Archive for the Books Category

Shush! ‘Punks Listen’ takeover

Posted in Books with tags , , , on January 27, 2023 by Fanning Sessions

punks listen at ucc libraryStephen Travers, Emily Dollery, Siobhan Bardsley, Eileen Hogan and Rob McKahey in conversation with Michael Murphy at the Cork launch of ‘Punks Listen’ in UCC library. Photo by Niall McGuirk of Hope Collective.

On December 5th UCC library hosted the Cork launch of the latest book by the Hope Collective ‘Punks Listen‘, 200 musicians and friends writing about what music means to them. The launch featured Elvera Butler (Promoter, Reekus Records owner, UCC Downtown Kampus), John Perry (The Only Ones), Stephen Travers (Miami Showband), Emily Dollery (UCC, Set Guitars to Kill), Dr. Emily Gale (UCC Popular Music Studies), Dr. Eileen Hogan (UCC School of Applied Social Studies), Rob McKahey (Stump!), Colm O’Callaghan (The Blackpool Sentinel, RTÉ), Ciarán Ó Tuama (Cypress Mine!, photographer) and Siobhán Bardsley (Cork Zine Archive), all hosted by Michael Murphy and Niall McGuirk (Hope Collective). To tie in with the occasion, Shush!, the UCC Library radio show hosted by Martin O’Connor invited Michael to select an hour of music and talk about his life in music. The book is for a good cause (Red Cross Ukraine Refugee appeal) and apparently there are launches planned for Limerick, Paris, London, New York, Belfast and Derry.


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)

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

The Front Row – 4 part Radio Nova doc on best Irish gigs

Posted in Books, documentary, Music with tags on April 16, 2019 by Fanning Sessions

mercury rev 1999

Award winning producer Cathal Funge is at the helm of a new 4 part documentary on Radio Nova called ‘The Front Row’. Inspired by Niall McGuirk and Michael Murphy’s highly recommended book ‘In Concert – Favourite Gigs of Ireland’s Music Community‘ it looks at some of the best and most influential shows to have taken place on Irish soil through the eyes and ears of 12 carefully chosen music fans. The show goes out on Radio Nova Saturday evenings at 9pm and is repeated on Sunday morning at 9am. We will embed the shows here as they become available.

Episode 1 features Marcus Connaughton on Fleetwood Mac (1969), John Fisher on The Clash (1977) and promoter Pat Egan on Queen (1979). Episode 2 will feature Peter Devlin, Paul Page and Nick Curtis-Davis chatting about The Specials, Echo & The Bunnymen & Public Enemy. Episode 3 features Niall Crumlish, Canice Kenealy & Eileen Hogan on R.E.M., Primal Scream & Therapy?. Finally episode 4 features Ruth Medjber, Jenny Huston and Zara Hedderman talking about Placebo, Arctic Monkeys & Leonard Cohen.

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4

Music Love Drugs War – Geraldine Quigley

Posted in Books, Music with tags , on January 28, 2019 by Fanning Sessions

music love drugs war

They say you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover but ever since we saw Geraldine Quigley‘s debut novel we been hooked. Geraldine spoke to Sean Rocks for RTÉ Arena last week to shed some light on the book and how it came to be. Set in 1981 it’s a coming of age tale where the young protagonists do their best to ignore the Troubles and do what teenagers do best – listen to music and go to the pub. Those of you with access to Spotify might also enjoy Geraldine’s accompanying playlist .

RTÉ Arena Interview (2018)

David Cavanagh – Tom Dunne Interview (2015)

Posted in Books, interview, Music with tags , , on December 31, 2018 by Fanning Sessions

We were saddened to learn of the death of David Cavanagh, respected music journalist and author whose work graced the pages of Sounds, Select, Mojo, Uncut and Q. His book on Creation Records (My Magpie Eyes Are Hungry For The Prize) received widespread praise and we much enjoyed ‘Goodnight and Good Riddance‘ his novel around the radio shows of John Peel preserved for posterity by the folks at the Peel Wikia. Below is an interview with Tom Dunne on Newstalk on the occasion of that books’s publication which we thought you might enjoy. Rest in peace David.

Really sad to hear about the death of David Cavanagh. A little piece he wrote about loving @TheTriffids, called Hell of a Summer, is one of the most perfect pieces of writing about being a music fan. And My Magpie Eyes Are Hungry for the Prize is one of the great music books.

Michael Hann
David Cavanagh – Tom Dunne Interview (2015)

In Concert – Favourite Gigs of Ireland’s Music Community

Posted in Books, Music with tags , , , , on January 8, 2017 by Fanning Sessions


Niall McGuirk of the Hope Foundation needs no introduction. He and Micheal Murphy decided to do something to support Syrian refugees and the result is an excellent new book titled ‘In Concert – Favourite Gigs of Ireland’s Music Community‘. As they say in the introduction they put the word out to friends and family asking – What was your favourite gig? The book features 105 of the replies they received arranged chronologically making for a must read book for the Irish music fan. It features contributions from members of bands many of whom have featured on this site – Those Handsome Devils, The Babysnakes, The Gorehounds, Engine Alley, That Petrol Emotion, The Undertones, Rocky DeValera, Paranoid Visions, Mexican Pets, Jam Jar Jail, In Tua Nua, The Devlins, Stiff Little Fingers, Bellx1, Thin Lizzy, The Frames, Lir, DC Nien, Tokyo Olympics, The Golden Horde, Whipping Boy, Pleasure Cell, Sultans of Ping, Luggage, The Pogues, Radiators from Space, Stano, Into Paradise, The Fountainhead, Aidan Walsh & Cactus World News. Also featured are a bunch of folk we know from the internet like Tony Clayton-Lea, Dave O’Grady, Colm O’Callaghan, Jim Carroll, Justin McDaid, Pete Murphy, Eoin Devereux, Paul McDermott and Garry O’Neill. Anyway you get the picture, the book is a great read, will have you kicking yourself you missed some of these shows, making your own list of fave gigs and maybe even get you up off the couch to go see some of these acts before they call it a day. The book is for a very good cause – all proceeds go to the Irish Red Cross and can be purchased for €15 including post+packaging here. Update: The official launch is in Liberty Hall at 7pm on January 24th.

Dan Hegarty – Buried Treasure Volume 2 (2016)

Posted in Books, dan hegarty, Fanning, Music with tags , , on October 5, 2016 by Fanning Sessions


Hard to believe it’s been a year since 2fm’s Dan Hegarty published his first book ‘Buried Treasure‘. 12 months on Dan is back with Volume 2 and the standard is just as high. We won’t spoil the surprise but we thought you might like to know which Irish acts feature.

Dan chose albums by Lethal Dialect x JackKnifeJ, Something Happens!, Stano, Cuckoo, The Edge, Japanese Popstars, Nina Hynes, Kid Silver, Melodica Deathship, The Frank & Walters, Colm Mac Con Iomaire, The High Llamas, Dr Strangely Strange, Electric Penguins, The Immediate, Scheer, Interference, The Fat Lady Sings, Hinterland, Funeral Suits, Mark Geary, Cane141, Joe Chester, Jape, Jacknife Lee, Sultans Of Ping, The Thrills, Giveamanakick, Snow Patrol, The Hormones, Sleep Thieves, U2. In addition there are features on Setanta Records and God Is An Astronaut.

Dan’s guest contributors (who themselves make for an interesting list) chose; One Day International, Jinx Lennon, Declan O’Rourke, The Stunning, Perry Blake, The Divine Comedy, Paul Brady, The Plague Monkeys, Goodtime and David Holmes.

The book is out now on Liberties Press and will be in your local bookstore by the end of the month.

Dan Hegarty – Dave Fanning interview (2016)

Dan Hegarty – Buried Treasure (2015)

Posted in Books, Music with tags , on February 14, 2016 by Fanning Sessions


In 2015 RTE 2fm DJ Dan Hegarty published ‘Buried Treasure’ a book which shone some light on “overlooked, forgotten and uncrowned albums” as chosen by Dan and a host of guests. Dave Fanning recently let slip that Dan is working on a follow up so we thought it was time to have a look at what made the cut first time round and by a process of elimination what might make an appearance in part 2..

Here in order of their appearance are the Irish entries..

Dan Hegarty: (sic), Pugwash, And So I watch You From Afar, Sack, Nine Wassies From Bainne, Si Schroeder, The Frames, The Devlins, Blink, The Shades, Microdisney, God Is An Astronaut, Aslan, Compulsion, Cap Pas Cap, Power Of Dreams, The Walls, JJ72, Humanzi, Bantum, Lir, Mono Band, Super Extra Bonus Party, U2, Marxman, Gavin Friday, Engine Alley, Jeff Martin, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Will De Burca, Ash and Juno Falls.

The guest contributors: Van Morrison, The Mary Janes, Toasted Heretic, The Jimmy Cake, The Golden Horde, Whipping Boy, Rollerskate Skinny, The Redneck Manifesto, Johnny Gallagher & Friends, Woodstar, Autamata, Kerbdog, Noise Control, The Chapters, Simple Kid, Philip Lynott and Republic Of Loose.



Patrick Brocklebank – U2 and the Dublin Music Scene 1978–1981

Posted in Books, interview, Music with tags , , , on February 6, 2014 by Fanning Sessions


Tom Dunne interviewed Patrick Brocklebank recently about the newly published photographic memoir ‘Where the Streets Have Two Names‘. Tony Clayton-Lea reviews the book for The Irish Times in this piece ‘‘Dublin exposure: Citizen photography of U2 and other early punks’‘. While the book is quite U2 centric for obvious reasons a lot of other usual suspects feature including Dave Fanning, Ian Wilson, The Vipers, The Atrix. The book is published by Liberties Press and the Tom Dunne Show can be heard from 10pm till midnight Monday through Thursday on Newstalk.

Where the Streets Have 2 Names features hundreds of previously unpublished photographs by award-winning photographer Patrick Brocklebank, documenting U2’s early days as well as the rise of other groups who were part of Dublin’s music scene at that time, such as The Virgin Prunes, The Blades, The Black Catholics, The Undertones and The Buzzcocks. The photos capture iconic moments in the lives of these bands, particularly U2, and are accompanied by numerous untold anecdotes about the band members and the long-gone music venues of that era, where many of the bands’ most seminal gigs were performed. The book captures the atmosphere of the time – a recessionary Dublin, a youthful individuality and a sense of rebellion – and provides a fascinating insight into the culture and characters on the Dublin music scene from 1978–1981.

Patrick Brocklebank on Tom Dunne Show (4/2/2014)

Update adding another radio show appearance..

Patrick Brocklebank and Ferdia Mac Anna on Dave Fanning Show (8/2/2014)

Horslips : Tall Tales – The Offical Biography

Posted in Books, Music on January 19, 2014 by Fanning Sessions


Horslips: Tall Tales – The Official Biography‘ by Mark Cunningham is currently on sale at Waterstones for €12.50, a price so ridiculous that even we couldn’t refuse. The book is beautifully produced and any Horslips, indeed any self respecting fan of Irish rock would be crazy not to pick up a copy. Horslips predate this site’s era of expertise but reading John Kelly’s ‘Sophisticated Boom Boom‘ gave a welcome insight in to what that band must have meant to Irish youth in the 70s. Possibly unbeknownst to the casual reader two members of Horslips feature regularly on this site:

Jim Lockhart was a regular producer on Dave Fanning’s show, he produced yesterday’s 1988 David Byrne interview and in Tall Tales Jim recounts producing further interviews with Paul McCartney and U2. Jim also produced the first Cranberries session and sessions by The Corrs and The Frank & Walters and The Frames. Jim started with RTE Radio 2 in 1985 originally producing Mark Cagney’s late night show ‘Nighttrain‘.

Eamon Carr in 1984 founded Hotwire an independent label that would release the debut single by The Stars Of Heaven as well as ‘Gunpowders’ the first Light A Big Fire mini album and the first releases by The Golden Horde. Carr was also responsible for the ‘Hip City Boogaloo‘ (1984) and ‘Weird Weird World of Guru Weirdbrain‘ (1985) compilations.

A proper review by Tonly Clayton Lea in The Irish Times.

PS The amazing inside cover collage just goes to prove what I’ve always believed – Ticketmaster ticket stubs are ugly, boring and bland.