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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

This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci May 27, 2017

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Welsh psychadelic rock/pop group Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci were active in the 90s and early 2000s.

Their earliest albums in particular are a fantastic jumble of psychadelic and silly, with experimental sounds and, sometimes cheesy, pop melodies merging together or even just appended to one another in an abrupt tonal shift, all in a mixture of Welsh and English. Most of their songs were written by Euros Childs and John Lawrence, organ and guitar players respectively.

I first heard them around the time of their third album, Bwyd Time (1995). We got the Welsh channels on our TV where I grew up, and finding a programme on S4C about GZM instead of a film on Channel 4 was one of the few occasions that was an advantage! A lot of the videos below are from that same programme, which turned up on Youtube some years back. Here’s Miss Trudy:

Also from Bwyd Time, The Man with Salt Hair:

The live version of Blood Chant, which differs from the album in treating it as a round:

A lot of their singles over the years were released separately from the albums or on EPs, including If Fingers Were Xylophones, which came around the same time as Bwyd Time:

There’s a clear Soft Machine fondness in their early stuff – I suspect I heard their cover of Why Are We Sleeping? before the original version – and their second album, Tatay, includes a cover of Robert Wyatt’s O Caroline, as well as the fantastic tribute to Kevin Ayers below, which sounds like the GZM take on Ayers’ Oyster and the Flying Fish.

Kevin Ayers:

In 1997 they released Barafundle, which I think marks a balance point in their albums, being much more cleanly put together and recorded, but still having a lot of the whimsy of early albums. Starmoonsun is a good summary of the GZM style at that time – catchy pop melodies, abrupt shifts in texture, through instrumentation or key, and no song can’t be improved by singing ‘la la la’ in a high register (a rule of thumb a lot of musicians who take themselves too seriously could do with trying out 🙂 ).

Also from Barafundle, Miniature Kingdoms:

Here they are on Jools Holland from that time, playing two thoroughly poppy singles. (The touch of country in Childs’ melody writing is clear in the first as well, which is more prominent in his later solo work).

Gorky 5, the last album to feature John Lawrence, and certainly Spanish Dance Troupe (their sixth album), are more cleanly melodic. As with many groups after that many albums, the sound had settled into a less experimental and more consistent style, but still contain some great songs.

From Lawrence, the instrumental Not Yet:

And from Spanish Dance Troupe, Poodle Rockin’:

It’s only about a year ago that I remembered I’d never tracked down their first album, Patio. Obviously that’s a much easier task these days, and there it is on Youtube – a brilliant cobbling-together of various home recordings over a few years of their teens (they’re young enough that there are some fairly high male voices in there 🙂 ). To be fair, it is a bit of a mess of an album, but still compelling.

Here’s Lladd Eich Gwraig (there’s one line of English in there, which stands out as entertainingly sinister for non-Welsh speakers who are getting used to not understanding the words.  I assume an intentional effect):

To finish off, here’s a great jumble of noise and video from early in their career:

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

Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to..., Uncategorized.
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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 Ó Maonlaí 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

Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to..., Uncategorized.
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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.

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