13th May 2009

Have you ever wished there was a Dave Fanning Session archive? Or that RTE would do something similar to BBC with their Strange Fruit Records releases? A comprehensive list of all sessions recorded and when would be a start. While we wait for the powers that be to come to their senses I’m going to kick-start a grass roots project by posting a few sessions and demos that I recorded in the mid-eighties from the Dave Fanning nightly show. The quality of these recording is by no means great so be prepared for glitches, hiss and a few other wierd noises. If you have any sessions you’d like to share I’d love to hear from you or if you want to start your own site I’ll gladly give you a plug. If you have old cassettes that you are about to throw out let me know and I’ll take them off your hands.. I’m interested in sessions, interviews, music TV shows, anything to do with irish rock music from the 80s on.

Here’s what Peter Murphy of Hot Press wrote when he chose Dave Fanning Rock Show Sessions begin (1979) as entry number 3 in his top 20 indie moments :

When RTÉ Radio 2, Ireland’s first pop music station, was launched in the summer of 1979, Dave Fanning’s midnight slot came to be regarded as the Irish equivalent of the Peel show. Chief among its innovations was the Fanning Sessions, overseen by Ian Wilson, whereby a fledgling band was given the opportunity to record four tracks which were aired at least twice, thus granting valuable national exposure, not to mention a few quid and a free lunch in the RTÉ canteen. U2 were the first band to record a session, and allowed the show’s listeners to choose the A-side for their first single. Other notables to avail of the service included The Cranberries, Hothouse Flowers, Therapy? and JJ72.

And finally here’s what RTE themselves say:

But perhaps one of the most significant contributions made by RTÉ Radio 2fm to the development of popular music in Ireland was the unstinting support which the station has always given to new and emerging artists and musicians. Most of this “support” has been provided – over the years – through the so-called ‘Dave Fanning Sessions’ whereby new bands have been given the opportunity to perform their work in specially-arranged recording sessions which are then broadcast across national radio. Many of the tracks which were first set-down during such sessions were incorporated, subsequently, into top-selling albums.

There are those who would say that without Dave Fanning’s live sessions, U2 would never have even started. Nearly every Irish band has sampled the coffee in studio 8 and some of them have even survived it. That’s where many of them got their start. In recent times, for instance, Dave and his production crew have given support to JJ72, a group which first came to light when Mark Greaney (lead vocalist) submitted a tape to Dave Fanning. An immediate invitation to perform a “Fanning Session” followed. After that, Irish label Lakota picked up the band and the rest is but another modern fairytale.

Bio on Dave’s management website

10 Responses to “About”

  1. nice one, great to see this started, I hope it turns into a mega archive.

    “McGonagles” was asking about this on boards.ie a few years ago.

  2. Good luck with the blog D, will see what I can dig up.

  3. This is a great idea and a great site. Well done!

  4. Heya, sure thing re the Brilliant Trees track but I don’t have an email address for you?

  5. Fanning Sessions Says:

    Sorry mp3hugger – fanningsessions at gmail will get me. Thanks!

  6. Tony Clayton-Lea Says:

    hi there,

    email address below…

  7. philippe gibert Says:

    hi there everybody
    just please let me know what music was used as an introduction to the rock show way back in 1979-1980 : sounded like the shadows, didn’t it ?

  8. Fanning Sessions Says:

    For as long as I can remember Dave has used ‘Oh Well’ by Fleetwood Mac (the original lineup featuring Peter Green) as his theme tune

    As far as I can tell the only other song Dave has used as a them tune is ‘Another Girl Another Planet’ by The Only Ones

  9. Hi there,
    Great idea trying to find the old 2fm sessions. I played with a band called Phluid in 97/98 approx and we did a fanning session – would love to find the recording as we have lost so much of our stuff from them days. Maybe a petition might generate some interest from RTE??

  10. Thanks Bob.

    I think RTE are looking for ideas, it’s not easy with licensing etc.. maybe a show on 2XM playing old sessions? They have copies of most sessions but it will cost you about e35 to get a cd copy. if i come across the session will let you know but dont have many tapes from 90s..

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