Midwich Cuckoos (1987 Session)

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

From Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, the Midwich Cuckoos were Marty McElroy (bass and vocals), Frank McGirr & David Meade. Marty was previously in a 2 piece called Verbal Shark Stampede with Alec McGinley (guitar) and a drum machine. They recorded this session for Dave Fanning in 1987. Thank you Daithi for the band details and Irene for the correction.

Smell Of Petrol (1987)

Image Impression (1987)

Sold Religion (1987)

Birthday Cracker (1987)

Henry McCullough R.I.P.

Posted in Music with tags on June 15, 2016 by Fanning Sessions

.henry bp

20 years after they performed together in Sweeney’s Men, Johnny Moynihan (vocals, bouzouki, fiddle, tin whistle) , Terry Woods (vocals, banjo, guitar) and Henry McCullough (guitar) reconvened in the RTE Studios for a very special edition of the BP Fallon Orchestra.

Henry McCullough on the BPFO

The Cherry Brogues (1992 Session)

Posted in Music with tags on June 10, 2016 by Fanning Sessions

cherry brogues 3

A recent piece on the Cloudberry Records site reminded us of The Cherry Brogues and our failed attempt to track down their Fanning Session. We did some more digging and are delighted to present 3 further tracks from that 1992 session. The 5th and final track, a cover of The Blades ‘Hot For You’ has yet to be located.Keep an eye on the Cloudberry site, we hear an interview may be in the works..

Just Like Saturday (1992)

Not Unlike Michigan (1992)

Numbers In Your Heart (1992)

Options 123 (1992)

The Joys (1990 Demo)

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

Featuring former members of Gavin Is God and 1948ish, The Joys were Deirdre O’Neill (vocals), Graham Darcy (bass), Anthony Darcy (drums), Pat Murphy (guitar) and Aidan Lane (guitar). After some lineup changes The Joys went on to become Junkster.

Cheshire Cat (1990)

Crush (1990)

Snakehouse (1990)

Vicious (1990)

Gavin Is God (1989 Demo)

Posted in Music with tags , on May 25, 2016 by Fanning Sessions

From Malahide in Dublin, Gavin Is God were Deirdre O’Neill (vocals), Rory Carlisle (guitar), Neil Higgins (keyboards/vocals), Graham Darcy (bass) and Anthony D’Arcy (drums). Deirdre, Graham and Anthony later became The Joys.

Get It (1989)

Male Disease (1989)

Violator (1989)

The golden age of alternative music radio

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


Left Of The Dial (2016)

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


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

A House (1985 Demo)

Posted in Music with tags on May 5, 2016 by Fanning Sessions


We should really have posted this before Dave Couse’s by now ritual bank holiday appearance on TodayFM (or waited for next one) but as usual we weren’t ready. Thanks to Anthony for sending this one in, turns out it’s a rare copy of the very first demo recorded by A House. So rare in fact that this otherwise excellent A House fansite doesnt list it.. And while we are on the subject if anyone has a copy of ‘Live At The Underground‘ can you please holler! Artwork by Fergal Bunbury.

Freak Out (1985)

Unplayed Games (1985)


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,932 other followers