Archive for RTETV50

The Fireflys

Posted in Music, TV with tags , , on December 28, 2012 by Fanning Sessions

fireflys megamix 1988

This band came up recently on the Tom Dunne show where The Strypes performed on the Christmas special. Tom mentioned that there was a parental link to The Fireflys so some research was in order, Cavan is decidedly underrepresented on this site so this was as opportunity to rectify that.


According to the Irish Rock Discography, The Fireflys were John Walsh, Barry Walsh, Niall Walsh and Paul Cox (drums). Niall Walsh is indeed manager of The Strypes and father of drummer Evan.

The first clip is a track which is very familiar but which I havent yet placed is a performance of ‘Love Train’ on RTE’s Action Station Saturday.

The second is an RTE Late Late Show performance.

Further details and clarifications are as usual most welcome.

Borderline (1986-1988)

Posted in Music, TV with tags , , on April 6, 2012 by Fanning Sessions


Borderline was a “young people’s show” on RTÉ Television from 1986-1988. The show’s presenters were Aonghus McAnally, Majella Nolan, Ronan Johnston, Eithne Hand and Maria Doyle. As part of their 50 years celebrations RTE has posted one complete show online. The show in question (1/3/1988) coincided with The Stag Hotpress Awards. Winners who popped into studio to chat and/or perform include Rory Gallagher, Mary Coughlan, Something Happens (‘Burn Clear’), Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen. Also performing on the show were The Sugar Rays (‘House In Order’) and The Stars Of Heaven (’28’).

‘Borderline’ playlist on YouTube:

See also ‘Anything Goes‘, ‘Visual Eyes‘ playlists.

Mark Cagney – R.E.M & Tom Waits album reviews (1987)

Posted in radio with tags , on February 15, 2012 by Fanning Sessions


While watching the recent ‘A Little Bit TV’ RTETV50 profile on Mark Cagney I remembered that I had an old tape of a Sunday review show Mark had on RTE Radio 2 (as 2fm was known back in 1987). On the show in question Mark reviewed a number of albums I was interested in hence the recording. The albums reviewed were ‘Strangeways, Here We Come‘ by The Smiths, ‘Document‘ by R.E.M. and ‘Franks Wild Years‘ by Tom Waits. Two of the reviews were intact on the recording and you can hear these below. In case you missed and are retro inclined the documentary is well worth checking out. Mark Cagney’s Night Train was essential bedtime listening for a period in my formative years but I have no recordings of that show.

‘Document’ and ‘Franks Wild Years’ reviewed (1987)

50 Years Of RTE (#RTETV50)

Posted in Music, TV with tags , on February 8, 2012 by Fanning Sessions


RTE TV celebrates it’s 50th birthday this year and is using the occasion to feature a selection of archive content online and in the regular TV schedule. The highlight so far round these parts was the David Heffernan documentary on Phil Lynott. Dave is familiar to readers of this site as he was the face of rock music on RTE childrens show ‘Anything Goes‘. I don’t remember an awful lot about the show as the only reason I watched was to catch a glimpse of the young Irish bands that Dave would introduce performing in studio. I believe RTE is sitting on a veritable goldmine not in monetary terms but in having an archive of performances that capture a lost generation of irish rock music. I would love to see RTE get Dave Heffernan do a documentary on those musical performances. Maybe Dave could share a few memories of the show and what they got up to, maybe talk to some of the band members and reminisce about the show. Lets be clear I’m not talking about a show that digs out early U2 appearances, I’m interested in the unsung bands who burned bright and left indelible impressions on young minds up and down the country and have since fallen off the radar. I personally would gladly watch a show made up entirely of the musical performances on the show, it could be as simple as an on screen informational text a la ‘Reeling In The Years’ but for gods sake dont dare give us another show like ‘Reverb’ with infuriatingly short musical clips interspersed with inane commentary from folk who havent a clue what they are talking about. This is the RTE equivalent of ‘The Old Grey Whistle Test’ we’re talking about. There were other shows that are also of interest for their musical content. I cant remember the chronology but ‘TV Ga Ga’, ‘Visual Eyes‘, ‘Megamix‘ and ‘Borderline‘ spring to mind. The Late Late Show also featured occasional performance from up and coming irish rock acts. How about it RTE, a retro music series for us fortysomethings?


At The Window (Visual Eyes)

Posted in Fanning, Music, TV with tags , , , , on February 2, 2012 by Fanning Sessions

Details on Shannon, Co. Clare three piece At The Window remain elusive but thanks to a fellow archivist we now have some video footage. This recording of ‘State Aid’ was for RTE TV show ‘Visual Eyes‘ in 1986. The Fanning session recording of the same song can be found here. If anyone has further details on the band members please leave a comment or send an email. I do wish RTE would put all these 80s music shows online but that’s another matter..

New Philip Lynott documentary (2012)

Posted in documentary, Music with tags , on December 30, 2011 by Fanning Sessions

the phil lynott archiveAs part of their 50 year celebrations RTE has commissioned a new documentary on Phil Lynott from producer/director Dave Heffernan. Titled ‘The Philip Lynott Archive’ the one hour documentary includes rare footage of Thin Lizzy as well as the first screening of a fully restored version of the promo for the 1982 single ‘Old Town‘. The documentary features interviews with John Kelly, Dave Fanning. Jim Lockhart, Eamon Carr, Jim Fitzpatrick, Brian Downey, Philomena Lynott, Dave Geraghty (Bell X1), Thomas Walsh (Pugwash), Declan O’Rourke, Stuart Clark (Hot Press) and director of the ‘Old Town’ video Gerry Gregg. Tony Clayton Lea speaks of this very video in his recent book ‘101 Irish Records You Must Hear Before You Die‘:

“You could argue that Gregg’s video did more to raise the song’s profile and to generate emotional warmth for the singer than any amount of radio play at the time”

The documentary airs on Monday Jan 2nd 2012 at 10.55pm on RTE1. RTE promises to publish further footage from their 50 year archives on their website throughout the year, follow @RTETV50 on twitter for updates. Update: The show can now be viewed on the RTE player here. Overseas viewers check out the new RTE player for the iPhone/iPad/iPod which I believe does not have any regional restrictions.