Tag Archives: Nick Kelly

The Would Be’s – I’m Hardly Ever Wrong

Continuing our series of underrated Irish music since 1960, the spotlight turns on The Would Be’s from Kingscourt, County Cavan, helmed by the Finnegan brothers, Mattie, Paul and Eamonn.

I’m Hardly Ever Wrong is their brilliant debut single from 1990 with lead vocals by Julie McDonnell.

Favourites of the late John Peel and Morrissey, they went on to record a few EPs with new singer Eileen Gogan before splitting up.

The original line-up reformed in 2012 and released the album Beautiful Mess in 2013.

Nick says: Finnegans wake.

The Would Be’s

Kodaline – This Must Be Christmas

What a brilliant video.

To cheer us up in these straitened times, Kodaline have conjured a charming and sweet tale of an unemployed elf to go with their new Christmas single, which can be found on the deluxe reissue of their album One Day At A Time.

Director Lee Holmes said:

“The track is essentially about drowning your sorrows in a pub at Christmas and I loved how the band had put their own stamp on the traditional Christmas song.

“So for the video I wanted to create that Christmas feel but with a twist, playing on the idea that Santa’s elves are like seasonal workers who live among normal people during the year, until Christmas comes. And in these uncertain times it makes sense that their job security is in the balance, just like the rest of us.

“Kodaline have such a great track record for music videos so it was a privilege to get to work with them and create a video for their alternative Christmas vision.”

Nick says: Tinseltown in the reindeer.


In Motion – In Daylight

Continuing our series of underrated Irish music since 1960, reader Lovely Hurling bigs up 1990s Dublin shoegazing supremos In Motion, who were led by ace tunesmith Alan Kelly (vocals and guitar), Alan O’Boyle (guitar), Liam Ryan (drums) and John Duff (bass).

Their magnum opus was The Language Of Everyday Life, released on the Dead Elvis label in 1994. Kelly then went on to make two more pure gold masterpieces as The Last Post. Belfast label Bright Star Recordings released Love Lost and Dry Land. The ultimate underrated Irish songwriter?

Lovely Hurling writes:

“This is the epitome of floppy fringed, jangly, shoegazing that was me in the early ’90s. Now the fringe is long gone, there are only rattles instead of jangles and I can’t see my shoes anymore. Their album The Language of Everyday Life is a forgotten gem.”

Nick says: I second that In Motion.

Shiv – Letting You Know

We’ll always have Paris.

Zimbabwe-born, Kildare-raised singer Shiv (top) excites with this lush neo-soul ballad from her debut EP Me 2 Me, out on December 4.

The video was shot in the French capital by Santiago Sanchez and directed by Shiv.

Shiv says:

“It’s about the moment I finally realised that holding onto whatever was inside me wasn’t helping, that in releasing my deepest self and being comfortable with what that meant, I could finally let go of the fear that had embedded itself in my relationship with myself and my creative process.”

Nick says: A torch singer in The City of Light.


Auto Da Fé – November, November

Continuing our series of underrated Irish music since 1960, reader Lovely Hurling sounds the fanfare for 1980s New Wave acolytes Auto Da Fé, who formed in Holland and were led by former Steeleye Span singer Gay Woods and keyboardist Trevor Knight.

November, November was their debut single released in 1982 and produced by one Phil Lynott.

Lovely Hurling writes:

“Not alone does Gay Woods have one of the sweetest voices ever committed to vinyl, I think they have one of the coolest Irish band names.”

Nick says: Auto Da Fé for the people.

The Riptide Movement – Turn On The Lights

Christmastime in Dublin city.

Lucan lads The Riptide Movement share a hopeful message in their new single to lift the gloom.

Recorded in Texas, the anthemic song features on the current Guinness campaign #KeepTheLightsOn which “shines a light on pubs highlighting their readiness for a safe re-opening.”

The nostalgic video was made by Crooked Gentlemen Films in pre-covid times.

Nick says: My kind of town.

The Riptide Movement

Engine Alley – A Song For Someone

Continuing our series of underrated Irish music since 1960, step forward Kilkenny/Dublin glamsters Engine Alley who caused a splash in the 1990s.

Led by brothers Canice (top far left) and Brian Kenealy, they added a dash of colour to the local rock scene. A Song For Someone is from their self-titled second album released on Mother Records in 1993.

This live performance is from James Whale’s show on UK TV.

Nick says: Glamorama.

Orla Gartland – Pretending

A restroom with a view.

London-based Dublin singer/songwriter Orla Gartland (top) hangs out in the jacks in the innovative video for her new single, directed by Rosie Brear.

With over a quarter of a million views on YouTube, Orla copperfastens her reputation as an internet sensation.

Nick says: Royal flush.

Orla Gartland

Villagers – Nothing Arrived

Continuing our series of underrated Irish music since 1960, reader Brother Barnabas coos over alt.folk heroes Villagers, led by Conor O’Brien.

Nothing Arrived appeared on their second album awayland in 2013. This live performance is from the Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show on Today FM.

Brother says:

“An extraordinary songwriter.”

Nick says: Leave it to Mr. O’Brien.


Mary Coughlan – Family Life

Now this is something special.

National treasure Mary Coughlan conjures a deeply felt cover of The Blue Nile‘s heartbreaking Christmas ballad Family Life from her new album Life Stories.

Mary says:

“The track ‘Family Life’ is deeply personal to me, I think it will resonate with people this Christmas in particular.”

Ain’t that the truth.

And here‘s the original version.

Nick says: Happy Christmas, Mary.

Life Stories