Archive for belfast

PBR Streetgang (Session)

Posted in Fanning, radio, session with tags on August 7, 2021 by Fanning Sessions

pbr streetgangFrom Northern Ireland and with 3 releases on Terri Hooley’s Good Vibrations, details are once again annoyingly sparse for today’s session from PBR Streetgang. Please get in touch if you have any information. Update: Thanks to Stuart Bailie we now know the band were fronted by Colin Crooks later of The Graceland Conspiracy and The Dollybyrds. 


Talking To You

Running Into Dust

These Days

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.

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

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!


Tiberius Minnows (1992 Session)

Posted in Fanning, Music, radio, session with tags , , , on June 15, 2017 by Fanning Sessions

tiberius minnows band

Formed June 1987 in Coalisland, Co. Tyrone, Tiberius Minnows were Michael Rafferty (vocals), Paul Maynes (guitar), Kevin Carson (bass), Barry Corr (keyboards) and Stephen O’Sullivan (drums).  The band reconvened as The Minnows a number of years ago and are currently putting the finishing touch to their debut album. If anyone knows the year of this Fanning session please set us straight..

A Song Called Love

Elephant Man

New York City


The Donnelly Brothers – CD Release

Posted in demo, Music with tags , on March 4, 2014 by Fanning Sessions


We are proud to belatedly confirm our first official CD release. At the end of 2013 Martin Burns announced that a CD of Donnelly Brothers demos was to be released and a list of 14 tracks was assembled. Unfortunately fans noticed that one track was missing – ‘The Handicap Bus’. Fortunately The Fanning Sessions Archive had posted that very track, so contact was duly made and we were happy to assist. Said CD has now been released and can be purchased from Flaming June Records for €6.

One Deaf Ear – Mother’s Day (1986)

Posted in Fanning, Music, radio with tags , on December 26, 2013 by Fanning Sessions


Don’t have many details of this recording from One Deaf Ear but an RTE Visual Eyes recording of ‘True Colours‘ was popular so you might enjoy hearing this. From Belfast the band were Michael Madden (vocals, guitar), Brian O’Cuinn (bass, synths), Sean Quinn (synths, vocals, sampler) and Gerard Campbell (drums).

Mother’s Day (1986)

Stuart Bailie ‘Good Vibrations’ Special with Terri Hooley & David Holmes

Posted in Music, radio with tags , , , on September 15, 2013 by Fanning Sessions


On 26th August 2013 Stuart Bailie hosted an hour long special on his BBC radio show with Terri Hooley and David Holmes about how the soundtrack for the Good Vibrations film was assembled. Read Stuart’s own take in ‘The Invincible Soundtrack‘. The show includes the tale of how ‘Gloria’ was replaced with ‘Star’ for the final credits. I guess it’s David Bowie 1 Van Morrison 0. The direct link to the show on mixcloud is here

John T Davis (2012 Interview)

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

John T Davis
Photo courtesy Culture Northerm Ireland

33 years after ‘Shellshock Rock‘ was controversially withdrawn from the festival programme at the last minute, John T Davis returned to the Cork Film Festival this year for a showing of his seminal Irish punk document. The movie was eventually shown but only thanks to then UCC Entertainments Officer Elvera Butler.

I had met Terri Hooley some time earlier when we were both were guests on the Dave Fanning Rock Show on RTE, talking about rock music in the north and south of the country respectively, and he got in touch with me to see if I could do anything to help.

The following is an interview John gave on 96FM Irish music show ‘The Green Room’ hosted by Michael Carr.

Green Room Interview (17th Nov 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)

The Outcasts (1981 Fanning Session)

Posted in Fanning, Music, radio, session with tags on March 27, 2012 by Fanning Sessions

THE OUTCASTS - bandpic2
Thanks to long time supporter Rob for digging this one out. The Outcasts were a Belfast punk band formed in 1978 by Greg Cowan (vocals/bass), Colin Getgood (guitar), Martin Cowan (guitar) and Colin Cowan (drums). They appeared in the John T. Davis’ ‘Shellshock Rock‘ documentary on NI punk and later in their own doc ‘Self Conscious Over You’. In mid 1980 Greg Cowan was injured in a motorbike accident and Gordie Blair (SLF/Rudi) joined on a temporary basis – he actually appears in the ‘Self Concious’ doc. Colin Cowan was tragically killed in a car crash in May 1982. The Outcasts recorded sessions for Dave Fanning, John Peel (2x), Janice Long and Downtown Radio. Incidentally The Outcasts were the most requested act on Dave Couse’s recent ‘An Teach Solas‘. Check them out on facebook. Photo courtesy Museum of Radio Sessions.

Machine Gun (1981)

Hiroshima (1981)

Magnum Force (1981)

Beating and Screaming (1981)

St Vitus Dance – The Silence (1986)

Posted in Mickey's Monkey, Music with tags , , on March 25, 2012 by Fanning Sessions


st vitus danceFormed in 1981 in Belfast, St Vitus Dance are Noel Burke (vocals, guitar), Haydn Boyle (keyboards), Phil Freckleton (guitar/bass), Peter Hesketh (drums), Damien Magee (guitar, mandolin, button accordion) Kevin O’Neill (lead guitar). They released ‘Meet Mohammed’ on flexi-disc via Good Vibrations in 1986 followed by an album ‘Love Me Love My Dogma’ on Probe Plus in 1987. The album was re-released in 2005 and is available on iTunes. The band recently reformed and in 2008 released a new album ‘Glypotheque

The Silence (1986)


Posted in Music, radio with tags on March 18, 2012 by Fanning Sessions

Originally formed in 1977 in Belfast, Ruefrex became one of Northern Ireland’s most popular punk bands. It was a much changed Ruefrex that six years later on 11th July 1983 recorded a session for Dave Fanning. According to RTE records the band performed three tracks; ‘Paid In Kind’, ‘Correct Your Fireside Manner’ and ‘Wild Colonial Boy’. The official Ruefrex site lists four tracks ‘Wild Colonial Boy’, ‘Correct Your Fireside Manner’, ‘By the Shadowline’ and ‘The Ruah’. The lineup of the band on this particular track from 1986 was Alan Clarke (vocals), Jackie Forgie (guitar), Gary Ferris (guitar), Gordy Blair (bass), Paul Burgess (drums). In 2005 Cherry Red released a comprehensive best of album ‘Capital Letters‘.

In The Traps (1986)

Big Self

Posted in Music, radio with tags , , on March 1, 2012 by Fanning Sessions

From Belfast Big Self were Bernard Tohill (guitar, vocals), Jim Nicholl (guitar), Patrick Sheeran (bass, vocals) and Michael Morris (drums). This single was released in 1981 on Reekus Records but it also features on the upcoming 2 CD compilation ‘Too Late To Stop Now‘. Reekus Records was founded by Elvera Butler who was recently interviewed on Culture Cafe on RTE 2FM and 2XM where the show has a weekly slot. This particular recording was from Mickey Bradley’s ‘After Midnight‘ show which just celebrated 5 years. Mickey’s show has only one rule – he won’t play anything released after 1987. Incidentally Reekus is also the home of ‘It Makes You Want To Spit‘ the definitive story of Northern Irish punk a copy of which no self respecting home should be without. Incidentally Big Self’s ‘Ghost Shirts‘ was the theme tune for RTE’s ‘Visual Eyes‘ in 1985. Big Self recorded a Fanning session on 24th June 1985 featuring tracks ‘Swim’, ‘Guilty’ and ‘The Blue Boat’.

Surprise Surprise (1981)

The Donnelly Bros (Demo)

Posted in Fanning, radio with tags , , on February 20, 2012 by Fanning Sessions


The Donnelly Brothers from Belfast featured here almost three years ago so it’s probably safe to post another track. Not quite sure of the title but it’s definitely not on the Myspace page so we could be looking at something reasonably obscure. I apparently saw the aforementioned brothers perform as they toured Ireland supporting The Wedding Present on their 1988 Irish tour. If anyone can confirm the song title and it’s origins we’d love to hear from you. Photo courtesy

The Handicap Bus

Reekus Records Retrospective ‘Too Late To Stop Now’

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , on December 5, 2011 by Fanning Sessions

The most recent addition to our Christmas wish list is a compilation from Reekus Records entitled ‘Too Late To Stop Now’. Celebrating 30 years in business Reekus Records first release was the seminal ‘Kaught at the Kampus‘ featuring Nun Attax, Micro-Disney, Mean Features and Urban Blitz recorded live in August 1980 at The Downtown Kampus Cork (incidentally recently re-released on CD). Reekus Records takes up the story..

The birth of Reekus in 1981 came about through Kaught at the Kampus, a vehicle for four Cork bands who featured regularly in support slots at the Downtown Kampus, a regular club night in the Cork Arcadia ballroom, which was a pivotal gig in the Irish rock scene, and run by Reekus founder Elvera Butler. Regularly hosting top bands of the time such as The Cure, The Stranglers, The Specials, The Beat, UB40, Rory Gallagher, The Undertones, and up-and-coming Irish acts such as U2 and Stiff Little Fingers, the policy was to encourage local bands by giving them support slots to the bigger names, and this gave rise to a dynamic music scene, some of which was captured at an exclusively Cork live show on August 31st 1980. The resultant 12” vinyl mini-album, Kaught at the Kampus, was the first Reekus release, and featured Microdisney, Nun Attax, Mean Features and Urban Blitz, three of whom went on to different levels of success abroad; Microdisney signed to Rough Trade and then Virgin, and later became Fatima Mansions, and members Sean O Hagan then formed the High Llamas, while Cathal Coughlan continues to have a successful solo career. Mean Features vocalist Mick Lynch went on to front Stump in the UK, while Nun Attax changed their name to 5 Go Down to the Sea, and later Beethoven ****Beethoven, with releases on both Setanta and the fledgling Creation Records. During the 80s, with offices in both Dublin and London, Reekus continued to support Irish music, with releases that included The Blades, Big Self, and Aslan among others. The millenium brought new energy with the release of the Blades albums on CD, followed by a new album from Blades’ mainman Paul Cleary, and these were quickly followed by several new signings.

To celebrate their 30th birthday Reekus Records are releasing a 40 track compilation featuring 20 tracks from the vaults available on CD for the first time on CD and featuring unreleased tracks from The Blades and Micro-Disney (later Microdisney). If you check out the Reekus page you can listen to a 1986 Aslan B-side ‘Been So Long’ and the full tracklisting. The CD can be bought online from Dec 12th and will be in the shops on the 16th.

The Blades – Downmarket (1983)
Paul Cleary/The Blades – Stand By Me Now (1985)
The Blades – Sadlands
The Blades – Truth Don’t Hurt (1986)
The Blades – Building A Wasteland (1983) unreleased
Paul Cleary- Stumble Into Love (1983) unreleased
Big Self – Surprise, Surprise (1981)
Big Self – Don’t Turn Around (1982)
Big Self – Reason Smiles (1984)
Aslan – This Is (1986)
Aslan – Please Don’t Stop
Aslan – Been So Long (1986)
Some Kind Of Wonderful – D’You Read My Letter (1982)
Micro-Disney – Victory (1981) unreleased
Micro-Disney – 12 Novembers (1981) unreleased
Nun Attax – Eyeballs (1980)
The Camino Organisation – Human Voices (1982)
Nigel Rolfe – African Flower (1986)
Montage – Who Will Stop The Rain (1987)
Barry Warner – Dancing Without You (1986)

and on CD2:
Paul Cleary – The Queen of Indecision (2002)

Dan Eggs

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

By all accounts Belfast based singing poet Dan Eggs delivered his demo ‘Introducing The Break’ to Dave Fanning in a sandwich. Dan has self released a number of CDs and has published a book of poetry ‘Big 99‘ on Lagan Press.

Boring People Through A Square Window

Brightening Up In The Far West Later In The Day

One Deaf Ear

Posted in Music with tags , , , on January 31, 2011 by Fanning Sessions

Belfast band One Deaf Ear were formed in 1984 and made their live debut supporting The Pogues at Queen’s University Belfast in September 1985. The band were Michael Madden (vocals, guitar), Brian O’Cuinn (bass, synths), Sean Quinn (synths, vocals, sampler) and Gerard ‘Soupey’ Campbell (drums). TV appearances on BBC Northern Ireland’s ‘Channel One’ and RTE’s ‘Visual Eyes’ followed. Courted by multiple majors, ultimately the band imploded before signing a deal. Read more at the Irish Punk & New Wave Discography. If you any ‘Channel One’ clips or memories please get in touch as I’m intrigued by the show and have very sketchy details. One Deaf Ear recorded a Fanning session on 17th Feb 1986, the tracks were ‘Been So Long’, ‘Giving Up The Ghost’ and ‘Ancient’.

Andy White (Acoustic)

Posted in Fanning, Music, session with tags , , , on May 7, 2010 by Fanning Sessions


From Belfast, Andy White released his first single ‘Religious Persuasion’ in 1985 on Stiff Records and has recorded ten studio albums to date. He published an on-the-road journal ‘21st Century Troubadour‘ at the end of 2009. His most recent album ‘Songwriter‘ was recorded in Vancouver and features members of the Be Good Tanyas and the Neko Case band. Today’s track details a miscarraige of justice that was eventually reversed in 1989 after 15 years, and was also the inspiration for the 1993 Jim Sheridan film ‘In The Name Of The Father‘. This was recorded live during an interview Andy did on the Dave Fanning show in 1986.

The Guildford Four (1986)

The Donnelly Brothers (1987 Session)

Posted in Music, session with tags , , , , , , on May 16, 2009 by Fanning Sessions


Hailing from Belfast and earning but a cryptic entry on the Help Wanted page of the Irish Punk & New Wave Discography. The music however speaks for itself. From a Fanning Session I think Dave decided..

The Donnelly Brothers have a MySpace page and here’s the bio:

The Donnelly Brothers were an indie band from West Belfast who existed between 1985 and 1989. The first line-up was Martin Burns (vocals), Bap McGreevy (lead guitar), Stephen ‘Punker’ McGreevy (bass), Paddy O’Neill (guitar) and Barney Carson (drums). The band played a few gigs around Belfast and made a few demos. Barney and Paddy left after a year to form their own band. A 14-year-old drummer named Ali Donnelly joined along with rhythm guitarist Nick Sadlier. The line-up of Burns, Bap, Punker, Nick and Ali played a few gigs, did a few demos, supported The Wedding Present on tour, played with The Jazz Butcher, The Prisoners and The Charlatans. The band recorded a session for the Dave Fanning Show on RTE in June 1987. It was broadcast twice on the radio station and led to a 2FM tour. The recordings on this page are from that Fanning session. Track three, Clawing at the Sky, is from the first demo in 1986.

Photo courtesy who now have a dedicated page for the band.

Mystery Machine