in the Borderline before heading back to Dublin disheartened and still under contract. While licking our wounds we auditioned for The Commitments.We performed 2 songs for Alan Parker and he said he liked the band the best out of all the auditions but alas we were a rock band and The Commitments were to be a soul band. The band limped on during summer of 1990 and with in house fighting and the dreaded musical differences we broke up in July 1990 not before our swansong gig in Charlie’s supported by a very young Pale and a very very young Lir…time to pass the torch.

Servant (1989)

Ten In The Night (1989)

Auto Da Fe: Trevor Knight interview (2020)

Posted in Music with tags , , on September 3, 2020 by Fanning Sessions

auto da fe anthology

Auto Da Fe were formed in 1981 by Trevor Knight and Gay Woods (Steeleye Span). Trevor spoke last Sunday to Tom Dunne about the recent release of an anthology ‘When the Curtain goes Bang!‘. Originally intended as download only, there was a subsequent limited run of CDs (CDRs? See comment) for radio a number of which were made available for sale. Four of the singles were produced by Phil Lynnot and some years later Gil Norton oversaw a number of recordings.

Trevor Knight interview (2020)

Wilt (2000 Session revisited)

Posted in Music, session with tags , on August 24, 2020 by Fanning Sessions

From Kilkenny, Wilt were Cormac Battle (vocals/guitar), Darragh Butler (drums) and Mick Murphy (bass). They recorded a session for Dave Fanning in 2000 two tracks of which ‘Peroxatine’ and ‘Radio Disco‘ were released on a limited edition version of ‘Bastinado’. Cormac and Darragh were previously members of Kerbdog who recently announced vinyl reissues of albums ‘Kerbdog’ and ‘On The Turn’. Thanks to Alan Lee and Brendan for the tracks and Pete for the prompt.

Never A Friend (2000)
I Want It All (2000)
Peroxatine (2000)

Songs In My Head – Leo Moran of The Saw Doctors

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , on August 3, 2020 by Fanning Sessions

leo moran amkelly

A recent Irish Times article by Conor Pope (The Hunting Toadstools) celebrating 30 years of ‘N17’ by The Sawdoctors reminded us of a very enjoyable episode of Ann Marie Kelly‘s RTE Radio 1 series ‘Songs In My Head‘ from last November. We had already featured The Sawdoctors 1990 Fanning session but the programme prompted us to dig out some demos from another Tuam band Blaze X. Coincidentally Leo was recently a guest on Sunday Miscellany waxing lyrical on his hometown.

Peter Green R.I.P.

Posted in Music with tags , , on July 26, 2020 by Fanning Sessions

peter green alone with the blues

To many listeners of Irish night time radio the opening bars of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Oh Well’ are forever engraved in memory transporting in an instant, raising the hairs on the back of the neck. The song which served as intro to the Dave Fanning show for many years was written and performed by Peter Green founder member of Fleetwood Mac who has sadly passed away in his sleep at the age of 73. Fittingly Dave kicked off today’s show with his old intro and was joined by long time producer Ian Wilson to pay tribute. In typical fashion Ian was to remind Dave that he actually interviewed Peter on one occasion for the show. Dave for his part recalled accidentally walking in on a BP Fallon interview at Lisdoonvarna in 1983 where the interviewer had fallen asleep but the interviewee either hadn’t noticed or was too polite to stop.

Ian Wilson on Peter Green (2020)

Kitsch Is Rich (1986)

Posted in Music with tags , , , on June 22, 2020 by Fanning Sessions

kitsch is rich

I honestly don’t understand how we’ve gotten this far without posting on one of, to my mind at least, the great lost Irish bands. Winners of the Smithwicks Rock & Pop Award in 1985, Kitsch Is Rich were a 4 piece band from Derry featuring the talents of Colum McKeever (guitar/vocals), Tony Morrison (guitar/vocals), Paul Edwards (bass/vocals) and Tommy Alford (drums). They can be seen on on YouTube performing this track for ‘Visual Eyes‘. mentions a session for Radio Foyle and we know of a live recording broadcast by Colm Arbuckle of that same station. If you have any band recordings (was this track released as a single?) or memories of seeing/hearing them please get in touch.

Kitsch Is Rich ‘Million Miles’ (1986)

The Housemartins – Dave Fanning Interview (1986)

Posted in Music with tags on June 13, 2020 by Fanning Sessions

the housemartins

Paul Heaton has been posting some old photos of The Housemartins and that reminded us of this interview which shockingly we had never posted. The band were in Ireland for a tour which took in The Bridge (Waterford), Horans (Tralee), Queens University (Belfast) and the evening of this interview on Oct 17th the Olympic Ballroom (Dublin). The audio quality at times is not the best but hopefully it is still an enjoyable listen. Thank you stilpix for sharing.

The Pleasure Cell / Top Hat Music Exhibition – a guest post by Michael Murphy

Posted in Music with tags , , , , on May 29, 2020 by Fanning Sessions

Deko of Paranoid Visions recently posted on Facebook that the Pleasure Cell single, ‘New Age‘ was his favourite Irish single of the 1980s. Niall McGuirk of the Hope Collective (promoters of Green Day, Fugazi, Chumbawamba etc) said it was his favourite single ever by an Irish band. The following is an essay by Michael Murphy who is coordinating an exhibition on the history of the Top Hat as a music venue in Dún Laoghaire.

pleasure cell - new age

There was a band I loved in Dublin, who played the Ivy Rooms and the Undergound a fair bit. My friend, Mick McCaughan, was the Ents Officer in Trinity and he loved them too. He gave them gigs and he helped other great bands like Paranoid Visions and the Horde by giving them gigs in Trinity. He brought Serious Drinking to the college, and he encouraged serious drinking by arranging the Pogues’ first headlining tour of Ireland. They were blistering in McGonagles. He also brought over some righteous French punk bands by cleverly convincing the French embassy that it was a cultural event. Which it was. A huge plate glass window was smashed on the night by some disgruntled youngsters.
Brilliantly, he hired the Meteors to play at the Trinity Ball, but an assault conviction scuppered that, so he instead hired the Virgin Prunes, who didn’t have any convictions preventing them from playing and being brilliant. He also helped lots of other acts who were starting off like Barry Moore, Cry Before Dawn and Hothouse Flowers.
Anyhow, the Pleasure Cell, who were great, asked him to manage them. He said he couldn’t since he was going to Nicaragua because he loved the Clash’s Sandinista album so much. Which was true.
pleasure cell top hat ticket
The band then asked me to work with them, because I was friends with Mick. I helped them as much as I could. And we saved enough money to release a single. They recorded the two songs in county Meath. Which could have been Ireland’s Muscle Shoals, but it wasn’t. And when the songs didn’t sound great the next day, we got on the bus to ask if we could spend some more time, and some of the money we didn’t really have, to make them sound better. There’s nothing like travelling on a CIE bus down the country on a weekday, listening to Roly Daniels on RTE to make you feel like you’ll never be heard.
Anyhow the single got done. We got a student in NCAD to help with designing the sleeve, although I wanted it to look as cool as Vox magazine and to look a bit ‘monumental’ too. So it was done in black and gold on matt paper. We had to cut every one of them into the shape of a record sleeve as we saved a few pounds by not having them professionally cut. Not only do you save a few pounds, but you also get to inhale industrial glue for hours at a time in a garden shed if you do it like that.
pleasure cell - back
As I pasted every one of the sleeves together I would gaze at the band’s photo, which, by accident, had the negative of the photograph instead of an image you could make out. It did look good though.
Flush with 300 copies in hand-made sleeves and full of optimism and glue fumes we dropped one off at RTE for Dave Fanning and Ian Wilson. Realistically we figured that no one else there would even listen to it. Brilliantly, the test pressing that we handed in had the labels on the wrong side of the single. If you thought you were playing the A-side you were actually listening to the B-side which was recorded in 90 minutes and was not Irish rock’s high point. We had blown the chance to impress the only person we really wanted to impress in Ireland.
Amazingly Ian Wilson was impressed enough by the B-side, masquerading as the A-side, to give the band a Dave Fanning Session. This was a complete thrill, and a decent payday. If you weren’t around in the 1980s music scene you may not appreciate just how much a few hundred quid could matter. It wasn’t just the money. It was that someone who played the music we loved (except when he played Led Zeppelin for lads in Cork or Thurles) was willing to give us a chance.
We wanted to get attention for our new release, so we spray-painted 10 bricks with the anarchist slogan, “Imagine The Power Of One Brick In One Hand…” Well, we actually only painted one of them with the full slogan. It was in black and gold so it was a quality product. On the others we just wrote ‘Imagine the Power’ which may have appealed to some very spiritually devoted people, or it may have given the New Age self-help movement in Ireland a timely boost.
The brick was well reviewed in the Irish music press. It got more attention than the single to be honest. But we persevered. And they were an incredible band, with the ferocity of the US hardcore bands, but the melodic guile of the Stranglers. There was nothing like them, so there was no movement for them to be part of.

pleasure cell top hat setlist

At this time, and people who went to see bands in the mid-to-late 1980s will understand this, a man moved to Dublin. To us, he was ‘The Man’. The musician we most admired. The man who could listen to Van Morrison and Bob Dylan yet not sound crap. It was as if Joe Strummer got married to Patti Smith and moved to Newgrange. Mike Scott. The Waterboys. Man, and I use that word with such fear, he was as cool as could be. Those first three albums were sublime to us.
One day he walked into the shop where I worked, The Diceman. The drummer, Will, from the Pleasure Cell worked there too. Mike Scott was looking for a chess set, Newgrange probably gets boring of an evening. We got chatting, he was a super nice guy and we told him that the Pleasure Cell played one of his songs: ‘Be My Enemy’. He said that was cool and off he went.
A few weeks later, he arrived in a busy Underground on a Saturday night. He brought his guitar and climbed up on that little stage behind the rickety red picket fence thing, and he joined the Pleasure Cell. For five minutes. But it was five minutes of pure magic. Pure decently too. He had lots of things he could be doing on a Dublin Saturday night. Yet he took time to visit a young local band, to take them seriously, to collaborate with them for a few brief moments that were played back in our minds over and over again for years.
The Pleasure Cell never ‘made it’. And what does that even mean? But on that night, when our favourite rock star was ‘one of us’, there was no place I would rather have been. No performance I would rather have seen.
The Pleasure Cell were Noel Green (guitar & vocals), Dermot Reid (bass) and Will Walsh (drums).
Michael Murphy was part of the Dublin DIY music scene in the 1980s before emigrating to London where he worked for Virgin Records, and then to New York to work for Imago Records (Henry Rollins, Aimee Mann). Later he set up his own music management company. He is now lectures about the music industry at Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology and has written extensively about the Irish and global music industries.

The Ramones on the BP Fallon Orchestra (1985)

Posted in Music with tags , , on May 26, 2020 by Fanning Sessions


Marc Bolan meets the Ramones, introduced by BP Fallon,  photographed by Richard Young. London 1976

On 25th June 1985 The Ramones played the TV Club in Dublin. The same day they did interviews with Dave Fanning and this one by Dee Dee and Joey with BP Fallon for the BP Fallon Orchestra. Thank you once again to the taper for digitising especially for us. If you have any further BPFO recordings we’d love to hear from you. Photo via tribe4mian.

The Damned on the BP Fallon Orchestra (1985)

Posted in Music with tags , , , , on May 25, 2020 by Fanning Sessions

bp damned

In 1985 BP Fallon welcomed Dave Vanian and Rat Scabies of The Damned to the RTE studio for a very entertaining conversation on his show the BP Fallon Orchestra. The recording coincided with their show at the SFX in Dublin on 13th Sept 1985. A big thank you once again to the taper who also provided the photograph.

Citizens Of Boomtown – The Story of Bob Geldof and Boomtown Rats (2020)

Posted in Music with tags , on May 22, 2020 by Fanning Sessions

bob geldof and dave fanning 2020

Citizens Of Boomtown‘ is a Billy Magra documentary telling the story of Bob Geldof and the Boomtown Rats. It features contributions from Bono, Sting, Sinead O’Connor, Joseph O’Connor, Neil McCormick among others. It was broadcast on RTE1 in March and Saturday sees the UK premiere on BBC2 at 9.20pm. Bob was a guest on Dave Fanning’s weekend show on March 21st to talk about the film, the new album and lyric book. The Blackpool Sentinel have an excellent review here.

Also on BBC1 NI this Sunday at 10.30pm is a welcome showing of the Terri Hooley biopic ‘Good Vibrations‘. RTE1 meanwhile has quietly started season 3 of Pat Shortt’s archive dig ‘Music From D’Telly‘, more details to follow.

Captain Sensible on the BP Fallon Orchestra (1985)

Posted in radio with tags , on May 20, 2020 by Fanning Sessions

On July 14th 1985 BP Fallon recorded a special London edition of his show the BP Fallon Orchestra with Captain Sensible as “guide”. The show was broadcast on RTE Radio 2 in August 1985, the photo is from the RTE Guide. Many thanks to the taper who digitised it especially for us, no mean feat given the state of said cassette some 35 years later. Fingers crossed for further BPFO shows featuring Joey & Dee Dee Ramone (1985) and Rat Scabies & Dave Vanian of The Damned (1986).

First stop on the voyage was The Cricketers in Kennington to see Basil’s Balls-Up Band. Then it was off to the Vauxhall Tavern and a chat with drag artist Candy DuBarry. This is followed by a visit to the Royal Festival Hall where Swan Lake is being performed and a chat with Steve Marriot. Next stop is the Marquee and a chat with Johnny Thunders. Then they accidentally bump into P.P. Arnold (who we at the end of the show are told features in next week’s BPFO). Then it’s on to an Adult Video store which was the site of the 2i’s Coffee Bar in Old Compton Street. Finally it’s off to the Hippodrome and a chat with the manager Roger Howe. The last item is a chat with some members of Frankie goes to Hollywood. The show was produced by Willie O’Reilly.

As always we’d love to hear what you think, can you remember the broadcast, do you have any BPFO episodes in the attic?

The Frames (1991 Demo)

Posted in Music with tags , , , on May 2, 2020 by Fanning Sessions

Sunday Miscellany last week on RTE Radio 1 featured an essay ‘Glen’s Gift‘ by Jackie Lynam. Our first thoughts when the piece finished were, does she still have the tape? Of course we reached out and Jackie was kind enough to share today’s featured track. Seafort Parade is an unreleased song from a cassette of demos given to Jackie by Glen Hansard the day before The Frames entered the studio to record their debut album. The photo is by Eoin O’B who by the looks of it also has some interesting tapes in his attic. For loads more Frames memories be sure to check out orderinthesound.

Seafort Parade (1991 demo)

The Riordans – Greener Elsewhere (1988)

Posted in Music with tags on April 19, 2020 by Fanning Sessions


From Dublin, The Riordans were Pat Clafferty (vocals/acoustic guitar), Jill Hahn (guitar) Damien Byrne (bass) and Milo Madden (drums). Jill and Pat went on to form Mexican Pets where they were joined by Derrick Dalton of Hey Paulette (bass). Pat was later in Wheel who recorded a session which we would love to hear. Thanks to Pat for the photo of himself and Jill taken in Eustace St beside the old practice rooms opposite where the IFI entrance is now.

The Riordans – Greener Elsewhere (1988)

The Sugar Rays (1988 Session)

Posted in Music with tags on April 17, 2020 by Fanning Sessions

sugar rays - borderline 1988

The Sugar Rays were Senan Burke (vocals), Dianne Steen (keyboards), Anthony Cregan (bass), Brendan Connolly (guitar), Enda Cahill (drums). This session was recorded for Dave Fanning in April 1988. Thank you Thomas for the tape and Jack for the request.

Elvis Presley On CD (1988)

Milkboy (1988)

Toulouse Lautrec (1988)

Bulletproof (1988)

Marty Lundy (Katmandu) R.I.P.

Posted in Music with tags , , on April 16, 2020 by Fanning Sessions

marty lundy

Marty Lundy of new wave act Katmandu who died on Tuesday at his home in Belfast aged 68. Photo courtesy

Dave Heffernan ‘TX’ interview

Irish Nuggets: Original Artefacts From The Irish Alternative Music Scene 1977-99

Posted in Music with tags on April 15, 2020 by Fanning Sessions

These are strange times. The last weeks round these parts have been brightened listening to the two new installments of the excellent Irish Nuggets series. These are chronological compilations of Irish alternative releases, few if any of which troubled the charts, in other words hours of music you will not be hearing on your radio any time soon. If Cherry Red were to put out a box set looking at the Irish music scene they could do worse than simply releasing these tracks. Thank you Irish Nuggets for your sterling work on these mammoth mixtapes. Click the titles below for tracklistings and sleeve notes.

Volume 8: 1994-95

Volume 7: 1992-93

Volume 6: 1990-91

Volume Five: 1988-89

Volume Four: 1985-87

Volume Three: 1982-84

Volume Two: 1980-81

Volume One: 1977-79

Rock and Popular Music in Ireland: Before and After U2

Posted in Books, Fanning, interview, Music, radio with tags , on April 3, 2020 by Fanning Sessions


We were first reminded of this publication on the occasion of Gregory Gray‘s passing and the excellent Tom Robinson tribute. One of the people Tom spoke to was Noel McLaughlin, co-author with Martin McLoone of an academic publication on Irish music ‘Rock and Popular Music in Ireland: Before and After U2‘. We tracked down a recording of the 2012 interview with the authors on the Dave Fanning show and promptly did nothing more. Reading an excellent piece by Colm O’Callaghan for the Blackpool Sentinel ‘The Rats vs Ireland’s Showbands‘ however reminded us again of the book and the interview. We don’t have a copy but our local library does so we were able to read the chapter on Gregory. Posting the interview now for posterity.

them / van morrison
the method
sean campbell ‘english blood, irish heart’
rory gallagher
sinead o’connor
gregory gray

Paul PJ McCartney (2016 Demo)

Posted in Music with tags , , on March 29, 2020 by Fanning Sessions

pj mccartney - jim cunningham

Paul PJ McCartney photo (c) Jim Cunningham

We’ve long been fans of Derry’s Bam Bam & The Calling and the subsequent projects of it’s band members (Rare, Deadly Engines, The Gatefolds). We were very lucky to witness a recent solo outing by Paul which impressed by the number of new songs in the set. Today’s track is a few years old and featured on a mixtape compiled by Paul which we hope he doesn’t mind us sharing. It was recorded by Paul with his brothers Gavin and Rion in the summer of 2016. This post is dedicated to all the sung and unsung heroes on the frontline helping us get through the apocalypse in which we now find ourselves. Stay safe everyone.

Paul PJ McCartney – Unity Light Dissolve (2016)

Nun Attax / Five Go Down To The Sea? Exhibition at Cork City Library

Posted in live, Music with tags , , , , , , on March 22, 2020 by Fanning Sessions


The best laid plans oft go astray.. the following is a guest post by Siobhan Bardsley of the Cork Zine Archive, planned to coincide with an exhibition in Cork City Library on Grand Parade before events overtook us. The library is currently closed.


“The Greatest Cork EP of all Time!” Kaught at the Kampus with advert from Hotpress 1981

I’ve always had a fascination with Nun Attax and Five Go Down to the Sea?. I remember seeing them on Anything Goes, the kids show on RTE back in 1981. My dad worked with Ricky and Keith, so we were all in front of the telly that Saturday morning, waiting to see the drummer playing out of the back window of a car!

Although having never seen Nun Attax live, nor Five Go Down to the Sea?, I was always aware of their cult following when I started going to see gigs in Cork. But by then they’d long gone.

Fast forward 30 years, while establishing the Cork Zine Archive, I came across a fanzine called Plink Plink Fizz, the first issue from 1980 had an interview with the lads from Nun Attax. All of a sudden they were back. There they were, bold as brass in their own words.

Nic who had produced that fanzine with his friends, gave me copies of the other two issues of Plink Plink Fizz, along with some of the master paste-up pages (with some of Ciaran O Tuama’s original photographs still attached) and a Nun Attax poster that he’d saved from a gig.

I knew what I had here was not just valuable publications for the Cork Zine Archive, but some unique material on Nun Attax. So this material has been the starting point of an exhibition dedicated to the band Nun Attax and it’s later incarnation as bands’ Five Go Down to the Sea? and Beethoven. The exhibition includes fanzines, photographs, records, cassettes, and demo reel, along with some newly rediscovered personal memorabilia from band members Ricky, Keith and Philip.


Original demo tape of Knocknaheeny Shuffle and Evening Echo feature from 1981 “… many will find it raucous and unmusical.”

The event is to coincide with the long awaited release of their retrospective album ‘Hiding from the Landlord‘ in April. It’s amazing to hear the remastered and previously unreleased tracks in all their glory, they remain as challenging and brilliant as they did the first time I heard them.

If anyone might like to add some memorabilia (or memories) to the exhibition, we can be contacted at

The exhibition will open on April 18th in Cork City Library, Grand Parade. The album ‘Hiding from the Landlord’ will be launched on the same day.


“The Man I Didn’t Kill” Unpublished lyrics of Finbarr Donnelly

Little Museum of Dublin seeking Italia 90 memorabilia

Posted in Music with tags , on March 15, 2020 by Fanning Sessions


We very much enjoyed the first installment of ‘The Boys In Green‘ on RTÉ One last Monday. Then on Friday we heard Professor Paul Rouse from the School of History in UCD speak to Ryan Tubridy on RTE Radio 1 about why he, along with the Little Museum of Dublin, is on the hunt for World Cup Italia ’90 memorabilia. Yours truly was lucky enough to attend Ireland’s final game as evidenced by the above ticket stub. The game was somewhat an anti-climax but witnessing the green army invade Rome sure was a sight to behold. Email photos of your memorabilia for consideration please to The final part of the documentary is on RTÉ One Monday at 9.35pm

Hiding From The Landlord – a Finbarr Donnelly retrospective on All City Records (18th April 2020)

Posted in documentary, Music with tags , , , , , , , on March 14, 2020 by Fanning Sessions

finbarr donnelly

Dublin’s All City Records are releasing a compilation on their AllChival label tracing the musical pursuits of Cork’s Finbarr Donnelly who tragically drowned in London’s Hyde Park in 1989. From the post punk of Nun Attax via the discordant indie of Five Go Down To The Sea? to the chaos of Beethoven’s short lived existence this compilation shines light on one of Ireland’s most enigmatic frontmen. The album will be released as a 15 track vinyl LP on 18th April.  The tracks were originally released on Setanta, Creation, Kabuki & Abstract in addition to previously unreleased Dave Fanning sessions. The first 100 orders come with with free 24 track CD (9 additional songs) & fanzine featuring Kevin Barry, Conal Creedon, Elvera Butler (Reekus Records), Cathal Coughlan, Gavin Friday, Úna Ní Chanainn (Five Go Down to the Sea?), Janette Garthwaite (Abstract Record), Pete Astor (The Loft/The Weather Prophets), Sally Timms (The Mekons), Declan Lynch and John Robb. Photography is by Ciarán Ó Tuama.

Preorders are now open on the bandcamp page.

A special day. One that’s been wanting/waiting for 30 years. I’ve been wanting to compile this for 30 years, and I’m really grateful for the opportunity to have gotten to do so. Here’s to Ricky Dineen, the departed Finbarr Donnelly, Mick Stack, Philip O’Connell, Keith ‘Smelly’ O’Connell, Úna Ní Chanainn, Daniel Strittmatter, the departed Maurice Carter —- and even if they’re not present on this record, they’re all present in spirit, the rest of the Nunfivethoven players – Giordai Ua Laoghaire, Mick Finnegan, and the departed Pat ‘Pat The Hat’ Kelleher.
John Byrne, record collector & DJ

I heard stories about Donnelly’s passing before I ever heard the music he created with Ricky Dineen in their bands Nun Attax, Five Go Down to the Sea? and Beethoven. I worked with Frontline Promotions promoting gigs in the mid 90s. Many’s the gig ended with a late night lock-in at Nancy Spains on Barrack Street in Cork. These sessions invariably involved Frontline’s Philip O’Connell running up a bar tab while holding forth in the company of whatever touring Irish or UK band was in town. Philip, who had played bass with Nun Attax, is a great storyteller and would regale us with tales of Nun Attax, Donnelly and the Arc. I can remember Tim Gane from Stereolab being impressed when he realised that Philip had played bass with Donnelly’s first band – this in turn impressed me. I would stumble home thinking, “Where can I get these tunes?” Jim O’Mahony gave me the records from his own collection to tape – “Jesus, mind them Paul.” The records are incredible: Nun Attax were an unbelievably good punk band, Five Go Down to the Sea? are just special, they sound like nothing else and even recorded with a bloody cello; and Beethoven’s complete obliteration of Day Tripper was awarded an NME “Single of the Week”.
Paul McDermott (producer ‘Get That Monster Off The Stage’)

Colour Tide (1995 Demo)

Posted in Music with tags , , , , on March 1, 2020 by Fanning Sessions

Colour Tide

From Cork, Colour Tide are Aidan O’Driscoll (guitar), John Brennan / John Shanahan ex Shimpu Zig Zag (vocals), George McDonald / Phil Fogarty (keyboards), Gordon Ashe ex Burning Embers, Ruby Horse (drums), Ray Murphy / Noel Barrett (bass), Alison / Siobhan (backing vocals). This song featured on a demo borrowed from Pat O’Mahony. The remaining tracks are; ‘Wake Up’, ‘Let Go’ and ‘One Day’. They self released an album ‘Underwater’ in 2001 which is available via their website.

Shelter Her From Pain (1995)

The City Remains (2020)

Posted in Music with tags , on February 19, 2020 by Fanning Sessions

the city remains

The City Remains are the latest musical project of Scale The Heights alumni Paul McAllister & Liam Kirkpatrick. Their debut eponymously titled album will be available on March 27th 2020 online and in select record shops.

DannyBoy Film (2019)

Posted in Music with tags , , , on February 13, 2020 by Fanning Sessions


We look forward to seeing DannyBoy, a coming-of-age rom-com set in 1981 small town Ireland. A micro budget indie production the film will be on the festival circuit in 2020. The screenplay is by Ferdia Mac Anna with Mary Duffin.

Elvera Butler (Reekus Records) and Ross Fitzsimons executively produced the soundtrack which features Joe Jackson, The Atrix, The Radiators, The Resistors, Tony Koklin, SM Corporation, Tim McStay (ex-Resistors), Big Self, DC Nien, Pop Mecanics, Barry Warner and more. Poster design is by Jack Healy.

Ferdia was a member of Rocky DeValera & The Rhythm Kings. He has written three novels; ‘The Last of the High Kings’ (also a 1996 movie starring Gabriel Byrne, Stephen Rea and Christina Ricci), ‘The Ship Inspector’ and ‘Cartoon City’. He has also penned a memoir, ‘The Rocky Years’ and a play ‘Big Mom’.

The film will premiere on May 1st at 7pm on the official Facebook page.

Engine Alley (1995 Acoustic Session)

Posted in Music with tags , , on February 7, 2020 by Fanning Sessions

engine alley 2

From Kilkenny, Engine Alley were for this 1995 Dave Fanning acoustic session; Canice Kenealy (vocals, guitar), Brian Kenealy (guitar) and Eamonn Byrne (bass). Thanks to Michael Mee for supplying the cassette tape. Engine Alley have resumed gigging so catch them while you can.

Steal Your Money (1995)
I Spy (1995)
So Low (1995)

In Tua Nua (In Concert 1985)

Posted in Music with tags , , on January 12, 2020 by Fanning Sessions

in tua nua

Seeing Leslie Dowdall on the Late Late Show on Friday reminded us of this 1985 recording from the Dave Fanning show. Broadcast in two 30 minutes segments over different weeks but kindly preserved and digitised for us by Tim Barnes. In Tua Nua are/were Leslie Dowdall, Paul Byrne, Jack Dublin, Martin Clancy, Ivan O’Shea, Steve Wickham, Vinnie Kilduff, Aingeala de Burgha, Brian O’Brian, Matt Spalding and Lovely Previn. We saw them on their 2017 Irish tour and they still have it.

Laughing at the Moon
Strike the Light *
Blue Eyes Again
One More Intake *
Heaven Can Wait
The Man
Comin’ Thru
West of Sunset *
Somebody to Love
Ballad of St. Patrick
Seven into the Sea

* not commercially released


The Outpatients….! (1988 Demo)

Posted in Music with tags , , , on January 8, 2020 by Fanning Sessions


From Finglas in Dublin, The Outpatients were Ronan Collins (drums), Pat Kelly (vocals & guitar), Greg O’Beirne (guitar) and Noel Cunningham (bass). ‘Pearl’ is a longtime favourite round these parts so it is a source of embarrassment that we have not featured them until now. This recording comes from the Pat O’Mahony collection which has been digitised and returned but so far only dipped into. There were two other Outpatients tapes in Pat’s box but unfortunately they would not play, we suspect the The Outpatients took a leaf from the Mission Impossible playbook – the tapes self destruct after 30 years. Thanks to Gavin for the gentle reminder. If there are others you’d like to hear then make yourselves heard. For some great comments check out this post on the Dublin Opinion blog as part of their Irish music thread. The Outpatients have also featured on the excellent Cloudberry Records blog.

When We Were Young


Rocksteady Freddy


When We Were Young (vodka version)

Larry Gogan R.I.P.

Posted in Music with tags , , on January 7, 2020 by Fanning Sessions

larry gogan

Tom Dunne paid fitting tribute on his Newstalk show the evening the sad news reached us that esteemed broadcaster Larry Gogan had died. We were struck by how supportive Larry had been of local music and the number of bands he played on his shows who might not have been used to national airtime outside Dave Fanning’s show.

boomtown rats – like clockwork
u2 – in gods country
joe dolan – when god created woman
phil lynott – old town
blades – downmarket
golden horde – friends in time
something happens – forget georgia
aslan – this is
the freshmen –
the johnsons
dickie rocks – simple simon says
tom petty & the heartbreakers – the last dj
willie nelson – for real (tom petty)
jerry fish – true friends
relish – you i’m thinking of
divine comedy – songs of love
u2 – a sort of homecoming
cranberries – linger
rory gallagher – wheels within wheels
those nervous animals – business enterprise
undertones – wednesday week
u2 – still havent found what i’m looking for (live at madison square gardens)
liam o’flynn – joyce’s tune

Dennis Herlihy (R.I.P.)

Posted in Music with tags , , on January 2, 2020 by Fanning Sessions

dennis herlihy

In September 2019 the world lost much loved and admired Cork sound engineer and tour manager Dennis Herlihy. Dennis was tour manager for Aslan, Donovan and The Wolfe Tones to name but three and worked on many gigs and events over the years. A complete list of acts he worked with may well be beyond our scope but we thought we’d mention those featured on this site. To the best of our knowledge, the following acts recorded music with Dennis at the helm: 3355409s, Adolf Grunt, Bennys Head, Berserk, Berlin, Burning Embers, Cypress, Mine!, Expresso Mambo, Hooky, The Boy The Boy, Porcelyn Tears, Shimpu Zig Zag, Anthony & De Confidence, Max Von Rap, The O’Malleys, Belsonic Sound, Power Of Dreams, Very Much In Love, Light A Big Fire, The Frank & Walters and Idol Joy. Jim Casey has kindly lent us a selection of tapes belonging to Dennis featuring many of the bands listed and we hope to feature some of these in 2020.

Nine Wassies From Bainne (1996 Session)

Posted in Music with tags on December 30, 2019 by Fanning Sessions

nine wassies from bainne v2

From Cork and Dublin Nine Wassies From Bainne were Giordaí Ua Laoghaire (vocals, ex Micro Disney, Nun Attax, Soon), Enda Doyle (bass) and Peter O’Kennedy (drums ex Golden Horde). Thanks to Cork Zine Archive and John Byrne who kindly dug this cassette out.

Very Much In Love (Dennis Herlihy Demo)

Posted in Music with tags , , , on December 29, 2019 by Fanning Sessions

very much in love

The following recordings come from the Dennis Herlihy collection which we currently have on loan. Very Much In Love were John Borrowman (vocals), Pat O’Connell, Uli Hoffman, Frank West, Mick Collins and Mark Van Dam. Recorded at Elm Tree Studios, the engineer was Ger O’Leary. John Borrowman was of course frontman with The Atrix, Uli Hoffman and Pat O’Connell were in Max Von Rap.

The Blue Angels (1993 HMV Unplugged)

Posted in Music with tags , on December 27, 2019 by Fanning Sessions

blue angels

The Blue Angels were Shane O’Neill (guitar/vocals), Quentin Cowper (guitar), Eamonn Tynan (keyboards), Declan Jones (bass) and Dave Clarke (drums). Shane, Declan and Dave were previously members of Blue In Heaven. Candy was released as a single in 1991 and was voted into Fanning’s Fab Fifty at number 33 that same year. This particular recording can be found on the 1993 HMV Unplugged compilation.

Candy (1993 live acoustic)

The Castanedas (Dublin 27th & Carlow 28th Dec 2019)

Posted in Music with tags , on December 18, 2019 by Fanning Sessions

the castanedas pic 4

Carlow’s The Castanedas have announced two shows over Christmas to take advantage of all members being in the same country for a brief overlapping period of time. They play Thomas House, Dublin on Friday 27th and La Boheme, Carlow on Saturday 28th December. Support on both nights will be an acoustic set from Gala Hutton (Azure Days). The Castanedas are Eric Cole (guitar/ vocals), Jim Jordan (guitar), Colm Walsh (bass) and Eric Murray (drums).

Reed Song (demo)

Fanning’s Fab Fifty (1991)

Posted in Music with tags , on December 15, 2019 by Fanning Sessions



We are always on the lookout for Fanning’s Fab Fifty rundowns to help fill out the master list so were delighted to come across this tape featuring 23 of the tracks to feature in the 1991 edition. Unfortunately Dave’s links were edited out so we can’t give the placings or the missing tracks. Eagle eyed readers might spot a typo – ‘Coast Is Clear’ is by Curve. Thanks to Caroline for sharing. Updating with full info thanks to Mossy. Spotify playlist.

50 Gloria – Them
49 Arclight – The Fat Lady Sings
48 You Are The Everything – R.E.M.
47 The End – The Doors
46 Heroin – The Velvet Underground
45 Pride – U2
44 Bloodsport For All – Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine
43 Sunday Bloody Sunday – U2
42 Starsign – Teenage Fanclub
41 The Dancer – The Frames
40 Endless Art – A House
39 She Bangs the Drums – The Stone Roses
38 Gigantic – The Pixies
37 Light My Fire – The Doors
36 Atmosphere – Joy Division
35 Sit Down – James
34 Walter’s Trip – The Frank and Walters
33 Candy – The Blue Angels
32 Troy – Sinéad O’Connor
31 Sensitize – That Petrol Emotion
30 Galway and Los Angeles – Toasted Heretic
29 Where Is My Mind? – The Pixies
28 This Charming Man – The Smiths
27 World Leader Pretend – R.E.M.
26 Happy – Ned’s Atomic Dustbin
25 What Difference Does It Make – The Smiths
24 Stairway To Heaven – Led Zeppelin
23 After The Watershed – Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine
22 A Forest – The Cure
21 Step On – Happy Mondays
20 Size of a Cow – The Wonderstuff
19 The End of the World as We Know It – R.E.M.
18 Monkey Gone to Heaven – The Pixies
17 One Tree Hill – U2
16 Coast Is Clear – Curve
15 Punk Rock Girl – The Dead Milkmen
14 Freak Scene – Dinosaur Jr.
13 The Fly – U2
12 Here Comes Your Man – The Pixies
11 Celebrate – An Emotional Fish
10 Love Will Tear Us Apart – Joy Division
9 Teenage Kicks – The Undertones
8 One – U2
7 Fool’s Gold – The Stone Roses
6 Losing My Religion – REM
5 100 Boys – The Golden Horde
4 I Am the Resurrection – The Stone Roses
3 Debaser – The Pixies
2 Bad (Live) – U2
1 Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana

Barry McCormack (2019 Tom Dunne interview)

Posted in Music with tags , , , on December 9, 2019 by Fanning Sessions


Former Jubilee Allstar Barry McCormack has just released his seventh solo album ‘Mean Time‘. A recent album of the week on the Tom Dunne show, Tom invited Barry into the Newstalk studio for a very enjoyable chat. Barry plays an early evening show at Coughlan’s of Cork on Feb 15th 2020.

Tom Dunne interview (4th Dec 2019)

A House Is Dead – Vicar Street Dec 12th 2019

Posted in Music with tags , , on December 8, 2019 by Fanning Sessions

a house is dead vicar st

This Thursday in Vicar Street, Dave Couse & Fergal Bunbury will bring their A House Is Dead project to the stage one final time. Here are some of the recent radio appearances followed by some words by Fergal on facebook.

Dave Fanning  (2fm 24th Nov 2019)

For The Record – Dan Hegarty (2fm 27th Nov 2019)

Richie McCormack (Newstalk 22nd Nov 2019)

Paul McLoone (TodayFM 21st Nov 2019)


The thing is this. There will be no London, Limerick, Cork or anywhere else IAMSTILLTHEGREATEST shows. Unfortunately, we don’t think any of these would be viable. We’re not even sure if there’s enough people who care to make Vicar Street viable but we’re gonna do it anyway and then we’re out. Whatever myself and Dave do in the future, either separately or together, it won’t be this. We spent many years bringing the noise to cities and venues all over Ireland, England, America and a few in Europe but just this once, the world will have to come to us. Why Vicar Street? We were born in Dublin and first picked up guitars in Dublin. We are it and it is we. The sold out NCH show was so beautiful and powerful that we decided to give something back. Some people expressed their reluctance to get their freak on in the hallowed confines of the National Concert Hall so this one is for the dancers and the dreamers. The show will be performed with all the raging intensity that we bring to everything we do. It will have the power, the screens, the slides, the multi generational IAMAFRAID , eight songs we didn’t play in June and then we will be gone, like slanting rain. I urge anyone who is interested to attend. Don’t be the one saying I wish I went to that or worse, saying you went when you didn’t.

Fergal Bunbury

Those Handsome Devils (1984 Session)

Posted in Music with tags , on December 3, 2019 by Fanning Sessions

handsome devils 2

We’ve been on the lookout for this session for some time so hats off to Seán Dee for doing the business this time round. Those Handsome Devils were Seán Foy (guitar & vocals), Pat Harte (bass), Frank Rynne (guitar) and Johnny Bonnie (drums). They recorded this session for Dave Fanning on Feb 20th 1984. Correction: changed year from 1983 to 1984, master list of session details was incorrect.

Sitting On Top Of The World
If You Knew My Gal
Lonesome Train
Johnny Cynic

Andy White (2016 Tom Robinson Interview)

Posted in Music with tags , , on November 27, 2019 by Fanning Sessions

andy white

Andy White’s imminent tour of Ireland prompted us to go digging and this 2016 retrospective on the Tom Robinson 6music show is perfect. Broadcast on Dec 3rd 2016 Andy joins Tom to look back on what was then 30 years of Andy’s career. The two have history as you will find out and it all makes for a very enjoyable listen with many interesting details of the twists and turns of Andy’s career. Andy has just released a new album ‘Time is a Buffalo in the Art of War‘ and plays Belfast (Nov 29), Ballymena (Nov 30), DC Music Club Dublin (Dec 1) and Coughlan’s Cork (Dec 5). See you there!


Blaze X (1981)

Posted in Music with tags on November 25, 2019 by Fanning Sessions

blaze x mill

From Tuam, Co Galway, Blaze X were Paul Cunniffe (guitar & vocals), Davy Carton (guitar & vocals), Jarlath Keating (bass) and Paul Ralph (drums). In 1980 they released a single ‘Some Hope‘ and later that year supported U2 at Leisureland. Following the demise of Blaze X in 1981, Paul Cunniffe was active as a solo artist until his tragic death in 2001. A posthumous album ‘Excuse My Accent’ is available on Spotify and a short documentary can be found here. Davy Carton is now a member of The Saw Doctors who recorded their own version of ‘I Used To Love Her’. Fellow Saw Doctor Leo Moran’s recent appearance on RTE Radio 1 show ‘Songs in my Head‘, where he fondly remembers the excitement of the Blaze X days, prompted today’s post. Thanks to Jamie Ralph for the photos and tracks.

Aidan McCarthy / Romeo Butcher (1981)

Posted in Music with tags , , , , on November 18, 2019 by Fanning Sessions

We recently took possession, on loan, of a number of tapes, DATs and minidiscs belonging to the esteemed Cork sound engineer Dennis Herlihy who died in September. Dennis was well known for his work with Sir Henry’s and the Triskel and was at the helm recording many great Irish bands such as Light A Big Fire, Belsonic Sound and Power Of Dreams. We hope to compile a comprehensive list in due course.

This first recording from his archive is one of the earliest, dated February 1981. Labelled Aiden McCarthy we didn’t immediately recognise it but some comments on Facebook soon set us straight. Aidan featured in a number of Cork bands; Berzerk, The Kidz, Romeo Butcher and according to Ricky Dineen in the Paul McDermott Oral History played a role in the formation of Nun Attax. One further band fronted by Aidan was Adolf Grunt who as it happens featured Dennis Herlihy on guitar..

dennis herlihy tribute

On Wednesday November 20th in the Crane Lane, Cork there will be a tribute concert for Dennis. Artists performing include The Service, Dizzy Blues Band, Hank Wedel and John Doherty of Little Hours. Doors are at 8.30pm and entry is free.

Ten By Ten – a compilation of Cork bands (1995)

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 13, 2019 by Fanning Sessions


Ten By Ten Volume One is a compilation of unsigned Cork bands released by the Cork Music Resource Co-op (CMRC) in 1995. It features one track each from Inhaler, Manhole, Starchild, Kidminister, Boa, Guru, Sander, The Orange Fettishes, Special Love Brigade and Lunatic Fringe. Thanks to the Cork Zine Archive for tracking down a copy. Update 15 Oct 2020: Ed Power of The Examiner has written an excellent piece on the compilation as part of the ‘B-Side the Leeside’ series, check it out.