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May 9, 2012 / rockroots

Metropolis – Morning Shadows


Jazz rockers Naima formed in Dublin in 1974 with Andrew Boland, Trevor Knight, Garvan Gallagher and Fran Breen. Some of their earliest gigs were backing soon-to-split folk duo Tír na nÓg, who’s Leo O’Kelly briefly joined Naima before moving on to work as a producer. In 1977 Andrew Boland founded Keystone Studios, which became famous through recordings by U2, Clannad and Christy Moore, among others. Gallagher and Breen both went on to play with kindred spirits Supply Demand & Curve and later with Midnight Well. In 1979 Gallagher and Knight formed Metropolis with Paul Barrett, and in 1980 they were asked to help record some demos with The Woods Band, which in turn led to Trevor Knight leaving to form Auto Da Fé with Gay Woods the same year. Gallagher (bass/keyboards/guitar/vocals) and Barrett (keyboards/trombone/vocals) were joined by drummer Don Harris (formerly of Urge, Peggy’s Leg and Spud) and Ben Rice (sax/flute) by 1981, when Metropolis released their only album, Morning Shadows, engineered and co-produced by Andrew Boland at Keystone Studios. Guests included guitarists Greg Boland of Supply Demand & Curve and Gerry O’Beirne of Midnight Well. Completing the family atmosphere, Sonny Condell of Tír na nÓg provided the photo montage cover artwork. The light instrumental jazz-rock on offer is well-played and understandably not far removed from that of Supply Demand & Curve, but perhaps not quite as satisfying. It reminds me most of the music Soft Machine and Gong were making towards the end of their respective careers a few years before this album.

Main songwriter Paul Barrett became co-owner of STS Studios in Dublin which, like Keystone, gained international fame as a result of U2 recording there, along with the likes of Barry Moore/Luka Bloom. Barrett’s frequent session musicians at the studio during the ’80s and ’90s (aside from himself) included Garvon Gallagher, Trevor Knight and Gerry O’Beirne. During the 1980s, Trevor Knight recorded and toured extensively with Auto Da Fe, often joined by Garvan Gallagher. Gallagher, meanwhile, continued his career as a session bassist for advertisements and TV and film soundtracks, and was the musical director of the RTE children’s series Bosco between 1981 and ’87. He was a member of The Fleadh Cowboys with Fran Breen in the mid-to-late ’80s, spent twelve years in Mary Black’s band, and is currently a member of Pierce Turner’s ‘Verry Small Orchestra’. Both Gallagher and Knight have also branched into composing musical scores for the theatre in recent years.


Metropolis – Morning Shadows (192 kbps):

  1. At The Metropole
  2. The American Way
  3. 24th Of November
  4. Avril
  5. Rosie Rosewater
  6. Foreign Coin
  7. Skyways
  8. The Call
  9. Raining In Space
  10. Mbaso 695
  11. Moving Shadows


See Also:

Irish Rock Discography: Metropolis

Wikipedia: Garvan Gallagher

Paul Barrett’s official website

The Country Girls: Trevor Knight




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