Author Archives: Mike McGrath-Bryan



Last week, in our Friday Golden Discs competition, we asked you who your favourite second-generation Irish artists have been over the years.

To be precise, we asked you to fill in the following blanks:

The greatest example of English-born second generation Irish musical prowess would have to be______________________________________’

At stake was a voucher printed and signed off on to the tune of twenty-five Euro, redeemable at any of Golden Discs’ fourteen locations around the country. The competition was fierce. But there, as ever, can only be one winner.

PMCD with the clincher:

“The greatest example of English-born second generation Irish musical prowess would have to Kevin Rowland of Dexys. Mr Rowland lambasted the stereotype of the Thick Paddy with his first single ‘Dance Stance’: “Never heard about, can’t think about Oscar Wilde and Brendan Behan, Sean O’Casey, George Bernard Shaw. Samuel Beckett, Eugene O’Neill, Edna O’Brien and Lawrence Stern.”

He almost spits out the lyrics in anger – it still sends a shiver up my back 35+ years later. Oh, and his second single ‘Geno’ went to No. 1 and happens to be one of the best songs ever – pop fact! And if all that’s not good enough for ya – the man’s got style!”

Other highlights from the running:

Smith: “The greatest example of English-born second generation Irish musical prowess would have to be John Lydon. Hard to sum up his influence and impact with any soundbite, but this legend firstly under the guise of ‘Johnny Rotten’ with the Sex Pistols was the punk spokesperson for disaffected youth in a time not dissimilar to now in the UK with rising racism and burgeoning neoliberalism. He was both proudly British and Irish and was unafraid to express his views both musically and in person. With PIL, he really found his form and helped to re-shape music with this post-punk brilliance. RISE is a song that encapsulates the man. “Anger is an energy”.”

Jamie: “The greatest example of English-born second generation Irish musical prowess is clearly proud Waterford woman Kate Bush (her mother was from the Deise). Have any of these other people (the comments had) mentioned recorded a song with whipping noises and someone going “OOOOH! OOOOH!” like an owl in the background all the way through? No. No they haven’t. I rest my case.”

Penfold: “The greatest example of English-born second generation Irish musical prowess would have to be both Lennon and McCartney. Both embraced this, evident in their post Beatles ventures, with Wings’ Give Ireland back to the Irish, and Lennon/Yoko’s Sunday Bloody Sunday.”

Bertie Blenkinsop: “The greatest example of English-born second generation Irish musical prowess would have to be The Smiths. TOTP, 1983. I first set eyes on Johnny Marr and it was love at first sight. He’s never put a foot wrong since in my eyes, the coolest man alive. His autobiography is a great read and his solo stuff is not half bad either.”

Daisy Chainsaw: “The greatest example of English-born second generation Irish musical prowess would have to be Mary O’Brien who became Dusty Springfield. A sublime voice who brought pathos to and elevated the songs of Bacharach and David to the classics they deserved to be.”

Zena: “The greatest example of English-born second generation Irish musical prowess, would have to be Siobhan Fahey from Bananarama. She was so much more than a pretty face.”

EightersGonnaEight: “The greatest example of English-born second generation Irish musical prowess would have to be Bernard Butler of Suede.”

Golden Discs


Phantom Dog Beneath the Moonrural psychedelia/shoegaze

What you may need to know…

01. Aaron Hurley and Scott McLaughlin make up the duo of Phantom Dog Beneath the Moon, proponents of “folk-gaze”.

02. Releasing their first new material in almost seven years, the pair have broken a silence that’s been since 2010’s full-length The Trees, the Sea in a Lunar Stream.

03. Streaming above is the newly-released video for the title track from third album The Statue of the Hunter is Lost at Sea.

04. Catch them at the Roisín Dubh in Galway on March 22nd, as part of a double-header with labelmate A Lilac Decline, for a joint record launch.

Thoughts: Minimal, yet dense in terms of themes and atmosphere, with newfound strokes of ambience and psychedelia leading it all forward.

Phantom Dog Beneath the Moon


A Lilac Declinelo-fi dream-folk

What you may need to know…

01. Visual artist Cecilia Danell takes the letters of her name and rearranges them into A Lilac Decline, a pseudonym for her dream-pop-inflected folk.

02. Striking out solo after stints with Cubs and Loner Deluxe, the Galway-resident Swede veers between the aforementioned and barebones composition with the implements and objects around her at the time.

03. Streaming above is her do-it-yourself video for single A Fine Day at Last, the first single from her album The Mountain Rages, available for pre-order from Rusted Rail.

04. Performing live next at Rusted Rail’s double-album launch for herself and Phantom Dog Beneath the Moon (more in this column tomorrow) at the Roisín Dubh in Galway on the 22nd.

Thoughts: Heartening, rootsy folk with traces of shoegazing and DIY ingenue throughout.

A Lilac Decline


SissyDublin agitpop punk trio

What you may need to know…

01. Lo-fi, noisy and aggressive, precisely the way agitpop ought to be. That’s Sissy in a nutshell, a pissed-off, Sleater-Kinney-riffing outfit grappling with gender inequality and other issues facing women in Irish society.

02. September 2014 saw the release of the band’s debut extended-player on cassette, featuring pro-choice anthem Sail and Rail, followed by 2015 EP Gave Birth to a Mum.

03. Streaming above is the latter, also available for download and physical purchase on 7″ from their Bandcamp.

04. Also available for pre-order is Put Ears on Yourself Vol.1, a split single releasing soon via Art for Blind Records, featuring the band’s new track Nice Guy, an affront to “nice guy” syndrome and the privilege that accompanies.

Thoughts: The kind of band our society needs at a time when there’s still a fair amount of bullshit, both current and legacy, to be speaking up against.



Another week, another serving of unreal alternative radio from the disruptors at Dublin Digital Radio, with heapings of on-demand content including highlights streaming above, and a packed schedule for the weekend.

Writes collective member AXXS:

We have been witnessing a huge interest and activity during our special 24 hours of Women’s Voices session that kicked off on Wednesday night, to broadcast female voices in support for #strike4repeal. Some highlights from that day include Dandelion and Aoife Nic Canna, who opened a night of amazing set of shows presented by artists and activists from around the capital. Kate Butler closed the night with her live set Witching Hour.

Other highlights from the past week have been: an incredibly pleasant show from Wah Wah Wadio with a mix of fresh house; Richie Bree & James Kirwan’s Sonntags Radio with some laid-back grooves, and a selection of their favorite records; IBM with a mix of tracks from Philip Jeck, Leroy Smart, unknown Tanzanian musicians and more; a very cool mix from Breen with soul and funk put together in his show Beneath the Bricks/w Breen. Also, a great selection of post-punk presented by Elastic Witch Radio.

As always we are excited for the weekend and yet again the upcoming list of shows is looking great, featuring live shows from the sound girls in Eve at 2pm on Saturday. The Adult Store 9pm on the same day is also something to look out for, and on Sunday we have All City x Jheri Trackswith a great selection of house, techno, experimental and electro, very cool!

Listen here live, or on-demand.

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Sent to us last week by RTÉ 2XM’s Adam Fogarty, a live cypher, featuring five Irish rappers duking it out on the state broadcaster’s airwaves, presented by 2FM hip-hop jock Mo K.

Rebel P, Jambo, Costello, GI and Mango battle it out verbally, in what’s set to be an ongoing series of live events at the station. Writes Adam:

For more information and submissions for the Cypher Series, please contact

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Some more new Irish music for the morning that’s in it, courtesy of electronic/indie outfit Columbia Mills, with a new live video for new single Battles.

Writes the band:

It was shot live in the RHA, when they kindly let us in to film and make noise in the Dr. Tony Ryan Gallery room. The art is all by Leah Hewson, who is an upcoming artist and an old friend of the band who is doing all the artwork for the debut album.

The video was directed by Peter Kingston and is the first in a series of three live videos we will be releasing with our album singles.

We thought it would be cool for people to see and hear what we sound like live, rather than using the studio recording which is widely available on steaming services, as live is where we feel we are strongest.

Columbia Mills


Rusangano FamilyRTÉ Choice Prize Album of the Year winners

What you may need to know…

01. Honestly? This was the YMLT we were hoping to write this morning – mynameisj0hn, GodKnows and Murli took home the Album of the Year last night at the Choice Awards in Vicar Street.

02. Our thoughts on Let the Dead Bury the Dead, from last year’s year-end list:

“Rusangano Family are more than a critically-acclaimed Irish act that’s threatening to go mainstream. They represent a moment in Irish culture, a turning point, a look at the ever-changing Irish identity, the meeting point of tradition and progress, the emerging Irish multiculture.

Equal parts personal earnestness on the immigrant experience in Ireland and social commentary from the perspective of someone raised latterly in the culture, Let the Dead Bury the Dead is, in their words, “an objective album”.

But as important as the weight it carries, the tunes it bears across its near-40-minute runtime run the gamut, from the mid-paced stepping of Kierkegaard to the flat-out, shirt-waving banger that is Soul Food, there’s not a single doubt of the latter either. A momentous accomplishment.”

03. Streaming above are the album that took home the championship, available for streaming and download, and a Guerrilla Session & interview with Ray Wingnut released this morning.

04. See the champs on tour around the country over the course of the next month, including the National Concert Hall in Dublin, among other dates. See here for the full rundown.

Thoughts: The hardest-working outfit in Irish music today begin to reap the rewards of their grind. Proof that hard work, persistence and dedication always pay off.

Rusangano Family


Broadsheet on the Telly returns tonight at 11.45 streamed live above and on our YouTube channel.

If you want a particular topic tackled please leave suggestions below.

Meanwhile, we are hosting an Ex=Pat Special with contributions from ‘abroad’ next Thursday, March 16. To take part please send a short bio to marked ‘Broadsheet on the Telly’.

We hope to see you tonight.

Monday: Did You Stay Up?


BARQDublin cross-genre four piece

What you may need to know…

01. It seems remiss of us to have not mentioned Dublin aggro-soul outfit BARQ by this point in the column’s existence. We’d like to apologise for this oversight.

02. Releasing debut single Gentle Kind of Lies in March, the band have seemingly exploded onto the wider Irish music picture in the second half of last year, including a near-complete collection of independent festival appearances in the summer and prominent Spotify playlisting.

03. Streaming above is their first extended-player, covering all of their singles released last year. Pay-what-you-want download, also.

04. They’re heading on a full tour of the country alongside HAWK and Harbouring Oceans in the latter half of this month – full rundown here.

Thoughts: Massive sounds, massive voice, massive tunes. Loads in here to keep loads of different music fans happy.