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

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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.

showbands
them / van morrison
the method
sean campbell ‘english blood, irish heart’
rory gallagher
u2
horslips
sinead o’connor
gregory gray

Paul PJ McCartney (2016 Demo)

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

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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.

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“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.

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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 info@corkzinearchive.com

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.

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“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

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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 mark@littlemuseum.ie. 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

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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.