Archive for the Music Category

Dark Room Notes (2007 ‘Last Splash’ Session)

Posted in Music with tags , , on February 2, 2023 by Fanning Sessions

Dark Room Notes hailed originally from Galway and featured Ronan Gaughan, Ruairi Ferrie and Ruairi Cavanagh (drums). They were joined by Arran Murphy from Wicklow and Darragh Shanahan (drums) from Dublin. This session for Alison Curtis ‘Last Splash’ show on TodayFM was recorded in 2007. They released two albums ‘We Love You Dark Matter’ in 2009 and ‘Dark Room Notes’ in 2012. The band is no more but there is a nice Austrian fansite here. The photo is courtesy Sean McCormack.

Lovesong (2007)

Féile na mBan – celebrating Irish women (2023)

Posted in Music with tags , on February 1, 2023 by Fanning Sessions

In recognition of the first Irish national holiday in honour of a woman, Brigid, we thought it fitting that we mark the occasion. The following is a compilation featuring some of the female voices featured on this site. To the best of our knowledge all these songs are sessions recorded for Dave Fanning or demos played on his show. The In Tua Nua track is a live recording performed in the studio. If we have made any oversights, our apologies in advance, please do let us know. Thank you to Kieran McGuinness for a recent callout for iconic Irish female voices on twitter and to Mike McGrath-Bryan who asked a similar question a number of years earlier. All these posts and many more can be found using the #iwd (International Women’s Day) tag. The artwork is from Féile na mBan a new festival this weekend in Bundoran of women-led artistry, discussion and celebration.

geiro – bewithered
the swinging swine – poisoned by love
the wild herrings – buy me a drink
the skips – forever free
the screech owls – hey toreador
the joys – cheshire cat
the chapter house – possessed
the 3355409s – barbarous
scheer – wish you were dead
porcelyn tears – heaven knows
kaydee – seven days
in tua nua – jealous knife
giant – promised land
the would bes – so this is not the end of the world

Postscript: Of course there were glaring admissions, no sooner had we put the feet up than the names started coming to us.. Cuba Dares, Mary Stokes Band, Auto Da Fe and the Forget Me Nots being just four! To be continued as they say.. feel free to help out.

Cork Rock (1993)

Posted in Music with tags , , , , on January 31, 2023 by Fanning Sessions

cork rock 1993

This post started out in 2013 but got lost because no artwork was found. Currently on a mission to post every day straight for a week it has been resuscitated unlike your truly. Thanks to the kind taper who sent these in, apologies for the delay. Expect live recordings from Puppy Love Bomb, Treehouse, Pet Lamb and LMNO Pelican. The photo comes courtesy Emperor of Ice Cream who must also have been on the bill. If anyone has more details and or recordings please get in touch.

Puppy Love Bomb – Almost A Star (1993)

Treehouse – Hide (1993)

Puppy Love Bomb – I’m Not Listening (1993)

Pet Lamb – Insult To Injury (1993)

LMNO Pelican – Call Yossarian (1993)

No Name Band (1985 demo)

Posted in Music with tags , on January 30, 2023 by Fanning Sessions

no name band

From Navan, No Name Band were Francis Geraghty (guitar), Mark McGoona (guitar), Damien McGoona (bass), Derek McGoona (saxophone) and Tony Smyth (drums). This particular track was played by Dave Fanning on his radio show and also performed by the band on the RTE TV show ‘Jobsuss’, the band released one single ‘Sweet Sensation‘ in 1985. For more information please read the entry (anyone heard from Eamonn recently?) and leave a comment if you have any memories or corrections.

Sweet Sensation (1985)

She’s My Girl (1985)

Rulers Of The Planet (2003 Session)

Posted in Music with tags , , on January 29, 2023 by Fanning Sessions

rulers of the planet

From Cork, Rulers Of The Planet were originally Barry McAuliffe (vocals), Mick Hayes (guitar) and Niall Lynch (drums), the latter both previously of The Shanks. The trio were soon joined by Ian O Connell (guitar) and Kieran O’Neill (drums). They released two albums and called it a day after 10 years in 2013. Nice Evening Echo article here.

Phone No (2003)

Eduardo (2003)

Five Go Down To The Sea? (1983 Session)

Posted in Music with tags , , on January 25, 2023 by Fanning Sessions

Five Go Down To The Sea

The recently posted 1990 Ian Wilson interview brought to our attention that we had not yet featured Five Go Down To The Sea? The Cork band formed out of the ashes of Nun Attax in 1982 by Finbarr Donnelly (vocals), Ricky Dineen (guitar) and Keith “Smelly” O’Connell (drums) were soon joined by Mick Stack (guitar) and Úna Ní Chanainn (cello). In 1983 they recorded a session for Dave Fanning as a 4 piece without cello. Three of these tracks featured on the 2020 AllCity retrospective ‘Hiding From The Landlord‘ and we have a cover of the Lee Hazelwood song ‘These Boots Were Made For Walking’ to share today. The remaining track was ‘Big Brown Ceann’. The band photo is by Ciarán Ó Tuama. Ricky Dineen is currently active with Liam Heffernan (Mean Features) as Big Boy Foolish who feature incidentally on the bonus CD with the recent reissue of Kaught at the Kampus.

These Boots Were Made For Walking (1983)

Lorry Across The Lee (1983)

Blue Moon (1983)

While My Cigar Meryl Streeps (1983)

‘Session Man’ Ian Wilson interview (Hot Press, 14th June 1990)

Posted in Music with tags , on January 20, 2023 by Fanning Sessions


The following is a Paul Byrne Hot Press interview with Ian Wilson of RTE to celebrate 10 years of the Fanning Sessions, it appeared in print on June 14th 1990.

Ten years on and the importance of The Dave Fanning Session hasn’t diminished in the least. From U2 to Scale The Heights, The Virgin Prunes to Whipping Boy and The Blades to Power Of Dreams the recordings have provided invaluable experience for two generations of Irish bands. Paul Byrne meets the man who started the ball rolling a decade ago, Ian Wilson

“You could tell Five Go Down To The Sea? were no time-wasters the minute they walked into the studio.” Ian Wilson remembers “They just set up their gear, did some songs, stopped for tea, and then came back and packed up.

“Whereas most bands were with you ’til 10pm these lads were walking out the door at 7pm. And with most bands you’re lucky to get two tracks done; with these we had five done in record time, including a particularly manic version of ‘These Boots Were Made For Walking’ and such potential classics as ‘Lorry Across The Lee’ and ‘While My Guitar Meryl Streeps’.

“I assumed they were leaving early to get back to Cork because they had to sign on the dole the nexxt morning. But they had other plans. They headed straight to Herbert Park armed with 20 bottles of cider they’d gotten with the money they’d earned from the sessions, and got completely blotto drunk.”

“They woke up the next morning in the park, got into their car and drove home to Cork. Crazy people, completely crazy”! They never even bothered to get a copy of the session!”

Ian Wilson sits back in his wobbly chair amidst the hustle and noise of RTE’s Radio House and laughs.

“As it turns out it’s probably one of the best sessions we’ve ever done”

Over the last 10 years Ian Wilson, as producer and guru of Dave Fanning’s seminal radio, has given a lot of much needed exposure to a host of Ireland’s until then radio-unfriendly bands through the medium of the Rock Show sessions. Highly respected today, the sessions however had a humble though destined to be historic start in life.

“When I first arrived here in ’79 I was amazed to find a fully equipped studio just lying idle,” Wilson recalls. “It had literally been unused since in was first installed in ’73. And so I decided to get a band in to see if it actually worked.

“I phoned Paul McGuinness and told him to send the four lads in to do a couple of numbers. Everything went great; naturally we were only learning how to use the equipment but it was a good beginning!

“After that the sessions began happening on a haphazard basis for a couple of years. It’s only been in the last few years that RTE have fully realised their real worth. They’ve realised that this is in an area of vast development, and that if they want to keep up with the competition they’ll have to back this thing up. But probably the most important factor that sparked off the change of heart was the simple fact that they could make money with the sessions. Over the last year alone we’ve taken in about £1,200 in leasing out demos to bands. That kinda altered RTE’s point of view!”

Back at the beginning, as the initial onslaught of young bands descended upon RTE studios, the prevalent calm and tranquility of the Radio House was shaken ever so slightly.

“We were just at the tail end of the Punk thing, and it was a time of cross dressing and wearing whatever you wanted.” Wilson points out. “So when someone like The Virgin Prunes strolled in there was quite a few eyes widened. The problem here is that it’s a very closed-in existence that a lot of these people lead. Most of them wouldn’t have any experience of music besides some ‘come-all-ye’ back home. So when you walked into the RTE canteen when one of the bands were in it didn’t take you long to work out who were in the band and who worked in RTE.”

With the sudden intrusion of life upsetting the flow of things around the Radio House, was there ever any ‘friendly words of advice’ from any of RTE’s executives upstairs?

“There were a few people who though that the whole thing was just a waste of time and resources. You had people who used to work in the showband days who’d be baffled that it took us a whole day to record two or three songs with a band. In their day you took a band into the studio, played the song once , and then headed home in time for the Angelus. But that attitude has changed a lot. They’ve come to realise just what’s invoved with recording these days. That’s not to say they approve of it; it’s just that they’ve come to tolerate it now.”

In the early days what were you looking out for when you were sent a demo?

“The thing about the early demos was that you often couldn’t tell how good or bad a band were from their demo. Because in those dats there wasn’t that many studios, so lots of the stuff we got was recorded in someone’s bedroom or out in the garden. You took a great risk sometimes.

“But you soon learned what to look for. The bottom line has always been to find bands with good ideas anyway, so really the quality didn’t really come into unless the recording was really bad.

” Today the problem has gone the other way. It’s all production now. Everything is polished and perfected, if that’s the proper word. So much it’s hard to know if the band can actually do anything worthwhile. Bands should never forget that it’s the ideas that matter, not the production!”

It was “sometime in the mid-80’s” when RTE decided, without rhyme or reason to abolish the Fanning Sessions. It was a move that was to have far reaching repercussions, with every budding rock star and starlet up and down the country lending their voice to the hail of disapproval. As a result it soon became obvious to RTE that the Fanning Sessions weren’t about to roll over and play dead.

“The outcry was fairly large when that happened alright,” Wilson acknowledges. “It was definitely noticed! I never know at the time why they went, and I still don’t. The communications in here are sometimes very bizarre. In this communications business the last thing they tend to do is tell you what’s going on!”

But luckily, help was at hand; the mighty hand of the Arts Council to be precise.

“I know for a fact that the Arts Council wrote to the Director-General here, which is a little-known fact, The Arts Council writing is quite… (widens his eyes and drops his jaw!) – it really raised people’s eyebrows. A letter from the Arts Council saying that this was a very valuable part of Ireland’s artistic scene sort of thing; that, more than anything, must have put the slides on it.

“It came back pretty soon after that. It was only a short gap anyway. The proverbial shit hit the fan, so it won’t happen again. I’m pretty sure of that. Looking back it was a kind of blessing in disguise, because when this hiccup occurred it suddenly dawned on a lot of people just how important the sessions were!”

The need for an outlet such as the Fanning Sessions has never been more necessary than it is today, with more and more bands cropping up all around the country. “It’s great at the moment,” enthuses Wilson. “Donegal, Cork, Limerick, all across the midlands – there’s great bands coming from all over the country. It’s no longer just a Dublin thing!”.

It was Fanning who once said that ‘unemployment brings out the guitar in everyone!’. Would the producer agree?

“Well, I don’t know if it’s really unemployment, but it’s certainly a working class occupation. I remember filling in for Dave once on some teacher’s discussion about ‘the kids’. I told the people there that they must understand that music for a lot of young people is a way out; if you’re a youngster living in Tallaght or wherever you don’t have many choices. You can get drunk on cider every weekend, or you can start a band. To a lot of these kids it’s like boxing; a way to break out of their surroundings. I said that unless they understood that they were going to have a lot of trouble understanding the kids.’ And they flipped out: ‘Oh, no, no, no, no, that’s not our experience with kids. Oh, no, no, no, no!’

“One guy started insisting that The Beatles were upper class; they weren’t, The Beatles were working class – all the great band were. You had the odd exception like Genesis, who all came from private school, but all the really important bands were predominantly working class. And long may it stay that way. Otherwise they’ll all be as boring as Genesis are!”

Genesis are not the only form of music that riles Wilson. Recent non-developments in the Irish folk scene manages to bring his blood to tropical heat as well!

“I’m amazed that folk music in this country is so stagnated. There has been no significant changes at all in the last 15 years. There’s really been no changes in Irish folk music in about 1,000 years. It’s still red-faced men in Aran sweaters belting out appalling ballads.

“You’ve got great developments going on all over the world; different cultures criss-crossing with each other to spark off some great music. Sure look at The Pogues; taking your basic Irish folk and traditional and blending it with the rawer elements of Punk and what-have-ya; that’s what should be going on over here. No-one’s doing anything exciting over here with folk music. There’s been a gap left since the likes of Planxty split up.

“What we need now is some band to come along and break up their fiddle and bodhrans on the stage. And maybe they could burn their Aran sweaters while they’re at it!”

Is there anything in today’s Irish music scene that manages to excite him?

“Oh, yeah! There’s quite a lot of garagey bands at the moment that are really good, There’s bands like The Whipping Boy, The Slowest Clock, The Golden Horde, Power Of Dreams. Power Of Dreams are a band that we’ve given a lot of support to, their simply a great band, and now they’ve got themselves a record contract. Which is great!

“That’s the good thing about Ireland at the moment. There’s a very healthy structure now for bands to grow from. There’s a lot of money coming into Ireland’s music industry right now, and that’s reflecting back in the form of better facilities for young bands. There’s plenty of room for development now for bands starting out.”

This year Wilson hopes to see some of the Fanning Sessions released on vinyl, probably as mini-LPs, a move sparked off by the success of “The Peel Sessions“, released in Britain by Strange Fruit Records, though Wilson concedes that the Rock Show wouldn’t have anything like it’s extensive or interest-worthy a back catalogue to plunder.

“I do have a number of sessions that are well worth releasing though,” he adds. “Stuff like The Prunes, A House, Stars Of Heaven, Golden Horde, Blue In Heaven, The Blades… they’re all pretty good sessions. And I reckon, as 6 or 8 track ,mini-lps, they would have a bit of cred and they’d sell in reasonable quantities too. I’m hoping I may have enough bits and pieces for a hardcore compilation as well.”

The commercial potential doesn’t end there either; many bands are now buying their demos to use as promos, or to release to the public.

“This, and the release of the mini-LPs, have obviously appealed to a lot of people in here; where there’s money there’s a way!”, Wilson comments with a smile. “It’s only a recent development that the session have begun to show sign of paying for themselves, which is basically what we hope it will achieve. The more money we can earn from releasing, and leasing, the sessions the more we can put back into them!”

What about the copyright control on the recordings?

“Basically RTE have copyright on the recordings for ever and ever. The artist owns the songs and suchlike, RTE just own the performance. The bottom line for bands is the experience of recording, and the airplay.”

And airplay for the sessions can come up in the strangest of places!

“No-one seems to know this but all the background music used in ‘Fair City’ is taken from our sessions,” he reveals. “So you have people ironing their underwear, or having tea and an argument whilst An Emotional Fish or A House are playing in the background.

“It’s a fairly weird means of exposure from the bands’ point of view!”

Should look good on the posters: As featured in RTE’s ‘Fair City’!” Or maybe not.

Fanning’s Fab 50 (1983)

Posted in Music with tags on January 9, 2023 by Fanning Sessions

Thanks once again to the impeccable record keeping of Pat Lydon we now have the 1983 Fanning’s Fab 50 rundown. There are quite a few new entries although not all of these were released in 1983. U2 as usual are very well represented but Johnny Duhan with ‘El Salvador’ at 25 is a very strong showing. I had a quick look but was unable to find a recording of the song which was released as a single in 1983. For Spotify users there is a playlist (missing the Johnny Duhan track unfortunately)

1. u2 – 11 o clock tick tock
2. joy division – love will tear us apart
3. new order – blue monday
4. u2 – sunday bloody sunday
5. the undertones – teenage kicks
6. simple minds – new gold dream
7. u2 – new years day
8. joy division – decades
9. led zeppelin – stairway to heaven
10. stiff little fingers – alternative ulster
11. the doors – riders on the storm
12. simple minds – the american
13. u2 – a celebration
14. new order – ceremony
15. joy division – new dawn fades
16. simple minds – someone somewhere (in summertime)
17. the undertones – my perfect cousin
18. u2 – a day without me
19. joy division – atmosphere
20. the jam – down at the tube station at midnight
21. big country – the storm
22. thin lizzy – still in love with you
23. p.i.l. – this is not a lovesong
24. the jam – going underground
25. johnny duhan – el salvador
26. the doors – light my fire
27. the undertones – julie ocean
28. u2 – drowning man
29. u2 – like a song
30. new order – temptation
31. u2 – out of control
32. new order – your silent face
33. joy division – transmission
34. joy division – the eternal
35. david bowie – ashes to ashes
36. david bowie – rock n roll suicide
37. david bowie – moonage daydream
38. the clash – london calling
39. the rolling stones – satisfaction
40. the cure – faith
41. the beatles – i am the walrus
42. the blades – downmarket
43. sex pistols – anarchy in the uk
44. the kinks – you really got me
45. rory gallagher – shadowplay
46. virgin prunes – baby turns blue
47. the boomtown rats – rat trap
48. talking heads – this must be the place
49. siouxsie and the banshees – christine
50. genesis – mama

Fanning’s Fab 50 (1982)

Posted in Fab50, Music with tags on December 27, 2022 by Fanning Sessions

fanning the flames of rte

Pat Lydon has kindly been in touch with the 1982 Fanning’s Fab 50 listing. He is currently in the attic looking for the 1981 rundown so I hope Ian Wilson has his fingers crossed. Notable entries this year were ‘Sad Day’ by Blancmange at 47, ‘The Message’ by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five at 16 and ‘The Sweetest Girl’ by Scritti Politti at 10. The Virgin Prunes feature twice, ‘Apologia’ at 21 is from their Fanning session.

1. u2 – 11 o clock tick tock
2. led zeppelin – stairway to heaven
3. stiff little fingers – alternative ulster
4. u2 – a celebration
5. u2 – a day without me
6. joy division – love will tear us apart
7. david bowie – ziggy stardust
8. u2 – out of control
9. new order – temptation
10. scritti politti – the sweeetest girl
11. joy division – new dawn fades
12. virgin prunes – pagan lovesong
13. thin lizzy – still in love with you
14. the undertones – teenage kicks
15. new order – ceremony
16. grand master flash and the furious five – the message
17. elvis costello – new amsterdam
18. joy division – atmosphere
19. ac/dc – back in black
20. the doors – light my fire
21. virgin prunes – apologia (fanning session)
22. black sabbath – paranoid
23. the damned – new rose
24. the cure – a forest
25. outcasts – magnum force
26. uk subs – warhead
27. lynrd skynrd – freebird
28. dave bowie – quicksand
29. sex pistols – pretty vacant
30. siouxsie and the banshees – christine
31. joy division – decades
32. u2 – tomorrow
33. the jam – going underground
34. john lennon – working class hero
35. ac/dc – touch too much
36. sex pistols – no fun
37. stiff little fingers – suspect device
38. pil – flowers of romance
39. siouxsie and the banshees – hong kong garden
40. the jam – down at the tube station at midnight
41. saxon – denim & leather
42. the doors – the end
43. the blades – downmarket
44. killing joke – requiem
45. rory gallagher – shadowplay
46. talking heads – once in a lifetime
47. blancmange – sad day
48. david bowie – rock n roll suicide
49. the clash – rock the casbah
50. elvis costello – shabby doll

Fanning’s Fab 50 (1980)

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


Ian Wilson has kindly been in touch with the 1980 Fanning’s Fab 50 listing. Ian and Dave are currently working on a new series for RTE Gold, Fanning’s Fabbest 50 looking back at some of the pivotal years of the poll. If you happen to have a copy of the 1981 rundown they would dearly love to hear from you. The 1980 rundown can be listened to on Spotify (in reverse chronological order of course). There is one track missing, DC Nien ‘Nightclub’ is not on Spotify so you’ll have to check that out on YouTube.

1. Lynyrd Skynyrd – Freebird
2. Led Zeppelin – Stairway To Heaven
3. U2 – Out Of Control
4. Stiff Little Fingers – Alternative Ulster
5. Undertones – Teenage Kicks
6. Sex Pistols – Anarchy In The Uk
7. John Lennon – Imagine
8. The Cure – A Forest
9. U2 – 11 O’clock Tick Tock
10. Joy Division – She’s Lost Control
11. Thin Lizzy – Still In Love With You
12. Sex Pistols – Holidays In The Sun
13. Dire Straits – Sultans Of Swing
14. Teardrop Explodes – Treason
15. Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart
16. U2 – Another Time, Another Place
17. David Bowie – Heroes
18. Bruce Springsteen – Jungleland
19. U2 – Stories For Boys
20. Pink Floyd – Another Brick In The Wall
21. The Jam – Down In The Tube Station At Midnight
22. Black Sabbath – Heaven And Hell
23. Joy Division – Decades
24. Stiff Little Fingers – Suspect Device
25. U2 – A Day Without Me
26. Boomtown Rats – Rat Trap
27. XTC – Making Plans For Nigel
28. AC/DC – Hell’s Bells
29. DC Nien – Nightclub
30. U2 – Twilight
31. Radiators From Space – Song Of The Faithful Departed
32. The Dead Kennedys – Holidays In Cambodia
33. Public Image Ltd – Public Image
34. The Skids – Into The Valley
35. Ry Cooder – Little Sister
36. Patti Smith – Because The Night
37. Ruefrex – One By One
38. David Bowie – Station To Station
39. Rory Gallagher – Philby
40. Talking Heads – Psycho Killer
41. Deep Purple – Highway Star
42. The Clash – Woring For The Clampdown
43. Neil Young – Like A Hurricane
44. John Lennon – Stand By Me
45. Bob Dylan – Hurricane
46. Black Sabbath – Paranoid
47. Pink Floyd – Shine On You Crazy Diamond
48. Bruce Springsteen – Born To Run
49. Jimi Hendrix – Purple Haze
50. Thin Lizzy – Whiskey In The Jar

Fanning’s Fabbest 50 coming soon to RTÉ Gold

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

fannings fabbest 50

Fanning’s Fab 50, counting down listeners’ 50 best rock, indie and alt hits over Christmas week, ran for 35 years on 2FM. Now presenter Dave Fanning and producer Ian Wilson have reunited to make a new lookback series, Fanning’s Fabbest 50, for RTÉ Gold.

Details continue to emerge of a new Fab 50 radio documentary series and podcast to be broadcast on RTÉ Gold from March 2023. Dave Fanning and Ian Wilson dropped in to the RTÉ Radio 1 Brendan O’Connor Show for an enjoyable amble down memory lane with Dearbhail McDonald last Sunday. Despite what texter Willie might have said it appears the 1981 Fab 50 continues to elude so if you have it in a notebook or even better have it recorded on cassette tape please get in touch. Tomorrow we’ll bring you the very first poll, the 1980 Fanning’s Fab 50.

Dave Fanning and Ian Wilson (2022)

1981 Fanning’s Fab 50 / Fab 50 radio series

Posted in Music with tags on November 28, 2022 by Fanning Sessions

fab50 1981

Dave Fanning and Ian Wilson recently tweeted that they are on the lookout for the 1981 Fanning’s Fab 50 listing. The two are working on a radio series looking at the history of the Fab50. The following clipping from Sunday Independent on January 17th 1982 was uncovered by @GAA_Stats and lists the 7 U2 entries. Surely someone has the rundown in a notebook or on an old cassette in the attic? The Fab50 listings we have are all indexed, additions, corrections and memories are always welcome.

1981 Fab 50 (partial)

47. u2 – tomorrow
31. u2 – fire
27. u2 – stories for boys
18. u2 – i will follow
08. u2 – a day without me
06. u2 – out of control
02. led zeppelin – stairway to heaven
01. u2 – 11 o clock tick tock

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

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)

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 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)

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’

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)

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.

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)

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

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.

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..

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 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.

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.


The Montoya Sound (1990 Demo)

Posted in Music with tags , on November 2, 2019 by Fanning Sessions

the montoya sound

The Bullying Kind (1990)

Updating with comment from Pete Deane on Facebook:

“I am very pleased that this song, The Bullying Kind, has reached the public domain. Thank you Fanning Sessions Archive. This is one of our demo recordings, which was broadcast on RTE Radio in (apparently) 1990. It features my musical composition and my vocal performance with Philip Mullen’s lyrics and guitar playing. It is a recording of our full band, including 3-piece brass section, all recorded by our dear-departed friend and production genius Martin Rex on a Tascam 8-Track machine in the living room of my flat in Kings Cross, London. The superb brass arrangement of the finale was composed by our trumpet player Chris Lee, formerly of Pigbag and the magnificent sax solo was by John Glenn, formerly of The Republic, with Sarah Jane Morris. Harmony vocals were by Angie Dixon, Montoya Sound member, and wife of Some Kind of Wonderful drummer Paul Bibby. This track also features Rupert Greenall of The Fixx on Hammond organ and Jeffrey Scantlebury of The Dub Band on percussion.”

London based but featuring two Irish songwriters Pete Deane and Phil Mullen both ex Some Kind Of Wonderful originally from Dundalk. The Montoya sound were Dan Sheals (drums), Dave Ward (bass), Chris Lee (trumpet), Phil Greenwood (saxophone), John Harbourne (trombone), Louis Vause ( keyboards), Angie Dixon (vocals), Philip Mullen (guitar) and Pete Deane (vocals). We found this track on one of our Fanning tapes after watching the band’s 1992 ‘On The Waterfront’ performance of ‘When You Kill A Beautiful Thing‘. Pete has confirmed there was a radio interview with Dave during which two tracks were performed acoustically.

Mickey Bradley Record Show moves to Friday

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

Mickey Bradley MBRS

Update: Apologies are in order, looks like the MBRS lives on, this is simply a move to Fridays, rugby permitting. Will probably delete this post but to avoid unnecessary confusion leaving in place for now.

After 6 years the Mickey Bradley Record Show on Radio Ulster is no more. The final show was on October 15th and it’s fair to say Tuesday evenings won’t be the same. He makes way for a new Monday – Thursday show from fellow Derryman and respected music head Stephen McCauley. Mickey will host some further Friday evening shows until January but after that who knows what the future holds. Another casualty of the latest deckchair rearrangement and one which will possibly cut deeper is the cancellation of the BBC Northern Ireland Arts Show to which Mickey was also contributor.

Mickey will be appearing this weekend at Dún Laoghaire Vinyl Festival
where he will discuss ‘Music & Life in 70’s & 80’s Derry‘ with fellow Undertone Damian O’Neill and author Geraldine Quigley.

Man Ray (Helden Flexi)

Posted in Music with tags , on October 14, 2019 by Fanning Sessions

helden flexi

Man Ray were Brendan Morrison (vocals & guitar), Mary Mulrine (vocals & piano), Anthony O’Kane (rhythm guitar), Phil Crothers (bass) and Robert McGlone (drums). This track featured on a flexi given away with Helden fanzine in the late 80s. I believe that Man Ray like other acts featured in the short lived series were from Northern Ireland, in this instance they share the billing with Bam Bam & The Calling. The flexi is a little the worse for wear so the quality of the recording leaves something to be desired, but for now it is all we have. Thanks to Thomas Erbsloh for the flexi. Update via Phil Crothers: the band formed in 1986 with all but Robert McGlone meeting on the Foundation Year Art course in Rupert Stanley College, Belfast. They played across Ireland, recording a session for the BBC show ‘Across The Line’ and appearing on the BBC show ‘Channel One’ hosted by Jackie Hamilton (The Moondogs). Interest from label Polydor came just after the band decided to split.Robert is currently active with Jam Pact and Phil with Stonefish.

Man Ray: left to right, Brendan Morrison, Anthony O’Kane, Robert McGlone, Phil Crothers, Mary Mulrine.

Man Ray ‘Apology’

Twix Rocks – Into ’91 With Fanning’s Choice

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

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This is a nice promotional cassette produced in conjunction with Twix, featuring 10 of Dave Fanning’s favourite Irish tracks of 1990. Each one is introduced by Dave, with De Confidence receiving a particularly nice mention. Thanks to Eoin Fegan for sharing.

An Emotional Fish – Move On
The Dixons – Here Comes The Love Machine
The Stunning – Brewing Up A Storm
No Sweat – Waters Flow
The Honey Thieves – Drive
Into Paradise – Bring Me Closer
The Prayer Boat – Stopping the World
De Confidence – Dropout
Toasted Heretic – They Didn’t Teach Music in My School
A House – Bugaboo

Grasshopper (1995)

Posted in Music with tags on September 23, 2019 by Fanning Sessions

grasshopper - stupid

Grasshopper were a 4 piece featuring Brian Adams (guitar), Acko Atkinson (vocals, guitar), Dan Simperingham (bass) and Peter Murphy (drums). They released 3 singles, ‘Disapeer’, ‘Stupid!’ and ‘Harrington Street’ and a video for a fourth track ‘Sound As A Pound‘ can be found on YouTube. They recorded a Fanning session but we have no details. Peter Murphy’s latest project Cursed Murphy versus The Resistance have an upcoming show at Wexford Arts Festival on October 10th. As usual all corrections most welcome.

Stupid! (1995)

Bohinta (1993 Session)

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


Bohinta were for this 1993 Dave Fanning session – Martin Furey (vocals, guitar, whistles, pipes), Aine Furey (vocals, bodhran), Greig Stewart (drums), Dave McCleod (bass), Roy Marchbank (guitars, mandolin), Nell (fiddle) and Tally (bodhran). The session was produced by Ian Wilson. There are 3 albums listed on discogs: a compilation ‘Bohinta’ (1996) featuring a further session track ‘Heaven’, ‘Wishes’ (1996) and ‘Belladonna’ (2002). Thanks to Eoin Fegan for resurrecting these tracks from cassette.

Broken Shell (1993)

Cirrus (1993)

Say You (1993)

Kristin Hersh (1994 Session)

Posted in Music with tags , on September 4, 2019 by Fanning Sessions

kristin hersh 2

Kristin Hersh first came to prominence as a member of Throwing Muses. In 1994 she released a solo album ‘Hips and Makers’ and on April 2nd she performed an in-store at Tower Records. There are no Irish dates listed on the official site but presumably on the occasion of this visit she also recorded this session for Dave Fanning. Thanks Eoin Fegan for the recording. Check out a 2016 interview with Tom Dunne here.

Scheer (1994 Session)

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


From Maghera and Magherafelt in County Derry, Scheer were Audrey Gallagher (vocals), Neal Calderwood (lead guitar), Paddy Leyden (rhythm guitar), PJ Doherty and later Peter Fleming (bass) and Joe Bates (drums). They recorded this session for Dave Fanning in 1994. The band released two albums, Infliction (1996) on 4AD and ‘… And Finally’ (2000) on Schism Records. Thanks to Eoin Fegan for digging out the recording.

Howling Boy (1994)

Nemesis (1994)

Shine (1994)

Wish You Were Dead (1994)

No Journeys End the story of Michael O’Shea (2019)

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

michael o shea sean o hagan vox

Michael O’Shea and Sean O’Hagan (c) VOX

On Sunday Lyric FM broadcast ‘No Journeys End’ the latest documentary feature produced by Paul McDermott. It told the story of Michael O’Shea an experimental musician from Carlingford who released a self-titled album in 1982. McDermott recounts how Michael built his own instrument, played Ronnie Scott’s and featured on national television. The documentary features contributions from among others, Michael’s sister Rita, Graham Lewis (Wire), Stano, Tom Johnston (The The), Gavin Friday (Virgin Prunes), Mark Prendergast (Irish Rock) and Jim O’Mahony (Belsonic Sound). The album was reissued in 2019 by AllChival Records.An accompanying oral history offers further detail and context.

Radiators ‘Ghostown’ preview (1979)

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

Radiators - Ghostown reissue event

On June 9th 1979, Philip Chevron visited Dave Fanning at RTE to preview ‘Ghostown’ the second album by The Radiators. Produced by Tony Visconti this album was to prove a leap musically for the Dublin band but the release had been delayed by a year. Now some 40 years later the album has been reissued in a special edition by Ace Records. A special launch event takes place on August 30th at The Underground featuring a Q&A with Pete Holidai and a live performance of a selection of tracks from the album. Thanks to John Byrne for the recording.

David Berman R.I.P.

Posted in Music with tags , , , on August 16, 2019 by Fanning Sessions

david berman (c) aaron margosis

David Berman photo (c) Aaron Margosis

We’ve been fans of David Berman and his band Silver Jews since ‘American Water’ in 1998 but didn’t realise how lucky we were to catch them on tour in 2008 to launch ‘Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea’ (the band had previously never performed live). David subsequently called a halt to Silver Jews and all was quiet until the release earlier this year of an album by Purple Mountains. Last week however we were shocked and saddened to hear that David had died suddenly at 52. We would like to pay tribute in a small way by sharing a cover of ‘Suffering Jukebox’ by The Drays recorded at the Leeson Lounge in 2015.

The Drays – Suffering Jukebox (2015)