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Choosing your Top 3: Irish bands that still mean the world to me: The Four of Us, Something Happens, The Fat Lady Sings…

March 16, 2013

IN the 1980s and early 1990s, there was a genuine sense of deep pride in Irish rock engendered in the post Joshua Tree period. There were tons of bands that made brilliant music which was a reaction to the British school of Indie, which was such a pervasive influence on cool kids.

On the one hand the NME and British and American indie rock were the key influences. The Smiths, New Order and Manchester were important, American college rock was important, MTV was becoming influential and all around indie pricks in bands were saying: “We might be from Ireland, but we aren’t an ‘Irish band.’

When they made the inverted commas sign with their hands, you wanted to break their fecking fingers. I never understood why you couldn’t like stuff from both sides of the divide.

Of course the indie kids hated the stuff that a lot of ordinary people loved, but which wasn’t cool to them: The Waterboys, U2, The Saw Doctors, No Sweat. No, there were Pixies and House of Love records to divert your attention. Like, who doesn’t love ‘Whole of the Moon’ or ‘N17’?

A lot of Northern bands struggled and Dublin and the republic was where they prospered. Ireland’s Glastonbury, Feile 1990 and 1991 were great expressions of national musical pride. I don’t mean that to sound as Tioch as it does.

RTE’s 2FM pop station was invaluable – Dave Fanning and Gerry Ryan were great guides to what was going on down Mexico way (south of the border). Mike Edgar’s The Bottom Line served the same purpose on BBC Radio Ulster.

RTE TV’s 7 Bands on the Up programme was like manna from heaven too.

Either way, in the period between Rattle and Hum, Madchester and grunge, these were the bands that I played the death out of. In some order of affection.

Something Happens mime to Parachute, only included because Tom mentioned his fake slide guitar playing on a Dave Fanning radio interview in 1990. I still have it. I still listen to it.

I utterly love this song. I think it is perfect. Literally perfect.

The Stunning: aptly named Galwegians (I think). Incredible live.

An Emotional Fish – a name rejected by Roddy Doyle in his passage in The Commitments when they work out what they are going to be called, even worse than Flock of Budgies and Free Beer. A magnificent band.

I saw Ghost of an American Airman loads of times and they were a sensational band. Like Something Happens ‘Parachute’, fecked by the first illegal invasion of  Iraq in 1991.

 

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One Comment leave one →
  1. rob permalink
    March 28, 2013 9:10 pm

    Couldn’t agree more. Something happens and the airmen never caught that live lightning in a bottle. An emotional fish and the fat lady sings are just too superb – arclight is the best song ever written! :-p

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