Archive for the documentary Category

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’)

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

Cork and The Arcadia (RTÉ TV Documentary 2017)

Posted in documentary, Music with tags , , on January 27, 2019 by Fanning Sessions
mean features ciaran o tuama

Mean Features (c) Ciarán Ó Tuama

On July 20th 2017 RTÉ One broadcast the documentary ‘U2 agus an Arc’ looking at the role the Cork music venue played in the career of a nascent U2. In typical ‘No Disco’ guerilla fashion however the 24 minute documentary managed to cover a whole lot more. Other acts to feature include Mean Features, Nun Attax, Microdisney, The Specials and UB40. Among the interviewees were driving force behind the Downtown Kampus, UCC Entertainments Officer Elvera Butler (Reekus Records), Giordaí Ua Laoghaire (Nun Attax/Microdisney/Nine Wassies From Bainne), Úna Ní Chanainn (Five Go Down to the Sea?/RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra), Liam Heffernan  (Mean Features) and Ciarán Ó Tuama (Cypress, Mine). For further background check out Colm O’Callaghan’s excellent essay for The Blackpool Sentinel subsequently reposted by RTE as ‘U2’s Arcadian Dream – how one Cork music venue changed music forever‘.

Hip-Hop: From Cork to New York

Posted in documentary, Music with tags , , on December 26, 2018 by Fanning Sessions

chillin

Inspired by a recent cassette find, we’ve been doing some research into the early days of Irish hip-hop. We came across this 3 hour documentary which is a cool document of the Cork hip-hop scene and figured it deserved a mention. Produced by Kieran Hurley and edited by Don O’Mahony for UCC 98.3FM with the support of the BAI, it features contributions from shane mccurtain, donkeyman, edwin james, chris gahan, the exile eye, shane johnson, dj hazo, stevie g, gina johnson, harvey graham, paul murphy, james mcgrath, buster c, andrew mcdonagh, lulu hackett, the assassin, GMC, mickey gatch and brossie.



Phil Lynott: 36 Years Of ‘Old Town’ (2018)

Posted in documentary, Music, TV with tags , , , , on December 13, 2018 by Fanning Sessions

old town doc

The Christmas issue of the RTÉ Guide usually throws up a surprise or two and this year is no exception. On Sunday December 30th at 7.30pm, RTÉ One will broadcast a brand new documentary on the making of Phil Lynott’s ‘Old Town’ video.

In 1982 Phil Lynott, Thin Lizzy frontman, released his second solo album ‘The Philip Lynott Album’. From this album came the single ‘Old Town’ and the music video depicting Lynott at various locations around Dublin city. From the Ha’penny Bridge to a stroll down Grafton Street and a pint in The Long Hall pub on South Great George’s Street and ending at the Ringsend Pier. The song was co-written by Lynott and Scottish musician Jimmy Bain.

In the days before music videos were commonplace, the video for ‘Old Town’ was produced by Dave Heffernan for RTÉ programme ‘Anything Goes’. The video was directed by Gerry Greg and was first broadcast on ‘Anything Goes’ on 30 October 1982.

‘Anything Goes’ was a young people’s programme on RTÉ Television. The programme was first broadcast on 4 October 1980 and continued for 6 years. The programme was produced and directed by Bob Collins.

RTÉ Archives: Phil Lynott’s Dublin

Directed by Brian Reddin of Dearg Films (you may remember Brian as presenter of ‘The Last Picture Show‘), the 30 minute doc is a behind the scenes look at how the video was made and who was involved. It features Eric Bell, Jim Lockhart, Philomena Lynnot, Brush Shiels, Fiachra Trench, Fachtna O Ceallaigh, Aonghus McAnally, Brush Shiels and Alison O Donnell from Mellow Candle amongst others.

Brian Reddin on RTE Arena

Documentary now on YouTube..

This Ain’t No Party: The Story of No Disco

Posted in documentary, Music, radio with tags on May 22, 2018 by Fanning Sessions

no disco logo
Produced by Ciaran Ryan, ‘This Ain’t No Party’ is an excellent new radio documentary for RTE 2XM telling the story of ‘No Disco‘ featuring the voices of many involved in the production and presentation of the show. Among the contributors are presenters Donal Dineen and Leagues O’Toole, founding producer/editor Colm O’Callaghan, his successor Rory Cobbe and musicians David Gray, Carol Keogh and Dudley Colley.

Microdisney radio documentary (2017)

Posted in documentary, Music with tags , , , on November 25, 2017 by Fanning Sessions

Just in – Microdisney have announced a a one-off exclusive performance of their seminal album, The Clock Comes Down The Stairs at the National Concert Hall Dublin on 2nd June 2018, tickets on sale Wednesday 29th November at 10am.

iron fist in velvet glove microdisney.jpgPaul McDermott is no stranger round these parts and we’ve been looking forward to the fruits of his latest endeavours since round about when we first heard it was in the works. Paul is a lecturer in media studies and journalism and also has a weekly radio show on DublinCityFM. He previously produced documentaries on Stump! and Finbarr Donnelly and this time out he has turned his attention towards another band from those parts Microdisney.  Produced for UCC 98.3FM with assistance of funding from the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, ‘Iron Fist In Velvet Glove: The Story of Microdisney’ features interviews with Cathal Coughlan and Sean O’Hagan, bandmates Tom Fenner, Jon Fell, Giordai UaLaoighre and Dave Galvin. Also featured are fellow musicians Mick Lynch (Stump!), Mark Healy and Ciarán O Tuama (Cypress! Mine), Jim O’Mahony (Belsonic Sound) and Stan Erraught (The Stars of Heaven). Paul also speaks to Robert Forster (The Go-Betweens), Geoff Travis (Rough Trade founder), Andrew Mueller (journalist and writer), Elvera Butler (Downtown Kampus and Reekus Records), Gareth Ryan (Kabuki Records and Rough Trade Distribution) and Richard Boon (Production Manager, Rough Trade Records). It’s a fascinating hour of radio which we enjoyed a lot and look forward to listening again. What’s next Paul? 🙂

Cork Rock – 2FM radio documentary

Posted in documentary, Music with tags , , , on April 15, 2017 by Fanning Sessions

cork rocks 1990

Details are sketchy for now but 8pm on Easter Monday sees RTE 2fm broadcast part one of a documentary produced by Dan Hegarty and Ian Wilson looking back at the Cork Rocks (1990) and Cork Rock (1991) festivals which took place in Sir Henry’s with the support of The Cork Examiner and RTE Radio 2.  More details and audio to follow post broadcast. On Wednesday Dan spoke to Craig Walker of Power of Dreams who performed in 1991 following the release of their debut album ‘Immigrants, Emigrants and Me’. Listen back to Dan’s music special here.

Breaking Out – Fergus O’Farrell (Interference) documentary

Posted in documentary, Music with tags on February 6, 2017 by Fanning Sessions

interference - sweet spot.JPG

Michael McCormack (Dave Fanning Interview, 2017)

On Sunday following a sold out all star tribute show in Cork and ahead of a similar show in Dublin, Dave Fanning was joined by filmmaker Michael McCormack. Michael has spent the last 10 years working on a documentary about the Interference frontman Fergus O’Farrell. The project is now in it’s final stages and if you’d like to help please visit the ‘Breaking Outindiegogo page. The band’s second album ‘The Sweet Spot’ has also just been launched, an album that itself was 7 years in the making.

The Studio 8 Sessions (2fm 29th Dec 2016)

Posted in documentary, Music with tags , , , , , , , on December 29, 2016 by Fanning Sessions

Legend has it that the first Fanning session was by a band from Dublin called U2 in 1980. Whilst that event would have predated our tenure we can vouch for the importance in subsequent years of the Dave Fanning show to Irish rock music both in terms of the sessions recorded but also the demos played. Thanks to the efforts of Dave and long-time producer Ian Wilson the show was to become a veritable institution (not forgetting the efforts of Jim Lockhart, Pete Holidai and Paddy Breen who toiled in front of the console).

Originally broadcast Thursday December 29th on RTÉ 2fm and produced by Yvonne Judge, this special radio documentary looks back at the sessions recorded in Studio 8 over the last 36 years. It features contributions from Dave Fanning, Ian Wilson, Billy McGuinness and Christy Dignam (Aslan), Paul Cleary (The Blades), Gavin Friday (The Virgin Prunes), Martin Cowan (The Outcasts), Cathal Coughlan (Microdisney) and Noel Hogan (The Cranberries).

dave-fanning-edge-ian-wilson

ian wilson irish times 1990 a

 

Left Of The Dial (TXFM Cathal Funge radio doc)

Posted in documentary, Music, radio with tags , , on May 13, 2016 by Fanning Sessions

LeftOfTheDial

Left Of The Dial (2016)

This Sunday at 6pm TXFM will broadcast a documentary ‘Left Of The Dial‘, “looking at two periods of time in radio and music when alternative music programmes ruled the national night-time airwaves – 2FM in the 80s and TodayFM in the late 90s”. The show was produced by Cathal Funge and will feature interviews with Dave Fanning, Mark Cagney, Donal Dineen, Tom Dunne, John Kelly, Dan Hegarty, Paul McLoone, Ian Wilson, Dave Couse, Paul Cleary, Richie Egan, Peter Murphy, Olaf Tyaransen and Nadine O’Regan. Then at 7pm stay tuned for 2 hours of music featured in the documentary interspersed with listener requests and stories..

 

So for some reason when I was in 1st year in school, I decided it was time to join the workforce.  At the time I was living a few miles outside Gorey in the Wexford countryside and got a weekend job at the petrol station just down the road. After a few weeks my obvious talent for pumping fuel and checking oil levels was spotted and I was soon working three evenings a week after school.
Now this place really was in the middle of nowhere and business wasn’t exactly booming despite my high profile promotion, so my daydreaming skills were honed as I sat on a rickety stool in a kiosk staring into space.
I did have a radio and Atlantic 252 was my station of choice, for the first few months anyway, but soon I got bored of hearing the same 30 songs on a loop so I decided to give this guy Dave Fanning a shot.
I pretty much hated the show at first, but my options were fairly limited so I stuck with it and within weeks it became something of an obsession. I had no time for daydreaming now as I sat there with a pen and paper scribbling down names of bands and songs I was hearing for the first time. You had to be fully alert due to Dave’s rapid fire delivery and the dreaded scenario was the sight of a car pulling in to refuel just before Dave was about to back announce what he had played.
By the time I was finished pumping £5 of diesel into a rusty old Ford Cortina, Dave would already be on to another string of songs and that was it, gone, no way of checking online or texting in to the station to find out who the artists was. The only lifeline I had in those days was to check with someone in school the next day; “Were you listening last night? What was that track he played around 8.30? You didn’t tape it did you…?”
Lots of tracks I fell in love with listening to the Fanning show pop up on TX Breakfast every now and again, particularly in Record Revival and Song Club, and I can almost smell the petrol fumes whenever I hear Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Oh Well, Part 1’.
By 1997, I was out of the petroleum business and on to another late night radio programme.  Donal Dineen’s ‘Here Comes The Night’ was a little too out there for me when it first aired on Radio Ireland/TodayFM in March 1997, but in early ’98 I tuned back in and was rewarded big time.
I reckon about 90% of the records I bought over the next few years came on the back of hearing them on ‘Here Comes The Night’. The pen and paper were in use again as I jotted down names of bands, singers, labels, and compilations. Unlike Dave Fanning’s million word a minute approach to presenting, Donal’s was at the lower end of low key. There was many a night Donal would keep me awake by playing four or five amazing songs back-to-back and I would have to fight off the sleep until his whispering voice returned to name the tracks.
Late last year I was thinking about how essential certain late night radio music programmes were for anyone wanting to hear alternative music back in the days before the internet made music so accessible. You could of course read about new music but actually getting to hear these records was not so easy and you depended on a handful of presenters to play the music no one else would.
So I decided to go off and make a documentary telling the story of how important these programmes were in a pre-digital era. The documentary is called ‘Left of the Dial’ and it’s going to air this Sunday at 6pm followed by the official soundtrack to the documentary – basically two hours of great music from that era.

Sir Henry’s the radio show (2014)

Posted in documentary, Music, radio with tags , , , , on January 10, 2016 by Fanning Sessions
sir henrys photo (jack lyons)

Photo (c) Jack Lyons

Whilst listening to UCC98.3FM to catch the premiere broadcast of Paul McDermott‘s excellent Stump documentary we happened to catch a rerun of another show worthy of mention. Back in 2014 some good folk at UCC library were inspired to create an exhibition around renowned Cork venue/club Sir Henry’s. This exhibition captured the imagination of the public and generated much activity on facebook, twitter and a wordpress blogJim Morrish who has a weekly show ‘Centrifugal‘ on UCC98.3FM in turn decided to create a radio program looking at some of the artists who played in Sir Henry’s over the years. He invited Paul McDermott, Conor O’Toole and Morty McCarthy (Sultans of Ping) for what turned out to be 5 1/2 hours of radio – music from the bands interspersed with memories of the gigs in the venue. We have listened to these shows a number of times and much enjoyed the tunes and the discussion. For more on the shows check out the post on Conor’s website (named after his show) ‘The Underground of Happiness‘. PS If you’d like to download the shows for offline listening check out offliberty.

1983-1988: Microdisney, Cypress, Mine!, The Pogues & Elvis Costello, The Stunning, Belsonic Sound, The Damned, The Wedding Present, Stump, 5 Go Down To The Sea, That Petrol Emotion, Big Audio Dynamite.

1989-1991: A House, The Sisters of Mercy, The Sultans of Ping, The Golden Horde, Cork Rocks 1991, Dancing Bastards from Hell, Whipping Boy, Echo & the Bunnymen, Toasted Heretic.

1991-1992: Nirvana, Sonic Youth, Babes in Toyland, The Shanks, The Would Be’s, Stereolab.

1993-1994: LMNO Pelican, Mercury Rev, My Bloody Valentine, Fatima Mansions, Pavement, Sebadoh.

1994-2000: Ash, Manic Street Preachers, The Mary Janes, Frank Sidebottom, Aidan Walsh & Cow in the Water, The Cork Music Resource Co-op, The Fall and Super Furry Animals/Grandaddy, Ian Brown, Godspeed! You Black Emperor

Lights! Camel! Action! – The Story of Stump

Posted in documentary, Music, radio with tags , , on January 4, 2016 by Fanning Sessions

Stump

Produced by Paul McDermott, Lights! Camel! Action! – The Story of Stump is an hour long documentary funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland through the television license fee for UCC 98.3FM. The documentary will be broadcast as follows with a podcast to follow:

  • UCC 98.3FM on Friday 8 January, 2016, 5pm
  • 103.2 Dublin City FM Thursday 21 January, 12 midnight and Wednesday 3 February, 3pm
  • Wired FM 99.9 FM, Limerick, Thursday 21 January, 6pm

Lights! Camel! Action! – The Story of Stump is a documentary about Stump, the Anglo-Irish experimental, rock band from the 1980s. The documentary has been in production for the past year and sadly in November 2015 Mick Lynch, the enigmatic front man and lyricist with the band fell ill and passed away on 17 December, 2015.

The documentary is compiled from over 15 hours of interviews with the four members of Stump and key figures from their story.  Contributors include: Mick Lynch, Rob McKahey, Kev Hopper, Chris Salmon, Jack Lyons, Elvera Butler , Liam McKahey, Simon Reynolds, Nigel Grainge, Hugh Jones, John Robb and Roy Weard.

Paul McDermott teaches Media Studies and Journalism at Rathmines College and is the Director of Programming at Dublin City FM. He previously produced Get That Monster Off the Stage, the award winning radio documentary about Finbarr Donnelly and his bands Nun Attax, Five Go Down to the Sea? and Beethoven.

 

The Stars are Underground

Posted in documentary, Music, TV on December 26, 2014 by Fanning Sessions

starsareunderground

We’ve long been a fan of Pat Clafferty. He first came to our attention with The Riordans. Next came Mexican Pets. And finally there was Wheel. All three bands recorded Fanning sessions but unfortunately as yet we only have The Riordans. The reason we mention Pat is because he is organising an evening ‘Celebrating Irish independent music from the 90s‘ in The Grand Social on 29th December at 8pm. Niall McGuirk of Hope and Paul Shanahan of Blunt will also be DJing.

‘The Stars are Underground’ is also the title of a 1996 documentary by Daragh McCarthy which features some bands who might make an appearance next Monday.. Two excellent sites you should check out are blunt and rekcollector. And it goes without saying if you have any Fanning sessions for us please get in touch..

Finally we have a track titled ‘The Stars are Underground’ from another Patrick Clafferty project, Reno 5. Recorded in London 1999, the band also features Michael Mullen, Ivan Birthistle and Ross Neville.

Whiskey In The Jar – The Eric Bell Story

Posted in documentary, Music, radio with tags , , on July 3, 2014 by Fanning Sessions
L-R Phil Lynott, Brian Downey and Eric Bell.

L-R Phil Lynott, Brian Downey and Eric Bell.

Marking 40 years since his departure from Irelands greatest known rock band Thin Lizzy, founding member Eric Bell speaks candidly to Danny Carroll about his life.

This RTE Radio 1 documentary was produced by Danny Carroll and won a Silver Award at the New York Radio Festival recently.

Whiskey In The Jar – The Eric Bell Story

And NUN Came Back – A tribute to Finbarr Donnelly (1962 – 1989)

Posted in documentary, Music, radio with tags , , , , , on June 18, 2014 by Fanning Sessions

finbarrdonnelly-nuncameback

Tonight The Pavilion, Cork pays tribute to Finbarr Donnelly. Donnelly fronted seminal Cork bands Nun Attax, Five go Down to the Sea? and Beethoven between 1978 and his untimely death in London’s Serpentine in 1989. To commemorate 25 years since his passing on June the 18th Ricky Dineen has put together ..and NUN Came Back, featuring himself, Liam Heffernan, Humphrey Murphy, Tom Healy and Ian Walsh who will play songs from the back catalogue of all 3 bands.

Be sure to check out ‘Get That Monster Off The Stage’ a radio documentary produced by Paul McDermott on Finbarr Donnelly featuring interviews with Cathal Coughlan and Sean O’Hagan amongst many others.

TG4 to broadcast new six-part music documentary ‘Guth’

Posted in documentary, Music, TV with tags on August 29, 2013 by Fanning Sessions

Guth

Guth‘ promises to be a new and revealing six-part documentary series that tells the story of modern pop music and how the sons and daughters of Irish emigrants have changed the face of popular music.

What impact, if any, did their Irish blood have on singers like Bing Crosby, John Lydon, Morrissey and Marr, Dusty Springfield, John Lennon, or the Gallagher Brothers? And what impact did their music have on Ireland?

It is often said that the emigrants that sailed from this country travelled with nothing but the clothes on their backs, but they also carried with them something more intangible: they carried stories and songs of home in their hearts. These emigrants made their way to London and Liverpool, Boston and New York where they established roots and communities.

The series examines the environments and influences that shaped the musical heritage and creativity of the emigrant Irish and their offspring. Through a combination of interviews with the musicians themselves and archive footage both of their work and emigrant life GUTH crafts a story that is part social history, part music documentary and breaks new ground in analysing the impact of the Irish diaspora.

The series is produced by Bríd Seoige and directed by Dathaí Keane.

The series was funded by BAI Sound and Vision and TG4.

Guth will be broadcast on TG4 Thursdays 9.30pm from 26th September, repeated on Mondays at midnight.

The episode on John Lydon features live footage from Paranoid Visions and a few words from Deklan Dachau.

  • Ep 1: Bing Crosby
  • Ep 2 : Dusty Springfield
  • Ep 3: John Lydon
  • Ep 4: The Smiths
  • Ep 5: Oasis
  • Ep 6: The Beatles

 

 

Here Comes The Summer: A BBC Four Undertones documentary

Posted in documentary, Music, TV with tags , , on April 5, 2013 by Fanning Sessions
Photograph: Fin Costello/Redferns

Photograph: Fin Costello/Redferns

I finally got round to watching the recent BBC4 documentary ‘Here Comes The Summer: The Undertones Story‘ and a very enjoyable experience it was. Directed & produced by Chris Wilson and narrated by actor James Nesbitt it features interviews with all band members bar Feargal Sharkey. Of particular interest were the interviews with friends and family members including the Kevin of ‘My Perfect Cousin’ fame. I found it enlightening and poignant and a worthy addition to the Undertones canon. Music agent Paul Charles makes an appearance, testifying to the power of the band’s live show. Rebroadcast on BBCFour on the eve of St Patrick’s Day 2018.

 

Sixty years of Irish music tribes

Posted in documentary, Music, radio with tags on February 17, 2013 by Fanning Sessions

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland has had a hand in a number of interesting retro radio documentaries of late and this Phantom 105.2 exemplar is no exception. Titled ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit‘ it’s billed as “a four-part documentary series exploring the evolution of music tribes in Ireland over the last sixty years”.
wherewereyou
The impressive list of contributors includes Eamon Carr, Garry O’Neill (‘Where Were You?‘), Alison O’Donnell (Mellow Candle), Dara Higgins (The Jimmy Cake), Stompin’ George, Mim Scala (Author of ‘Diary Of A Teddy Boy‘), Laura Lee-Conboy, Daragh O’ Halloran (Author of ‘Green Beat: The Forgotten Era of Irish Rock‘) and legendary mod – Irish Jack Lyons, plus many many more.

Episode 1: ‘The Peacocks Come To Town‘ (50’s and 60’s)
Teddy Boys, Rockers, Mods, Hippies

Episode 2: ‘Sticking The Boot In‘ (70’s)
Skinheads, Punks and the Rockabilly revival

Episode 3: ‘The Streets Are Alive‘ (80’s)
Mod revival, Psychobilly, New Romantics, Goths, Metallers, B-boys/Hip-Hop

Episode 4: ‘Where Have All The Tribes Gone?‘ (90’s to now)
Ravers, Grungers, Emo’s, Hipsters

Music theme at 2012 Corona Cork Film Festival

Posted in documentary, Music with tags , , , , , on October 19, 2012 by Fanning Sessions

Music fans are well catered for at this year’s Corona Cork Film Festival which takes place 11-18 November. Of particular interest for us are the screening of the new Terri Hooley biopic ‘Good Vibrations‘ as well as the John T Davis ‘Ulster Punk Trilogy‘ which features ‘Shellshock Rock’ (1979), ‘Self-Conscious Over You’ (1980) and ‘Protex Hurrah’ (1980). Both screenings will be introduced by their respective directors and there are even rumours the unsuppressible Hooley will also be in evidence. Other notable music related films on an impressive bill are ‘The Great Flood‘ a film-music collaboration between Bill Morrison and Bill Frisell based on and inspired by the Mississippi River Flood of 1927 and the ensuing transformation of American society. Promoted in association with Note Productions, this opening night event on November 11th at the Cork Opera House will be the only Irish date. The festival also sees the Irish premiere of Jonathan Holiff’s ‘My Father And The Man In Black‘ the untold story of Cash, his talented but troubled manager, Saul Holiff, and a son searching for his father in the shadow of a legend. Also on view are ‘Art Will Save The World‘ a 70-minute documentary about former Auteur Luke Haines, ‘Punk In Africa‘, ‘Hit So Hard‘ a behind the scenes doc from ex Hole drummer Patty Schemel, ‘Grandma Lo-Fi: The Basement Tapes of Sigríður Níelsdóttir‘ a look at the septuagenarian Icelandic/Danish musician and visual artist, ‘Anda Union: From The Steppes To The City‘ on the 10,000km journey of a 10 strong group of young Mongolian musicians, ‘Very Extremely Dangerous‘ a frightening, fascinating journey into the mad world of Jerry McGill, and ‘Sound It Out‘ which documents the very last surviving vinyl record shop in north east England. Check here for a list of all music related movies with details and trailers.

New Philip Lynott documentary (2012)

Posted in documentary, Music with tags , on December 30, 2011 by Fanning Sessions

the phil lynott archiveAs part of their 50 year celebrations RTE has commissioned a new documentary on Phil Lynott from producer/director Dave Heffernan. Titled ‘The Philip Lynott Archive’ the one hour documentary includes rare footage of Thin Lizzy as well as the first screening of a fully restored version of the promo for the 1982 single ‘Old Town‘. The documentary features interviews with John Kelly, Dave Fanning. Jim Lockhart, Eamon Carr, Jim Fitzpatrick, Brian Downey, Philomena Lynott, Dave Geraghty (Bell X1), Thomas Walsh (Pugwash), Declan O’Rourke, Stuart Clark (Hot Press) and director of the ‘Old Town’ video Gerry Gregg. Tony Clayton Lea speaks of this very video in his recent book ‘101 Irish Records You Must Hear Before You Die‘:

“You could argue that Gregg’s video did more to raise the song’s profile and to generate emotional warmth for the singer than any amount of radio play at the time”

The documentary airs on Monday Jan 2nd 2012 at 10.55pm on RTE1. RTE promises to publish further footage from their 50 year archives on their website throughout the year, follow @RTETV50 on twitter for updates. Update: The show can now be viewed on the RTE player here. Overseas viewers check out the new RTE player for the iPhone/iPad/iPod which I believe does not have any regional restrictions.

Hot Press: The Write Stuff

Posted in documentary, Music, TV with tags , , on January 28, 2011 by Fanning Sessions


Hot Press magazine has just celebrated it’s 800th issue and to commemorate RTE1 is showing a documentary ‘Hot Press: The Write Stuff‘ on Tuesday 1st Feb at 10.15pm.

Their hair was once shoulder-length and what’s left of it now is mostly grey. Two of them are still following the same path they started down in the late Seventies, in a country of soaring unemployment and inflation, where contraception was illegal and divorce was banned. Others of them are now household names, as writers, journalists and commentators. Back then, they were young, unknown and there was no obvious outlet for their talents. So they set about doing it for themselves: in 1977, Niall Stokes and Mairin Sheehy founded Hot Press.

It was a music magazine and it became more – a political and cultural rallying-point for alternative points of view of all kinds. Its writers, designers and production staff tapped phones, biked cheques from bank to bank and drove in relays to the Kerry train to catch the printers, after long nights of putting the magazine together fuelled by coffee so thick a Turk could trot on it. They became a family, a haven of mutual support and, like many families, a place too for dysfunction and, for some of them, excess.

Long before the internet, they created a community which stretched from Ballaghadareen to Bundoran, from Enniscorthy to Skibbereen, united by the music and by their writers’ and readers’ different visions of an Ireland in which they could feel at home, in which they could be free to be themselves. And their contribution to the success of that movement has also, in the way of things, made them part of a new establishment. But at the exceptionally advanced age – for an Irish magazine – of 34, Hot Press is still here, still looking out for new voices, fresh writing talents, music that needs to be listened to.

The documentary Hot Press: The Write Stuff tells the tumultous story of those early years, through the memories of its writers including Declan Lynch, Liam Mackey, Peter Murphy and John Waters, of its founders Niall Stokes and Mairin Sheehy, and of Harry Browne, Dave Fanning, Bob Geldof, Jackie Hayden and Michael D. Higgins. It’s a story about music and politics, about principles and ambitions, above all a story about being young and just going for it.