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This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Bell X1 February 13, 2016

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An Irish band that I’m quite fond of, yet despite threatening to ‘make it big’ they seemed to stuttered at the edge of it for a while. They are still excellent and have some great songs.
Have seen them numerous times and they are very good live too.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… covers of U2 songs January 30, 2016

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First off if you haven’t read “David Bowie The Cork Years” it’s well worth it…….

It was this wonderful cover of U2s ‘Out of Control’ by Dave Long (ex Into Paradise) posted by the wonderful Fanning Sessions that got me looking for other covers of U2 songs. Most of them that I found aren’t great but I like these ones.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to….. Lullaby Renditions January 16, 2016

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Happened upon these recently and wondered why I hadn’t heard of them when my own were infants. So rather than Barney or some other horrific tunes at least the children would relax with some decent tunes.
They are actually quite hypnotic and could imagine myself nodding off to them. There’s a vast array of them, seems to be a lullaby version of almost everything.
A selection below.

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This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to…. Phil Lynott January 2, 2016

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Monday marks thirty years since Phil Lynott died. The 4th of January 1986 etched into my mind along with other dates from my growing up. I was 16 and mad into Thin Lizzy. Had every album, solo ones and had even bought that awful ‘Out in the fields’ record he did with Gary Moore. He was just coolness personified and a Dub at that too.
The music was brilliant, With Live and Dangerous still my favourite album of all time. I wasn’t a fan of the introduction of keyboards into Thin Lizzy and felt ‘Renegade’ and to a lesser extent ‘Thunder and Lightning’ suffered as a result. The ‘Life Live’ album though was one I liked although it wasn’t up there with ‘Live and Dangerous’.
Never saw them with Phil Lynott but did see a ‘Thin Lizzy’ in the SFX around 20 years ago and they were excellent and made me sorry that I never saw the real thing.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Jimmy Faulkner December 19, 2015

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In 1988 I started working in a Petrol Station down the road from me, filling petrol for 80 pence an hour…..over time I graduated to the cashier and then for a number of years I worked nights. Sometimes just covering for people or as a stopgap until somebody permanent was hired, until when I finished College I worked nights full time. I spent around 4 years working nights in the garage on and off.
There was an assortment of people that came in regularly, Taxi drivers, Gardai, Truck drivers and others. I was delighted of the company having a cup of tea and a chat helped pass what was often a very lonely night. I could go a few hours without seeing anyone. I suppose too that where now Ireland is much more of a twenty four hour society, it wasn’t so much then.
One of the regulars was Jimmy Faulkner, who invariably on his way back from a gig would pull up in his old car , put a few quid in the tank and he was one of the folks I’d open the door for rather than serve through the hatch. He’d stop, chat as what music I was listening to and occasionally tell a story or two. For a year or two I didn’t know who he was, other than that he was a musician.
I got chatting to the lad who did the other night shift (Worked week on /week off) who was in one night and I was asking if he knew who ‘yer man’ was. He told me it was Jimmy Faulkner and being a good bit older than me started telling me how he had seen him with various bands and how Jimmy had played with Christy Moore for years and was on among other Moore records his ’Live In Dublin’ album. Jimmy Faulkner was a gifted guitarist who aside from Christy Moore had played with so many others including Paul Brady, Finbar Furey, Mick Hanly,Dónal Lunny, Mary Coughlan, The Fleadh Cowboys, Luka Bloom, Honor Heffernan , Red Peters and The Black Velvet Band.
I copped then that I had a few records and tapes with Jimmy Faulkner playing on them and I’m sure theres plenty of you that have something with Jimmy playing on it too.
I bumped into him a number of times since, he greeted me, he was always really nice company and was a gent.
Jimmy passed away on the 4th of March 2008.

Jimmy playing Slide Guitar here

Jimmy played on Paul Bradys Hard Station Album and his guitar solo on this is renowned.

Hotfoot were a band he was part of for a number of years

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This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Dive December 5, 2015

Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
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Seems to be a number of different bands called Dive. This crowd are a Japanese band that have been around since 1994, although they had a five year hiatus after Guitarist/Vocalist Sasaoka, moved from Tokyo Japan to New York. They got back together in 2010 and have had a number of rleases since then.They are another group that are categorised as part of the Japanese Shoegaze genre making some beautiful dreamy tunes.
Some of the songs are in English, others in Japanese and I I’ve been listening to them for a while. Enjoy….
Their website






Stars of Heaven in Concert November 27, 2015

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Culture.
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The wonderful Fanning Sessions archive have just posted this …..Stars of Heaven in Concert , which some of us might enjoy.
It’s great.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Guernica November 21, 2015

Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
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Guernica were and Irish band influenced by New Order and Joy Division that were around from 1985 to 1989. Comedian/actor Joe Rooney was their lead singer. I saw them at least once and had the “Humming of the engines” single although it seems to have been mislaid in the almost 30 years since. They were quite good.
This is a compilation of the bands various RTE TV appearances. The track listing is as follows with the TV show too.
0’00 new boy (anything goes, 1985)
4’06 americano (mt usa, 1985)
8’40 americano (visual eyes, 1986)
13’25 deep sea diving (borderline)
17’42 humming of the engine (megamix)
22’25 veil of tears (?)
Aside from the music,it’s worth watching from 17.40 on this video to see the get up and hear the language of the RTE MegaMix presenter, who I think is Paul Tylak (Incidentally Tylak and Rooney both played Priests in Father Ted).

This is another one of their singles ‘Orange and Red’

‘The Queen of our Country’ which was the B side of ‘Orange and Red’

Republican Congress Directed by Donal Higgins, will be screened at the 2015 Frank Conroy Commemoration November 17, 2015

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Culture, The Left.
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The 2015 Frank Conroy Commemoration takes place in Newbridge on 12th of December, where Republican Congress Directed by Donal Higgins will also be screened.
Many thanks to the sender
rc screening poster

Foreign Games….. November 13, 2015

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Culture.
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I wrote recently of my time in Croke Park, continuing the theme, this time when Croke Park was opened to ‘Foreign Games’.
With Lansdowne Road being redeveloped there had been talk that International Rugby and Soccer games would have to move abroad for the duration of the redevelopment. In 2005, with this backdrop, the infamous ‘Rule 42’ (which banned Foreign games in GAA grounds) was voted at the GAA Congress to be temporarily relaxed whilst Lansdowne Road was being redeveloped. Of course the GAA really had no choice and made a good few bob from renting out the stadium.
On the 11th of February 2007 , Ireland played France, the first rugby match there. In the weeks before, there was a certain delight, as not being a regular rugby attender I was going to the game. The world and its wife wanted to be there and of course even more so for the England game a few weeks later.
The morning of the game we went in, got the breakfast and were chatting when a number of the stewards lamented seeing the old Lansdowne Road ground go….. for a long while they had gone there on match days, flashed their yellow bibs and walked into matches free. Of course they never shared this trick with anyone until it was too late!
There was talk too of some Stewards quitting in protest at the foreign games being allowed in. There were some IRFU voluntary stewards present, who were more than impressed with the catering facilities for staff and the fact that you got a breakfast roll to start the day. Supposedly the IRFU weren’t known for their culinary delights.
Off then out into the stadium proper and the rugby pitch looked tiny in the big open space that is the Croke Park pitch…later on when the soccer came it looked even tinier.
Given the sensitivities involved we had to check our areas for suspicious packages, something we’d be well used to as for years any game a Northern team played in was almost always a security risk with some loyalist invariably ringing Croke Park with a threat. It was nothing though compared with the opening ceremony of The Special Olympics where The US secret service tried to stop us all from getting in, such was their concern for the welfare of some of the US dignitaries that were due to attend.Needless to say we got in and it was one of the more memorable events of my time in Croke Park.
The crowd started to come in….
There was a pride in showing off Croke Park to the world or at least the part of it that watches rugby. It was a pride that continued as we welcomed visitors from the various Six Nations teams. …Explaining Hurling and Gaelic Football, the history of the Stadium and the fact that it had a massive capacity and wonderful facilities. It wasn’t just visitors from abroad but there were many down from Ulster who would have thought they were more likely to walk on the moon than ever walk into Croke Park.
It’s funny but I had assumed that there would be a decent crossover in crowds between GAA, Rugby and Soccer. I would be regular at GAA and at Rovers and would take in the odd International soccer game and over the years have gone to a few rugby games.
The rugby crowd though was very different to the GAA. Mostly men, very few women or children. Indeed Chatting to a crowd of them they joked how one of them nearly “wasted a ticket on a woman”. I’d never seen such queues at the bars in Croke Park as there was when the rugby was there. You could see that for some it wasn’t really the game but that the rugby was a social occasion used for networking.
Ireland lost to France but it was England who were due to visit a fortnight later. Again tickets were like hens teeth, so I was delighted to go. Ireland won and nobody booed “God save the Queen”, it was an amazing atmosphere but then again there have been plenty of amazing atmospheres in Croke Park over the years.
A few weeks later the Soccer came with a match against Wales. It was the height of the Staunton era. Again the crowd was different. Firstly it was segregated with the Welsh fans up on the Seated Hill. The match itself was brutal but Ireland won. A lot less GAA stewards went to the Soccer than went to the rugby. There was no drink served in the Stadium either.
What was awkward about the Soccer was that I had to take a half day to Steward at most of the matches, so I didn’t get to go to as many of them as I would have liked. In all there were 13 International Soccer matches played there. Over time the crowds got a bit less and the football under Staunton wasn’t exactly great. The nadir probably being a one all draw with Cyprus, where it took an injury time Steve Finnan goal for Ireland to come away with a draw. I saw Ireland play Brazil and Germany there and we didn’t do too bad. There was a friendly against Serbia where it seemed most of the crowd were more interested in getting an autograph from Nemanja Vidić than they were watching the match.
I really enjoyed the period Foreign Games were allowed in Croke Park but didn’t really miss them when they left…..

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