Archive for 2xm

Paul Charles on ‘ABC to XTC’ with John Connolly

Posted in interview, Music, radio with tags , , , , on August 25, 2012 by Fanning Sessions

Seeing the interview with Paul Charles in this week’s issue of Hot Press magazine reminded me of the special ABC to XTC show John Connolly hosted just over a year ago when he spent an hour talking to the author and music business insider. If you don’t know who Paul Charles is this interview is a perfect starting point. Charles’ latest book ‘The Last Dance’ which “tells the fictional story of an irish showband” is out now on New Island.

ABC to XTC is an RTE 2XM radio show hosted by author John Connolly. I have yet to read any of John’s work but I am a fan of his radio show which takes a look at the less travelled side of 80s music, with an occasional excursion right up to the present. My favorite shows are those where he looks at post punk or US independent music but his show is always entertaining thanks to John’s anecdotes.

ABC to XTC Paul Charles interview (2011)

Derry Journal review

Setanta Records R.I.P. – a C60 tribute

Posted in Music, radio with tags , , on July 21, 2012 by Fanning Sessions


Keith Cullen the man behind Setanta Records the London based label that launched a thousand Irish bands has announced that the latest album ‘Orchestral Variations V.01‘ by The Separate will be the last by the iconic label. Setanta has been home to bands including A House, Beethoven, Brian, Cane 141, Catchers, Chalets, Deadly Engines, Divine Comedy, Frank & Walters, Glee Club, Harvest Ministers, Into Paradise, Pony Club, Power Of Dreams, Prayer Boat, Rare, They Do It With Mirrors, Turn.

I’ve long been a fan of the RTE 2XM show C60 hosted by Pat McGrath and his look at the label is a suitable showcase for both show and label so I’ve taken the liberty of posting it here. Check out the show on facebook and listen back to recent shows via the excellent RTE radio player.

Catchers – Call Her Name
Divine Comedy – Lucy
Divine Comedy – Jerusalem
The Frank & Walters –
A House – I Am The Greatest
Cane 141 – The Grand Looner
Brian – We Close
Stars – The Life ?
The Separate – Video Killed The Radio Star
Into Paradise – Tomorrow
Evan Dando – You Thought Hard About
The Harvest Ministers – That Won’t Wash
Richard Hawley – Baby Your My Life
A House – Without Dreams

C60 Setanta special (11 July 2012)

Further reading:

God Save The Village Green‘ a novel by Keith Cullen

Underdogs are the best‘ Keith Cullen interviewed by Niall Crumlish for State Magazine (16th July 2012)

One last spin for Setanta Records‘ Tony Clayton Lea in The Irish Times (16th July 2012)

When the music’s over . . .‘ Irish Independent (14th July 2012)


Elvera Butler Interview / Shellshock Rock UCC Downtown Campus (30/6/1979)

Posted in Music, radio with tags , , , , , , , on April 2, 2012 by Fanning Sessions

The following is the poster for the screening of Shellshock Rock at the U.C.C. Downtown Campus on June 30th 1979 which also featured live performances from two of the bands featured in the documentary Rudi and The Outcasts. The photo was kindly sent in by John Dundon from Limerick who commented on that Outcasts session post.

That gig was promoted by Elvera Butler, the founder and mastermind behind Reekus Records currently celebrating their 30 year anniversary. Elvera was recently interviewed by @nessymon aka Vanessa Monaghan for her Culture Cafe show on RTE 2fm/2XM. Here is an excerpt from that interview where Elvera talks of the label’s origins.

ELvera Butler (Reekus Records)

Old 45s

Posted in Music with tags , , , on June 1, 2011 by Fanning Sessions

We’re regular listeners to Michael Mee‘s RTE 2XM show round these parts but are especially looking forward to this weeks show. Michael has managed to get the key to the RTE record cabinet and is threatening to do a vinyl only show. There are a few items I haven’t heard since I were a lad so if he doesn’t play them today I’ll be emailing him anonymously at to ask for a part two. I’m hoping to record the show so will update this post in the next few days with audio in case your wireless doesn’t pick up 2XM.

The Fuze – It’s A Sunday Morning
The Atrix – Treasure On The Wasteland
The Radiators – Dancing Years
Berlin – Over 21
Jimmy Mccarthy – Miles Of Eyes
Cathal Dunne – Danny
The Starjets – War Stories
Tokyo Olympics – Radio
U2 – A Day Without Me
The Brannigan Brothers – The Glitter And Gleam
The Bogey Boys – Friday Night
Billy Brown – Look What Jerry Lee Did To Me
Thin Lizzy – Waiting For An Alibi

Pimp My iPod (2nd June 2011)

Pimp My iPod (Chuid a Trí)

Posted in Music with tags , , , , on May 14, 2011 by Fanning Sessions

Comedian and writer Michael Mee recently did a third show of Irish music on ‘Pimp My iPod’ his RTE 2XM radio show. Since 2XM keeps a low profile on the DAB side of the tracks and there is no listen back feature I figured I’d share it with y’all here. I keep discovering great shows on 2XM, other favourites are ‘C60‘ with Pat McGrath, ‘ABC to XTC‘ with author John Connolly and John Kelly‘s “noisy” show ‘Radio Clash’. Many shows have blogs and ‘Pimp My iPod‘ has now joined those ranks. Have a look at past playlists and check out some archived shows on soundcloud.

1.The Fat Lady Sings-Dronning Maud Land
2.Harvest Ministers-Silent House
3.Engine Alley-Rollergirl
4.Into Paradise-Move Over
5.Whipping Boy-We Don’t Need Nobody Else
6.Hothouse Flowers-Love Don’t Work This Way
7.The Fashions-The Secrets of Young Brides
8.The Rhythm Kings-Hey Hey Holly
9.Auto da Fe-November November
10.Ray Lynam-I Don’t Want to See Another Town
11.Dot Creek-Girl from the Hills
12.Boa Morte-Tired Eyes
13.Cousteau-Talking to Myself

Pimp My iPod – 3rd Irish Special

RTE’s low quality streams

Posted in Music with tags , , , on March 8, 2011 by Fanning Sessions

Update October 2011: Following the launch of the new RTE Radio Player this article can be considered deprecated. The audio stream quality issue has been addressed (although I have yet to figure out what the bitrates are) and now for the first time from one central location you can listen back to at least the most recent edition of most shows across all the RTE stations including the DAB stations like 2XM. Congratulations to RTE and all who worked on the project.

As a radio listener who recently discovered the joys of 2XM I have become a little frustrated by the quality of RTE’s online radio streams. RTE provides two stream formats; one Windows Media Audio 9.1 (WMA2) and the other using RealAudio. Both streams are 32kbps using a 22kHz sample rate. According to wikipedia, today “most stations stream between 64 kbit/s and 128 kbit/s providing near CD quality audio”. So RTE uses a rate less than half the minimum value in that range. Looking at some other Irish radio stations, TodayFM offers a 96kbps MP3 stream at 44kHz sample rate (ie on paper 3 times more data than RTE). PhantomFM offers 3 different stream types WMA, MP3 and AAC each in a high quality (128kbps) and lower quality (48-64 kbps) version. 4FM has two streams a 64K mp3 stream and a 128K AAC+ stream. Over the water the venerable BBC provides a 128kbps AAC stream (48kbps to listeners outside the UK) with significant improvements planned. I think it’s fair to say that RTE’s streams are bottom of the table, maybe it’s time to upgrade? Update: DPC has posted an alternative link for 2XM which boasts higher quality streams. Is a retraction required?

Pimp My iPod (Cuid A Do)

Posted in Music with tags , , on February 17, 2011 by Fanning Sessions

Micheal Mee hosts a weekly show on 2XM called ‘Pimp My iPod’. Yesterday he had a second Irish special and a humdinger it was too. It started off with a few familiar tunes and then about half way through took a detour into more challenging terrain where I had to do a bit of work to identify the album if not the artist. There was one immediately recognisable voice but not the band and then one artist I’d never heard before (and a few search engine minutes doesn’t leave me much the wiser). Anyway the result was a rewarding listen and I’ll be tuning into the repeat tonight at 9pm with my trusty tape deck at the ready.

The Boomtown Rats – Looking After Number 1 (1977)
Stiff Little Fingers – Listen (£1.10 Or Less EP, 1982)
The Revenants – Ted’s Tune (Horse Of A Different Colour, 1993)
Fatima Mansions – You Won’t Get Me Home (Against Nature, 1989)
A House – I’ll Always Be Grateful (On Our Big Fat Merry-Go-Round, 1988)
The Divine Comedy – Queen Of The South (Liberation, 1993)
Adrian Crowley – Tonight I Can See (When You Are Here You Are Family, 2002)
John Hegarty – The Silence With Ease (Twilight, 2000)
Fionn Regan – (The End Of History, 2006)
Rollerskate Skinny – Violence To Violence (Shoulder Voices, 1993)
The Glee Club – The Blame (Mine, 1994)
Cathy Davey – Come Over (Something Ilk, 2004)

Irish Special Cuid a Do (16th Feb 2011)

Michael Mee on 2XM

Posted in Music with tags , , , on February 9, 2011 by Fanning Sessions

I recently discovered writer and comedian Michael Mee‘s 2XM radio show ‘Pimp my iPod‘ when a reader who knows my weakness for a good compilation pointed me at his irish special where lots of music near and dear to the heart of yours truly featured. ‘Pimp My iPod’ can be heard on DAB, online or on NTL Chorus Channel 944, Wednesdays at 5pm and is repeated on Thursdays at 9pm.

Thin Lizzy – Dancing in the Moonlight
Paul Brady – Crazy Dreams
U2 – 11 O’Clock Tick Tock
Microdisney – Dolly
Frank and Walters – Michael
Boa Morte – The Spade Song
The Undertones – Here Comes the Summer
The Blades – Hot for You
Something Happens – Here Comes the Only One Again
Stars of Heaven – Widow’s Walk
Brian – You Don’t Want a Boyfriend
Serious Women – Baby
My Bloody Valentine – Nothing Much to Lose
Therapy? – Screamager

Michael Mee ‘Pimp My Ipod’ (Irish Special)