Wednesday, December 28, 2005

"Horslips Roll Back the Years"

Horslips roll back the years

DINGLE was the place to be for music fans in December as legendary group the Horslips arrived in town to play their first fully live electric set in 25 years.

The performance, part of the Other Voices music series saw fans reliving some of their favourite Horslips tunes, classics like Dearg Doom, Furniture, Trouble with A Capital T, and The Man Who Built America.

The band first came to prominence as much for their image as their thumping, electrifying Celtic rock with their thigh length boots, electric fiddles, smoke machines and purple satin flares.

In an eight-year period from 1972 to 1980, they produced a staggering 12 albums and performed over 2000 times across the world.

They disbanded in 1980 but got back together in 2004 when they recorded a stripped down acoustic album of their favourite tracks Rollback.

In October of this year, the band released a DVD entitled Return Of The Dancehall Sweethearts, a film by Maurice Linnane.

The film is more than a music DVD – it's a social history of Ireland in the 70's told through the filter of Horslips and their music. The Horslips were one of 32 Irish and International bands to descend on Dingle for the duration of the Other Voices series.

[More at link...]

The recording of the fourth installment of Other Voices, the internationally acclaimed RTE 2 music series, commenced on December 9 in the intimate surrounds of Dingle’s St James Church.The series, hosted by broadcaster and writer John Kelly, and was filmed in front of a small live audience.

For those unlucky enough not to be part of that audience they can catch the series on RTE 2 from late January onwards.

Yes! It was fantastic. I'm still trying to capture exactly what it was about being in that extraordinarily 'right' space to hear Horslips live. In my memory, there's just this sense of light and balance to the moment.

The other song they performed that night was Rescue Me. It was the heart of the set for me.

"Horslips Roll Back the Years" - Kerry newspaper article

Horslips roll back the years

DINGLE was the place to be for music fans in December as legendary group the Horslips arrived in town to play their first fully live electric set in 25 years.

The performance, part of the Other Voices music series saw fans reliving some of their favourite Horslips tunes, classics like Dearg Doom, Furniture, Trouble with A Capital T, and The Man Who Built America.

The band first came to prominence as much for their image as their thumping, electrifying Celtic rock with their thigh length boots, electric fiddles, smoke machines and purple satin flares.

In an eight-year period from 1972 to 1980, they produced a staggering 12 albums and performed over 2000 times across the world.

They disbanded in 1980 but got back together in 2004 when they recorded a stripped down acoustic album of their favourite tracks Rollback.

In October of this year, the band released a DVD entitled Return Of The Dancehall Sweethearts, a film by Maurice Linnane.

The film is more than a music DVD – it's a social history of Ireland in the 70's told through the filter of Horslips and their music. The Horslips were one of 32 Irish and International bands to descend on Dingle for the duration of the Other Voices series.

[More at link...]

The recording of the fourth installment of Other Voices, the internationally acclaimed RTE 2 music series, commenced on December 9 in the intimate surrounds of Dingle’s St James Church.The series, hosted by broadcaster and writer John Kelly, and was filmed in front of a small live audience.

For those unlucky enough not to be part of that audience they can catch the series on RTE 2 from late January onwards.

Yes! It was fantastic. I'm still trying to capture exactly what it was about being in that extraordinarily 'right' space to hear Horslips live. In my memory, there's just this sense of light and balance to the moment.

The other song they performed that night was Rescue Me. It was the heart of the set for me.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

"I found myself dancing in the bar to a Horslips instrumental"

Caught this Horslips reference in the Blogger search:

Lovely Leitrim

During the pool the place filled with the local totty out for the night. Nice young ladies they were too but if one was to refer to any of them as "young ladies" the reply was "God you sound like such an aul fella". Aul Fella is it? "Bar keep, 3 vodkas and red bull's at once!". By the end of the night the three of us were in tatters drinking that shit, Dunny was roaring at the one man band from the bar "Horslips!", "Horslips!". (You were Dunny) and because yer man didn't know the words he just played the first few notes over and over. It was good enough for me though.

A few posts here, but the author is a more regular contributor to a group effort entitled Bolloxology.

Monday, December 26, 2005

The Hairless Heart Horslips Fan

Christmas brought a pleasant surprise when Jem, of the prog-rock scholarly review site Hairless Heart Herald wrote to me:

Hi Lee,

Merry Christmas to you.

Thanks for signing our guest book. [Me: Goodness! I had forgotten this!] Due to PC problems, we have not been receiving all our emails but hopefully that is now sorted.

Coincidentally, KingBathmat mentioned Horslips not long after I got to know him, which was around the time I was helping Horslips gain more new fans by my constant playing of The Tain at the time.

I do wish they would do a few gigs once more but fear that today's UK populous is largely lacking in musical taste...

If memory serves, I found this site through a google search on "Return of the Dancehall Sweethearts" and was immediately captivated by their excellent graphic:

But prompted by Jem's email (and I'm writing back in joy and haste to tell him of Dingle and its upcoming broadcast in well as a suggestion that he review Return of the Dancehall Sweethearts), I spent some time on the site. And my Christmas visitor has a fascinating history of his own!

Born on 23rd December 1957 in London, I was just about old enough to see the changes in the music scene from the fifties crooners whose material was well known largely due to the musical films of the era (Half a Sixpence, Summer Holiday etc) but also including Billy J Kramer, Frank Ifield et al, to the upcoming change in style and tempo that was The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who and The Kinks. Incidentally, the first piece of vinyl I bought was Daydream by the Lovin’ Spoonful – two shillings and nine pence if I recall.

My early musical influence, however, was not the pop of the day but classical music thanks to my father’s keen interest in the genre and extensive record collection. Bach, Beethoven and Mozart were instant hits with me as was Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite and, on the lighter front, Paganini, Tchaikovsky and Johann Strauss. Of course there are too many to list but you get the picture. I was never that enamoured with opera as I considered the melody more enjoyable than vocals, or should I say choral works. The only exception to this was the works of Gilbert and Sullivan because of the catchy tunes combined with humorous lyrics and to this end I have even been to see the D’Oyly Carte in action.

Further on down, there's more:

bought few singles and those I did buy were lucky to get into the top 100. The first two albums I bought were by The Move (I’m still a Roy Wood fan) and Mungo Gerry but it wasn’t until 1972 that I first dipped into the world of prog. I’d heard and seen Jethro Tull on the radio and TV in the late 60’s but as soon as I heard a friend’s copy of Aqualung I just knew I had to get it. Soon, all my pocket money was being spent on prog albums that were being released faster than my wallet could contend with. I bought Tubular Bells as soon as it was released before it reached the charts. ELP, Caravan, Genesis, King Crimson, Horslips, Gryphon, Tull, Fairport Convention and Gong soon found a home in my growing collection. Everything stopped for Alan Freeman’s Saturday Rock Show on BBC Radio 1 (2pm to 5pm) when I soaked up the enthusiastic banter and glowed in the fact that 50 per cent of the music played I actually had in my collection and at least 45 per cent I wanted to get. There was no need to buy YES as I had all the tracks etched into my skull from friends non-stop playing of various albums.

And here's his list of timeless classic albums:

- A Passion Play
- Thick As A Brick
- Broadsword And The Beast
- Land Of Grey And Pink
- In A Glass House
- Interview
- The Snowgoose
- A Live Record
- Moonmadness (and all the rest)
- Foxtrot
- Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
- Selling England By The Pound
- Voyage Of The Acolyte
- Midnight Mushrumps
- The Tain

- Pretzel Logic
- Aja
- Six Wives of Henry VIII
- Close To The Edge
- Fragile
- Hamburger Concerto
- Moving Waves
- The Geese And The Ghost
- Animals
- Meddle
- Atom Heart Mother
- The Storm
- In The Court Of The Crimson King
- In The Region Of The Summer Stars
- Tripping The Light Fantastic

You know, if you swapped out the Horslips selection for a Marillion selection you'd be looking at my husband's record collection circa 'when I met him.' I now feel quite remorseful that I encouraged the donation of much of this vinyl over the years so I could make room for my own selections of Pogues albums and psychobilly bands.

Clearly we just needed to buy more record shelving!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

New Photos on

I've put my transatlantic insomnia to good use this night/morning and have scanned and uploaded nine photos of my trip to Dublin and Dingle. My web skills have improved considerably over the year, because these seem optimized for quick loading without too much loss in detail.

The photo series starts here.

The new Phil Lynott statue on Harry Street. Photo taken shamelessly from

Visitors new to my fansite obsession and regulars who never discovered the secret link to these may also enjoy an older series of photos from last year's visit to Belfast. (Click on the button to see photos.) I actually visited Dublin, Rush, Cork, Kerry and Belfast -- but Belfast is where I finally found batteries for my camera. These load a little slower and I was quite full of pomp and text in those days, but there they are for your enjoyment.

John Kelly on Horslips and Other Voices

The truth is: I went to Ireland to attend a taping of a television program called Other Voices. Filmed in a small church in Dingle, this show is a music lover's delight:

The fourth series of RTÉ Two's 'Other Voices' once again brings together musicians from various backgrounds, traditions and disciplines to celebrate different sounds and styles of music and voices. 32 Irish and international acts will descend on this small but world-famous Kerry town to take part in the most celebrated rock music event of the year.

Folk legends, illustrious rockers and young pretenders will gather for the weeklong session, a diversity of musical expressions and energy, barely contained within the walls of a 200-year-old church.

I first learned about this show when an email suggestion pointed me toward Sonny Condell's archived set, which is wonderful.

Then when I learned that Horslips was going to be featured in the fourth season just days after my business trip finished, I wrote to the producer of the show, explained myself, and was immediately on the list for tickets.

John Kelly, of Mystery Train on RTE radio was the M.C. Here's how he describes the week as it unfolded in Dingle:

“…Stars are new friends – a great bunch from Canada snapping at the heels of Arcade Fire. Stephen Fretwell is definitely the real thing and everyone is still talking about him. His pals Elbow were magnificent – and a pleasure to have around the place for a few days. Martha Wainwright is another one you’d like to go drinking with every weekend. No fuss. No throwing shapes. Just great music. And of course she didn’t lick it off a stone.

But there’s no point in me pretending otherwise – the real highlight for me was Horslips. I walked in during their soundcheck and heard them play ‘Dearg Doom’ for the first time in…”

But why not read more of John Kelly over at the link?

Friday, December 16, 2005

Horslips mentioned briefly in group

Discussion on 'Midnight Court':

I used to have a performance of the Midnight Court on LP. Don't remember the names of the actors or any other details, only that some members of Horslips (although I think it was before that group was actually formed) did the background music. I am pretty sure that it has never been released on CD.

Is this true, I wonder? It certainly is possible. I am intrigued.

As for Midnight Court, on this recent visit I noticed that Ciaran Carson has done a translation of the eighteenth-century poem:

Carson echoes Merriman's mix of high rhetoric and rude colloquial wit and replicates his probing analysis of sexuality and social mores. The acrobatics of his couplets quicken the poem's passionate argument, capturing its nudges and winks in earthy, contemporary idiom.

What he calls Merriman's 'abundant lexicon of vilification . . . numerous double entendres and gorgeousness of verbal music' comes alive in his brilliant recreation. This Midnight Court unfolds with a spring — and a surprise — in every step.

There's an article by Carson in the Guardian about it too:

Merriman, in later life, must also have been an excellent farmer: in 1797, 17 years after the composition of "Cúirt an Mheán Oíche", the Royal Dublin Society awarded him two prizes, of model spinning wheels, for his flax crop. He was also, at various periods, resident tutor with one or other of the local gentry.

What else do we know? There is an oral tradition that he was the illegitimate son of a local squire, according to some; of a priest, according to others. The theory is given some credence by the paean to bastardy that occupies a great deal of the Old Man's speech in part three of the poem; and there is a further suggestion that he may have been familiar with the English poet Richard Savage's composition, "The Bastard": "Born to himself, by no possession led, / In freedom fostered, and by fortune fed; / Nor guides, nor rules his sovereign choice control, / His body independent as his soul; / Loosed to the world's wide range, enjoined no aim, / Prescribed no duty, and assigned no name: / Nature's unbounded son, he stands alone, / His heart unbiased, and his mind his own."

Another tradition has it that Merriman composed his poem when he was laid up with a leg injury, while he was engaged to be married; and his lines on the sexual prowess of the disabled, in the last part of the poem, are taken as corroboration of this speculation.

It is published by The Gallery Press. My first Gallery Press title was another volume of Carson, and that set off my habit of purchasing at least two or three titles from their list when I'm around bookstores that sell them. Amazingly, this predates my knowledge of the music of Horslips.

It all ties together -- or will once I get back to the website, but only after the holiday baking responsibilities are completed.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Cathal Magee & Horslips

Teenage Kicks: Cathal Magee

Forget Desert Island Disc... we ask local music heads to tell us about the one song that really blew their fuse way back when
09 December 2005

I grew up listening to music constantly. I was the youngest in my family and had to listen to my elder brothers and sisters practising their instruments religiously. If they weren't playing, they were listening. I preferred my brothers' collection of Thin Lizzy and Horslips records over my sisters' collection of Abba and the Bay City Rollers. On top of this, my mum used to sing all the old Irish ballads at the piano.

Like most teenagers, I wanted my own music and started borrowing cassettes out of Irvinestown library. It was here that I discovered Bowie's Hunky Dory album when I was 13. It completely blew me out of the water. It had everything, from lush piano and string arrangements to edgy rock guitar riffs and folky meanderings.

More at link.

Thursday, December 1, 2005

Tony Clayton-Lea on the Horslips DVD

The Return of the Dancehall Sweethearts

It's all coming back now - seeing Horslips as a teenager and wondering how their parents allowed them to have such long hair and wear such uncommonly cool clothes as satin jackets and elephant loon trousers...

More at the link.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

More News on "Other Voices"

Blunt and Bell X1 for Other Voices

The line-up for the fourth series of 'Two Sounds: Other Voices' has been announced, with Bell X1, James Blunt and Rufus and Martha Wainwright among the artists taking part in the acclaimed music festival in Dingle next month.

The series is being recorded over eight nights in Dingle from 9 to 16 December and will debut on RTÉ Two in January.

32 Irish and international acts will take part in this year's festival at St James' Church in the Kerry town.

Among the other acts confirmed are: Elbow, José González, Horslips, Iarla Ó Lionáird, The Walls and The Waterboys, with new Irish talent represented by the likes of Humanzi, Delorentos and The Immediate.

With seating capacity at St James' Church limited to 70 each night, tickets, priced €25, can be obtained by emailing: A limited number of tickets will go on sale tomorrow, Tuesday 29 November, from The Music House, Orchard Lane, Dingle and The Dingle Record Shop, Green Street, Dingle and by calling 087 9829728.

The confirmed line-up so far is:

Friday 9 December
Laura Cantrell (duo)
Vyvienne Long
The Walls

Saturday 10 December
Pinky (solo)
José Gonález
The Waterboys

Sunday 11 December
Miriam Ingram (solo)
Stephen Fretwell
I Am Kloot

Monday 12 December
Trashcan Sinatras

Tuesday 13 December
Julie Feeney (solo)
Martha Wainwright
Rufus Wainwright
James Blunt

Wednesday 14 December
Iarla Ó Lionáird (solo)
Alabama 3

Thursday 15 December
Matt Lunson (solo)
The Immediate
Bell X1

Friday 16 December
Nizlopi (duo)
Dave Couse

For more information on the festival and series in the coming weeks, and to watch performances from the last series, visit

Saturday, November 26, 2005

At Michael Rafferty's request: A correction

Michael Rafferty from the Horslips tribute (the guy on the left) writes the following:

Just to tell you that the small toddler fellow in the background isn't Paddy Bogues! Paddy Bogues is nearly 16 years old! we're trying to keep this a secret from him...

Ah well! Corrections to the Photos at Horslips Tribute Site post have been made summarily.

Not my week for accuracy! I put Stan Freberg in an early grave and misheard one of the Duke De Mondo's albums as a break-up album, when, by his own words, it is a longing-for album. Now call me an old-fashioned romantic, but any 'longing for' album that begins with a song entitled I Do Believe You Are the Devil might foreshadow a somewhat fiery relationship that might be best to be reconsidered.

Horslips to be on Other Voices, RTE Series

It's old news on the Horslips Official Site, but it's now official in Hot Press.

Other Voices, the RTE series featuring acclaimed bands playing in an intimate venue in Dingle, Kerry, will kick off its fourth year with a series of recordings in December.

The gigs take place at St James’ Church in the next three weeks, and will be broadcast by RTE in the New Year.

With the likes of James Blunt, The Waterboys, Horslips, Alabama 3, Rufus Wainwright, Martha Wainwright, BellX1 and Elbow playing alongside Delorentos, Nizlopi, Humanzi and others in front of just 70 people, the limited number of tickets for each show will no doubt be snapped up quick smart.

More at the link, including ticket availability details. Requires registration.

I've been chomping at the bit to cover some of the great things I've learned about this RTE program and this venue. That will begin now.

For instance, Dingle is one of the places that still has an active Wren Day celebration. Picked up that info at the Chieftain from Brian, the guy I've loaned my Horslips CDs to. But more web resources and such to follow.

Google News Alerts, my trusted source of information on all sorts of things, has started sending me news alerts about my own blog! Which means that anyone who has set their alert to give them news about "Horslips" or "Barry Devlin" "Johnny Fean" and so getting hit with my postings. But thankfully, not when I am talking about the Vatican or vampires.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Emm Gryner on The View, RTEOther Emm News

I've heard good things about Emm's Crawdaddy gig, and the Horslips Tribute Band has pointed me toward a full download of Emm's take on Dearg Doom

But here's Emm on The View, RTE

Canadian singer-songwriter Emm Gryner, who has worked and toured with David Bowie, Curtis Mayfield and Rufus Wainwright, is on tour in Ireland all this week. Her latest album, 'Songs of Love and Death', reflects her interest in her Irish roots and features her own takes on classics of the Irish canon - songs by the likes of Ash, The Undertones, The Virgin Prunes and Gilbert O'Sullivan.

(Launch the clip from the View's site or paste the above into your media player.)

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Promoting the Next Gig: Emm Gryner

25/11 Half Moon Theatre, Cork
26/11 Dolan's Upstairs, Limerick
27/11 Connolly's, Leap

(Apple pie is baking in the this is blog time!)

Friday, November 18, 2005

Return of the Dancehall Sweethearts DVD Review

From the Irish Times, November 18

Just posted over at the media scrapbook at Come Back Horslips.

DVD is available online at Irish Music Shop.

Promoting the Next Gig: Johnny Fean and Steve Travers

Johnny Fean and Stephen Travers at the Cobblestone TONITE

Date: 18 November 2005
Time: 9.00pm
Website: Johnny Fean and Steve Travers
Price: €15.00 - 13.00

Venue Details
North King St
Dublin 7
Phone: +353 1 872 1799

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Carr's Cocktail Shack Playlist Corrections

Just a few little corrections, highlighted, to last Sunday's excellent show:

Brazil, Desi Arnez
Peanut Vendor, Anita O’Day
Little Red Rooster, Sam Cooke and Billy Preston
Fever, Little Willie John

Cocktail Du Jour “Absent Friend”
Absinthe, Gin, Cointreau, and Lemon Juice. Shaken with ice. Recipe details to be posted later.

La Vie en Rose, Sam Butera and the Witnesses
Help Yourself, Tom Jones
Mucha Muchacha, Esquivel (see Lola’s comment below)
House of Bamboo, Earl Grant
Quiet Village, Martin Denny

Besame Mucho, The Ray-O-Vacs with Lester Harris
Move Over Darling, Doris Day
My Pussen, Lord Kitchener
Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White, Perez Prado
Our Day Will Come, Ruby and the Romantics
Make it Easy on Yourself, Jackie Trent
Comin’ Home Baby, Mel Torme
Gonna Get Along Without Ya, Trini Lopez
Hum Drum Blues, Oscar Brown
As Time Goes By, Sam

Sunday's show should appear in the Carr's Cocktail Shack Web Archives.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Carr's Cocktail Shack: the Last Round

Brazil, Desi Arnez
Peanut Vendor, Anita O’Day
Little Red Rooster, Sam Cooke and Billy Preston
Fever, Little Willie John

Cocktail Du Jour “Absent Friend”
Absinthe, Gin, Cointreau, and Lemon Juice. Shaken with ice. Recipe details to be posted later.

La Vie en Rose, Sam Butera and the Witnesses
Help Yourself, Tom Jones
Mucha Muchacha, Esquivel (see Lola’s comment below)
House of Bamboo, Earl Grant
Quiet Village, Martin Denny

At this point, the snow flurries over the Sierras started playing havoc with the telegraph wires, and the following set was intermittent and sometimes absent for whole minutes:

Beseme Mucho, unable to determine artist
Move Over Darling, Doris Day
My Pussen, Lord Kitchener
Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White, Perez Prado
Our Day Will Come, Ruby and the Romantics
Make it Easy on Yourself, Dionne Warwick
I’m Comin’ Home, Walker Brothers
Gonna Get Along Without Ya, Trini Lopez
Hum Drum Blues, Oscar Brown
As Time Goes By, Sam

And the chatter I heard before the show indicates that the website is up for a good long time, so be sure to check out those Cocktail Shack shows you’ve missed in Carr’s Cocktail Shack archives.

"Oh hello Perforated Eardrum!

You: Muchacho. Me: Muchacha!"

Another lovely image of Lola the Vamp at

Bottoms up!

Rate Your Horslips Albums

A chance mention of Horslips in the has led to a discovery of a great little site.

But first, I do think the thread above is worth a read. I'm still idling on some of the memories of the American rock music industry in the late 70s that my initial viewing of The Return of the Dancehall Sweethearts has jump-started.

And while the engine on that particular rant is warming up and getting ready to burn rubber, I do find it interesting that this discussion is speaking a truth that we all try to forget: namely, rock-n-roll music nearly went under in the late 70s. It wasn't even rock-n-roll was Rock Music on AOR Radio with corporate sponsor concert tours and boardroom decisions on the Next Big Thing. It was a bloated and curled around a toilet and old before its time. I'm not saying that it is much better now. But if you were young back then (and I mean a teenager) you might remember how much work you had to do on your own to get a hold of that Jonathan Richman album or the Ramones or find a station that might play something real risk-taking like The Sex Pistols.

Or, say, Horslips.

Because the thread is slightly wrong, as is the premise of my argument above. 1976 was a great year for rock music. And, as Danny and the Juniors promise, rock and roll will never die.

But 1976 was a lousy year for new rock music or rock music outside the industry expectations of what would sell. The genres of the form were slowly closing in on the audience, like the scene in Star Wars where the walls of the trash compactor are moving in on Luke, Leia, Han and Chewie. (Star Wars metaphors are required in 70s rants.) 1977 was a bad year for it too. '78? Nope. '79...forget it. The main channels of production, promotion, and distribution for rock and roll were what needed to die. And that's where...

But wait! I wasn't going to do that rant yet, was I? Anyway. Read the thread if you like, but the real link in this post is below:

Rate Your's Horslips page

Speaking of new channels of promotion! Here's a site that is something of a 'Peoples' Record Rating service. I found it through the thread above, because they list The Book of Invasions: A Celtic Symphony in their top 100 albums of 1976. "Hang on," I said, "That can't be an industry chart! It clearly isn't based on money, and it doesn't look like elite rock critic choices it must be by people who just love the music."

Looking around I see my friend Aidan Curran has already been at the Horslips ratings. I've signed up just now and have already weighed in on Happy to Meet Sorry to Part and plan to work my way through the rest.

Friday, November 11, 2005

"Her and a thousand other girls" he said.

Not yet on the With The Band Pages but should be:

Yes. Just what is it with Barry Devlin and the ladies?

"Tonight you're with me..."

All the way from the Tower Records on Wicklow Street, via the good folk of An Post (Really mean that too, you crazy kids! Though I understand sometimes you gotta talk things over...) and then into the sometimes wacky but always dependable "nor rain-nor sleet-nor snow" boys and girls of Ben Franklin's first US employer...and finally the tender care of our current company mail clerk who is doing a great job while Joe Pachinko takes a two week vacation to write the novel that is going to "Wake Everybody Up to the Truth Man!"and finally me thinking "hey I should check the mail because there ain't gonna be none today..."

At the end of this long journey which began with the quick-thinking resourcefulness of Brendan "Nevada Gulch" McLoughlin one week ago this very day:

DVD IS HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

On the iTunes player: Was "Rain Dogs", Tom we got "The Power and the Glory" from The Best of Horslips double CD set.

"One more for my baby. One more for the Road"

I've received word that this Sunday is Carr's Cocktail Shack's final round! Yes, the clock on the wall says three o:clock. Last call. For alcohol.

From the very first show, the Shack has been a treat. The way it came quickly to the point with the Celtic Orgasm. ("See!" my girlfriends would say. "Full speed ahead and no dawdling. 'Why take all night about it?' is their motto.") The Jungle Room gems of Graceland in the Elvis Extravanganza. The rollcall of great mambo kings Perez Prado and Machito and more. Neil Sedaka singing 'Smells Like Teen Spirit.' The smokey sirens of song like Peggy Lee and Keely Smith. Last week's fantastic redis/covering of great Beatles tunes. And not to mention: Lola the Vamp's silk panties. From the beginning: the Shack served a mix of music and chat that kicked.

And it is going to go out with a bang they say...and a few surprises! So DON'T MISS IT. Listen to it live on your radio dial at 92.1 Choice FM, Dublin or on your browser at And revisit your favorite Shack on the ChoiceFM web archives.

And then...the Cocktail Shack neon sign will fade into dawn's faint light and we'll all have to go our separate ways...

"Oh! I could use a ride home!
How sweet of you to ask."

"Just let me grab my coat. It might be cold outside!"

Write to Lola. She'd love to hear from you. And check out this whole new gallery of photos of lovely Lola here at

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Horslips at the Chieftain

Monday, as mentioned before, was a hectic day. The main event was a final interview with the sixth candidate for a new position in our department. I scheduled it for 10:00 a.m. with the instructions that I was to take the candidate out to lunch after the interview. Two others from the department joining us.

After the interview wrapped and we did other pleasant and diverting things, including of tour of the offices and a raid on the last of the Halloween candy, we set about lunch.

Them: Where are we going for lunch?
Me: You know how I always answer that. And if you don't have your own preferences...
Roger: Oh good! I like the Chieftain. They play Coldplay!
Me: Just the one time Roger...let's not give them a bad reputation.

And so we walked to Fifth and Howard, young job candidate in tow. And when we walked in what should be playing on the house system? Why Faster Than the Hound its very self! Followed by The Snakes' Farewell. "That's HORSLIPS!" I said, interrupting myself ordering up a table for four.

We were seated and reviewing menus as Faster Than the Hound soared into its final part.

Other coworker: Do I detect a Grateful Dead thing there? That was pretty Garcia.
Me: Um...well...though they acknowledge the San Francisco scene as a major influence, that guitarist has his own influences rooted in the John Mayall tradition. But, note to self (I said to myself): when attempting to convert Deadheads, concentrate on Johnny Fean's guitarwork.
Roger: I thought it was rather evocative of the late Beatles period.
Me: Again, another influence. A key influence I believe. Second note to self (I said to myself): are you going to bring in that Lipstick song for Roger or what?

Then the two Horslips songs faded into Hey Jude and we lost Roger's attention for a few minutes. That was followed by Bob Dylan, so Other CoWorker was happy. We all kept an eye on Job Candidate as Bob Marley, Culann's Hounds, and -- yes -- Coldplay made their appearance. To see what might click.

Finally, I turned back to the table and said "You know, we never did hear the rest of the story about the Guerneville Leather Community and Prince Charles..."

to be continued

Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Promoting the Next Gig: Johnny Fean & Steve Travers

From the listing:

Date: 18 November 2005

Time: 9.00pm
Price: €15.00 - 13.00

Venue Details
North King St
Dublin 7
Phone: +353 1 872 1799

Sunday, November 6, 2005

Carr's Cocktail Shack: Recommended Web Link

Today will find Carr's Cocktail Shack paying tribute to the Fab Four. That will air online and on your dial at 6:00 p.m. Clery's Clock Time.

While you wait for the Happy Hour, take time to visit a truly great website that explores the Beatles' histories as seen through an Irish perspective:

Beatles Ireland

Lots to explore and read, including this bittersweet story of John Lennon and Dorinish Island:

The former Beatle was investigating how to renew planning permission to build a house for himself and Yoko Ono on Dorinish island in Clew Bay, Co Mayo, (Please see map below) just before his death, his Irish solicitor revealed.

He bought the island in 1967 and soon afterwards was granted planning permission by Mayo county council to build a house. After the collapse of his first marriage to Cynthia, he postponed the plans and permission lapsed in 1972.

"It was a place where we thought we could escape the pressures and spend some undisturbed time together. But because of what happened our hopes never came to be," Ono has said. "We often discussed the idea of building a cottage there. It was so beautiful, so tranquil, yet so isolated, it seemed a perfect place to get away from it all".

John bought the island for £1,700 after a newspaper advertisement for ‘an island off Ireland’ caught his eye.

Saturday, November 5, 2005

Carr's Cocktail Shack: "From Me to You"


From a noisey celler on cobble-stoned Matthew Street on Merseyside to glittering gala nights at the Hollywood Bowl, The Beatles ushered in an era of optimism and a bright musical revolution.

Their unorthodox songwriting provided a repertoire of wondrous songs capable of myriad interpretations.

On Sunday, Carr's Cocktail Shack on ChoiceFM Dublin will celebrate the songwriting invention of four young lads who changed the world.

It's fab. It's gear. And it's not to be missed.

(One of many images to view at Mitch McGeary's Beatles Website.)

I have a feeling that this will not be your usual Beatles radio show. I believe the key to its character is nestled in that second paragraph with the intriguing hint of "wondrous songs capable of myriad interpretations."

Definitely not to be missed!

Friday, November 4, 2005


This is it. Here it comes. The long-awaited release of the Return of the Dancehall Sweethearts CD is imminent.

Available at the following High Street Retailers

Golden Discs
Xtra Vision
Celtic Note

plus all reputable independent shops
(which lets out my local video store...)

Also, and perhaps quite importantly, available online at Irish Music Shop.

You've heard the samples, seen the footage, and read the gossip. Now go out and get your own copy of this great documentary on Irish rock history and really cool shoes today!

"Hey, Lola. Wanna come over to my place?
We could watch the DVD together..."

(Image lifted without qualm from the Return of the Dancehall Sweethearts page of the Official Site.)

Thursday, November 3, 2005

Carr's Cocktail Shack Archives Updated

In record speed! The very excellent October 30th show is now online. This features a fantastic tribute to Australia's Lovely Lady of Burlesque: Lola The Vamp.

"Do you listen to Carr's Cocktail Shack online?
I find that so attractive in a man!"

If you haven't spent time at the Shack Site lately, take a tour of the the extensive Carr's Cocktail Shack Links Page, and scope that swanky line-up of artists behind the velvet rope!

Professor Longhair
Linda Gail Lewis
William Shatner
Chuck E. Weiss
Anita O' Day
Alma Coogan
Shirley Horn
Perez Prado

And if you've ever doubted the existance of the Celtic Orgasm (my mother told me that it was a pure myth, actually...), then feast your eyes on the proof of such things on the Cocktail Recipe Page.

On the turntable: "Get My Rocks Off" from Sloppy Seconds, Doctor Hook and the Medicine Show...

Dearg Doom - The Original Classic

New Previews of Return of the Dancehall Sweethearts, the Maurice Linnane documentary on Horslips were posted on the Official Horslips Site yesterday.

Topping the list is 60 seconds of footage (including the opening drum/guitar riff) of Dearg Doom from the BBC's Old Grey Whistle Test (1974).

Then there's The Edge and Tom Dunne discussing the significance of Horslips with vintage footage of the band performing King of the Fairies on the roof of the Bank of Ireland HQ.

Finally, posted a bit earlier, Barry, Charles, Jim and Johnny relive the enormity of the moment when Charles lobbed his violin into the crowd at the last gig....

So if you came by the blog for anything but Horslips, here's your chance to go and see what its really all about.

Emm Gryner Interviewed in Hot Press

Covered in Glory

Canadian songwriter Emm Gryner has released a covers album of Irish rock classics. But what inspired her to tackle Horslips, The Undertones and Gilbert O'Sullivan?

Songs Of Love And Death offers her singular take on an eclectic selection of numbers, including Something Happens’ gem ‘Forget Georgia’, the Virgin Prunes’ ‘Bau – Dachong’, Ash’s ‘Shining Light’ and Therapy?’s ‘Nowhere’.

She has also re-interpreted better known songs like Gilbert O’Sullivan’s ‘Nothing Rhymed’, The Corrs' ‘Breathless’ and Horslips' ‘Dearg Doom’.

How did it all come about?

“Well, I’m part Irish, though no-one really knows that,” she laughs. “My mum’s Filipino, which takes care of my appearance, but my grandmother is from here.”

Having visited this country on several occasions, she was eager to show the wider world that Irish music goes further than traditional airs.

“I run my own record label, so I decided to do an album of Irish covers. A lot of people thought it would be traditional songs. It’s kinda cool to be able to say, ‘No that’s not what Irish music is all about.’”

She hasn’t gone for the more obvious choices. There are no U2, Cranberries or Van Morrison songs. Presumably, this was a conscious decision?

“I tend to relate to bands in Canada who are just popular in Canada,” Emm explains. “I wanted to cover some bands who are big in Ireland but not anywhere else.”

To this end, she sought out collections of contemporary Irish music.

“I listened to Tom Dunne’s compilations. They were a great help. And I asked every Irish person I know to enlighten me. Gerry Leonard (ex-Hinterland, now Bowie’s guitarist) turned me onto Thin Lizzy, who I’d known about but not a lot.”

Some of her treatments might raise eyebrows. Her bass-heavy take on ‘Dearg Doom’, for example, is markedly different from the one we’re familiar with.

“There were a few people who thought it should be left off the album because it’s such an anthem here. But I thought it was a fabulous song and I tend to work in a way that I don’t think about the outcome.”

Horslips were generally positive about her reading of the track.

“I thought Eamon Carr wouldn’t approve of the drum machine, but he was cool about it.”

As for Gilbert O'Sullivan, is Gryner a fan?

“The first version of ‘Nothing Rhymed' I heard was actually on a Morrissey bootleg," she smiles. "He’d performed it live and I thought, ‘What a great song’.”

More at the link. Registration required, and I can't remember now if it is free.

Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Horslips Photo Album

Over the weekend, I spent some time tidying up this section of ComebackHorslips. Six of the long chain of photos herein have now moved on to their own albums, and the remaining set had their links and such cleaned up a bit. Lots of backstage history: then and now.

Some still take longer to load than I take to get ready for work. But the picture above is something of a favorite of mine. Just a great little slice of rock history.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Seán Lennon's Hits and Myths: Spotlite Horslips

Title pages and two panels featuring Horslips from this 1993 cartoon history of Irish music. Seán Lennon has also done a work on Irish Gothic writers that I'd love to get my hands on.

Sunday, October 30, 2005


Speaking of radio on the Internet...

Alas, the telegraph wires must have been hit by an early snow up in the Rockies, as it was a rocky reception today. I did catch the very excellent following set:

Whatever Lola Wants, from Damn Yankees
a sweeper from the very lovely Lola the Vamp
Just Help Yourself, Tom Jones (ooooohhhh!!!!)

Then the guest cocktail of the week; klept Bono's 127 it was and featured:

Jim Beam Bourbon

...and the rest was lost in the Colorado drifts. Still, a few of those 127s and I bet I could even listen to that Zooropa thing of theirs. Hell, enough Jim Beam and the Hartz Mountain Canary Training Record probably rocks!

So, very little of the Shack today. But I fear not, there's always Brendan "Nevada Gulch" McLoughlin holding the reins of the Wells Fargo Wagon. That show will be in my player before a fortnight passes!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Hotpress reviews Emm Gyrner

Just posted:

Emm Gryner
Songs Of Love And Death

Singer-songwriter Emm Gryner hails from Canada, but she looks to the Emerald Isle for inspiration on Songs Of Love And Death, interpreting material from an eclectic mix of Irish acts.

The end results are rather hit-and-miss. There are a handful of forgettable mis-steps – maudlin piano versions of The Corrs’ ‘Breathless’ and Ash’s ‘Shining Light’ strip the originals of their pop dynamism, while Gryner’s slight-but-pretty voice lacks the depth and darkness to withstand the violent, gothic churn of The Virgin Prunes’ ‘Bau – Dachong’.

There is also plenty to enjoy on the album, though. A classy vocal performance, and some sprightly programming inject much-needed personality into The Thrills’ ‘Deckchairs And Cigarettes’ (that old expression about silk purses and sows’ ears springs to mind), while her rendition of Horslips’ ‘Dearg Doom’ replaces the original’s legendary guitar riff with some creepy, breathing-over-your-shoulder organ, removing any traces of rock bluster and adding a twisted PJ Harvery-esque menace. Elsewhere, Gryner plays up the melodic qualities in Therapy?’s ‘Nowhere’, re-casting it as a languid, campfire singalong.

Kilian Murphy
Rating: 6 / 10

All the review at link.

Andy Wilkinson, local reviewer of Roll Back, did a hilarious column on the Hot Press tendancy to rate everything 6/10.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Return of the Dancehall SweetheartsNew Preview on Official Site

Over at Horslips Official

A two-minute glide through Johnny's hypnotic guitar playing in the Epic that is Furniture at the National Stadium, 1973

For those of you who just come by this blog for things other than Horslips, this is your chance to see the real thing.

And don't forgot:

Johnny Fean at the Táin Festival tomorrow.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

"The Best and Oldest Furniture"

HORSLIPS "Horslips Live" review on Prog

For guitar fans, though, it is Furniture that stands out. A beautiful song written by keboardist/piper Jim Lockhart about growing up and leaving home, it is alchemically transformed into a masterpiece by Lockhart's mournful flute intro, CHarles O'Connor's hypnotic mandolin playing and Fean's heart-wrneching solo, first a resigned lament, then a scorching, pounding on the heart in the crescendo. It would be the finale for any other band, but not Horslips. After lightweight versions of Can't Fool the Beast and More Than You Can Chew, Eamonn Carr's shimmering cymbals herald the greatest Irish rock track ever, Dearg Doom...

More at the link. And who wrote this, I may ask? (And I ask with a great deal of fondness for the writer!)

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


With apologies to the Mondo Irelando podcasts and the writings of Sir Fleming, which I do intend to review (he seems to be going on about Bruces this morning), Carr's Cocktail Shack shows through October 23rd are now archived.

This includes the not-to-be-missed ELVIS EXTRAVAGANZA - A Jungle Room Tribute on October 16th.

Monday, October 24, 2005

"Return of the Dancehall Sweethearts" DVD Preview on

On the official Horslips site: 45 seconds of Blindman from the Dancehall Sweethearts album. Do follow the site advice and "DOWNLOAD on that link (right-click) TO YOUR PC and play. Right-click and download using "save (link) target as..".

Fantastic guitar there from Johnny Fean.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Carr's Cocktail Shack ON AIR NOW

Ladies and gentlemen, ELVIS may have left the building, but the Cocktail Shack is still serving a shaker of good music on the rocks.

Listen LIVE at Choice FM Dublin 92.1

And remember:

Whatever Lola wants
Lola gets
and little man
Lola wants you.

Horslips Sighting on Blogger

Great post here on the music of 1977.

And she likes Gormenghast too!

This may be someone worth dropping an email too.

But where's the Horslips?

Emily had so much fun drinking vodka with Alex, she lost track of the second topic of her post.

'Sokay...I can't do vodka either. Evil, evil stuff.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Horslips and Tír Na Nóg in Drogheda Exhibition

A photo snapped for me at the recent installation of the History of Horslips Exhibition

That would have been a fantastic concert!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

'Return of the Dancehall Sweethearts' DVD Release News

Over at the Official Horslips Site, it's now official: Maurice Linnane's DVD 'Return of the Dancehall Sweethearts' will be released on October 28!

Read up on this year's articles concerning the DVD at the "Re-Group and Roll Back" section of news. Articles on the DVD include:

--RTE Guide 01/03/05 with John Byrne listing the hour showing of "Return of the Dancehall Sweethearts" on Arts Live as the day's recommended choice.

--Sunday Tribune 06/03/05 with Olivia Doyle reviewing the Arts Live broadcast

--Irish Music Magazine April 2005, Sean Walsh delivers a concise history of the band, including the historic Derry Exhibition of 2004, which was the start of all the great things since.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Táin Festival: Rhythm and Roots in Dundalk

First of all, my unstinting admiration for the decision to make Halloween a Bank Holiday weekend. I understand that on some years it doesn't quite work out like it does this year, but the concept of a bank holiday at October's end is brilliant.

Secondly, this Táin Festival in Dundalk has it going on:

The idea is that without the nurturing qualities of the arts permeating our lives, as well as the visceral excitement of rock ‘n roll impelling us ahead, life here could get pretty grim.

Conversely, there is nothing like the special feeling a good festival brings to a place.

There was an energy in the air last October and we hope that with an expanded line up of concerts and performances and a wide selection of seasonal events, to feel that pulse again this time round.

The music is top rate and this brochure gives you a comprehensive gig guide. Please check it out.

But there is a lot more to it.

In collaboration with the Dundalk Film Society, we are showing two stunning films on the roots of modern music.

We are going once more with the Pumpkin displays at the fountain at Market Square. [LT: Great picture of this on the site.] Given the days that are in it we thought the spooky stories of old Dundalk would be well worth retelling and so we have a series of Spooky Walks through the town organised by Victoria Kingsly O'Hagan. Be afraid but not very afraid.

There will be a special Halloween Farmers Market in the Museum Courtyard bringing you all the delights of the Season from the farms and food producers of the region. And the full support of the Arts Officers and Library services mean that Dundalk Town Council will once more bring you a cornucopia of Halloween treats.

Many thank yous are due and the page overleaf gives an indication of the range of organizations who have sponsored and assisted this years Tain Festival.

For a fiercely independent music and community event like the Tain Rhythm and Roots Festival, to really take shape, many people needed to make an early commitment to the event.

They're running a little trivia contest for 2 weekend passes:

Question: What artist has played at each Táin festival ...2003, 2004, and again in 2005?

A. Elton John, B. John Spillane, C. John O'Groats

Send the answer (A, B, or C) to

And remember: Johnny Fean and Steve Travers at Corbetts on Saturday.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Johnny Fean in the Clare Champion

The official site of Johnny Fean and Steve Travers has posted this link to a great article from last year:

Heeeere’s Johnny

These days Fean is back in Shannon, has been there for the past month, basing himself once more in the town where his love of the blues and Irish trad was first kindled.

“My father worked in the airport and we moved out to Shannon when I was very young”, he says. “At that stage I was listening to the likes of BB King, Buddy Guy and Otis Rush. I was big into black US blues artists. But I was also becoming interested in Irish music”.

At 16, he began to pluck the tenor banjo. He passed through the Clare pub sessions and picked up the mandolin on the journey.

“I went to Doolin and Lisdoonvarna quite a bit”, he recalls. “There, I played a lot with the fiddle player Ted Furey, Finbar’s father. Those were great times. I was instilled with a great appreciation for the music. The Russell brothers were a big influence and I realised that the Clare style was important”.

It wasn’t long before he made it to Dublin. By now, he’d established a name with a number of Limerick bands, the likes of Sweet Street and Jeremiah Henry. While in the city, he replaced Declan Sinnott in Horslips and his influence on the group can’t be underestimated. His love of Irish trad seeped into the band and from this, Ireland’s freshest sounding band gathered significant momentum.

“At the time, we were unique. There wasn’t any other group doing the kind of music we were involved in. And we made a decision to bring the sound to as many people as possible. The gigging was fairly intensive. We played five, six nights in a row, one night off and back on the road for another week again”.

Crowds flocked to hear Horslips. They’d show up in a village on a Monday night and the venue would be packed. regarded as one of the few bands to pay proper attention to their fan base outside the capital, their popularity mushroomed.

More at the link.

Carr's Cocktail Shack Spotlite: ELVIS

Yes, a little more than an hour away from Carr's Cocktail Shack "Paradise in the Jungle Room: AN ELVIS EXTRAVAGANZA!"

I took it upon myself to inform the good people of The Irish Elvis Presley Fan Club, who were quite happy to receive the news. No doubt this organization will gladly link to the ChoiceFM Dublin site when this show joins the archives!

Today's Elvis news item is from The Las Vegas Sun. It's a story I've been sitting on for a couple of weeks now, but it is still unfolding and may even have implications for Hawaii:

Elvis managers in Memphis

look toward Las Vegas for expansion

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - The new owners of Elvis Presley Enterprises are making a first move toward an expansion from Memphis by buying an Elvis museum in Las Vegas.

But they expect to close the independently run museum and no firm outline has been drawn for what will replace it.

"There are no specific plans," Ed Tagliaferri, a spokesman for CKX Inc., said Thursday.

A statement from CKX Inc. says, however, that the overall plan is "to bring a world class Elvis-themed attraction to the Las Vegas strip."

Elvis Presley Enterprises, the business arm of the Presley estate, was sold last year to an investment group headed by businessman Robert F.X. Sillerman.

The Presley business is now part of CKX Inc., which also owns 19 Entertainment, the company that produces the TV show "American Idol," and is expanding into other entertainment ventures.

While the business in selling Elvis merchandise and marketing the use of his name and image is a worldwide undertaking, the most visible part of the Presley estate is his former Memphis residence, Graceland, and its complex of souvenir shops and museums.

But CKX has vowed to change that by opening other Elvis ventures, such as museums, in other parts of the United States and abroad.

Now, CKX says it has an agreement to buy "Elvis-A-Rama," a Las Vegas museum created by Chris Davidson, a longtime collector of Presley memorabilia.

As part of the agreement, CKX said Davidson will get the rights to open an Elvis museum in Hawaii.

Tagliaferri said no plans have been laid out for a project in Hawaii, either. But if one is put together, CKX will hold a "significant" interest in it, the company said.

CKX said "Elvis-A-Rama" will be closed and its name and Web site permanently "retired."

Now I've heard quite a bit about this CKX and its approach to the King's legacy. My sympathy here is with Chris Davidson and the slightly fanatical but loving approach that he no doubt brought to Elvis-A-Rama in the style of the more maverick days of vintage Vegas.

This may be the pre-CKX Elvis-A-Rama website. Check it out before it disappears!

From the way this CKX seems to operate, I'd image that Sonny West and his King's Ransom exhibit might be next on the acquisition list!

DALLAS - Sonny West is takin' care of business.

The former bodyguard for Elvis Presley is traveling with the King's Ransom exhibit, which features about 250 of Presley's personal belongings and is on display at the State Fair of Texas.

West, 67, re-cently talked about how he became the King's bodyguard, what Presley always carried with him and what Presley would think about his daughter Lisa Marie's career.

Question: How did you first meet Elvis?

Answer: We went to the same high school, but we were in different grades. The first time I saw him playing was at Tech High School in Louisiana in 1954. We were sitting on the lawn, and he walked over with his guitar and started playing That's Alright Mama. I thought, "He's pretty good."

Q: When did you become his bodyguard?

A: In April 1960, my cousin Red West brought me to meet Elvis. Red had defended him throughout high school where kids tried to beat him up because of his long hair. When we spoke, he asked me to be his bodyguard.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Carr's Cocktail Shack Spotlite: ELVIS


Sunday Oct 16th on ChoiceFM Dublin

Carr's Cocktail Shack


* * Paradise In The Jungle Room* *

!! An Elvis Extravaganza !!


Bright light city gonna set my soul
Gonna set my soul on fire
Got a whole lot of money that's ready to burn,
So get those stakes up higher
There's a thousand pretty women waitin' out there
And they're all livin' devil may care
And I'm just the devil with love to spare
Viva Las Vegas, Viva Las Vegas

Friday, October 14, 2005

Carr's Cocktail Shack: ARCHIVES UPDATED!

Every morning starts with a ritual checking of web haunts and today I note, with pleasure, that Carr's Cocktail Shack on 92.1 ChoiceFM Dublin has now archived shows through September 25th!

Now you have two ways to enjoy Carr's Cocktail Shack online! Listen LIVE on Sundays at 6:00 p.m. Dublin time (or 10:00 a.m. California time). And catch a favorite show or a show you've missed at ANY time via the Archives.

Bottoms Up!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Tony Clayton-Lea on "The History of Horslips"

Article from The Irish Times now posted on Official Horslips Site.

For those, like me, who aren't in a position to view this Exhibition just yet, there's the excellent Posters Page at the official site as well.

Carr's Cocktail Shack Spotlite: ELVIS

Carr's Cocktail Shack isn't just focusing on Elvis this coming Sunday. The show promises to evoke the exotica rhythms of Graceland's famed Jungle Room.

Bartender Hugh of Des Moines is already there!


WHAT TO EXPECT: Elvis Presley never left the building — he just moved into this lounge on Douglas Avenue that used to be home to Jazzy Willy's. There's a lot of Elvis here, but owner Hugh Duoblys also has created it as a tribute to the people and music of the 1960s and 1970s.

"I just didn't want to have a bunch of younger shooters come in here," said Duoblys, a longtime bartender who opened his own place July 15.

THE CROWD: You'll find young people but also car sales staff, bikers and other regulars from the Merle Hay area. Couples have their own section — "Heartbreak Hotel" — where they have a little more privacy and it's not quite as loud.

TUNES: Sure you get to hear The King, but it's much more than that. Expect to find country and classic rock on the jukebox — Johnny Cash, the Bee Gees, Waylon Jennings. Patrons can give karaoke a try on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

ON THE WALLS: Photos of Elvis and other celebrities of the 1960s and 1970s. But check out the floor — tiger carpet!

MUNCHIES: There's a full kitchen offering sandwiches that are $6.50 to $7.50 as well as the usual appetizers. After 8 p.m., you can get a 14-inch pizza for $10.

BARTENDER'S CHOICE: The bar has a specialty drink called Jungle Juice (vodka, chambord and Red Bull) that's popular with younger patrons; the Bird of Paradise also sells well. Both cost $5.

Hugh's music menu needs a little work, but just so long as there is Elvis!

"Horslips Stage Glorious Comeback"

Drogheda Independent

HORSLIPS, the legendary Celtic rockers from the 1970s, brought the house down in the Droichead Arts Centre this week.

Woohoo – the men who rode, horsemen-of-the-Apocalypse like through the dance halls of Ireland in the ’70s, did the business for one last time in Drogheda.

It was only the third time in 25 years they have played together.

They couldn’t escape it. The whoops of delight as the rockers hit the stage to thank fans at the opening of the art centre’s ‘History of Horslips’ exhibition meant they couldn’t leave without picking up their instruments for one last song.

The reluctant heroes gave an impromptu performance of ‘Furniture’ that thrilled the packed house. Local solicitor and ardent fan Paddy Goodwin, couldn’t quite believe his eyes. ‘They told me they wouldn’t play,’ said a stunned Paddy.

He is the main sponsor behind bringing the exhibition of Horslips memorabilia to Drogheda.

The band’s posters, album covers, guitars, pictures and artifacts have been lovingly collected over the years by Derry-based Jim Nelis, Cavan man Paul Callaghan and Stephen Ferris of Ballymena.

The pop art visual extravaganza made it’s first appearance in Derry 18 months ago and resulted in Horslips recording another album together. Drogheda is only the second place the exhibition has been put on show.

Before Horslips took the stage, a nine piece tribute band from Omagh, played a note perfect selection of their greatest hits to an enthusiastic audience. Asked how it felt to watch young fellas who were still in God’s pocket when the band broke up give a dobbleganger performance, Horslips lead singer Barry Devlin replied ‘weird’.

Yes. A Horslips article sure motivates me to remember that password!

Full article at link and it requires registration. Registration is free, though.

Carr's Cocktail Shack Spotlite: ELVIS

Remember this Sunday Carr's Cocktail Shack on 92.1 ChoiceFM, Dublin is going wild at Graceland with a special show on The King of Rock and Roll.

And you can listen LIVE on the Internet at!

Today's Elvis news item is a bit trashier, but evokes the classic shopping mall poster shop art entitled "Game of Fate" (with green and yellow L.E.D. lights!)

(Game of Fate image from

Presley's Uncivilized Pals cost him a date with Monroe

MARILYN MONROE once snubbed a date with ELVIS PRESLEY because she didn't like the company he kept.

Presley's longtime confidante BYRON RAPHAEL, who was hired to wrangle beautiful one-night stands for the king of rock 'n' roll, reveals his boss met with Monroe on a film set at 20th Century Fox studios in Hollywood.

But, he tells men's magazine Playboy, the encounter never hit the headlines because Presley was keen to play down the fact the actress had turned down his advances.

Smitten Presley continued to woo Monroe until she became one of the only women ever to turn down a date with the King - when she cried off with a headache excuse.

Raphael says, "It was one of the rare times Elvis was refused."

Datin' is a game that grown-ups play
Datin' means acting in a silly way
Datin' makes girls start wiggle walking
Datin' makes a guy start baby talking

Dizzy like children on a merry-go-round
Grown-ups are the biggest kids I've found
You'd think they belong in a baby carriage
They're doing things that lead to marriage
But don't you laugh at what they do, oh no
'Cause some day you'll be datin' too

Promoting the Next Gig: Horslips Tribute Band

Tonite at the INF Hall, Omagh as part of the Omagh Arts Festival

(Poster from Letterkenny gig, August)

Listen to what Horslips themselves have to say about this group of young musicians paying tribute to them! Visit the Media page and then click on "What Horslips had to say about us 2.41MB." (Haven't mastered how to link to Mp3s in Blogger.)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Carr's Cocktail Shack Spotlite: ELVIS

Part of our ongoing promotion of next Sunday's mix of music and cocktail lore from the Jungle Room at Graceland on Carr's Cocktail Shack, 92.1 ChoiceFM, Dublin.

No Rock and Roll Fun covered this story, with a nice nod to Oscar Wilde, sometime back, but the news should continue to receive raised eyebrows for some time to come:

Justin Timberlake Buying Sun and Stax Labels

Teen pop sensation Justin Timberlake is dabbling in the recording industry by heading back to his hometown of Memphis and snatching up some music history.

Timberlake is heading up a group of investors planning to buy up both Stax Records and Sun Records, as well as a recording complex in Memphis.

Sun Records is typically hailed as the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll. Founded by producer Sam Phillips in 1952, the label received little attention until 1954 when a young man named Elvis Presley walked into the building. Elvis later switched to RCA, but many of his first recordings were made at Sun. Artists like Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis also got their starts at Sun.

Stax Records was known in the sixties as a major influence on soul and funk music. The Stax sound was mostly cultivated by Booker T. Jones and his band Booker T. and the MGs. Other major acts on the label included Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, and Isaac Hayes.

Justin already owns his own record label, called JayTee.

Well a hundred years from now I won't be crying
A hundred years from now I won't be blue
My heart will have to forget that we ever met
But I won't care a hundred years from now

I'll never forget sweetheart the night you told me
That you could Live without my love somehow
That's all in the past I knew it wouldn't last
But I won't care a hundred years from now

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Carr's Cocktail Shack Spotlite: ELVIS

This coming Sunday, Carr's Cocktail Shack goes to Graceland with a special tribute to the King.

In a blatant attempt to go along for the ride and clear out all the Elvis news alerts in the inbox, "Horslips and Other Music" will highlight Elvis news and trivia all throughout the week.

Our first story: Frankfurt Germany

The runways that once helped feed a blockaded Berlin, bade Elvis farewell after his Army service and provided the first glimpse of freedom for hostages returning from Iran now stand empty.

A hub of U.S. military activity for decades, Rhein-Main Air Base is being given back to Germany and its logistical functions taken over by bases at Ramstein and Spangdahlem. Ceremonies set for Monday will mark the handover, which will take until the end of the year.

"The mission has moved," said U.S. Air Force Col. Tom Schnee, who is overseeing the shutdown. "We're all set for the symbolic closure."


The closure also marks a passing for Frankfurt, the financial center of Germany and Europe.

American soldiers and airmen brought jazz, cheap cigarettes, hot dogs and other Americana to the city immediately after World War II, and were a part of the Friday and Saturday night bar scene in the city's Sachsenhausen district.

A young Elvis Presley flew from Rhein-Main back to the U.S. when his Army service ended.

"I can close my eyes today and hear all those engines waiting to take off," said Moore, the Navy aviator and Berlin airlift veteran. "There goes the gateway to Europe."

Now I picked this one because the Rhein-Main airbase was a significant part of my childhood and I still get a pang whenever business travel takes me through Frankfurt.

Muss i denn, muss i denn
Zum Stadtele hinaus
Stadtele hinaus
Und du, mein schat, bleibst hier?

There's no strings upon this love of mine
It was always you from the start
Sei mir gut
Sei mir gut
Sei mir wie du wirklich sollst
Wie du wirklich sollst
'Cause I don't have a wooden heart

Promoting the Next Gig: Johnny Fean & Steve Travers

Looking at Johnny and Steve's gig list, I see that a tentative October date at Killaloe is now November 5th at Brendan Grace's, Main Street, Killaloe, +353 (0) 61 374066.

(Photo of patrons at Brendan Grace's Bar)

The next gig on Saturday, October 22 is at the Coyote Ranch in Rush -- the one place that I've had a chance to see Johnny TWICE!

Beautiful Photos from Thursday's Exhibit Opening

Over at the Horslips Tribute Band site, there's a set of new photos from Stephen Ferris. Go to Photos Page 2 and scroll down.

And don't forget: next Tribute Band gig is THIS Thursday, October 13, at the INF Hall. It will be part of the Omagh Arts Festival.

I won't be able to 'attend' via cellphone this time, but look forward to reading about it on Friday.

Sunday, October 9, 2005

The Official Horslips Exhibition Poster

Official Horslips Site

Carr's Cocktail Shack Spotlite: Lola the Vamp

A Taste of Down Under!

Perhaps you'll catch Lola TODAY on Carr's Cocktail Shack on 92.1 ChoiceFM Dublin or on your browser. Cocktail Hour at 6:00 p.m. by Clery's Clock time.

"Where you drink champagne
and it tastes like Coca-Cola"

Lola The Vamp is Australia’s premier burlesque performer. Her sensual and stunning shows have captured the world's imagination. Lola's showgirl acts have graced stages in Hollywood and San Francisco with Teaseorama, in Sydney, Brisbane, Byron Bay, Melbourne nighclubs and the Edinburgh Fringe at the prestigious Assembly Ballroom.

Lola has been performing at all kinds of prestigious and underground events for the last few years. Her growing "reputation" has seen her stop the show at famous nightclub The Zoo, tantalise the Mardi Gras at QBar, play Go Go Burlesco at the Seymour Centre and Edinburgh Fringe Festival with Australia's cream of burlesque as well as playing nightclubs like The Basement, MyBar, QBar, Cotton Club, Ric's Bar and Sydney Hellfire. Adding to her notoriety is the attention of street press, television, national newspapers and two recent books! Channel V has featured our showgirl dancing her shimmy backstage at the Big Day Out, and breakfast television saw her fan dance the morning away on The Today Show. Lola has also appeared in several music videos and shot sequences for a variety of filmmakers. Live webcasts will soon feature on this site!

Growing up with prints by Toulouse-Lautrec and books about the Moulin Rouge, Lola was fascinated by the showgirl life, and the famous women of late 1800s Paris, Loie Fuller, La Goulou, Jane Avril, from a young age. The cabarets of Paris continue to influence Lola in her current shows as well as the tradition of American Burlesque with it's lush feather fans, exotic costuming and brazen striptease. Dfferent in aesthetic to most contemporary and comedic Australian Burlesque, and also from the increasingly modern work of American Burlesque, Lola is one of few purely classic burlesque performers today.

In addition to being a beautiful performer of the fine, almost lost art of burlesque, Lola is also a competent lecturer and historian of the Australian showgirl tradition. Clad in a lovely vintaged patterned silk-dress, she delivered her lecture last Sunday whilst perched, cross-legged, on a high wooden table. I could see all the way to Melbourne!

Friday, October 7, 2005

Irish Times on History of Horslips Exhibit

by Tony Clayton-Lea, October 6, 2005:

Once upon a time there were three Irish men – Jim Nelis, Stephen Ferris, and Paul Callaghan. They were Horslips fanatics, and in their own separate ways and by their own separate, wholly legal methods, collected whatever they could of the pioneering Irish band.

Read the whole article and a sidebar on Charles O'Connor and album art design at the Official Horslips Site.

This is the article that I tried to get online yesterday. Very glad the Official Site already has it up!

Thursday, October 6, 2005

Motorway Madness!!!

Photos of Tonight's/Last Night's Gig posted!

They move fast over at

Photos of the Exhibition gig are up and running on Photo Page 2

A great set, a great night, a drive back home, updating a website...and early tomorrow morning Ryan O'Sullivan gets behind the wheel of a car for driving lessons.

Good thing I take the Ferry to work!

"In every doorway stands heart's desire"

I said that the call was only going to be for three songs...but everyone knew I'd stay online for the whole set. Which was:

Faster Than The Hound (we came in...)
King of the Fairies
Sword of Light*
The Power and the Glory
Rocks Remain**
The Man Who Built America***
Fantasia (My Lagan Love)****
Dearg Doom

encore with

Guests of the Nation!!!(this is where...)

Then I was talking briefly with Barry Devlin. Who knows what we said to each other? Then Barry up on the stage saying something. Then Charles: "I think you were better than us actually." Then Johnny (I think) "These boys were rockin'!!!" Then Jim Lockhart went into a thoughtful, well-reasoned monologue that was drowned out in the HORSLIPS clap, clap, clap! chant which led into the very band themselves performing the song that will now always make me think of Jim Nelis: Furniture.

*Long story short: this is the first song by Horslips that had me turn to my husband and say 'Wait just a minute...this group had it going ON!'

**Earlier today, when listening to The Book of Invasions -- an album that the Tribute Band performed in its entirity last April at the CBS school, Omagh -- I was thinking 'here's a really beautiful Horslips song, but not always the first one that people will mention. We should hear it more.'

***Each day when I go to work, I pass by the grand 19th century edifice that the Pacific Railroad built for itself on One Market Street. That railroad. That trans-continental railroad. Those golden nails and silver bars. The one particular golden spike was driven into the ground at Promontory Utah in 1869. I'll understand that the international audience will not realize that this momentus event was just barely four years after the assasination of an American president and the end of a bitter, divisive internal struggle over whether we were going to be a cohesive country or not. Four score and seven years ago...But from April 14, 1865 to May 10, 1869, those silver bars were laid with haste across a vast expanse of wild land not yet even 'ours'. Ruthless and determined men like Stanford, Huntington, Crocker, Hopkins - hotels, banks, colleges and state parks bear their names to this day. But what of the men who were doing the actual work on the tracks and the rails? Well...they've got a helluva great rock song for themselves!

****McGinley Og!!! Hope you were there! And if you weren't: can we meet up this February!?!

History of Horslips Exhibition Crowd is BIG!!!!

Just checked in with my inside sources! Lots of people and three members of Horslips themselves were just arriving as I called. (Johnny Fean, Jim Lockhart, Charles O'Connor) Ryan O'Sullivan (who I owe some money to now...) also there.

On the CD ROM E:DRIVE - The Book of Invasions

I'm halfway through the process of getting a 7 day online subscription to the Irish Times online and will have some excerpts from articles about the Exhibition shortly.

Today is the Opening of the History of Horslips Exhibition

Wednesday, October 5, 2005

Promoting the Next Gig: Horslips Tribute Band

They'll be happening tomorrow night at the History of Horslips exhibition and then back at the INF Hall, Omagh on Thursday, October 13.

(Poster for Bar Mono, Letterkenny, August)

From Johnny Fean's Gig Calendar

Táin Festival
October 27 - 31 Dundalk

Be sure to check out the line-up on Saturday!

And Johnny is back at the Cobblestone on Friday, November 18th!

Tuesday, October 4, 2005

More from the Email Suggestion Bag

The contributor of the excellent Johnny Fean interview Ollie Byrne in the Irish View has come through with some equally excellent* resources on bands mentioned in that article.

Here's a great picture of
Johnny Fean when in the band Jeremiah Henry

Looks like a bio could be contributed there!

And here's an index with quite a number of names from the Horslips histories and memories of people I talk to on-line:

Irish Beat Group Archives

On the to-do list is to write to the web curator of this site and express my admiration for a very well-done and important gathering of info.

(Edited to soften the "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" quality of excellence. I just happen to like the word!)

Monday, October 3, 2005

Trouble (with a Capital T) in my Pants

Not only is Midnight Hawk a Horslips fan, Midnight Hawk is a fan of the much-overlooked Unfortunate Cup of Tea album:

From The World of Pants

Put your playlist on shuffle. Document the first 20 songs that come up and add 'In My Pants.'

We have two Horslips mentions on Midnight Hawk's list. I'm not going to steal the humor by repeating the titles, but I'm off to do this with my own playlist now. Must admit that "A Pair of Brown Eyes in My Pants" and "Three Polkas in My Pants" is a promising start!

"Jerry called his jeep Dearg Doom"

Insomnia put to use again in updating the main page of Come Back Horslips to focus on the History of Horslips Exhibition 2005 which will open this week! Details at the official site.

Then a quick spin through the Blogger search tool, which yielded the following item.

Somewhere in Cork, Penelope Stone, a UCC student working on her masters in Astrophysics has a friend named Jerry. Jerry is possibly a Horslips fan:


True. Not exactly Horslips-related news, but fun nonetheless.

Sunday, October 2, 2005

Carr's Cocktail Shack ON AIR TODAY

Tune your dial to 92.1 FM or your browser to Choice FM

Two drinks at Carr's Cocktail Shack,
and I go wild

(Photo of 'The Hell Cat' courtesy of
The Devil-Ettes of San Francisco)

Saturday, October 1, 2005

Don't leave me hanging on the Tara Telephone

One of the projects that I've been slowly working on throughout the summer for Come Back Horslips, is a history and online exhibit of the poems and art of Tara Telephone.

Visit the main Tara Telephone page of my project so far and you'll read the basic history that usually appears on other sites. Scroll down a bit and read from Mark Cunningham's Hot Press article on Horslips, which shows how Tara Telephone brought together rock voices and literary traditions in a wild, experimental mix. And some traditional music thrown in for good measure.

I know this story. It's the Haight-Ashbury in the 60s, North Beach in the 50s, Greenwich Village in the 30s and 40s, Paris in the 20s...and right now in any number of crossroads of urban culture and young people ready to take it on.

Obviously I only learned about Tara Telephone through reading Horslips' histories but in April I made an exciting discovery of a connection between Tara Telephone and Gallery Press.

I'd been a fan of the Gallery Press catalog ever since I bought my first volumes of Ciaran Carson's poetry, and that predates my discovery of Horslips. Finding this link encouraged me to look for Tara Telephone publications and learn as much as possible about the group.

Much work has now been done. A bit more to do, but a couple of people have seen a preview and say it is looking good. I'm torn between making each page available as it is finished or waiting until the whole collection (as far as I have it) can go live. And at that point I'll also figure out how to situate it on the site.

But the Tara Telephone link of recently updated pages has moved off the top of my site screen and I want to give the links to the pages already live:

Tara Telephone
Tara Telephone Introduction
A Tale of Love, Poster Poem 2

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Promoting the Next Gig

October 13th, INF Omagh, as part of Omagh Art Festival 2005

The Horslips Tribute Band at Bar Mono, Letterkenny in August

"Letterkenny's the place where they say
'Hey baby, take a walk on the wild side."

The History of Horslips Exhibition

Official Horslips Guestbook Back On Line

A weekend of heroic efforts on the part of the rakishly sexy webmaster behind the scenes has brought a new and improved Horslips Guestbook back to the Official Horslips Site. Just in time for the upcoming Exhibition too!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Carr's Cocktail Shack ON AIR NOW

At ChoiceFM Dublin 92.1 on your dial or on your browser.

"Oh my! I left my Silk Panty back in the studio!"

(Photo of 'The Smarty Pants' courtesy of
The Devil-Ettes of San Francisco.)

Friday, September 23, 2005

Carr's Cocktail Shack: Part the Fourth

This Sunday at 6:00 p.m. local time: ChoiceFM Dublin at 92.1 on your dial or on your browser.

"My mother said Celtic Orgasms were a myth.
But I know better now!"

(Photo of 'The Rebel' courtesy of
The Devil-Ettes of San Francisco.)

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Comebackhorslips Guestbook News

This seems to be the day for news about Horslips forums on the 'net.

The Official Guestbook which has a long and tumultuous history -- and will surely be recorded as one of the net's finest pieces of collaborative ad hoc literature -- is down for a siesta it seems. I just learned this myself. So, I dusted off the HTML code for the Comebackhorslips Guestbook and put it back online.

Not less that hour ago, I was looking at a relatively clean desk and happily designing online ads for our company's in-house site. "See!" I said to myself. "If you concentrate on your job when you are AT your job, it can become as fun as the old days when you lurked around those GBs all the time."

It is simply going to have to be a matter of self-control now.

Horslips Message Board

Had some homesteaders for a while: quiet, hardworking types. But perhaps they took a Castle and Cook over to Honolulu or headed up the Oregon Trail. Or maybe even looking for gold up in Alaska! Good fortune will find them where ever they go and their ranch and cattle are still waiting for them here if they come back.

But they left behind a fine Message Board for Horslips fans to chat on though, I see.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Carr's Cocktail Shack

The Wells Fargo Wagon didn't arrive til Wednesday, but after an excellent lunch at John's Grill, I'm listening to a Sunday nite show that Sam Spade and Brigid O'Shaughnessy would both appreciate.

And it was Anita O'Day on Peanut Vendor! Let me off uptown!

"I had time for TWO Quickies
during Carr's Cocktail Shack."

(Photo of 'The Teacher's Pet'courtesy of
the Devil-Ettes of San Francisco)

And don't forget
"You'll 'see' me there!"

Girls! Girls! Girls!

Johnny Fean Video Clip from The Point!

The Point Depot, Dublin for the Philip Lynott Tribute Night, August 2005

At Johnny and Steve's site, you can now download a video file showing Johnny on stage with: Neil Murray, Bob Knight, Danielle Pfiffner, Charmaine Barrett and Jason Swindle. It's the end of "Trouble with a capital T" and the start of "Dearg Doom".

Slide show of Photos from the night here.

Everyone says that this was THE gig!

Monday, September 19, 2005

"Neon spells out my name

But I enter from the alley outside"

The second piece of Horslips-related good news is not mine to spill. But Danny of the Horslips Tribute Band drops a few hints over at the Guestbook.

"Is there anything I can offer to learn more?"

(Photo of the 'It Girl'
courtesy of the Devil-Ettes of San Francisco)

Again, for first-time visitors and the casually curious, the Horslips Tribute Band tell their story in their own words:

The idea of a tribute band to the Celtic Rock supergroup, Horslips, first surfaced in late 2004. Organ player Michael Rafferty, after listening to numerous records by the group, formed the idea of bringing together a group of musicians for one performance in tribute to the band. As the idea began to gather realistic potential, Ryan O’Sullivan was approached and soon recruited as the group’s guitar player. As word spread about the possibility of a tribute band forming, it became apparent that a number of other musicians, who cited Horslips as a main influence, were interested. The group soon recruited John Kelly on vocals, Conor McAloon on lead guitar, Daniel McCormack on bass guitar, and Damien Maguire on drums and percussion. The traditional side of the group consisted of Michael Kielty on flute, Patrick Bogues on fiddle, and Niall Moore on trumpet.

The first Horslips Tribute gig was performed in the CBS Grammar School in Omagh, the school which all of the members of the band attended. With Barry Devlin, bass player of the Horslips, in attendance, it proved to be an extremely successful night as the band performed the entire ‘Book Of Invasions’ album. With this first gig proving a great experience for the band, it was agreed that the group should continue to perform under the Horslips Tribute banner, in homage to the band who inspired the idea in the first place.