Stars of Heaven in Concert November 27, 2015Posted 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.
This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Guernica November 21, 2015Posted 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, 2015Posted by irishelectionliterature in Culture, The Left.
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Foreign Games….. November 13, 2015Posted by irishelectionliterature in Culture.
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…..
This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Christy Moore November 7, 2015Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
Was listening to Christy Moore on the radio recently and realised how his music has been a backdrop to my life and indeed most Irish people of my vintage. He’s covered issues ignored by others, done jokey songs, folk songs, political songs and in a way opened up some issues to a wider audience.
I’d imagine most houses have a Christy Moore album somewhere. Have seen him live on many occasions and he’s a fantastic rapore with the audience and is a great entertainer.
He’s written material himself and brought the songs of many other songwriters such as Jimmy McCarthy to a wider audience.
Without even going near his work with Planxty or The Moving Hearts it’s very difficult to pick some of his songs but here’s a small selection….
This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Goldie – Timeless October 31, 2015Posted by WorldbyStorm in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
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Well, I’d tentatively lined up another post for today, but the sad news this week that vocalist Diane Charlemagne has died this week and at an appallingly early age seemed to make it fitting to consider Goldie’s album Timeless, twenty years old last month and an album that in some ways brought jungle and drum ’n’ bass to a much wider audience than it had had hitherto. Central to that project was Charlemagne. She contributed some of the key vocals on the album and co-wrote two of the tracks and along with vocalist Lorna Harris provided a link to other areas of dance as well as accentuating the individuality of Goldie’s approach. She was someone with an already broad cv in dance, including being lead singer for Urban Cookie Collective and alter contributed to Netsky and worked with producer High Contrast. Lorna Harris’s provided vocals on State of Mind and You&Me. Her contribution along with that of Charlemagne was essential in providing a distinct character to the album.
Timeless was immediate, a rush of sound and melody and something like pop, but paradoxically languorous – with no track shorter than four and a half minutes, and some like the title track stretching to a good 20 minutes or so. Goldie, who had already a name as a graffiti artist, had been producing and appearing on tracks from the early 1990s a process that eventually led to the establishment of the Metalheadz label. His profile sort of mushroomed from there – fairly sharpish he was in television and film and so on.
I always loved the sound he achieved, the clatter of breakbeats, the none so deep basslines, the synth sweeps, even – perhaps particularly – when, as at times there was, something endearingly plastic about it, I’m not sure exactly why. I think it had an oddly nostalgic feel even when it first came out – perhaps that was driven by the almost over abundantly lush high pitched keyboard strings, the genuine emotiveness of the vocals, the sense that everything including the kitchen sink had been thrown in. And it worked!
Let’s not ignore the sheer experimental heft of the sounds on the album (again look at the soundscapes created on Timeless itself) which are breathtaking, even at this remove. The choppy and chopped up approach (weirdly reminiscent of prog) wasn’t one suspects necessarily an easy listen for some. That this proved chart-topping was nothing short of astounding. I suppose the pop finish of some tracks – State of Mind with its joyous unspooling chorus comes to mind, helped the medicine to go down.
Worth noting some of the names of others involved, Dego, Marc Mac, Howie B and Photek amongst them. Rob Playfords production and programming holds the whole show together. But this is unquestionably Goldie’s vision ably aided and abetted by Charlemagne and Harris.
Inner City Life
State of Mind
Sea of Tears
Also here’s Charlemagne with Urban Cookie Collective – The Key, The Secret
Growing up there was a Mary O’Hara record at home, so when thinking of the Harp I thought of her and Derek Bell of The Chieftains. The Chieftains were good and Mary O’Hara was well, ‘pleasant’ but she was not an artist I’d listen to.
I stumbled across the music of Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita recently and found it mesmerising. Their debut album ‘Clychau Dibon’ was described as “intricate, ethereal and entrancing, an elaborate pas-de-deux… remarkable” .
Caitrin Finch is a classical harpist from Wales whilst Seckou Keita who is from Senegal plays the West African instrument the Kora. Its both beautiful and hypnotising. It must also be brilliant for a classical musician to explore and experiment in a different way. I can only imagine what a pleasure it would be to see them perform live.
This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… The Black Velvet Band October 10, 2015Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
Was going through old tapes at home looking for something for my brother when I found an album I had long forgotten about. “When Justice Came” by The Black Velvet Band.
Fronted by Maria Doyle Kennedy and Kieran Kennedy I quite liked them and saw them a number of times. Both their voices are fantastic and of course Maria Doyle Kennedy has a decent following as a singer herself and has also a career as an actress.
They had two albums and their first album “When Justice Came” was released by Mother Records. Founded around 1987 they were active until the mid 90’s.
“We Plough The Fields” is probably my favourite track by them.
In honor of Andrew, and The Devil. With a special and very rare tip of the hat to Mark P for inspiration.
“It’s like it’s forever still the 1980s in their heads. Turn up the Red Army Choir and watch the bombs drop”
[As a side note, the usual TWIMBLT will still go up, but I just couldn’t let this opportunity pass]
Még tréfából is baszd még oroszországot
This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… A House – Access All Areas (Full Live Show) September 26, 2015Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
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This appeared on Youtube yesterday. Access All Areas was a show of live music on ITV. I gather they have been released as CD’s and DVD.
The track listing
1. I Want to Kill Something
3. Everything’s Wrong
4. I Am Afraid
5. I Lied
6. Violent Love
7. Take It Easy On Me
8. Endless Art
9. You’re Too Young
10. I Don’t Care
12. When I First Saw You
A great reminder of how fantastic they were. No point in writing anything else about them although I do remember having to play my copy of the “Kick Me Again Jesus” single rather quietly at times in case my parents heard it!