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This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Bands from Cavan May 20, 2017

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My Mother grew up in Cavan. There were no relations in Cavan , so there was never any reason to go there. My Father would call to businesses there in his trail selling around the Country and would be told stories of my Grandmother (who was a rather large lady) cycling around with the “Bike bent in two under her” (that was the polite version). Still the Cavan connection helped him there I’m sure. One day though in the 70’s we all piled in the car to go up to Cavan to see a performance of the musical “Salad Days”. I still don’t know why we went and I can’t remember the show. Although my mother did buy an album of the soundtrack a little while later. It was the journey though that was memorable. The landmarks from my Mothers childhood being pointed out as we went along. The stories we’d heard growing up being given added context. There were detours taken to include this place and that, Cavan Town and the house they lived there, the place where my Grandfather worked. School, the Church, the house where my Mother and Aunt killed rats with spades. (There was a drain under the back step, my mother would pour boiling water in one end, the rats would run out the other end and my aunt would kill them with a spade! ) Simpler times, “we made our own entertainment then…..”
Shops were passed , memories were told, the Protestant Sweet shop she used to sneak into as it had the best sweets, Was caught once and told not to go back. The invisible walls caused by religion and class. Houses were passed , family names given, little histories of what became of some of the occupants……
I saw Lisa O’Neill play recently and mesmerised by her voice I wondered where she was from. She was from Cavan.
Brendan Perry of Dead Can Can Dance lived in Cavan for years (may still do). The Strypes are from Cavan. The Would Be’s were another Cavan band best known for their debut single “I’m Hardly Ever Wrong”.
Probably a good lot of Country n Irish singers from Cavan too… but I’m not going there 🙂

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Industries of the Blind April 22, 2017

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The most gentle of Post Rock, Industries Of The Blind. They broke up a year or so ago leaving one three song album “Chapter 1: Had we known better (2011)” and a host of soundtrack work. Unfortunately the Soundtracks don’t seem to have made it to any release. Nor does their Chapter 2 album which was in the process of being made.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Colm Mac Con Iomaire April 8, 2017

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Those of you that were lucky enough to see the recent series “Wild Ireland The Edge of The World” will have heard much of Colm Mac Con Iomaires music in the background. It was beautifully filmed, gently narrated and it’s rare that the music complements a nature show so much. It really was the icing on the cake.
I’ve only ever seen him with The Frames and he was also in Kila for a period. I could listen to him constantly…. oh and if you haven’t seen Wild Ireland it’s really worth checking out.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Spial Floor April 1, 2017

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Acclaimed avant garde Canadian pianist Spial Floor has been much talked about in recent times.

His Please Recycle Me EP, released on vinyl on Canada’s avant-garde Dragnet label (check out some of their other releases which span the spectrum from musique concrete to the neo-New York School and all points in between) and available on download from his band camp page (not accessible for the last few days – presumably due to the huge increase of public interest since that incident in Toronto a week or so back at the Colin McPhee Classical Festival 2017).

Also included is a special remix of “Usurpation” by Michigan Scene producer and electronica maven fRail Loops – a contemporary of Ardvaark62, Morcombe Bay and Rontgen. It’s a short but busy two minutes where Loops deconstructs Spial Floor’s work and recontextualises it in a hyper-contemporary setting (and note this is a free download, which is characteristic of Loops approach of only playing sets at free festivals and open access events).

Floor remains secretive about his identity. There’s a rumour that he’s a cousin of Justin Trudeau, which may account for the political tilt to his mesemerising minimal excursions. It’s just piano and him. There’s a dizzying aspect to the work. Usurpation and Extinguishable tell us from the opening notes that we are in the presence of something very special indeed. Music to be listened to, savoured and treasured, not just for today.

Usurpation [fRail Loops Remix] 2017

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Geoffrey Oryema March 25, 2017

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Geoffrey Oryema is a Ugandan musician that fled his native country, which was then led by Idi Amin, in 1977 after his father, a former Cabinet Minister was murdered. Last December he returned to Uganda and performed for the first time in 39 years. There’s a bio on his website here.
His gentle voice sings in French, English, Swahili and Acholi. Well worth a listen.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… ALT March 11, 2017

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ALT were a band comprising Andy White, Liam Ă“ MaonlaĂ­ and Tim Finn. The first letters of their names is where the name ALT cam from. They toured

This weekend I’ll mostly be listening to… The Alarm January 14, 2017

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The news that once again U2 are playing Croke Park brought me back to a few days after my Inter and seeing them in Croke Park in 1985. On the line up that day we also had Welsh band The Alarm.
The massive hair and anthems that suited the day. Their debut album “Declaration” had had a number of hits with “68 Guns” and “Where Were You Hiding When the Storm Broke?” and although I wasn’t exactly a fan I was surprised how good they were live. Subsequently got a tape of “Declaration” and it wasn’t great and for me as was so often the case a great live band failed to translate well in the studio.
They released a number of further albums “Strength” , “Eye of the Hurricane” and “Raw” before breaking up in 1991. They were quite successful in the US too.
Later on lead Singer Mike Peters resurrected the Alarm name and is still touring and recording. They are still particularly popular in their native Wales and released Welsh language versions of a number of their albums.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Mise Ă‰ire December 31, 2016

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My son asked me the other day what my favourite song of the year was…… I wondered for a while and then told him that the Patrick Pearse Poem “Mise Éire” sung by SibĂ©al NĂ­ Chasaide (with music by Patrick Cassisy) was probably my favourite. I’ve seen her sing it live in Croke Park and at another celebration and just thought it incredibly haunting. It’s a song I’ve probably listened to most this year as it just wafts around the room. I’ve also included Mise Éire by Sean O’Riada which is another wonderfulk piece.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Ice Cream Van Music December 17, 2016

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An odd choice but a genre I hadn’t realised had a bit of a following. There’s a good piece on the History etc of Ice Cream Vans and their jingles here. There are certain themes that are more popular The Match of The Day theme tune is one, “Teddy Bears Picnic”, “Turkey in the straw” , “The Mister Softee Jingle”
There’s a number of albums such as Songs For Ice Cream Trucks that are available.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Kate Ellis December 3, 2016

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A couple of weeks ago I went to see Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill in Dun Laoghaire. They were brilliant as ever. After the interval they were joined by Cellist Kate Ellis. They did an improv which was mesmeric, then back to some familiar tunes where at times the Cello added beautifully and other times it didn’t quite work. To see the Cello being used as a mix of Double Bass (Some of the string plucking really complimented the music) , a drum/percussion instrument and as a Cello was intended was really fantastic.
Alas I couldn’t find any clips….. So here is some clips of Kate Ellis. Some of it quite experimental. It’s excellent.

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