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Irish Nuggets from 1979 onwards… May 15, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Not sure if this has been linked to on the site but it’s great, a series of mixcloud compilations of alternative Irish groups from 1977 on. So far there are three compilations you can listen to – 1977-79, 1980-81, 1982-84. Katmandu’s ‘I can Make the Future’ – mentioned here before and a good slice of futurist/new romantic/alternative isn’t there but that’s a minor point. What is there is exhaustive.

Funny listening to Pop Mecanics after a good thirty five years or so. 1980/1981 was a crucial year in my musical development when I started listening to the radio intensely in that near forensic way one does at 15 (or did when the chances of a song being repeated were low and the number of stations was very limited). And yet because I had no money a lot of the songs I heard then were one’s I never got and so they faded away.

But Tony Koklin’s Claude Monet (how did I ever forget that one?) or Five Honours and a 175 from the Alsatians… or The Shade 6.05 (erm… intriguing keyboard work towards the end of that track) or… the Teen Commandments or whatever bring it back big time.

Band names? Some bad bad choices there. Tango Brigade isn’t good. The Sussed likewise – no one likes a boaster. Chant! Chant! Chant! And yet… these were mostly kids (and with some weird hang ups on age – both Protea and Berlin complain about those over…er… 21. Yeah, I hate those over 21s. Old men and women!). Remarkable how much mannered singing there was at the time. And btw is that the Doors I hear in the intro to The New Versions rollicking (I can think of no other word) ‘Tango of Nerves’?

That said… The Atrix, Blades, Tokyo Olympics, Virgin Prunes, Blue in Heaven and Microdisney still sound great, but then some of the less well known groups sound pretty damn good too. No Golden Horde? Perhaps that’s coming in the 1985 onwards section. What’s funny is how bloody awful the production is on so much. What’s also intriguing is how the ghost of post-punk was still hanging around, well into the decade. And not just post-punk, some of the stuff sounds positively gothy. But what’s evident are some good groups who never made it further than an album or two.

This next track isn’t on the compilations (but it’s another incredibly evocative track for me which the Tokyo Olympics song on the compilation sent me looking for).

The person behind the project deserves great praise. Memories (I’d forgotten were there) are made of this.


1. LeftAtTheCross - May 16, 2016

Excellent. Really enjoying listening to this while I’m working. Thanks for posting. I have some of them on vinyl, stashed away and unplayed for decades.


WorldbyStorm - May 16, 2016

You wouldn’t happen to have the Shade and Pop Mecanics would you? 🙂


LeftAtTheCross - May 16, 2016

Neither of those unfortunately. I do have the Prunes and Chant Chant Chant among others. Funny though that I remember almost all of the songs even without consciously knowing who played some of them. Must have been the Pat James show giving them airplay or something.


WorldbyStorm - May 16, 2016

I know, it’s like they’re indelibly etched on my mind yet how many times could I or you have heard the ones we don’t own, five or six perhaps at a push.


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