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October 30, 2015 / rockroots

Treasure on the Wasteland: Irish Nuggets 1977-89

If this site has whetted your appetite for something slightly more modern, the Irish Nuggets blog brings you an excellent initiative collecting Original Artyfacts from the Irish Alternative Music Scene 1977-89. Most of these have had to be digitised from vinyl, so a lot of work has gone into this project. A Treasure indeed!

Treasure on the Wasteland: The Irish Alternative Music Scene 1977-89

June 20, 2015 / rockroots

Sugar Shack – Morning Dew / Sunshine Of Your Love


After stints with Dublin groups including The Liffey Beats, The Black Eagles and The Burma Boys Showband, drummer Brian Downey joined Pat Fortune (bass/vocals), Brian Twomey (guitar/vocals, formerly with The Difference) and Dermot Woodfull (guitar, formerly with The Intruders) in rock band Sugar Shack in 1967. With, according to the Irish Rock Discography, a repertoire of pop and blues-rock covers and some originals, the two recorded songs they left behind suggest they must have been an impressive live act.

‘Morning Dew’ was written by folk singer Bonnie Dobson, but later made famous by Tim Rose (who awarded himself a co-writing credit) and The Grateful Dead. Sugar Shack’s version may owe a debt to that by The Jeff Beck Group, also recorded in 1968, featuring strong musicianship but with vocals paling in comparison to Rod Stewart’s. Cream’s ‘Sunshine Of Your Love’ sounds better, with a real hard-rock thump and a song more suited to the singer. Through Tribune Records this single reached #17 in the Irish chart, but the band were divided on whether to follow a rock or pop route, and they split up after two years when Brian Twomey got married.

By 1969 Downey had reunited with his former Black Eagles bandmate Phil Lynott to form The Orphanage, and the two played together in another rock group during the ’70s and ’80s. Pat Fortune later turned up in country group The Ranchers and a mid-’70s line-up of showband Stage 2, not long after Dermot Woodfull had joined the Canadian-based Dublin Corporation, formerly The Pacific Showband, a familiar career path for many Irish rock musicians at the time. Woodfull apparently died in a car accident in 1976.


Sugar Shack (192 kbps)

  1. Morning Dew
  2. Sunshine Of Your Love


See Also:

Irish Rock Discography: Sugar Shack

Irish Showbands & Beat-Groups Archive: Sugar Shack


March 14, 2015 / rockroots

Henry’s Heroes: A benefit in aid of Henry McCullough

It’s way too late to be highlighting this St. Patrick’s Day gig – especially as tickets have been sold out for quite some time – but it’s good to see such an array of musicians willing to help out in aid of the ongoing care of legendary guitarist Henry McCullough in the aftermath of his crippling November 2012 heart attack.

Henry’s former Eire Apparent manager and Stiff Records founder Dave Robinson has set up a Facebook page in order to raise funds for Henry’s care.


March 9, 2015 / rockroots

Lyric FM – Granny’s Intentions

RTÉ’s Lyric FM broadcast an hour-long show on Granny’s Intentions with lots of great interviews, which will be of interest to many readers here. Should’ve been two hours!

The Lyric Feature: Granny’s Intentions and the Birth of the Irish Beat Scene

December 19, 2014 / rockroots

Tina & The Real McCoy – I Don’t Know How To Love Him



The Irish Rock Discography justifiably calls this “a ghastly front cover” (are those Tina’s own hands or someone else’s threatening to strangle her?), but the description of the content as “bland country-tinged covers done showband style” might arguably be a bit harsh. As mentioned elsewhere, Dublin-based group The Real McCoy formed in 1968 and had a string of quirky, vaguely psychedelic pop hits such as ‘I Get So Excited’‘Quick Joey Small (Run Joey Run)’ and ‘Guitarzan’, but by 1971 the band had begun to fracture. Core members Dave Pennefather (drums), Eddie Campbell (lead guitar) and Keith Donald (saxophone), who had all previously been with The Greenbeats, regrouped at the end of that year with a new line-up backing singer Tina Reynolds, formerly of the showbands Tina & The Mexicans and Jim Farley & The Tophatters. With Tommy Walsh (organ), John L. Sullivan (saxophone) and Johnny Brown (bass), they became Tina & The Real McCoy and scored an immediate Irish number one with the ballad ‘I Don’t Know How To Love Him’, taken from Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s recent rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar and driven by Tina’s strong but pure vocals.

The hit was included on this LP which followed in 1972. Among the more schmaltzy songs on offer were the poppy gospel number Put Your Hand In The Hand’ (as recorded by Canadian singer Anne Murray and by Canadian band Ocean), the Sonny & Cher song ‘All I Ever Need Is You’ (also recorded by Kenny Rogers & Dottie West) and Mort Shuman and Kenny Lynch’s ‘Over My Head’ (originally a B-side by Cilla Black). Things improved a bit with a punchy take on Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘Keep The Customer Satisfied’, and with ‘Did You Ever’ – a vaguely suggestive recent minor country hit for Charlie Louvin & Melba Montgomery. There is a creditable version of The Carpenters’ ‘For All We Know’, although ‘Superstar’ suffers from an overly lounge-music arrangement. The Band’s ‘The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down’ is smoothed out with orchestration but the female vocals give it a new twist, while the jaunty tone of ‘The Banks Of The Ohio’ disguises some pretty dark lyrics in this nineteenth-century murder ballad. The best track on the album is probably ‘Tell Me What’s The Matter’, seemingly an original written by producer John D’Ardis, which could have ranked alongside the better Eurovision entries of the day. The production overall is great, though the quality of the source record used for this post isn’t great.

There were a few more singles and an EP which included tracks not available on this album. A road accident near Portloaise in the summer of 1973 brought an abrupt end to the band, as both Tina and Keith Donald were hospitalised for some time and they never reconvened. Tina had entered the National Song Contest in 1972, finishing third, and had been flown out to the April 1973 Eurovision Song Contest in Luxembourg as a possible replacement for Maxi, who was threatening not to perform because of problems with the live rehearsals. In 1974, after her recovery, Tina finally represented Ireland at the Eurovision with ‘Cross Your Heart’ (written by Chips member Paul Lyttle), but came in seventh behind ABBA’s breakthrough performance. Enjoying a solo Irish hit (a German-language version was also released), Tina soon joined the long-established Nevada Showband and scored further hits during the rest of the decade, but also suffered another serious road crash before eventually retiring from touring in 1978. Eddie Campbell was one of the many Irish ex-pats who found it easier to earn a living as a musician in Canada, joining Dublin Corporation in 1973 (and becoming close friends with fellow-exile Ray Elliott), but died there at a very young age. Band leader Dave Pennefather became General Manager of MCA Ireland from 1984 and was Managing Director of Universal Ireland from 1999 to 2008.

Tina & The Real McCoy – I Don’t Know How To Love Him (192 kbps):

  1. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
  2. Tell Me What’s The Matter
  3. Over My Head
  4. All I Ever Need Is You
  5. Did You Ever
  6. I Don’t Know How To Love Him
  7. The Banks Of The Ohio
  8. For All We Know
  9. Put Your Hand In The Hand
  10. Superstar
  11. Keep The Customer Satisfied


See also:

Irish Rock Discography: The Real McCoy

Irish Showband & Beat Group Archive: The Real McCoy

Irish The Real McCoy

June 30, 2014 / rockroots

More Updates

Now that I’ve gotten all that Planet of the Apes stuff out of my system it’s time to get back to the point of this site.

Sad news recently was the death of singer Eamonn Gibney. Eamonn had a fascinating career from his origins in Glasnevin with Dead Centre and for many years he really was dead centre of the music scene in Dublin, making waves with Purple Pussycat, singing soul music with The Arrows and Alyce, a stint with Skid Row, part of a duo with Gibney & O’Donovan, as part of Allies, and as a solo artist. To remember his soulful voice, listen to this:


On a happier note, thanks to Ian Monahan for pointing out that Ditch Cassidy recorded a fairly recent single which can be bought through itunes here, or listened to here:

June 25, 2014 / rockroots

Even More Music of the Planet of the Apes



As promised in the previous post, here is one more collection of sounds inspired by Planet of the Apes. Where the last collection had a hard rock slant, this one looks to areas like hip-hop and electronic music which were slower to embrace the Apes. Much of this is instrumental music, some of it only using an Apes reference for the song title, some using samples from the films. There are tracks from Japanese superfans Cornelius and Nigo, and from a Planet of the Apes hip-hop concept album by Suave the Ape. Finland’s Ceebrolistics take things a step further in a Christian-based  hip-hop attack on the theory of evolution (more recently, Destiny Lab have used a similar strategy, even dressing as apes to make their point, but aren’t included here). A lot of this music was also created by musicians without any commercial considerations and made available freely online.

As is always the case, there is no copyright infringement intended in the posting of this collection, merely the sharing of good music among that part of the human population of this planet who enjoy music and Planet of the Apes. Any requests to remove content will be respected.


Beware The Beats, Man!

  1. (Ape Chatter – Lord have pity on us)
  2. La Vida Rosa – Indie Dance Party on the Planet of the Apes
  3. (Ape Chatter – The Holy Bomb)
  4. Eric Dingus – Zira
  5. Suave The Ape – Crash Landing
  6. (Ape Chatter – Planet of the Apes)
  7. Ben Allison – Dr Zaius
  8. (Ape Chatter – Beyond the Stars)
  9. Lionel Gaget – Planet of the Apes – Video Game (extracts)
  10. Ceebrolistics – Escape from da Planet of Apes
  11. (Ape Chatter – Two Humans)
  12. Enon – Return to the Planet of the Apes
  13. Cornelius – Taylor
  14. (Ape Chatter – Oh Monkeys)
  15. Shawn Lee – Urko’s Revenge
  16. Suave The Ape – Peace to the Planet Ape
  17. U.N.K.L.E. feat. Nigo & Scratch Perverts – Ape Shall Never Kill Ape
  18. PotA Collective – Forbidden Zone
  19. Ape Chatter – Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  20. AmAndA – La Ballade de Cornélius et Zira
  21. (Ape Chatter – Dawn of the Planet of the Apes)
  22. Danny Elfman & Paul Oakenfold – Rule the Planet (remix)
  23. (Ape Chatter – He is a Gorilla)
  24. Mortar – Escape from the Planet of the Apes
  25. (Ape Chatter – Phyllis)
  26. Kiwa – Planet of the Apes

zip download


Do please support the recording artists by buying the legitimate albums where available.

More details can be found on these and other Apes songs at The Planet of the Apes Wiki site:

The Sacred Scrolls: Music of the Planet of the Apes

And keep up to date with all things Ape on twitter here:

Planet of the Apes