Pictured above, clockwise from top-left: Kevin Burke, Power of Dreams, The Golden Horde, Rollerskate Skinny, Auto da Fe, Aidan Walsh (Master of the Universe)
Last week, in our Friday Golden Discs competition, we asked you, rather than for any genre in particular, your favourite Irish gem that’s been forgotten by the march of time.
In fact, we asked you to finish the following sentence:
“I regard_______________________________as an absolute forgotten Irish classic because__________________________’
At stake was no more than a voucher guaranteeing its bearer a handsome twenty-five beans at any of Golden Discs’ fourteen locations around the country. And the competition was really, very tight. But there, as ever, can only be one winner.
Harry Molloy, one of Broadsheet’s regular commentators, with the well-deserved clincher:
I have found the most underappreciated but greatest Irish song that there is – this is especially strengthened by how much we tend to appreciate and replicate anything of value from this genre of music. Suitably, it is a song which no one I knew had heard of, and no once since has, until such time as it had been introduced to them.
It is ‘Mrs Gilhooley’s Party’ from Kevin Burke of the Bothy Band. With a song title like that you would be well excused to ignore, but I challenge you to stop and have a listen. Its best qualities are the fact that it is decent trad, of good caliber, it’s really funny, and you can’t watch it and not think how great it would be to see someone take that on live.
From an editorial perspective, this was an absolute heartbreaker to boil down to a few runners-up, but indeed, here they are. All of these tunes are also in the playlist embedded above, for your convenience.
Liam Zero: “I regard Season by Last Days of 1984 as an absolute forgotten Irish classic because, like the rest of the album it came from, it is one of the most wonderful pieces of music made on these shores, and it evokes joy and nostalgia and happiness and love and bliss and warmth and a late summer vibe that perhaps never actually exists in this country but which seems like a certainty this year once you hit play. It’s aural MDMA that doesn’t require you to go buying some dodgy pill from some dodgier bloke and then suffering the dodgiest comedown. It’s all the high and none of the low. It’s sunset and sunrise. It’s we’re going to be friends for EVER. It’s homebound contentment. It makes you gush this sort of rubbish. And it never got the love it deserved. It was forgotten from the start. But it’s goddamn fucking beautiful and I love it.”
Ferret McGruber: “I regard November, November by Auto da Fe as an absolute forgotten Irish classic because of Gay Wood’s evocative singing and bonkers stage performances, and Trevor Knight’s superb, ethereal keyboards. When it was released in 1982 it wasn’t like what anyone else was doing at the time. It’s also significant for being produced by Phil Lynott. Still makes me wonder what more he could have achieved had he stuck around.”
Gorugeen: “I regard Speed to My Side by Rollerskate Skinny as a forgotten Irish classic because it’s a rollicking, big sound and brings me back to Fibber Magees, main dance floor and the crowd going mental to it. But, nowadays all I get is blank looks when I mention the band or song. They should’ve been so much more.”
Me: “I regard Friends in Time by The Golden Horde as an absolute forgotten Irish classic because it’s a great song, with a Larry Gogan cameo in the video, but most of all when I went to listen to it on Spotify a few months back I couldn’t find their version, only the Ronan Keating cover.”
Baron Von Botter III: “Dudley Corporation’s Divil the Bit has it all. Swaying and lurching, threatening to topple over yet staying tight and lyrical. Abruptly ends after barely two minutes. All the elements of a classic.”
Friscondo: “It has to be one the the greatest Irish pop songs, Those Nervous Animals’ My Friend John. Great tune, great lyrics and now almost totally forgotten. I defy anyone not to love it on their first listen. Sligo has never produced anything better.”
Smith: “I regard Feeding Frenzy by National Prayer Breakfast an absolute forgotten Irish classic. An anthemic Phantom FM staple, with lyrics and jangly guitar representing true indie music away from the manufactured sound of mainstream radio.”
Al Jeers: “I regard ‘Master of the Universe’ Aidan Walsh’s Community Games as an absolute forgotten Irish classic because it’s the only song to my knowledge to conceptually decontruct that most Irish of all sports meetings.”
Donal: I regard Arclight by The Fat Lady Sings as an absolute forgotten Irish classic, because it’s still a cracking tune and it was our summer anthem at Ballyfin Jamboree in 1993.
Bertie Blenkinsop: Foremost among a number of great suggestions made by Bertie, who played a blinder here, was Power of Dreams’ Stay. – Mike
Goosey Lucy: Revelino’s Happiness is Mine. Listened to it non stop as a teenager.
Frilly Keane: Cypress Mine – Sugar Beet God. So good live that Zig ‘n’ Zag covered it.
The video for The Laws of Nature, the new single from Dublin singer/composer Candice Gordon, featuring dancer Zoe Darling. A foreboding visual for a foreboding slice of noirish psychedelia. Says Gordon of the video, and the Butoh dance through which Darling tells the song’s story:
“Butoh is a Japanese dance form where you see a lot of transformation through animals. In the video, the dancer makes very slow dance moves and you see her transforming into different life forms.
I wanted parts of it to be unclear and uncanny. It’s a very wytchy song, it’s about being under the spell of the natural order,” said Candice.
The single is taken from upcoming album Garden of Beasts, available for pre-order here and released via Proper Octopus.
The IMRO Live Music Venue of the Year Awards happened at their HQ in Dublin last night. Who got the gongs, you ask?
The National Venue of the Year went to Wexford’s National Opera House.
The regional awards for outstanding venues went out thusly:
Dublin – Vicar Street Rest of Leinster – Watergate Theatre, Kilkenny Connacht – The Quays, Galway Munster – Coughlan’s, Cork Ulster – Voodoo, Letterkenny, Co Donegal
IMRO Music Festival of the Year: Sea Sessions, Bundoran IMRO Small Live Music Festival 2016: Kilkenny Tradfest IMRO Tech Crew of the Year: The Olympia
IMRO Outstanding Contribution to Live Music: Frank Murray (manager of Thin Lizzy/The Pogues)
Special commendations were also handed out to venues by Hot Press head Niall Stokes:
“It has been an outstanding year for live music in Ireland. That is, of course, true in relation to what is happening in the big venues, like The Olympia Theatre, which has just been refurbished with spectacular results, and at festivals – which are so important to the ongoing health of Irish music.
But from the point of view of working Irish musicians, it is really encouraging also to see the emergence of venues in smaller towns around the country, where they can go and gig – and both find an audience and earn their wages. Which is why I am so pleased to have presented awards tonight to Mike The Pies in Listowel and Boyle’s of Slane.
It is the hard work and dedication of the people who make things happen in venues and bars like these – and countless others around the country – that make all the difference. Long may they flourish.”
Last week, we asked YOU, our distinguished commentariat to recommend us your favourite new Irish music.
On the line was a crisp, new €25 voucher for Golden Discs, redeemable at any of its fourteen locations nationwide. In fact, we asked you to complete this sentence:
‘My current favourite song by a new Irish artist is ___________________ by ______________________ because __________________________’
The competition was tight as usual, but as ever, there can only be one winner:
Dav clinches it, with his recommendation (streaming above).
My current favorite song by a new Irish artist is Falling for You by Daithí featuring Sinead White because, not only is it a powerful vocal on her end, but he spent the last year traveling Ireland, recording sounds from the landscape to incorporate into his tracks, so I mean this quite literally when I say this is the sound of Ireland!
Other highlights from the running:
Gorugeen: ‘My current favourite song by a new Irish artist is Charlene by Chewing on Tinfoil because the video is so simple, honest, which reflects the song. It’s a tune that’s emotional but not at all soppy. It’s a touch raucous and sung in a genuine accent. An all round great package.’
Odockatee: ‘My current favourite song by a new Irish artist is Tin Man by Saint Sister because it has great harmonies, a real velvet flow and it’s just cool.’
Penfold: ‘My current favourite song by a new Irish artist is Bullethead by Fangclub because its a great rough sounding riff laden track that showcases the bands grungey influences. Not sure if it qualifies as new as picked it up midway through last year.’
Our now-weekly check-in with Dublin Digital Radio brings with it another eclectic selection of on-demand auditory treats and a packed weekend schedule (see above), ahead of the station hitting the road this weekend.
Writes DDR member Brian:
Week 16 has been good and busy for us here at DDR, with plenty of new shows starting and preparations for our first festival appearance at Quarter Block Party well underway.
Some highlights of the past week (embedded above) include Underneath The Orange Tree with host James Rogers and Graham Dundon bringing soulful grooves and afrobeats to the DDR Studio. Check out their first record, dropping soon. ELLLL continues her fine form following the release of her Romance EP with an hour and a half of tough beats, atmospheric techno and bass while Brian Coney of The Thin Air delivered his weekly mixed bag of oddities for his show Death Culture Blues.
Looking ahead to the weekend we are broadcasting from Cork City on Saturday with interviews, live performances and a bit of messin’ in Plugd Records from 2-6pm (your writer included – Mike), before we take over Gulpd Café to play records from 9pm-12am. On Sunday, Shivers radio returns from 5-8pm and Aidan Hanratty brings the ambient and drone vibes from 8-10pm.
Australian math-rock blog Fecking Bahamas, a long-term supporter of all manner of awkwardly-timed, noisy, proggy rock ‘n’ roll, has produced the fifth installment in its ongoing series of country/region-specific compilations. Number five? Ireland.
Behold, twenty-one tracks of homegrown noisemaking past, present and future, accompanied by artwork from New York-resident Limrocker Shane Harrington, and includes YMLT featurees CHANCER, Yonen, and Ganglions, as well as veterans like And So I Watch You From Afar, Ten Past Seven, The Redneck Manifesto. Also bundled in are contributions from defunct outfits like the sadly-missed Adebisi Shank.