Archive for cork

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

The Frank and Walters (1997 Acoustic Session)

Posted in Fanning, live, radio, session with tags , , on March 29, 2021 by Fanning Sessions

frank and walters grand parade

In 1997 The Frank and Walters released their second album ‘Grand Parade‘ on Setanta Records. A couple of weeks earlier on June 17th they dropped into 2fm to record an acoustic session for the Dave Fanning show hosted by deputy Pat O’Mahony. This session was detailed extensively in Hot Press magazine by Peter Murphy and can be read here. The band at the time were Paul Linehan (vocals/bass), Niall Linehan (guitar) and Ashley Keating (drums). All but 3 of the tracks featured on ‘Grand Parade’ the exception being the final track ‘Restraint’. Should anyone have a better copy of the session or a full recording of ‘Landslide’ please drop us a line.

Indian Ocean

Little Dolls



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)

Bedroom Convention (1992 Demo)

Posted in demo with tags , , on February 2, 2021 by Fanning Sessions

bedroom convention

“the most original band in Cork”
Shane Fitzsimons, Rockfile, 23 July 1992

Hailing from Cork, Bedroom Convention were Hilary Coughlan (vocals), Eoghan Horgan (keyboards), Louis Lovett (sax), Dave Fenton (drums). Thanks to Cork Zine Archive for the cassette and Robin James for the reminder and band details. Hilary features on a track from the most recent Boa Morte album ‘Before There Was Air‘.

Bedroomish Convention

Enjoy The Sun

April Showers

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.

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)

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

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

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)

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.

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.


Publish and be Damned: Cork Zine Archive 1975 – 2005

Posted in Music with tags , , on June 27, 2019 by Fanning Sessions

cork zine archive

Publish and be Damned; Cork Zine Archive 1975-2005‘ is an exhibition of zines and independent magazines published in Cork from 1975 until 2005. The exhibition launches at UCC library on July 5th at 5pm with special guest Jim O’Mahony (Belsonic Sound) and a DJ set from John Byrne (Quare Groove) playing Cork records from the era. The exhibition will remain open until the end of September 2019.

To mark the occasion we have compiled a 2 hour soundtrack of demos and sessions by 36 Cork artists that have featured on this site over the last 10 years.

01. boa morte – quarter to ten
02. burning embers – stay
03. cyclefly – before i
04. cypress mine – last night i met the man for me
05. emperor of ice cream – ease it in
06. expresso mambo – reflexion
07. flex and the fastweather – darkness
08. grand – groggy ceann
09. hooky – shadow boxing
10. mahogany men – the drug of the gods
11. microdisney – idea
12. porcelyn tears – heaven knows
13. real mayonnaize – breakfast man
14. sindikat – pirates of penzance
15. soon – holy holy show
16. the 3355409’s – unknown title
17. the citadels – visions in bloom
18. the how and why insects – popcorn
19. the lemmings – fall 100 feet
20. the outside – take me back
21. the shanks – babbling brook
22. the sultans of ping – veronica
23. the young offenders – ballad
24. without the – elaine
25. a cow in the water – memphis
26. belsonic sound – long defeat
27. chapter house – possessed
28. hubble – lucky guess
29. max von rap – still deep
30. treehouse – light
31. idol joy – paradise days
32. LMNO pelican – call yossarian
33. nun attax – alyunt
34. shimpu zig zag – the scream
35. the frank and walters – michael

Treehouse (1993 Demo)

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


From Cork, Treehouse were John Rudden (drums), Mike Lyons (guitar & vocals) and Paul Rudden (bass/vocals). This 1993 demo was recorded in Elmtree studios in Cork and produced by Mick Finnegan. A formidable live act, Mark Healy of Cypress, Mine! featured as a second guitarist in the band’s final months. Apparently on one occasion they were supported at Dublin’s Rock Garden by an upcoming act called Ash. Mike Lyons was later a member of Hooky.

Foreign (1993)

Light (1993)

Eleanor (1993)

Howard (1993)

Judy’s Airwave (1993)

Hooky (1998 Session)

Posted in Music with tags , on March 29, 2019 by Fanning Sessions

Hooky Press Photo

From Cork, Hooky at the time of this 1988 session were Mike Lyons (guitar, vocals), Bobby Lee (guitar, vocals), Roy O’Driscoll (bass, vocals) and Arty Lorigan (drums). In 1999 John John Conway who is pictured replaced Roy O’Driscoll. Toby Eaton occasionally joined on Djembe drum and Juno 6. Mike Lyons was previously in Treehouse and later in Box Camera. Toby Eaton and John John Conway were subsequently in Wiggle.

Shadow Boxing (1998)
Aeroplanes (1998)
Forever Watching (1998)
I Wear My Heart (1998)

The Chapter House (1986 Session)

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


Seventh Heaven (1996)

Possessed (1986)

The Perfect Crime (1986)

From Cork, The Chapter House were Ann Redmond (vocals), Paul Moore (drums) and Skully (keyboards). Anne Redmond was previously in Porcelyn Tears while Skully was in Real Mayonnaize. Skully later formed Metisse who recorded an as yet unlocated Fanning session. This session was recorded on April 14th 1986. Thank you to Nick and Joe for digging it out.

Hip Hop: From Cork to New York

Posted in documentary, Music with tags , , , on December 26, 2018 by Fanning Sessions


Inspired by a recent cassette find, we’ve been doing some research into the early days of Irish hip hop. We came across this 3 hour documentary which is a cool document of the Cork hip hop scene and figured it deserved a mention. Produced by Kieran Hurley and edited by Don O’Mahony for UCC 98.3FM with the support of the BAI, it features contributions from Shane McCurtin, Donkeyman, Edwin James, Chris Gahan, The Exile Eye, Shane Johnson, DJ Hazo, Stevie G, Gina Johnson, Harvey Graham, Paul Murphy, James McGrath, Buster C, Andrew McDonagh (DJ Fork), Lulu Heckett, The Assassin, GMC, Mickey Gatch and Brossie.

Mahogany Men

Posted in Music with tags , on June 11, 2018 by Fanning Sessions

mahogany men

A recent query on twitter sent us off on a hunt through the tapes for a band from Cork called Mahogany Men. We found one additional track on a Fanning tape and thought you might like to hear. The band were Myles Horgan (lead vocals/guitar), Cormac Curtis (guitar), Danny McElhinney (bass) and David Tinsley (drums). If anyone has a better photo or further details on the recording we’d love to hear from you.

The Drug Of The Gods

Max Von Rap – Wish I Had A Kawasaki (1984)

Posted in Music with tags , on April 29, 2018 by Fanning Sessions

We recently had a comment from someone with a Max Von Rap VHS looking to contact the band. Happily a DVD is now winging it’s way to Joe Rex. With Max Von Rap in mind we decided to see if we couldn’t chase down their elusive 1984 single and thanks to Ken Connor we did just that.

Max Von Rap were Joe Rex (bass & vocals), Mick Finnegan (guitar), Ulli Hoffman (synths) and Rob McKahy (drums). Dennis Herlihy produced. If you like this you should check out this 1986 demo to which we are very partial.

Wish I Had A Kawasaki (1984)

Pretty Girls (1984)

A Cow In The Water (1991 Demo)

Posted in demo, Fanning, Music with tags , on December 1, 2017 by Fanning Sessions

a cow in the water

From Blarney in Co.Cork, A Cow In The Water were Aidan O’Connell (vocals, guitar, trumpet), Dion Harley (bass), Rory Looney (percussion), John Mollaghan (trumpet, keyboards) and John O’Shea (guitar).

To mark the 20th Anniversary of Aidan’s passing, the band are reuniting on Dec 9th to host a special evening at the Crane Lane Theatre Cork as a fundraiser for suicide awareness.

Memphis (1991)

a cow in the water crane lane

Sultans of Ping (1990 Session)

Posted in Music with tags , on September 7, 2017 by Fanning Sessions

sultans getty

According to this demo cassette the Sultans of Ping FC were Niall O Flaherty (vocals), Tex Chism (bass), Pat O Connell (guitar) and Ger Lyons (drums). They recorded their first session for Dave Fanning on December 3rd 1990. A different source of this session featuring 3 of the 4 tracks can be found here. The 1993 session is here.
The Old Days (1990)

No More Plastic Pitches (1990)

Veronica (1990)

Where’s Me Jumper (1990)

No Sangoma

Posted in Music with tags , on October 24, 2016 by Fanning Sessions


Cork’s No Sangoma were Mark O’Sullivan (vocals), Tara Flynn (vocals), Ronnie Murdoch (guitar), Martin Vallely (bass) and Dave Barry (drums). Martin Vallely was previously in Soon. Mark O’Sullivan and Dave Barry later formed The Caroline Shout. No Sangoma recorded a Fanning session in May 1990 which featured ‘All I Ever Do’, ‘Always’ and ‘War Child’. Thanks to Siobhan for the photo.

Kick Inside

Mick Lynch R.I.P.

Posted in Music with tags , , on December 17, 2015 by Fanning Sessions



John Creedon (RTE Radio 1)

Paul McDermott (96FM Green Room with Michael Carr)

Mark McAvoy (Brendan O’Connor show RTE Radio 1)


An accomplished, beguiling and compelling performer, Mick Lynch can rest easily tonight. And forever.

Colm O’Callaghan tribute (No Disco, Setanta)

For the last year I’ve been interviewing the members of Stump and key figures in their story for a radio documentary, scheduled to be broadcast in early January. Mick’s untimely passing has shocked everyone who knew him.

Paul Mc Dermott (Sunday Independent)

June 1987: Husker Dü, Sonic Youth and Stump perform at L’Élysée Montmartre in Paris. Stump have just signed to Phonogram subsidiary Ensign, a record label with an unusual speciality in securing hits for Irish, or Irish-related bands. The Boomtown Rats, The Waterboys and – imminently – Sinead O’Connor all found a home and success at the label, under the tutelage of Nigel Grainger. Stump have also recently appeared on the front cover of Melody Maker, frontman Mick Lynch topless with his Tintin-quiff and the not-exactly-subtle headline ‘Trout Mask Replicants’. The band were darlings of the recently-defunct Tube television series, Peel Session regulars and about to record their major label debut with Mute sampling doyen Holger Hiller at the helm in Hansa Studios with Stephen Street engineering. By all accounts (well, primarily Stump’s staggeringly verbose drummer Rob McKahey), the band “were a fucking powerhouse that night and blew [Sonic Youth and Husker Dü] off the stage”.

Getting Off The Bus: Stump Interviewed (2014)


The Chapter House (1986 Demo)

Posted in Music with tags , , , on October 3, 2015 by Fanning Sessions


From Cork, The Chapter House were Ann Redmond (vocals), Paul Moore (drums) and Skully (keyboards). Anne Redmond was previously a member of Porcelyn Tears while Skully was in Real Mayonnaize. Jerry Buckley (bass) also from Real Mayonnaize guested on ‘Horizontal Nightmare’. The band were winners of the RTE 2fm Hot Press Band of 1986. They recorded one Fanning session, produced by Jim Lockhart part of which was released as the single ‘Scorch Avenue’. Skully later formed Metisse who also recorded an as yet unlocated Fanning session of their own.

Beside You (1986)

Horizontal Nightmare (1986)

Perfect Crime (1986)

Max Von Rap (1986 Demo)

Posted in Music with tags , on September 20, 2015 by Fanning Sessions

max von rap

From Cork, Max Von Rap were Joe Rex aka Pat O’Connell (bass & vocals), Mick Finnegan (guitar), Ulli Hoffman (synthesizers) and Rob McKahey (drums). Mick Finnegan was previously in Nun Attax and later in Expresso Mambo. Rob McKahey was and still is a member of Stump!. Pat O’Connell was later a member of The Atrix. This track possibly features Mark Van Dam (saxophone) and Jerry Fehily of Hothouse Flowers (drums). Thanks to RiochtNaSaor for the photo.

Still Deep (1986)

Flex & The Fastweather – Stan

Posted in Music with tags , on September 10, 2015 by Fanning Sessions


Originally from Cork, Flex And The Fastweather were Paul Tiernan (vocals & guitar), Maurice Seezer (keyboards), John O Sullivan (bass), Earl Gill Jnr (drums), John Stokes (guitar), Mandy Murphy and Carolyn Fox (vocals). Wayne Sheehy, Dave Whyte and John Donaghy also all played (drums) with the band. Paul Tiernan is now active as a solo artist based in France but recording and touring regularly although sadly (for us) doesn’t perform any Flex & The Fastweather material.

Stan (1987)

Boa Morte (2003 Session)

Posted in Music with tags , on August 26, 2015 by Fanning Sessions

boa morte

Whilst listening to C90s of Jay Ahern‘s RTE 2fm show which we were coaxed into digging out, we came across this long sought after session by Cork’s answer to The Blue Nile, Boa Morte. At this time sessions recorded for the Dave Fanning show were shared, Dave would play a couple of tracks with Jay airing the remainder during his 11pm-2am show. We stumbled across Dan’s show by accident and it immediately became essential listening, the late hour was to prove a blessing in disguise. The weekly routine became: start listening to show, put C90 in the deck to record and then head off to bed, wake up to a newly minted mixtape. Another listener who remembers Jay Ahern’s 2fm stint fondly can be found waxing lyrical on Fractured Air. There’s a lot to be said for a weekly radio show of genuine quality.

From Cork, Boa Morte are Bill Twomey (guitar), Maurice Hallissey (drums), Paul Ruxton (guitar, vocals), Cormac Gahan (guitar, vocals). This track was to appear 7 years later on the second and most recent Boa Morte album ‘The Dial Waltz’ (2010). Their debut ‘Soon It Will Come Time To Face The World Outside’ was released in 2002. Bill and Cormac also featured in The Lemmings.

Quarter To Ten (2003)

Without The (1984 Demo)

Posted in Music with tags , on July 2, 2015 by Fanning Sessions

without the

It’s been a while since Without The featured so we’re sure you won’t mind hearing from them again. This one is hot off the press from hopefully a rich new source of lost tracks.

Peig (1984)

The Sultans of Ping F.C. (1993 Session)

Posted in Fanning, Music, radio, session with tags , on January 8, 2015 by Fanning Sessions


The Sultans of Ping F.C. recorded this, their second session for Dave Fanning in January 1993. At the time the band was Morty McCarthy (drums), Pat O’Connell (guitar), Niall O’Flaherty (vocals and harmonica) and Alan McFeely (bass).

U Talk 2 Much (1993)

Armitage Shanks (1993)

Karaoke Queen (1993)

Soon (1993 Demo)

Posted in Music with tags , , on October 11, 2014 by Fanning Sessions

Originally based in Cork (1986-1988), Soon were to reform in a Dublin-based incarnation (1992-1996) and that is the lineup who recorded this 1993 demo – Tony O’Sullivan (vocals), Martin Dunlea (guitar), Simon McVeigh (bass) and Willie Walsh (drums). The second track features Maurice Seezer on accordion. The comments were from Tony O’Sullivan on Soundcloud.

10th Jan 2015: Updating to remove broken links, the tracks are no longer on Soundcloud

This is the first song of four demo’d by the Cork/Dublin incarnation of SOON at Ringsend Road Studios, Dublin in early January 1993. Written by Tony O’Sullivan and recorded and mixed by Willie Mannion, it was given extensive airplay by RTE’s Dave Fanning which helped the band to quickly build an audience on the Dublin music scene at the time. A song dealing with the often tragic consequences of religious mania, SOON’s drummer Willie, a devout Christian, agonised on the day over whether it bordered on sacrilege and became increasingly reluctant to play on it. Ultimately, it was only recorded after some detailed analysis of the lyric and I’m glad he trusted me, his groove here is phenomenal. He did however say “Tony man, this is so fuckin’ dark” and he was right. It still is.

Straitjacket Jesus (1993)

Burning Embers (1986 Session)

Posted in Fanning, Music, radio, session with tags , on June 23, 2014 by Fanning Sessions

Image via

Image via

I’ve been trawling the archive for something vaguely related to Sir Henry’s in Cork, the subject of an upcoming exhibtion at UCC Library hence today’s post. Burning Embers were Sean O’Neill (vocals), John Poland (guitars), Niall Macken (keyboards), Mel Poland (bass), Gordon Ashe (drums). They recorded this session for Dave Fanning on November 17th 1986.

Champagne & Toffee (1986)

Waiting (1986)

The Blood Game (1986)

And NUN Came Back – A tribute to Finbarr Donnelly (1962 – 1989)

Posted in documentary, Music, radio with tags , , , , , on June 18, 2014 by Fanning Sessions


Tonight The Pavilion, Cork pays tribute to Finbarr Donnelly. Donnelly fronted seminal Cork bands Nun Attax, Five go Down to the Sea? and Beethoven between 1978 and his untimely death in London’s Serpentine in 1989. To commemorate 25 years since his passing on June the 18th Ricky Dineen has put together ..and NUN Came Back, featuring himself, Liam Heffernan, Humphrey Murphy, Tom Healy and Ian Walsh who will play songs from the back catalogue of all 3 bands.

Be sure to check out ‘Get That Monster Off The Stage’ a radio documentary produced by Paul McDermott on Finbarr Donnelly featuring interviews with Cathal Coughlan and Sean O’Hagan amongst many others.

Belsonic Sound (1988 Session)

Posted in Fanning, Music, radio, session with tags , on March 22, 2014 by Fanning Sessions


This is the second Fanning session by Cork outfit Belsonic Sound and was recorded on 20th June 1988. The band featured Finny Corcoran (guitar & vocals), Gene Russel (bass), Jim O’Mahony (keyboards) and John McCormack (drums). Thanks to ‘Cork Bands of The 80’s‘ for digging out the photo.

Sex Cells / Alcohol / We’ve Gotta Get Out Of This Place (1988)

Interference (1988 Session)

Posted in Fanning, Music, radio, session with tags , , on December 28, 2013 by Fanning Sessions

Interference in 2007 - Fergus O'Farrell, Paul Tiernan, Marja Gaynor, Bertrand Galen (c) Jason Lee

Interference in 2007 – Fergus O’Farrell, Paul Tiernan, Marja Gaynor, Bertrand Galen (c) Jason Lee

In 1988 as far as I can make out Interference were Fergus O’Farrell (vocals, piano & guitar), James O’Leary (guitars,) Maurice Culligan (piano, keyboards), Kevin Murphy (bass, cello), Cal MacCarthy (drums), Colm McCaughey (fiddle). They recorded this Fanning session on 10th February 1988. Also worth checking out is ‘A Talent for Life – The Fergus O’Farrell Story‘ an RTE Radio 1 documentary.

Interference (1988) courtesy Interference Archive

Interference (1988) courtesy Interference Archive

Raise The Blade (1988)

Ordinary Man (1988)

Perfection (1988)

Real Mayonnaize

Posted in Fanning, Music with tags , , , on November 3, 2013 by Fanning Sessions


From Cork Real Mayonnaize were (from left to right) Dave “Skully” Sullivan (organ), Dave Rudd (drums) and Jerry Buckley (bass, cello).

Breakfast Man (1986)

Framework (1986)

Expresso Mambo

Posted in Music with tags , on November 2, 2013 by Fanning Sessions


expresso mamboAnother Cork band, Expresso Mambo were Marc Parry (vocals/percussion), Mick Finnegan (guitar), Eoghain MacCarthy (guitar), Kamla Das (bass) and Johann DeWolf (drums). They recorded a Fanning session on 13/01/1987 featuring the tracks ‘Misfortune’, ‘I Know’, ‘When She Comes’ and ‘City Lights’

Wow – that track – it’s called ‘Reflections’ and I reckon it was recorded at Gunther Berkus’s home studio on a Fostex
8 track reel to reel and mastered on a Revox B77 – we did several mixes of that session – including some that were just for ourselves – but the one you have is what we used for cassette promo and that helped get us the gigs around the country and eventually get invited to do the Fanning session.

irishrock have their wires crossed slightly.. The real story, if truth be told, was that Marc Parry had been with Cargo Cult – but then took a hiatus to visit Africa (where among other things he landed a job as an extra part in the film ‘Out of Africa’) – that’s also when he came across African music and brought a mass of tapes and thumb pianos back to Ireland with him

Expresso Mambo didn’t happen straight off: Marc started appearing and guesting with the funk band Max Von Rap, of which Mick Finnegan was a member (NB also Rob McKahey of Stump had played drums on their Kawasaki single before departing to London). Before Max Von Rap did eventually break up, there was a time when Joe Rex started to play bass in John Borrowman’s Very Much In Love later renamed The Atrix (second edition); by the time they started playing gigs locally, Max Von Rap had more or less wound up.

It was only after John B. moved back to Dublin that I remember Marc calling around to me with some ideas about forming a new band based on african guitar sounds & rhthyms; he said it needed two guitarists for it to work – that’s when he approached Mick Finnegan and Mick was intrigued with the idea of trying out something new as well as the opportunity to work with his own numbers. By the time Reflections got written & recorded, Kamla Das had joined us on bass and Johann on drums.


Reflections (1986)

Without The

Posted in Fanning, Music, radio with tags , on November 1, 2013 by Fanning Sessions

From Cork this much loved three piece featured Harry (guitar), Don Murphy (bass) and John Christie (drums). Further details most welcome.. will update as I get them.

Elaine (1986?)

Microdisney (Unidentified Tape)

Posted in demo, Fanning, radio, session with tags , on October 19, 2013 by Fanning Sessions


The following tracks by Microdisney turned up on the same cassette that featured the recently posted Cypress Mine! session so that puts the date of broadcast circa 1986. Both tracks appeared on ‘Everybody Is Fantastic’ (1984), ‘Dig Me Up’ reworked as ‘Dreaming Drains’. The first 3 Microdisney were recently reissued on Cherry Red Records featuring Peel session tracks and B sides. Two further previously unavailable tracks ‘Victory’ and ’12 Novembers’ can be found on the Reekus Records compilation ‘Too Late To Stop Now‘.

Dig Me Up


Belsonic Sound (1986 Session)

Posted in Fanning, Music, radio, session with tags , on October 9, 2013 by Fanning Sessions


From Cork, Belsonic Sound were Finny Corcoran (guitar & vocals), Gene Russel (bass), Jim O’Mahony (keyboards) and John McCormack (drums). This is the first of two Fanning sessions the band recorded, Jim has the other so hopefully will be able to post that soon.

Long Defeat (1986)

Blinded (1986)

Seperate Reality (1986)

The Lemmings (1993 Demo)

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

From Cork, The Lemmings were Bill Twomey (guitar), Cormac Gahan (bass) and Paul Green (drums). This demo was recorded in 1993 in Fiona Studios in Fermoy where The Frank & Walters also recorded their first demos. Dave Fanning played ‘Burn’ regularly and that song made an appearance along with two band members on the debut album of Cork band Boa Morte whose Fanning session we also hope to dig out one of these days.

Burn (1993)

Fall 100 Feet (1993)

The Shyest Person I Know (1993)

Cypress, Mine! (1986 Session)

Posted in Music, radio, session with tags , on August 31, 2013 by Fanning Sessions


From Cork, Cypress Mine! were Ciaran O’Tuama (vocals), Ian Olney (guitar), Denis O’Mullane (bass) and Mark Healy (drums). They last featured here a mere 4 years ago and now finally we have uncovered the elusive Fanning session. Thank you to the owner of this tape whose shoebox of cassettes means activity around these parts is about to pick up. This session was recorded on 21st April 1986.

I remember that session in RTE for a few reasons. One was they had to change a plug and had to send for an electrician as no-one else was allowed do it. We also had our own engineer with us and they wouldn’t let him touch any of the gear. We needed reverb in the studio we were in and they had to ring someone and have the reverb re-routed from one of the other studios to the one we were in. I still have no idea how they did that. Top that off with “you can’t have a copy of what you just recorded …” and you have a memorable day right there 🙂

Mark Healy

The Wait (1986)

Jeffrey St Ledger (1986)

Niall O’Flaherty’s Porsche (1986)

The Shanks (1992 Session)

Posted in Fanning, Music, radio, session with tags , on August 27, 2013 by Fanning Sessions

The Shanks

Photo (c) Siobhan Bardsley

Formed in Newmarket, Co.Cork in 1991, The Shanks started life as a four piece with Tim Murphy (guitar, vocals), Eoin O’Sullivan (guitar), Mick Hayes (bass) and Niall Lynch (drums). Murphy left in 1992 with ? taking over on vocal duties and the band continued as a 3 piece until 1999 releasing two albums; ‘The Prawn Lawn’ (1995) and ‘Brang’ (1999). ‘The Prawn Lawn’ featured at number 17 in ‘Cork’s Top 50 Albums‘ as chosen by The date/year of this Fanning session has yet to be ascertained..
Update: Patrick Feehan has confirmed the year was 1992.

Update: Loads more in this post on the Songs To Learn And Sing website.

The Pool


Nowhere Left To Go

Babbling Brook

LMNO Pelican

Posted in Fanning, session with tags , on July 26, 2013 by Fanning Sessions

LMNO Pelican

From Cork, LMNO Pelican were left to right; Derry Callanan (bass), Fergus Keane (guitar), Patrick Garrett (vocals) and now sadly deceased, Brendan Butler (drums). They recorded this four track Fanning session at a guess in 1991, the final track ‘Appleskin Thin’ has yet to be located. Derry, Fergus and Pats are currently attracting attention on the national airwaves with ex Rulers Of The Planet men Niall Lynch and Dave Senior as Jonny Rep.

‘Toys’ (1991)

‘Ennehy Fish’ (1991)

‘Call Yossarian’ (1991)

Cyclefly (1997 Session)

Posted in Fanning, Music, session with tags , on June 5, 2013 by Fanning Sessions


Cyclefly were Declan O’Shea (vocals), Ciaran O’Shea (guitar), Nono Presta (guitar), Christian Montagne (bass) and Jean-Michel Cavallo (drums). Hailing from Cork, the band released two albums ‘Generation Sap’ (1999) and ‘Crave’ (2002). According to a comment this RTE 2FM Fanning session dates from 1997 – thanks Christian!

World Eater (1997)

Before I (1997)

Bubble Fly (1997)

Burning Embers – Now That You’re Gone

Posted in Fanning, Music with tags , on May 24, 2013 by Fanning Sessions


Cork’s Burning Embers have featured before but the above newspaper clipping of Dave Fanning’s Radio Rock Selection in The Sunday World (26th June 1987) prompted a root around. This single from 1987 was released on Nouveau Wax and features Sean O’Neill (vocals), Christine Utzeri (vocals), John Poland (guitars), Mel Poland (bass), Gordon Ashe (drums) and guest pianist Niall Macken.

Now That You’re Gone (1987)

Microdisney (1981 Session)

Posted in Fanning, radio, session with tags , on November 7, 2012 by Fanning Sessions

Formed in Cork before relocating to London, Microdisney were Cathal Coughlan (vocals), Sean O’Hagan (guitar), Mick Lynch (vocals), Jack Walsh (bass), Dave Galvin (drums). They recorded a Fanning session on 31st March 1981 featuring four tracks – ‘Cack Hand’, ‘Let’s Get Married’, ‘Mitchelstown’ and ‘Victory’. One track from this session and an interview have already appeared here and today we have two further tracks from the session. According to wikipedia the band played a one-off gig at Nick Allum’s 50th birthday party featuring Cathal Coughlan, Sean O’Hagan and Jon Fell (bass) with Fatima Mansions Nick Allum (drums) and High Llamas Rob Allum (drums/vocals).

Leper (1981)

Cack Hand (1981)

Music theme at 2012 Corona Cork Film Festival

Posted in documentary, Music with tags , , , , , on October 19, 2012 by Fanning Sessions

Music fans are well catered for at this year’s Corona Cork Film Festival which takes place 11-18 November. Of particular interest for us are the screening of the new Terri Hooley biopic ‘Good Vibrations‘ as well as the John T Davis ‘Ulster Punk Trilogy‘ which features ‘Shellshock Rock’ (1979), ‘Self-Conscious Over You’ (1980) and ‘Protex Hurrah’ (1980). Both screenings will be introduced by their respective directors and there are even rumours the unsuppressible Hooley will also be in evidence. Other notable music related films on an impressive bill are ‘The Great Flood‘ a film-music collaboration between Bill Morrison and Bill Frisell based on and inspired by the Mississippi River Flood of 1927 and the ensuing transformation of American society. Promoted in association with Note Productions, this opening night event on November 11th at the Cork Opera House will be the only Irish date. The festival also sees the Irish premiere of Jonathan Holiff’s ‘My Father And The Man In Black‘ the untold story of Cash, his talented but troubled manager, Saul Holiff, and a son searching for his father in the shadow of a legend. Also on view are ‘Art Will Save The World‘ a 70-minute documentary about former Auteur Luke Haines, ‘Punk In Africa‘, ‘Hit So Hard‘ a behind the scenes doc from ex Hole drummer Patty Schemel, ‘Grandma Lo-Fi: The Basement Tapes of Sigríður Níelsdóttir‘ a look at the septuagenarian Icelandic/Danish musician and visual artist, ‘Anda Union: From The Steppes To The City‘ on the 10,000km journey of a 10 strong group of young Mongolian musicians, ‘Very Extremely Dangerous‘ a frightening, fascinating journey into the mad world of Jerry McGill, and ‘Sound It Out‘ which documents the very last surviving vinyl record shop in north east England. Check here for a list of all music related movies with details and trailers.

Porcelyn Tears

Posted in demo with tags , , on October 2, 2012 by Fanning Sessions

via Jack Lyons and Sir Henrys Exhibition

via Jack Lyons and Sir Henrys Exhibition

Formed in Mayfield, Cork circa 1983, Porcelyn Tears were Ann Redmond (vocals), Kay Creedon (keyboards), Gerlyn Ryan (bass) and Grace O’Sullivan (drums). They recorded a Fanning session on 15th April 1985 which featured ‘That Rainy Day’ ‘Little Girl Lost’ and ‘Change’. They also appeared on RTE TV shows ‘TV Gaga’ and ‘Anything Goes‘. They supported U2 at the Lark By The Lee in 1985 and New Order on their 1985 Irish tour. Ann Redmond went on to form The Chapter House with Skully of Real Mayonnaize. According to their entry there were two further Fanning sessions. This track is from a demo cassette.

Heaven Knows (Demo)

The How And Why Insects (1990 Demo)

Posted in Music with tags , on May 17, 2012 by Fanning Sessions

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From Cork, The How And Why Insects were Alan Murphy (vocals, guitar), Anthony Murray (guitar), Keri Jones (drums), Brian Quigley (bass) and Lisa Bafaigh (vocals). They released this cassette in 1990. Alan Murphy was later in “Goth-tinged shoegaze” act Crystal before reuniting with Bafaigh in “trip hop influenced” Starchild.

Heat Haze (1990)

Popcorn (1990)

Emperor of Ice Cream (1993 Session)

Posted in Fanning, Music, session with tags , on May 9, 2012 by Fanning Sessions

emperor of ice cream
From Cork, Emperor of Ice Cream were John ‘Haggis’ Hegarty (vocals), Graham Finn (guitar), Edward Butt (bass) and John Lynch (drums). They released 3 singles and recorded one Fanning session in 1993. Thanks to Ian Wilson for digging this one out and to Dan Hegarty for featuring it in his classic session slot. Thank you Irish Music Database for the band photo.

Ease It In (1993)

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 3355409’s

Posted in Music with tags , , , on January 12, 2012 by Fanning Sessions

Another Cork act to feature on the Comet LP Two compilation were The 3355409’s. According to ‘Cork Rock‘ the original lineup comprised David O’Connell (guitar), Jerry Buckley (bass), Stephanie Vink, Ruth Beecher (vocals) and Anne O’Halloran (drums) and were active 1987-1988, Caroline O’Connell (bass) was also a member from 1986 – 1988 (see comments below). however lists Paul Prior (drums) and the start date as 1984. Both agree that Morty McCarthy (drums) also featured. Paul Linehan (bass) came to one rehearsal but as David explains in a comment below decided not to join. Check out some of the band in the comments to this Dublin Opinion article on 80s Irish psychobilly.


Barbarous (1987)

Idol Joy (1987)

Posted in demo, Fanning, Music with tags , , on January 10, 2012 by Fanning Sessions

From Cork, Idol Joy were Ian Jack (vocals), Joe Cherry (guitar), Eddie Mulhare (guitar), John McGuire (bass/vocals) and Fionn Blake (drums). According to ‘Cork Rock’ by Mark McAvoy they were formed in October 1985 they made their live debut in Cork Opera House in February 1986. They recorded a demo in Elm Tree Studios in Cork featuring tracks ‘JFK’ and ‘Eli’. That was also where they recorded today’s track ‘Paradise Days’ which appeared on the Comet LP Two compilation.

Paradise Days‘ (1987)

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)

The Harvest Ministers (No Disco Acoustic Room)

Posted in Music, session, TV with tags , , , on December 4, 2011 by Fanning Sessions

Listening to Donal Dineen reminisce about ‘No Disco’ last week in his ‘An Ode To Radio‘ show got me thinking that I still had a couple of acoustic sessions recorded for that show which I hadnt yet shared. Aoife linked to The Divine Comedy last week and already someone has contacted me with the promise of 4 precious VHS cassettes of recordings. These Acoustic Room sessions were recorded in Fr. Matthew Hall which is just beside the RTE Cork studios. This particular recording is of The Harvest Ministers who we have already featured and they perform ‘I Never Raised My Voice to You’.

Sultans Of Ping (Melody Maker 1/2/1992)

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

There’s a new kid on the block and his name is brandnewretro. The speciality is scans from the past. Well two can play at that game.. More Sultans action in demo form here.

Chronicles Of A Sellafield Sex Guru (1990)

Posted in demo, Music with tags , on August 30, 2011 by Fanning Sessions

The Sultans Of Ping F.C. released ‘Chronicles of a Sellafield Sex Guru’ in April 1990. The band lineup at the time was Niall O Flaherty (vocals), Tex Chism (bass), Pat O Connell (guitar) and Ger Lyons (drums).

S.T.U.P.I.D. Kid / Riot At The Sheepdog Trials/ Eamonn Andrews (1990)

Emperor of Ice Cream

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

emperor of ice cream
Emperor of Ice Cream were John ‘Haggis’ Hegarty (vocals), Graham Finn (guitar), Edward Butt (bass) and John Lynch (drums) . From Cork, they formed in 1992 and moved to London a year later. They were signed to Sony Records for two and a half years. Thank you Irish Music Database for the band photo.

‘Know Me’

Nun Attax (1981 Session)

Posted in Fanning, Music, session with tags , on June 21, 2011 by Fanning Sessions


A few days ago we posted a YouTube clip accompanying a Nun Attax Fanning session track from 1981. Today, thanks to the efforts of a kind reader we feature the entire session. From Cork, Nun Attax were Finbarr Donnelly (vocals), Ricky Dineen (guitar), Philip O’Connell (bass) and Keith ‘Smelly’ O’Connell (drums). The session dates from 9th February 1981.

The Woodcutter Song

Looking For Words For My Book


Phantom Gobi


Nun Attax

Posted in Fanning, session with tags , on June 15, 2011 by Fanning Sessions

Nun Attax were a punk band from Cork featuring Finbarr Donnelly (vocals), Ricky Dineen (guitar), Mick Finnegan (guitar/vocals), Philip O’Connell (bass), Keith ‘Smelly’ O’Connell (drums). Mick Finnegan left in 1979 and was replaced by Giordai O’Laoghaire. In July 1980 Giordai O’Laoghaire left to join The Constant Reminders who became Microdisney. In 1981, Donnelly, Dineen and Smelly formed Five Go Down To The Sea and moved to London. Nun Attax recorded a Fanning Session on 9/2/1981 featuring ‘The Woodcutter Song’ / ‘Looking For Words For My Book’ / ‘Alynut’ / ‘Phantom Gobi’ / ‘Eidelweiss’. Dublin Opinion recently featured an excellent interview with Ricky Dineen about the history and evolution of the three bands he was at the heart of; Nun Attax, Five Go Down To The Sea? and Beethoven. Also worth checking out is ‘Get That Monster Off The Stage‘ a radio documentary on Finbarr Donnelly.

Looking For Words For My Book‘ (1981)

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

The Young Offenders (1996 Session)

Posted in Fanning, Music, session with tags , , on April 3, 2011 by Fanning Sessions


With origins in Cork, London based The Young Offenders were formed by Ciaran McFeeley (vocals), Ian Hurley (guitar), Steve Hackett (bass) and Brian Dunlea (drums). McFeeley, Hurley and Hackett were previously in a 3 piece known as The V-Necks with McFeeley on drums. Although much feted The Young Offenders broke up before releasing an album due to disenchantment with the record business. Ciaran McFeeley went on to release two well received albums as Simple Kid. In 2005 Steve Hackett formed Sister with Ciaran’s brother Alan McFeeley of Sultans of Ping F.C.Discogs lists two Young Offenders releases on Columbia, the ‘Science Fiction’ EP and a single ‘That’s Why We Lose Control’ both released in 1998. These tracks are from the 1996 Fanning session. Thank you Dave Hackett for the comment below which corrected some errors in the original post. The unreleased album ‘Once Upon A Time In The Nineties‘ is now available on YouTube as are various demos from The V-Necks and The Young Offenders.

Ballad Of The Young Offenders (1996)

Once Upon A Time In The 80s (1996)

When I’m A Star (1996)

Fatima Mansions (1990 Interview)

Posted in Fanning with tags , , on February 14, 2011 by Fanning Sessions


I was lucky enough in late 1989 to see Fatima Mansions in a venue I can no longer remember the name of, behind a pub in London and it was one of the best gigs I have ever seen. I thought Cathal Coughlan was going to explode, he was putting so much effort into singing or was it howling the lyrics. This interview with Dave Fanning was recorded on 19th Feb 1990, almost 21 years ago to the day. Fatima Mansions was of course Cathal Coughlan’s post Microdisney venture and their first album ‘Against Nature‘ had been released in September the previous year. Thank you Micheal Mee for sharing.

Cathal Coughlan Interview (19.2.1990)

Diary Of A Fanning Session

Posted in Fanning, Music, session with tags , , on February 12, 2011 by Fanning Sessions

On June 17th 1997 Peter Murphy of Hot Press shared a day in the life of Cork threesome The Frank & Walters as they recorded a radio session for RTE. I hope Hot Press don’t mind my liberal excerpt of the article but it’s an excellent insight to what it’s like recording a Fanning Session. And if anyone has a recording of the session / interview and would care to share please get in touch.

June 17th. 3.10pm

The location is Studio 8 (home of the Fanning sessions) deep in the bowels of the RTE Radio building. The control room of the studio is furnished with the usual recording bric-a-brac: DAT machines, an Apple Mac, two reel-to-reels, the requisite huge speakers and a 24-track mixing desk the size of a barn door. A glass wall separates this area from the live room, a spacious, high-ceilinged chamber cluttered with baffles, ambient mike stands as tall as triffids, open guitar cases and a stripped-down drumkit. A grand piano occupies pride of place by the back wall (the walls themselves decorated in a rather queasy blue-green and grey chessboard effect).

Time, as Gerry Whelan once crooned, is on the wall, and a red Recording frightlight commands the room’s attention every time the tapes begin rolling. This light is both totemic and totalitarian there are few musicians who don’t get a knot in the gut every time the damn thing lights up.

Like now. The Frank And Walters have just finished a dry run of ‘Little Dolls’, the first track of an acoustic session that the band are recording for 2FM. It s a plaintive and empathetic bedsit hymn, lovingly strummed in waltz-time. Singer Paul Linehan’s voice booms, odd and disembodied through the studio speakers. Paddy, any chance we could turn the lights down a bit? he requests in a broad Cork brogue, which remains undimmed by the last four years of travel. Engineer Paddy McBreen complies. Paul counts in the rest of the band, brother Niall on guitar, and drummer Ashley Keating (promoted/relegated to bass for the purposes of today’s unplugged session), and they begin. This first take, like most, is fraught with false starts and tuning breaks, but once the Franks get settled into it, the tune is nailed within ten minutes.

Eavesdropping on the studio experience can be tedious for the average interloper, but today the tracks are going down almost live to tape, so I get to hear each song in its complete form rather than having to sit through endless hours of drum and bass parts, guitar tracking, overdubbing and guide vocals. As Ashley tells me later, We prefer to do em live. Dave Fanning once presented a show from down there (the live room) while we sat across from him and played. It s the best way it s over and done with and you can’t redo it.

The band traipse up to the control room to review the work in progress. The playing is confident and Paul’s voice, (even in the raw when Paddy isolates it in the mix), is pitch-perfect and sure, delivering lines like “She didn’t like pretty clothes anymore/Darkened rags were what she wore” like a Munster version of Morrissey. Indeed, when the chorus line of ‘Will someone turn her on?’ kicks in, it recalls none other than The Platters backing Bowie wailing “Oh no love, you’re not alone” at the climax of Rock N Roll Suicide.

It’s always interesting to watch a band interact with an engineer they don’t know too well. While The Frank And Walters experience undoubtedly empowers them in the studio, they know just how to exploit Paddy’s skills without trodding on any toes. They are businesslike and unfussy workers, preferring to go for a good feel rather than endlessly clucking over details. But today’s session has been blighted by bad news: Paul and Niall’s grandmother has just passed away, so the band have clubbed together for the price of a flight down to Cork where Niall will attend tonight’s removal. This means that the guitarist’s parts have to be completed by five o clock if he s going to make the plane. With this in mind, the musicians are in no mood for dallying so they waste no time in getting down to the next song, ‘Landslide’, for which they’ll be joined by former A House keyboardist Dave Morrissey on piano. Dave played all the keyboards on the new Franks album Grand Parade, from which three of today’s four songs are culled.

The album version of ‘Landslide’ is a masterpiece, a Joycean tumble of words, an elated and elevated celebration of home. Paul adopts a bold baritone for the verses, milking lines like “Passed the old bridge down by the lighthouse/heard the creak of boats down by the quay/And the bell that rings out in Cosy’s says to me/There’s nowhere that I’d rather be” for all the pathos he can before upping the drama for the final epiphanic and ecstatic verse: “Thank God for the stars/Thank God for the sky/Thank God for the sun/That lights all my life/This beautiful place I have as a home”. This is Celtic soul music that calls to mind Pierce Turner’s ‘How It Shone’ more than Dexy’s or Van. It’s also a take. In one.

3.55pm: Hot Press photographer Colm Henry arrives and as he shuffles the band off for their photocall I adjourn to the RTE canteen to savour the gastro-orgasmic delights to be found within. One cup of state-subsidised coffee later and I’m back underground watching the band as they tune up for the third track, ‘Indian Ocean’. (Forget about drugs, drink, violence and raving sluts of all sexes: rock n roll is about tuning up. A warped guitar or a tuner on the blink can waste hours of precious recording time.) This song has been scaled down from the full electric album version to a an uptempo skiffle shuffle. Featuring the immortal line “You’re driving down by the Bay of Biscay/I’m walking down by the side of the Lee”, it suggests Dave Couse busking with a bunch of Cavern-ivorous Beatles. Niall attempts an off-centre guitar-figure on the first take, but the intonation on his guitar isn’t exactly spot-on, so he has to rewrite his part before a second attempt which is friskier but tighter out of the traps. Niall’s now wired with anxiety he’s got 15 minutes to nail the last song, gather his belongings and catch a cab out to the airport.

‘Restraint’ is an outtake from the new album that became a surprise acoustic favourite when the band tried it out at a gig a couple of weeks ago. A heavy-hearted, almost harrowing piece of work, it recalls both Brian Wilson and Hank Williams in lines like “Heaven knows I can’t live in these times”. Again, the group nail it in two, then the hassled guitarist is out the door and homeward-bound. From here on in it’s pretty much Paul’s ball, and as he does running repairs on a rhythm part Ashley takes a seat beside me in the control room and admits to being somewhat some relieved that I won’t be formally interviewing him.

After a couple of days of answering the same questions, you start making things up, he confesses. You don t want to disappoint the guy by giving him the same answer as everybody else, but you wonder should you tell him that you’re lying.

Talk turns to the subject of the new album. The band decided to call it ‘Grand Parade’ not specifically in honour of the street in Cork City, but because the songs suggested the feeling you’d get as a kid when you d see a brass band on the street and how impressed you’d be.

Released on June 30th, the record was not conceived, carried or delivered without its fair share of strife. The Franks initially began work on the follow-up to ‘Trains, Boats And Planes’ in early 94, determined to avoid the dreaded second album syndrome by writing, crafting and recording the material at their own pace. Having written some 20 tracks, the band went into September Sound in Twickenham (owned by The Cocteau Twins) with ex-House frontman Dave Couse taking on production duties.

However, after the record’s completion but prior to the proposed release date in the summer of 96, the Franks record label Go! Discs was bought out by the conglomerate PolyGram. Given that one of the reasons the band had signed with Go! Discs in the first place was because it was an indie label, they were not happy to find themselves as the latest acquisition of a major. It took the lawyers eight months to thrash out a deal whereby the band could return to Setanta (who’d discovered the band in 1990) and bring the new album with them.

Mind you, the record was well worth all the trouble. Packed with killer songs, Grand Parade wears its heart very much on its lapel. Encapsulating compassionate meditations on the loveless and the lonesome ( Little Dolls ), lust for life ( Saturday Night ) or pride of place ( Landslide , Tony Cochrane ), the album is expertly judged both in its playing and production. It’s an affecting document of the band’s last four years and I’d recommend it to anybody with a taste for the other side of Irish rock n roll.

6.20pm: Back at Studio 8, Paul has about ten minutes to redo the vocal on ‘Restraint’ before the mixing must begin. The band need to have two of these tracks completed by tonight so they can be aired during an interview with Pat O Mahony (deputising for Dave Fanning). Paul is worried about the guide vocal bleeding through in his headphones as he sings, but as he admits, I’m always hearing voices in my head anyway. The singer may be only half-joking. As he adopts a Jonathan Richman-ish candid stammer and sings “Time swirls around/Taste turns to sound”, one is struck by the numerous references to all manner of insomniac ghosts in The Frank And Walters songs there’s a kind of troubled southern soul under the jokey demeanour.

As Paul and Paddy begin the mixing, Ashley recalls the last year’s travels. Once safely settled back in with Setanta, the band set about establishing themselves in America, something their previous label had always been reluctant to pursue. Ashley, who with the band has visited (and sometimes lived in) Paris, Manchester, New York, Washington and Boston over the course of the last year, reckons that the most dangerous city he’s been to recently is Cork. On a Saturday night it’s like a lunatic asylum, he testifies.

8.45pm: Paul, Ashley and Paddy have just completed mixing the three of the four tracks. Restraint will have to wait until the likely lads have finished their interview with Mr. O Mahony. Up the corridor in the lurid green studio, Jim Lockhart is wearing a groove in the floor, awaiting the arrival of the late-running Corkonians.

The legendary skewed humour of the Franks has been on the backboiler all day, what with a prevailing air of work-to-be-done and mild anxiety hanging over the proceedings. Now, though, as Pat cues up the freshly-baked ‘Indian Ocean’ on the DAT machine, the band become noticeably more relaxed. Here, in the studio, face to face with interviewer and live to the nation, the wit and Norman-like wisdom of the band comes to the fore. The following are some of the highlights of a rather amusing half-hour:


Pat: You said you d be in a lot earlier. What kept yez, lads?

Ashley: For the last four years or just the last half hour?


Pat: How important is it for a producer to be someone that you actually get on with?

Ashley: With us, we’d have to get on with a producer. I mean, we can get a bit petty, like. We did some sessions with this Belgian engineer before, and we started to not get on with him so we started breakin his DAT machine and steppin on his Rolex watch and lettin the air out of his Mercedes.

Paul (worriedly): But we’re the nice happy Franks.

Ashley: I know that but then . . . we repaired the DAT and the Rolex before he found out that we’d done it, y know?!! So twas okay!


Paul: If there’s something wrong with you, he’ll sign ye. If you’re kinda normal, he won;t, y’know what I mean?


Pat: Are you basking in the money that these people (Edwyn Collins and The Divine Comedy) have generated?

Paul: Neil Hannon gives us money every week!


Ashley: We saw this book, 30 Years Of National Geographic Photographs and twas in there and it just seemed to suit the title of the album.

Pat: That’s an old picture taken in Helsinki, is it?

Ashley: In 1967 by George Mobley.

Pat: And did you have fun tracking him down?

Ashley: Yeah, he was actually livin in Iceland. He had left National Geographic in 1969. Twas amazin they actually found him in a day for us.

Paul (deadpan): He was in an igloo and all. Catchin seals. We went out after him.

Pat (paternally): Alright lads.

Ashley (To Paul): He s onto us.


Paul: Over four years you do change your image a small bit. Unless you’re like . . . Pat Sharpe! He kept his haircut for about 15 years.

Pat: Who’s Pat Sharpe?

Paul: He s a DJ in Radio One in England.

Ashley: He used to be on Saturday Superstore.

Paul: He had long blondey hair, d’you know? Real horrible . . .

Ashley: Kind of a 1980s Chris Waddle haircut.

Pat: You re losing me now.


Paul: We’ve plans to go back to America now. We’re gonna concentrate on America. We’re fed up of playing England. I find it very, very boring.

Ashley: There’s only so many times you can look at a bombed-out cathedral and go, Oh. Great. A bombed-out cathedral!

And, with the strains of the surefire summer hit (if only Setanta would release it) ‘Saturday Night’ on the radio and ringing in my ears, I leave the band to finish off their day’s work. Gas men. Your mother would approve.

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)

Microdisney (1988 Interview)

Posted in Fanning, live, session with tags , on February 7, 2011 by Fanning Sessions

Microdisney were Cathal Coughlan (vocals), Sean O’Hagan (guitar), John Fell (bass) and Tom Fenner (drums). They recorded one Fanning session on 31st March 1981 featuring four tracks – ‘Cack Hand’, ‘Let’s Get Married’, ‘Mitchelstown’ and ‘Victory’. They also recorded no less than six Peel sessions. Please visit the Irish Punk & New Wave Discography to read more. Update: Have now updated with the full interview which was actually recorded on April 14th 1988, the night they played McGonagles and on the eve of their Cork show. The recording starts off in mono but then switches to stereo and there is a small interruption for the tape flip.

Interview (1988) / Mitchelstown (1981)

1.Cack Hand 2.Let’s get married 3.Mitchelstown 4.Victory

Aidan Walsh

Posted in Fanning, Music, Uncategorized with tags , on August 23, 2010 by Fanning Sessions

It looks like Aidan Walsh, performance artist, private investigator, movie star and all round Master Of The Universe is back. New readers start here..


3 Sep – An Cruiscin Lan, Cork
11 Sep – The Stables, Mullingar
4 Oct – Roisin Dubh, Galway
11 Nov – Whelan’s, Dublin
13 Nov – Gonzo Theatre, Cavan

+ more dates to be announced….

Christmas in 4 Dimension (1987)

Untitled (1987)

The Frank and Walters – Paul McLoone’s Green Room Session

Posted in live, Music, session with tags , , , , , on June 30, 2010 by Fanning Sessions

The Frank And Walters featured on tonight‘s Paul McLoone show on TodayFM recorded live in The Green Room. They can be seen in Crosshaven on 14th July, Ballinhassig on 16th July and Skibbereen at Cork X Southwest on 31st July, full details here.

The Parson (2010)

Colours (2010)

Tony Cochrane (2010)

The Sultans of Ping F.C.

Posted in Fanning, Music, session with tags , , , on June 28, 2010 by Fanning Sessions

The Sultans of Ping F.C. formed in Cork in early 1988 featuring Niall O’Flaherty (vocals), Pat O’Connell (guitar), Paul Fennelly (bass) and Ger Lyons (drums). In April 1990 the band recorded their first demo ‘Confessions of a Sellafield Sex Guru‘ featuring three songs ‘Stupid Kid’, ‘Riot at the Sheepdog Trials’ and ‘Eamon Andrews’. They played their first Dublin show that year supporting The Golden Horde. In October 1990 the Eurorock festival was held in Cork and the Sultans were chosen as the local entry. In December the band recorded a session for the Dave Fanning show. Many thanks to the Shimmy Shammy Sultans website for the tracks.

No More Plastic Pitches (1990)

The Old Days (1990)

Where’s Me Jumper (1990)

Cork Rock

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

I recently came across a comment by Jim Comet which reminded me that I wanted to recommend ‘Cork Rock‘, Mark McAvoy’s recently published ‘exploration of the history of rock music in Cork’ starting with Rory Gallagher and finishing with the present day. Along the way he details many bands that have featured on this site and many more I’d love to if I could lay my hands on some of their music. If you enjoy perusing the posts here then you’ll certainly enjoy reading Mark’s memories of the Cork music scene and the various haunts many of which are no longer there. But don’t take my word for it, read what Nick Kelly, and Hotpress thought. While on the subject of Cork, the most recent issue of Hotpress was a Cork special including a programme for the upcoming Marquee gigs and a tasty CD in conjunction with 96FM featuring some excellent tracks from Boa Morte, Hooray For Humans, Fingersmith and (sounding better than ever) The Frank and Walters. The book can be picked up in HMV and Waterstones for €15.

Given the Cork theme, I hope Conor over at Dublin Opinion doesn’t mind my embedding a track from his Microdisney post yesterday featuring the first single by that famous Cork band. Is that synchronicity or what? Thanks Conor for pointing out this rather interesting discussion on matters Microdisney and Star Of Heaven..

Microdisney – Hello Rascals (1982)

The Frank and Walters (1991 Session)

Posted in Fanning, Music, session with tags , , , on March 31, 2010 by Fanning Sessions


The Frank and Walters were formed in 1990 by Paul Linehan (vocals/bass), his brother Niall Linehan (guitar) (replaced by Kevin Pedreschi in 2004) and Ashley Keating (drums). The band’s name honoured two eccentric Cork characters of the day. This session was recorded for the Dave Fanning show in March 1991. The Frank and Walters signed to Setanta Records in 1991 and released two EPs the aptly titled ‘EP1’ followed by ‘EP2’. Ashley Keating presents ‘Green on Red‘ a weekly show on Sunday from 7-10pm on Cork’s RedFM dedicated to “the best of irish music” . Thank you to the folks over at the F&W Forum who had the three missing session tracks.

Walters Trip (1991)

Michael (1991)

Laurence Olivier (1991)

Never Ending Staircase (1991)

Shimpu Zig Zag (Demo)

Posted in demo, Fanning, Music with tags , , on January 4, 2010 by Fanning Sessions


Happy new year. Here’s a demo track from Cork band Shimpu Zig Zag. Photo courtesy

The Scream (1987)

Soon (1988)

Posted in demo, Fanning, Music with tags , on November 23, 2009 by Fanning Sessions

(c) Con O'Donovan via Sir Henry's Exhibition

(c) Con O’Donovan via Sir Henry’s Exhibition

Soon were a short lived Cork band from 1986-88. Featuring Tony O’Sullivan (vocals), guitarist Giordai O’Laoghaire (ex Nun Attax, Microdisney), Martin Vallely (bass, ex Boat People) and Con O’Donovan (drums) they recorded two demos and a Fanning session. They notched up at least two TV appearances; on RTE’s saturday morning show ‘Anything Goes’ and also on the music show Megamix where they performed today’s track ‘The Holy Holy Show’. Thanks to the IPNWD for the bio.

The Holy Holy Show (1988)

Cypress, Mine!

Posted in Fanning, Music with tags , , on June 17, 2009 by Fanning Sessions

Regular readers might have gathered that the title of this blog is more aspirational than manifesto and I have been padding out the posts between sessions with demos and the occasional single or album track. All posts have one common theme; they were played on The Dave Fanning Show in the late eighties. These tracks are culled from the dying cassette collection of a fortysomething who can’t believe how good this music still sounds. Ideally I would hope to inspire others to dig out sessions they might have recorded or to colour in some detail to the sometimes minimal information which is available on these bands. Maybe younger readers might finally be in a position to check out some band they’ve heard of but never managed to track down.

Anyway on with the music. Listening to these old cassettes I often find this song or that going round in my head for days. I’ll sing snippets and annoy the kids until they beg me to stop. Maybe someday they’ll stumble across this blog and it’ll all become clear.. ‘Sugarbeet God’ is just such a track and because I have it to hand I’m going to accompany it with a track from their 1988 album ‘Exit Trashtown’. The band is of course Cork favourites Cypress, Mine!

Cypress Mine! were Ciaran O’Tuama (vocals), Ian Olney (guitar), Denis O’Mullane (bass) and Mark Healy (drums). They released three singles; ‘In The Big House’ (1987), ‘Justine’ (1987) and ‘Sugarbeet God’ (1988) and one album ‘Exit Trashtown’ (1988) all on on Solid Records. Ian Olney went on to become a member of Power Of Dreams in 1990.

The Sugar Beet God (1988)

Justine (1987)

Shimpu Zig Zag

Posted in Music with tags , , , on June 12, 2009 by Fanning Sessions


Continuing the Cork theme Shimpu Zig Zag were a trio formed in 1985 by Liam Shanahan, John Shanahan and Jerry Fehily and joined in 1986 by Liam Murphy. I suspect today’s tracks were actually singles but I hope they are suitably obscure to merit inclusion. I don’t know why they spilt after only two singles but Jerry Fehily did end up joining The Hothouse Flowers. Photo courtesy

Passion Play (1985)

Mayday (1986)

Flex And The Fastweather (1985 Session)

Posted in Fanning, Music, session with tags , , , on June 11, 2009 by Fanning Sessions

flex & fastweatherOriginally from Cork but later Dublin based, Flex And The Fastweather at the time of the Fanning session were Paul Tiernan (vocals & guitar), Maurice Seezer aka The Man Seezer (keyboards), John O Sullivan (bass), Earl Gill Jnr (drums), John Stokes (guitar), Mandy Murphy and Carolyn Fox (backing vocals). Wayne Sheehy was on drums for ‘Behind The Wire’, followed by Dave Whyte circa single ‘The Darkness’, followed by John Donaghy when Flex took up a residency in of all places Stockholm, Sweden. All three tracks here I believe were from that Fanning session. ‘Whatever Happens To Girls Like Alice’ later appeared on the RTE Radio 2 / Hot Press Street Carnival Rock EP in 1986. ‘The Darkness’ appeared as a single in 1986 and there was one further single ‘Stan’ in 1987 according to The Irish Punk And New Wave Discography. Paul Tiernan has been active as a solo artist and has released 4 albums as well as appearing on irish TV as a member of Interference on RTE’s Other Voices series. Watch him interviewed and performing on TV3’s Ireland:AM. Maurice Seezer went on to collaborate with Gavin Friday contributing on a number of soundtracks including ‘In The Name Of The Father‘.

The Darkness

Behind The Wire

Whatever Happens To Girls Like Alice

Burning Embers

Posted in demo, Fanning, Music with tags , , , on May 25, 2009 by Fanning Sessions


Okay time for some music from Cork. Burning Embers were Sean O’Neill (vocals), John Poland (guitars), Niall Macken (keyboards), Mel Poland (bass), Gordon Ashe (drums). They sent Dave Fanning a demo in 1986 and this is one of the tracks. According to the Irish Rock Discography the band went on to release 3 singles and this song made the b-side of second single ‘Keep On Pushing’. The band also had a track ‘Sweet Young Lady’  feature on the Hot Press ‘Best Cork album in the world… ever!‘ concept album compiled by Paul O’Mahony and Jim Comet.

Stay (1986)