Author Archives: Nick Kelly

The Screaming Orphans – Song We Used To Sing

Happy Christmas from the Diver sisters (top) of Bundoran [County Donegal].

Joan, Grainne, Angela and Marie Therese have teamed up with ace songwriter John Spillane for this poignant stroll down memory lane.

The video features old photos and videos submitted by the band’s fans and friends reflecting on memories of time spent together.

The single is available from December 11. A llive stream concert on the band’s Facebook page takes place on Saturday.

Nick says: The stars of the county Donegal.

The Screaming Orphans

Great Gig Memories.

Punk concert stories.

From the Hope Collective

Andy Pipkin writes:

Wondering if you can give this book a plug in time for Christmas…These guys [Hope Collective] were responsible for bringing bands to Ireland in the 80s and 90s including the memorable Green Day in the Attic (on George’s Quay), how the floor upstairs in the venue didn’t collapse? and Babes In Toyland in The Cat And Cage (Capel Street). And who could forget, May 10, 1995 Venue: Ormond Multimedia Centre. Fugazi came to Dublin too play and it was a hot but cracking gig!

Great Gig Memories (Hope Collective)

The Dubliners.

Their final ever performance in Dublin

To be shown on Christmas day on TG4.

Deirdre Ní Choistín writes:

When five bearded balladeers started playing together in O’Donoghue’s Pub in 1962 little did they know the musical adventures that lay ahead or the lasting impression they would leave on the music world.

“The Dubliners”, a legendary folk group blessed with the iconic voices of Ronnie Drew and Luke Kelly and gifted with the musicality of Barney McKenna, John Sheahan and Ciaran Burke.

On a special night in January 2012, their melodic magic once again filled the air during what was to be their final ever performance in Dublin.

After 50 years on the road, Barney and John, the last surviving members of the original line up, decided to set sail on one last adventure. The Dubliners, which now included Sean Cannon, Eamonn Campbell and Patsy Watchorn were beginning a year-long 50th anniversary celebration.

The stage was set for a unique and memorable night inside the architectural splendour of Dublin’s Christ Church Cathedral.

with special guests Declan O’Rourke, Maire Breathnach, Neil Martin and Seán Keane of the Chieftains

The Dubliners – The Parting Glass on Christmas Day at 9:55pm on TG4.

The 4 Of Us – She Hits Me

Continuing our series of underrated Irish music since 1960, reader Bertie Blenkinsop has a thing for The 4 Of Us, who are led by brothers Declan and Brendan Murphy from Newry, County Down.

Their debut album Songs For The Tempted in 1989 produced their signature hit Mary but Bertie has plumped for the single She Hits Me from their second album Man Alive (1992).

Nick says
: Murphys lure.

The 4 Of Us

Rare Old Times – Johnny and Dara Quilty

Dara Quilty writes:

My Dad’s birthday today. Captain of the ship at The Goat Bar in Dublin, as he prepares to re-open after lockdown… we did a tune to mark to occasion, remembering Dublin in the rare ould times when you could get a pint…

The Goat Bar

Following an exhaustive hand-counted audit…

..The votes are in!

Last week, with a neighbourly €25 Golden Discs voucher offer, I asked you to name your favourite song by an artist from Australia or New Zealand?

You answered in your dozens, providing a playlist of down under beauties.

But there could be only one shrimp in the barbie.

Third Place:

Into My Arms by Nick Cave

Micko writes:

‘Because it’s just beautiful.’


I Just Don’t Think I’ll Get Over You by Colin Hay

Andy Pipkin writes:

‘This song has stayed with me since I first heard it at my best friend’s funeral, she was only young and everyone was devastated. On hearing the song in the church there was not a dry eye in the house. The lyrics too this day still make me emotional.’


Cattle And Cane by The Go-Betweens

Otis Blue writes:

‘Written on a guitar borrowed from Nick Cave, so the story goes. Grant McLennan told Cave “Every instrument has one good song inside and that was it.” Songs of adolescent yearning don’t come much better.’

Nick says: Thanks all.

Last week: Win Nick’s Voucher

Golden Discs

Hudson Taylor – How I Know It’s Christmas

They’re the kings of the castle.

That’s Kilkenny Castle where the singing siblings Harry and Alfie performed their sprightly Christmas single with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and a host of local choirs.

Broadcast last year on Christmas Eve, the live version features alongside the original studio version and a sparse piano version recorded during lockdown on their new 3-track single.

Fun fact: How I Know It’s Christmas was the most Shazamed song in Ireland on Christmas day last year.

Nick says: Taylor made.

Hudson Taylor

The Harvest Ministers – Six O’Clock Is Rosary

Continuing our series of underrated Irish music since 1960, no list would be complete without Dublin stalwarts The Harvest Ministers, led by songwriter Will Merriman and multi-instrumentalist Padraig McCaul as well as a revolving supporting cast.

Six O’Clock Is Rosary is a single that was released by UK indie label Sarah Records in 1992 and was followed by their debut album Little Dark Mansion (1993).

The wonderfully evocative video partially shot on Dollymount Strand was filmed by Tom O’Brien.

A good place to discover this underappreciated band is their career retrospective You Can See Everything From Here.

Nick says: Yes Ministers!