Skip to content
March 28, 2012 / rockroots

The Establishment – Bad Catholics

 

In 1979, a talent scout for Gulf Hotels saw folk/rock duo The Establishment in a Dublin bar and signed them for a three-month residency at the Dubai Hilton in the United Arab Emirates. Emerging from the ashes of pop group Julian’s Heirs, guitarists/vocalists Michael Kiely and Patrick Brady had recorded as hard rock trio Cromwell in the mid-’70s before adopting their new name for their 1977 semi-concept album The Unfree Child. Within weeks of their arrival in the Middle East they wrote the track Life In The Emirates, recorded it in Sharjah, gave the tape to a pilot to take back to Dublin, and took delivery of a consignment of freshly-pressed singles. In the song, they managed to name-check every district of the UAE – a trick Cromwell had also tried on their 1975 single You Got It Made (“Dublin City right, Donegal too right, way down in Cork right… Belfast City right, Mayo and Clare right, through Mullingar and all the other places we didn’t get time to mention”) – and had a local hit. The single was released in Ireland through the Faetain label in 1980, followed by a second Establishment LP, Bad Catholics, in 1981. Most songs on the album continued in the wistful folk vein (not in the Irish trad. sense) of the previous LP. Tracks like the reprised How Long Does This Charade Go On, Monday Morning and The Girl Downstairs deal with the angst of people unable to communicate their true feelings against the backdrop of the drudgery of everyday life; The Best Half-Hour Of My Life documents the plus-side of a near-death experience, and the album closes with the sarcastic, Lennon-ist Thank God I’m Normal. Jolyon Jackson (of Supply Demand & Curve) recorded most of the album in Dublin and also played keyboards, while Des Kiely (ex-Julian’s Heirs, and Michael’s brother) designed the artwork for the LP, which was dedicated to – and derived it’s name from a quote by – Brendan Behan.

Like The Unfree Child, Bad Catholics lacks the immediate gratification of the excellent Cromwell hard rock album At The Gallop, but both albums have a heartfelt and intimate lyrical quality which somehow becomes more rewarding with every listen, and they’re highly recommended. The Establishment were able to capitalise on their new-found popularity in the Persian Gulf after the Hilton contract finished by touring the region for a further four years until their split, after which Michael Kiely returned to Ireland while Patrick Brady stayed on as a solo performer. Brady later moved to Australia, where he toured with The Irish Drovers for many years and still works the hotel and cruise ship circuit. He has released a number of CDs, including a second wind for Life In The Emirates.

 

The Establishment – Bad Catholics (192kbps):

  1. Tonight She’s Miles Away
  2. Monday Morning
  3. The Girl Downstairs
  4. Rudolf The Red-Nosed Wino
  5. A Small Boy Came Walking
  6. It’s Really Hard (She’s So Busy)
  7. Al Hiyat Fi Al Emirat (Life In The Emirates)
  8. How Long Does This Charade Go On
  9. The Best Half-Hour Of My Life
  10. In Another City
  11. Thank God I’m Normal

 

See also:

Irish Rock Discography: Julian’s Heirs / Cromwell / The Establishment

Irish Showband & Beat Group Archive: Julian’s Heirs / Cromwell

Patrick Brady’s official website

 

Advertisements

13 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Nuala Nic Ghabhnán (@nualamcg1) / Jul 26 2013 17:24

    Had the pleasure of singing alongside Michael Kiely last week, a terrific musician and songwriter. I hope to sing with him again.. Get this man back on the scene!

    • rockroots / Jul 26 2013 20:13

      Yes, absolutely! And if there’s anything I can do to add encouragement, just let me know. Is Michael still based in Dublin?

    • MICHAEL KIELY / Aug 31 2015 21:23

      HI ROCKROOTS! HI NUALA! MICHAEL KIELY HERE THAT IS TO SAY GERMANY WHERE I HAVE BEEN BASED SINCE JUNE.SORRY NUALA BUT BOTH MY PHONE AND COMPUTER WERE STOLEN A WHILE BACK WHICH IS WHY I HAVEN’T BEEN IN TOUCH WITH YOU IN THE RECENT PAST. I REALLY ENJOYED OUR MUSIC SESSIONS IN COUNTY DONEGAL – EVEN THOUGH NEITHER OF US GOT PAID! – AND IF YOU’RE STILL UP FOR A TRIP TO GERMANY I WILL BE HAPPY TO ARRANGE IT FOR YOU. YOU HAVE SUCH A WONDERFUL VOICE AND I KNOW YOU WILL DRIVE THE GERMANS CRAZY! (ESPECIALLY THE MEN!)……PLEASE FEEL FREE – ALONG WITH MR ROCKROOTS – AND ANYONE ELSE WHO WANTS TO: MY NEW EMAIL ADDRESS IS michaelpkiely72@web.de…..IN THE WORDS OF THE LATE, GREAT SPIKE MILLIGAN, I WISH YOU ALL LOVE, LIGHT AND PEACE. MK

      • Carol Johnston / Mar 5 2017 22:32

        Its been a long time since I wrote you, but when will you be coming to the US. Come on you’ve got a place to stay……I’ve got plenty of room and Houston, Tx is a big, big place with hundreds of clubs to play in……call me in Houston…..281-973-8357. Would love to talk to you…..

  2. Frankie / Sep 1 2013 19:46

    I remember Michael from the Sussex 2 in Glyfada, man was a legend…. Michael if you’re reading this, get onto Facebook there’s a group called Glyfada Square 1980’s, loads of us asking about you

    • MICHAEL KIELY / Aug 31 2015 21:32

      HI FRANKIE! GREAT TO HEAR I HAVEN’T BEEN FORGOTTEN! I TOO FONDLY REMEMBER THOSE NIGHTS IN THE SUSSEX 2 GLYFADA. MY DAUGHTER LYNSEY WAS BORN IN ATHENS (MY SOUVENIR OF OUR TIME THERE!) SEE MY EMAIL ADDRESS ABOVE AND FEEL FREE TO TELL ANYONE WHO WANTS TO CONTACT ME IS WELCOME TO DO SO….AND I PROMISE TO REPLY TO ALL MESSAGES. M ICHAEL KIELY

  3. josie / May 1 2014 06:37

    we had a tape of Michael’s from the Sussex 2 but it recently broke, does anyone have one to sell or know where we can get another? Miss singing along with Glyfada Girl. 🙂

    • John / May 27 2015 03:19

      I purchased a tape from Michael containing Glyfada Girl from Michael during his sojourn in Naples Italy in 85 or 86. Still have it somewhere…

    • MICHAEL KIELY / Aug 31 2015 22:06

      HI JOSIE! I THINK IT’S PROBABLY IMPOSSIBLE THESE DAYS TO MAKE CASSETTE ALBUMS BUT YOU MAY BE PLEASED TO HEAR THAT “GLYFADA GIRL” WILL BE RELEASED ON CD AS WELL AS THE INTERNET LATER THIS YEAR. HERE’S SOMETHING YOU PROBABLY DON’T KNOW: I WROTE THE SONG “GLYFADA GIRL” ESPECIALLY FOR THE ENGLISH LOUNGE STAFF OF THE SUSSEX INN WHEN I HEARD THAT THEY WERE BEING PAID THE UNBELIEVABLE SUM OF $8 FOR A NIGHTLY EIGHT-HOUR SHIFT AT THE CLUB WHICH MEANT THAT THEY ALMOST COMPLETELY RELIED ON THE GENEROUS TIPS OF THE YOUNG U.S: AIRFORCE GUYS WHO CONSTANTLY THRONGED THE PLACE DURING MY 15-MONTH SIX-NIGHTS-A-WEEK STINT THERE BETWEEN 1984 and 1985. PLUS THEY WERE CONSTANTLY IN FEAR OF BEING ARRESTED BY IMMIGRATION FOR WORKING WITHOUT A PERMIT. NATURALLY THE OWNERS WERE VERY PISSED OFF BY WHAT THEY SAW AS MY VERY PUBLIC “BETRAYAL” OF THEIR DIRTY LITTLE SECRET AND SO WITHIN WEEKS I WAS REPLACED BY A MACHINE!….LOUD DISCO MUSIC (WITHOUT A DJ – JUST TAPES BLASTING AWAY). I’M SURE THEY THOUGHT: “WE’LL SHOW THAT BASTARD MICHAEL KIELY!”…..BUT WHAT THEY DIDN’T REALISE WAS I WAS ALREADY MAKING PLANS TO MOVE ON TO ITALY. WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT I DID IMMEDIATEDLY AFTER I WAS “FIRED”!….HI JOHN! WHEN I ARRIVED IN BELLA NAPOLI IN THE SUMMER OF 1985 I HAD ONLY ABOUT 30 OR COPIES OF “GLYFADA GIRL” WITH ME SO YOU WERE OBVIOUSLY ONE OF THE “LUCKY” ONES WHO MANAGED TO GET A COPY ALL THE WHILE PROVING THAT YOU MUST BE A MAN WITH IMPECCABLE MUSICAL TASTE! Mk

      • John Lyon / Sep 1 2015 15:47

        I feel fortunate then. I still have one of those tapes; a little the worse for wear, but I transferred several of the tracks to digital back in the day. Just listened to Glyfada Girl again; yes, a re-release would be welcomed!

        John
        Naples, Italy (1984-1985)

  4. ericgudmunsen / Aug 19 2015 16:36

    I’d like a copy of that tape too! (Well mp3 really) I saw Michael in Glyfada ’84, Naples ’86 and Lanzarote ’04. Hope you’re doing well pal.

    • MICHAEL KIELY / Aug 31 2015 22:13

      HI ERIC! I ONLY MET ONE GUY CALLED ERIC IN LANZAROTE WHO TOLD ME HE’D SEEN ME IN GLYFADA AND THAT (QUOTE): “I WAS PERSUADED TO BECOME A FULL-TIME MUSICIAN MYSELF”. IS THAT YOU? IF SO PLEASE GET IN TOUCH AT MY EMAIL ADDRESS ABOVE. ALL THE BEST Mk

Trackbacks

  1. The Establishment – The Unfree Child « Rock Roots

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: