In the latest of our series of WeAreNoise Staff Top 5′s, Stephen takes a trip through some great – and often underrated – Irish music
1. The High Llamas – The Dutchman
Formerly of Microdisney (from Cork, you know – ed.), Dublin-born Sean O’ Hagan wrote some of the most beautiful songs ever written by an Irish man when he formed The High Llamas in the early 90′s.
2. The Hitchers – You Can Only Love Some So Much But You Can Hate Them All The Way To Hell
The Hitchers were a huge inspiration to our gang. Our little band rehearsed across a big open yard from them and many an evening was spent smoking fags and earwigging their rehearsals at the door of their shed. Championed by the likes of John Peel (subsequent Peel Sessions), Steve Lamacq and Bob Geldof, the band released two great albums in the mid to late 90′s. As I couldn’t find a decent version of my favourite Hitchers song ‘Liver’, I opted for this 4 chord / two line gem. Look out for infamous Limerick toker Ned Mac on violin in this live performance on Kenny Live. Ned wasn’t in The Hitchers nor did he play Violin.
3. Rollerskate Skinny – Cradle Burns – Horsedrawn Wishes
The 2nd track from their 2nd album has more ideas in 4:50 seconds than most Irish bands have in a lifetime. They should have been a lot bigger than they were but like a lot of great Irish bands, fell short.
4. Peter Delaney – If You Become Impossible
A stunningly beautiful song by an amazing talent. Peter Delaney is a fellow Limerick man that needs to be seen and heard in the flesh to be truly appreciated. I walk away from all of his gigs wanting to burst into tears but normally settle for a fag and another pint. If I owned a record label, without doubt, Peter would be the first artist I would sign. Amazing!!
5. Wormhole – Leave the Blanket In
To this day Chicks Dig Scars remains to be one of my favourite Irish records. This record was the soundtrack to the end of 1994 into 1995 for me and always brings back great memories. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is about this album? It’s simple, it wasn’t exactly recorded in Abbey Road, it sounded bloody great over the speakers in the long defunct Blackspot (record shop) in Limerick, so I took a chance on it. Mind you Doc (Blackspot owner) had it down to a tee with customers, taste and timing with the in house system. Nonetheless it still stands the test of time. In retrospect, I think it was the lack of information about the band and the record that made the whole thing more appealing. Anyone else miss those days?