Sunday, March 13, 2016

Counting Down to the Solemn Feast of St Patrick

Since this is the week on which the Solemn Feast of St Patrick begins, so as is tradition around here, I'll be posting videos by Irish musicians for the next few days. I think we all need a break from 'Murrican politics for a while.

Today, I'm posting a couple of videos by Dublin band Cactus World News, whose Bono-produced album Urban Beaches was released in 1986. The band had a large sound, clearly influenced by U2's musical stylings, with edgy (heh) guitars and earnest, guileless vocal deliveries. Here's a live performance by the band, performing their songs Worlds Apart and Years Later (WARNING: video depicts mullet):





The band formed in 1984, but their high point was definitely 1986, when they released their debut album and performed at the Self Aid benefit concert. Here's the band performing The Bridge, which had been their 1985 debut single:





Personally, I enjoyed the band's output, but in retrospect, I guess they didn't sufficiently differentiate themselves from U2... who needs a pastiche when the real deal is still touring and recording? The band broke up in 1991, but they recently reformed and successfully funded a pledge campaign to release an album of unreleased tracks. I'm glad for these guys, they always seemed like a good bunch of fellas.

6 comments:

Nasreen Iqbal said...

The only Irish band that matters is the Pogues.

Seriously, I don't know whether I have anything else by Irish bands (except for the obvious one I shall not name). I have Welsh artists like Kate Bush and John Cale. I have Scottish stuff like Incredible String Band, but Irish? I assume Shane McGowan ate them all.

Smut Clyde said...

Solid food has never been a large part of Shane McGowan's diet.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

The only Irish band that matters is the Pogues.

Pogues, eh? I seem to recall the name... Another band which I have loved for decades is Stiff Little Fingers, a Belfast band whose songs against sectarian violence, racism, and fascism are just as topical today as they were in the bad old days.

Solid food has never been a large part of Shane McGowan's diet.

He's been known to occasionally ingest a fried egg in Valtaro's.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

S.C., no more slanders, please!
~

Vixen Strangely said...

For Irish music, I'm all about Black 47 myself. For me St Patrick's is neither solemn, sacred, nor a drinking holiday-but rather a reminder that at least 25% of my ancestors were conned into a repressive patriarchal religion by an analogy regarding a tiny three-leafed weed and apparently a fear of snakes. Which has had an impact on my personal relationship with sexuality and herbalism ever since. And reptiles.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

For Irish music, I'm all about Black 47 myself.

Oh, yeah, I've had the privilege of hanging out with Larry Kirwan on a number of occasions. He's a great guy. I'm also good friends with Mary Courtney, who sang the duet with Larry on 'Living in America'.

For me St Patrick's is neither solemn, sacred, nor a drinking holiday-but rather a reminder that at least 25% of my ancestors were conned into a repressive patriarchal religion by an analogy regarding a tiny three-leafed weed and apparently a fear of snakes. Which has had an impact on my personal relationship with sexuality and herbalism ever since. And reptiles.

The real kicker is that the Irish branch of the church was different from the continental branch in many ways, it was a looser branch with a lot of weird ascetic traditions, but it seemed to be a lot less authoritarian. It's too bad they deferred to their continental brethren once they decided to renew the religion on the mainland post Dark Ages.

Funny about the reptiles and herbalism...