Headstuff’s No Encore podcast has a series with Kieran McGuinness of the band Delorentos that revisits a year in Irish music since 1980 and asks a panel of guests to weigh up the most notable albums of that year. It can be a fascinating delve into the history of Irish music particularly as a lot of the albums aren’t on streaming services or well-known in the now.

Here, Kieran McGuinness shares his top five rediscoveries from the show so far..


Amusement – And after Optimism (1996)

Right back on the first episode we found a gem – A debut solo album released and quickly forgotten about by the artist – Jimmy Eadie from 90’s band Into Paradise. A belter of an album, very grungy, very indie, and very bitter; tracks like ‘And To This Day’ and ‘As It Is’ show off a mix of My Bloody Valentine, Pixies, and Eels – impressive when we found out that he played every instrument and recorded it at home on a 4 track recorder. It ended up being one of our albums of the year, and one of the finds of the Revisit project so far.


Gemma Hayes – Night On My Side (2002)

Paul Noonan guested on the 2002 episode, and happened to play drums on this excellent album – Hayes’ debut. It was recorded by Dave Friedman (Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev) and sounds like a tight-as-fuck band in a room, very lively and lush, and quite American influenced – on the episode’s interview she tells the bizarre story of mixing the album in the woods of upstate New York during 9/11. A bit of a lost classic.


The Blades – The Last Man In Europe (1985)

For whatever reason I missed this album up to now, but it more than lives up to its legendary status. It’s almost like a compilation album with the mixing of the styles, from mod to soul to pop, but always held together with great melodies and a subtle political edge, especially on tracks like ‘Downmarket”’. If you’ve also missed it, it’s worth a look.


The Fatima Mansions – Lost In The Former West (1984)

Again, Fatima Mansions rang no bells when researching this episode, but this album is one of my favourites from this whole project. Cathal Coughlan and Andreas O’Gruama are angry, heavy, literate, punky and clever in this hurricane of an album – an absolute fucking classic. If you like Henry Rollins, or Manic Street Preachers, or a heavy version of Morrisey then put on The Loyaliser and turn it up. Cathal Coughlan deserves a seat at whatever musical high table Ireland has.


U2 – The Unforgettable Fire (1990)

When I hear people talk about classic U2 albums it was always about Achtung Baby, Joshua Tree, or War; and if it was some other being talked about it was either the interesting 90’s output or their 2000’s “application to be the biggest band in the world”. The Unforgettable Fire is a far more interesting album than people give U2 credit for, and the sound of a big band experimenting, developing, and being creative. Songs like ‘Indian Summer Sky’, ‘MLK’, and the title track are not played off the radio, but they’re up there with their best. It’s not perfect, but it should be talked about more.


Sinéad O’Connor – I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got

A lot of times when you look back on “classic” Irish albums they can disappoint or sound dated, but the most recent episode featuring 1990 brought a look at O’Connor’s 2nd album, and revealed it to be way way better with time. It’s confident, singular, political, and passionate, and it’s got ultimate sad banger ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ Listen to this and you realise that behind the controversy and distractions is a hugely talented artist and voice. Sometimes revisiting these albums you find a new gem, and sometimes you find gems that needed another look.

Posted on July 26th, 2017


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Starboard Home is a new album that features new songs inspired by Dublin Port, Dublin City and the River Liffey from the likes of Paul Noonan, James Vincent McMorrow, Cathy Davey, Duke Special, Gemma Hayes, Jape, Colm Mac Con Iomaire, Lisa O’Neill, Declan O’Rourke, John Sheahan (The Dubliners) and Paul Cleary (The Blades). It was recorded in February at Sun Studios with the chosen artists.

Curated and produced by Bell X1’s Paul Noonan and The National Concert Hall’s Gary Sheehan, Starboard Home was commissioned by Dublin Port as part of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme. It will be released on June 17th preceding two concerts in the National Concert Hall on June 22nd and 23rd featuring performances of the songs.

Starboard Home tracklisting:

1 Paul Noonan – Steel Ballet
2 Richard Egan – The Liffey Knew
3 Gemma Hayes – Caught In The Rapids
4 Colm Mac Con Iomaire – From The Mountain To The Sea
5 Paul Cleary – Kingfisher Blue
6 James Vincent McMorrow – Down In The Diving Bell
7 Declan O’Rourke – Colossus
8 Duke Special – Button Men
9 Cathy Davey – What Else
10 Lisa O’Neill – Rock The Machine
11 John Sheahan – Liffeysong

‘The Liffey Knew’ by Richard Egan (Jape) will be released on Friday April 29th. as the album’s pre-order track. The second concert on June 23rd will also go on sale on Friday at 10am. Limited tickets are available for the first date on June 22nd.

Starboard home

Posted on April 25th, 2016


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Paul Noonan will take a break from Bell X1 with a new project called Printer Clips, an album of duets with Joan as Policewoman, Martha Wainwright, Lisa Hannigan, Gemma Hayes, Julia Stone, Amy Milan, Cathy Davey, Danielle Harrison & Maria Doyle Kennedy.

The songs were recorded in hallways, basements & bedrooms in Montreal, New York, Dublin & London. They’ll get their live premiere at The National Concert Hall on 24th May. The live show will feature Paul with Lisa Hannigan, Gemma Hayes, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Cathy Davey, Danielle Harrison & Caoimhin O’Raghallaigh. Music will be streamed online soon.

Pic by Rich Gilligan.

Posted on February 26th, 2014

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A few weeks ago, Halves announced their second album Boa Howl with a skittering percussive track called ‘Drumhunter’. The core trio have also worked with singer/songwriter Gemma Hayes on ‘Tanager Peak’, the fourth track on the album. It’s a sweeping graceful song with unfurling string sections, twinkling melodies and Múm-style percussion with dual male/female vocals from Tim Czerniak and Gemma Hayes.

Halves launch Boa Howl on July 13th in the Button Factory as above with Bantum and Overhead The Albatross on support, as well as Cypress Avenue, Cork on July 26th and an in-store in Tower Dublin on July 6th.

Boa Howl is out July 5th 2013 through HATEISTHEENEMY Records on CD, deluxe gatefold vinyl (with mp3 download), and digital.

Posted on June 7th, 2013

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antlersA list of events taking place over the next seven days in Dublin. Stand outs for me this week are The Antlers (explains pic), Florence and her Machine, Grand Pocket Orchestra Floating Points and Duke Dumont.

Tuesday 1st December
Julian Plenti @ The Academy (€33)
Wednesday 2nd December
Rodrigo Y Gabriela – The Academy (€30)
Phantom Music Quiz @ The Sugar Club (€50 table of 5)
SALT (new Gay club night with Berlin vibe)
Thursday 3rd December
Propagandhi @ The Village (€18)
Grand Pocket Orchestra @ Whelan’s Upstairs (€TBC)
– Lisa Hannigan @ Vicar Street (€25)
Cass McCombs, Goodtime John @ Whelan’s (€15)
Soundcheck @ Spy (Free before 11pm, €5 after – screening of The Room)

Rest of the week… (more…)

Posted on December 1st, 2009


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