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This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Ros Sereysothea October 7, 2017

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Ros Sereysothea was a star in Cambodia before 1975, and “disappeared” under the Khmer Rouge. These recordings are from “Cambodian Rocks”, a compilation of recordings by Cambodian artists between 1965 and 1970. It includes recordings by Ros Sereysothea, Sinn Sisamouth, Pan Ron and others. It was published in 1996.
from wikipedia

artists were among those viewed as a threat to the regime’s agrarian socialist vision, and several of the performers on the album are believed to have been among those killed during the ensuing Cambodian Genocide of 1975-1979. Little information about them or their creative output has survived.

I suppose when thinking of music from these areas we assume that its of a traditional kind but here we have music that could have been made anywhere in the world. Yet when the Khmer Rouge came to power music such as this and indeed the musicians disappeared.
I’ve put the trailer to the 2015 Documentary “Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten: Cambodia’s Lost Rock and Roll”

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This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… “Savoy Digital Angst” September 23, 2017

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Savoy Books in Manchester was started by David Britton and Mike Butterworth in Manchester in 1976. There’s an interview with Butterworth here which gives good details of the whole Savoy Books story, the many raids by the Manchester Obscene Publications Squad and persecution which almost forced them out of business.
In 1984 they branched out from books to records and teamed up with singer PJ Proby to produce some rather unusual music and ‘aural soundscapes’. They recorded unique covers of Joy Division, New Order and other artists.
However it wasn’t those covers but the “Savoy Digital Angst” EP that caught my ear. Probably the strangest versions of Irish Ballads (and oddly a dance version of God Save The Queen) that I’ve heard. The Jolly almost dance mix of “Kevin Barry” , then to what sounds like a mash of Black Sabbath riffs a version of “The Old Fenian Gun” and a marching song style version of “Bobby Sands”.
There’s another interview with Butterworth here.
There’s quite a few odder things from the label if you look up “Savoy Wars” on youtube, such as Fenella Fielding doing Robbie Williams “Angels” or her really peculiar version of “Blue Monday” .
The “Savoy Digital Angst” EP

1. Kevin Barry 00:00
2. The Old Fenian Gun 08:00
3. Bobby Sands 10:33
4. God Save The Queen 15:59

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… David Gray September 9, 2017

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David Gray played the Repeal gig in The Olympia earlier in the year and then I saw he was playing in the NCH this week. So knowing it was one of the few common musical tastes between myself and my wife, I got tickets for it.
Playing a solo show he was really excellent, the NCH is really a fantastic venue, one that I’m growing fonder of all the time. There’s no chatter, background noise, people nipping to and fro to the bar or even drinking unlike what you get at some other venues, so you can really listen to the music. For a show like Grays Acoustic one it was perfect.
The one irritating thing was a lady a row ahead who spent the whole time filming the concert on her iPad. It was a distraction and I can’t see how you’d enjoy the concert when you are trying to hold an iPad up for 2 and a half hours. I’ve seen people in Croke Park at matches and Concerts before with iPads but really is doing the recording worth all the hassle?
Incidentally the show was available on a signed double CD afterwards for 25 euro. I’d never come across this before. It’s mad how technology has advanced , but I imagine the venue itself allies itself with good quality recording. The CD’s sold like hotcakes. The quality is very good. Beats the bootleg tapes available a few days later on O’Connell Bridge! I’m not sure if there was such a facility at other shows on the tour but it must be a nightmare for David Gray completists !!
For someone with such a back catalogue he played one particular song as he said it was popular on Spotify. It just showed how music has changed in his career, from a multi million selling album to doing well on Spotify.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Shy, Low August 26, 2017

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An American Post Rock band that were formerly a Metal band called Vessel. It’s lovely haunting music and great in the house undisturbed or with headphones.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Kiasmos August 12, 2017

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I was on youtube and came upon some KEXP sessions in Iceland, Kiasmos were one that caught my ear ….. and then a musical note  rekindled from the depths of my mind memories of my own times with a keyboard …….
One Christmas, 1979 I think, Santa was kind enough to bring a Casio keyboard. It was a white thing the length of a ruler and the width of a mobile phone and even came with a fancy sleeve. It had a variety of four sounds and I think eight different drum beats. The drum rhythms could be sped up or slowed down.It was battery operated too.
After a while I was hooked. I began playing around with it and writing my own tunes . (I could never read music, so never played any covers). I was playing away for months and had a repertoire of futuristic sounding instrumentals. …
I don’t recall how, but I ended up entered into a talent competition in Sallynoggin Hall that was being judged by RTE star Aonghus McAnally. So it was off to a packed hall for the competition. I had wanted to wear a denim jacket and T-Shirt but ended up going in a shirt and a horrible light blue V neck jumper which had yellow and white stripes down the front. So off we went to Sallynoggin with the keyboard in it’s fancy case and fresh batteries just in case!
There was a band , some singers and comedian and all of a sudden I was on. A school chair and a table. The Casio keyboard placed on the table, a microphone initially placed way too near to the Casio speaker as there was woeful feedback. I think I said a muted “Hello” rather than the triumphant “Hello Sallynoggin” I had imagined. I played for a few minutes said “Thanks” and wandered off to the backstage again. Some other acts came on and I waited to find out if Aonghus McAnally would judge me in the top three. Unsurprisingly he didn’t. I think I got to shake his hand afterwards, the fourth in a brief flurry of famous handshakes in the family. My older brother had shaken Jack Lynchs hand in Wexford, my sister had shaken Linda Martins hand and my Dad had shaken Charlie Haugheys hand (like shaking hands with a fish apparently) in Stillorgan Shopping centre. It was many years before any of us again had such brushes with fame!
I never entered a talent competition again .

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Jefferson Airplane July 29, 2017

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There was for some reason a mention of “Alice in Wonderland” at home recently which prompted me to start singing
“One pill makes you larger
And one pill makes you small …”

(A habit I picked up from my Mother of sometimes singing a song lyric related to what we’d be talking about). Then it was off to youtube to find and play “White Rabbit” which was written about Alice in Wonderland to explain the connection.
Recently there has been a running joke where I spout Replacements lyrics at any relevant moment…. which has ended up with my son teaching himself how to play “Androgynous” on the piano!

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Fianna Fail Singers and Bandmembers July 15, 2017

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“It’s showtime” was the phrase PJ Mara used at the launch of the 2002 General Election Campaign. That and the recent publicity for Fianna Fail Councillor Trevor Gilligans ep release got me looking in the direction of Fianna Fail links with the music industry.
So if you were starting out in the music business FF might be the party for you!
Former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds was at one stage the owner of a number of dance halls, Donie Cassidy was involved in everything from Management (Foster and Allen), Playing the saxphone (with Jim Tobin and the Firehouse) , owning record shops, record labels and so on. Former Senator Paschal Mooney could play the tunes on his RTE radio show. Indeed the late Liam Ó Murchú (who ran for FF in Feb 1982) could do the TV presenting for the music shows.
If you were looking for a bit of Traditional music and entertainment, former Senator Labhrás Ó Murchú of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann might be the very man to ask.
Now you also need promoters and managers. Former TD Denis Foley was a promoter and in that neck of the woods former Senator Dan Kiely had a ballroom in Ballybunion.
The late Tony Loughman who aside from being a Castleblaney Councillor promoted a vast array of venues and managed among many famous names Susan McCann, Paddy Cole and Philomena Begley.
So a selection of Fianna Fail politicians below.
Who did I miss?
Any suggestions for other parties?

Long time Fianna Fail Councillor Tom Allen (aka TR Dallas)

Fianna Fail Clondalkin Councillor Trevor Gilligan

Onetime Fianna Fail candidate Sonny Knowles

Jim Tobin and the Firehouse (Donie Cassidy on tambourine)

Art Supple who spent many years as a Fianna Fail Councillor in Cork.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Mark Kozelek AC/DC covers July 1, 2017

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There was a time I had all his solo albums, Sun Kill Moon and Red House Painters albums…. but Mark Kozelek is so prolific that it’s hard to keep up. I ended up buying albums and barely listening to them. Allied to that he seems to be more than an acquired taste as any time I play stuff he’s involved in I get asked to “turn off that miserable shite”. There are times though that you need slow and miserable.
So prolific is he that in recent times quality control hasn’t been great, albums are a bit hit and miss and dare I say it a bit samey. So I’ve become less dedicated to keeping up with his output. Thats a thing too in that once you start collecting material from an artist it’s slightly difficult to stop 🙂
The 2001 “Rock n’ Roll Singer” album was covers of AC/DC songs and it’s probably my favourite of his solo albums. It’s basically the songs deconstructed and put back together again very differently.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Le Galaxie June 17, 2017

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Saw these recently at the Repeal thing in the Olympia. Never heard of them before that. Quite enjoyed them , they were fun and have been listening to them a good bit since.

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… The Would Be’s June 3, 2017

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Recently I did a TWIMBLT of bands from Cavan included were The Would Be’s. They deserve a post of their own.

Formed in 1990, they shot to prominence with their brilliant single “I’m Hardly Ever Wrong” which was a John Peel favourite. They did a Peel Session and were much sought after by various labels big and small. They released a number of EPs signed a record deal but never released an album. They had a couple of different lead singers Julie McDonnell on “I’m Hardly Ever Wrong”, she was replaced by Eileen Gogan (who has since sung with The Revenants , The Drays and her own band The Instructions). They broke up in 1992…
However in 2012 they reformed and have since released a batch of albums.
Another one of those great Irish bands that were all set to make it but didn’t.
Their Facebook Page
The Fanning Sessions has some rare tracks of theirs

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