Thomas McLaughlin – Aughnacloy

Posted in Music with tags , , on January 14, 2017 by Fanning Sessions

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Former frontman of Light A Big Fire, Thomas McLaughlin self released a solo album in 1992 called ‘Sky Guitar‘ (artwork on the way). This track featured although we don’t know if that is the source of this track which featured on the Dave Fanning Show. Thanks to Paul for tipping us off to this particular track.


In Concert – Favourite Gigs of Ireland’s Music Community

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


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

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

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

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

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


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Fanning’s Fab 50 (1984)

Posted in Music with tags on December 26, 2016 by Fanning Sessions

Dave G Kelly recently dug out a tracklisting for the 1984 edition of Fanning’s Fab 50 which he had been sent at the time by a thoughtful person at RTE Radio 2. Whilst listening to the 2016 edition we got to creating a playlist for the 50 or rather 49 tracks – apparently Bob Dylan’s record company doesn’t like YouTube. A very Happy Christmas to all our readers and all the best for 2017.


Fanning’s Fab 50 (2016)

Posted in Fab50, Music with tags on December 22, 2016 by Fanning Sessions


It’s a Christmas tradition and who are we to argue. It was missed last year but in 2016 Dave Fanning’s Fab 50 is back with a vengeance and a new spin to keep us all on our toes (songs from 2000 on only). The votes have been counted and Dave will run down the millenium Fab 50 on RTÉ 2fm Friday 23rd 10pm – midnight and Saturday 24th December from 8-11pm.

In case you haven’t already, now might be a good time to check out the excellent Blackpool Sentinel essay on the Fab 50 which sheds some light on Dave Fanning and Ian Wilson’s contribution to the Irish music scene over the last 40 years.

We are looking forward to a radio documentary ‘The Studio 8 Sessions’ which is due to air on RTÉ 2FM Thursday December 29th at 6pm and will feature contributions from Gavin Friday, Christy Dignam, Liam Ó Maonlaí and Fiachna Ó Braonáin.

50. Kasabian ‘Fire’
49. Fionn Regan ‘Be Good Or Be Gone’
48. The Black Keys ‘Everlasting Light’
47. Villagers ‘Courage’
46. London Grammar ‘Strong’
45. U2 ‘Ordinary Love’
44. Ash ‘Shining Light’
43. Alt J ‘Hunger Of The Pine’
42. Red Hot Chili Peppers ‘Scar Tissue’
41. Red Hot Chili Peppers ‘By The Way’
40. Mic Christopher ‘Heyday’
39. Arctic Monkeys ‘Fake Tales Of San Francisco’
38. Radiohead ‘Pyramid Song’
37. Radiohead ‘Idioteque’
36. Bon Iver ‘Holocene’
35. Flaming Lips ‘Do You Realise’
34. Eminem ‘Lose Yourself’
33. Kodaline ‘High Hopes’
32. Snow Patrol ‘Chasing Cars’
31. David Bowie ‘Where Are We Now?’
30. Kings Of Leon ‘The Bucket’
29. Adele ‘Someone Like You’
28. Outcast ‘Hey Ya’
27. MGMT ‘Time To Pretend’
26. Johnny Cash ‘Hurt’
25. Daft Punk with Pharrell Williams ‘Get Lucky’
24. Radiohead ‘Everything In It’s Right Place’
23. The Killers ‘Human’
22. The National ‘Fake Empire’
21. Bellx1 ‘The Great Defector’
20. Hozier ‘Take Me To Church’
19. Sigur Ros ‘Hoppípolla’
18. U2 ‘Every Breaking Wave’
17. Arctic Monkeys ‘Do I Wanna Know’
16. U2 ‘Beautiful Day’
15. Queens Of The Stone Age ‘No-one Knows’
14. David Bowie ‘Lazarus’
13. The National ‘Bloodbuzz Ohio’
12. Beyonce ‘Crazy In Love’
11. Coldplay ‘Fix You’
10. The Arcade Fire ‘Rebellion (Lies)’
09. Elbow ‘One Day Like This’
08. The Strokes ‘Last Night’
07. LCD Soundsystem ‘All My Friends
06. Amy Winehouse ‘Rehab’
05. Arctic Monkeys ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’
04. Kings Of Leon ‘Sex On Fire’
03. White Stripes ‘Seven Nation Army’
02. The Killers ‘Mr Brightside’
01. The Arcade Fire ‘Wake Up’

For those counting that’s 11 Irish entries 3 of those from U2 and one song from 2016.

Great Western Squares (Eclectic Ballroom 1998)

Posted in Music with tags , , on December 20, 2016 by Fanning Sessions


Reading of The Stars Are Underground 2016 gig in the Grand Social Dublin on December 29th reminded yours truly of a John Kelly ‘Eclectic Ballroom’ show in 1998 where Gary and Oona of The Great Western Squares dropped in to the TodayFM studio for a chat and to play a few records.

From Dublin, The Great Western Squares were Gary Fitzpatrick (vocals, acoustic guitars, piano, melodica, harmonica), Oona White (vocals, jews harp, melodica), Gary O’Growney (mandolin, bass), Stan Erraught (electric, lead and slide guitars, lap dulcimer), Tim Rogers (fiddle, mandolin), Alan Murphy (drums) and Pat McGauley (bass).

..formed during the summer of 1996 – originally a one-off, impromptu project assembled by Gary Fitzpatrick (formerly of the noise band Pincher Martin) to play a “Johnny Cash Appreciation Society” showcase in Dublin, Ireland, the group’s debut performance went over so well that it soon became an ongoing concern. By October, the Squares were playing on a weekly basis, covering classics by everyone from Hank Williams to Gram Parsons to Jimmy Webb, and in early 1997 they recorded the covers album Judas Steer. A collection of originals, Almost Sober, followed a year later.

The recording isn’t great for the first 10 min but is fine thereafter. Now we’re off to track down the album!

Andy White (1989 Session)

Posted in Fanning, Music, radio, session with tags on November 23, 2016 by Fanning Sessions


From Belfast, Andy White recorded a Fanning session on December 4th 1989. Andy has just released a career spanning box set and is on tour in the UK  before playing Whelan’s on December 29th. Andy will be the focus of an hour long profile on the Tom Robinson BBC Radio 6 Music show on Saturday December 3rd at 9pm.

6 String Street (1989)

The Pale Moonlight (1989)

Raspberry Beret (1989)

Your Cheating Heart (1989)

Vision Of You (1989)