Oh god, not another Morrissey post…
Inspired by this Guardian Music list, and to coincide with Morrissey’s excellent new album, I thought I’d pick ten of his most overlooked tracks to share. Those looking for an Everyday Is Like Sunday or an Irish Blood, English Heart… turn back now.
In no particular order of preference… Continue reading
Anyone who knows me in person knows that I’m a big fan of The Smiths; the title of this very blog is taken from the name of a compilation of theirs. Earlier this year, my lovely other half arranged a surprise trip to Manchester for my birthday, knowing that I’ve wanted to go for years and traipse the hallowed paths that Morrissey, Johnny Marr, Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce once did.
There are guided tours for this sort of thing, but they didn’t seem to be running in February, or else you needed to have a group in order to book – so we took it upon ourselves to make our own way around the city to see some Smiths-related sites. Manchester isn’t that big and the public transport is great, so it was relatively easy to get around to a few places over the course of a morning. Maybe this post will come in handy for other people planning a similar trip, because there’s not that much sensible info out there.
Originally published in The Irish Post, November 2013
Actual graffiti spotted on a wall in Belturbet, Co. Cavan
IF THERE IS, as they say, something in the water in Cavan, then it has taken one band slightly longer than usual to fully ingest its magical ingredient. Twenty-four years, to be exact. The Strypes may have blazed a trail over the last year, making fans of Elton John, Noel Gallagher and Paul Weller and creating Beatlemania-like scenes in the tents of Glastonbury and the airport terminals of Tokyo alike – but they may have inherited the mantle of ‘Cavan’s most famous exports’ from a different band, if things had turned out differently.
The Would Be’s, the band initially formed by brothers Paul, Eamon and Matt Finnegan in Kingscourt, Co. Cavan in 1989, became the could-have-beens when their fairytale story turned sour. A brilliant debut single (‘I’m Hardly Ever Wrong‘) saw the quintet compared to The Sundays and The Smiths; John Peel played it on his radio show and invited them to London to record a session; Morrissey invited them on tour as his support act and they had A&R men from multiple major labels clambering for their signatures. The future looked promising – until a combination of bad decision-making and youthful naivety saw them sign to an independent label, Decoy Records, who failed to nurture their talent. The dream became a nightmare when media interest dwindled at the band’s failure to progress and release an album.
The Entertainment Editor of The Irish Post recently asked me to write about my longstanding and occasionally irrational love of Morrissey, to coincide with the release of ‘Morrissey 25: Live from Hollywood High’. Sometimes, you just have to put your journalistic impartiality to one side and allow your inner rabid fangirl to run rampant.
Originally published in The Irish Post, August 28th 2013.
A KITCHEN sink may sound like a strange place to fall head over heels in love with a band, but in a way it is the perfect setting for a love affair with The Smiths, who drew so much of their imagery and lyrical inspiration from the ‘kitchen sink’ dramas of the 1950s and 1960s.
I still remember the moment clearly; it was 2001 and I was in my parents’ house, washing the dishes and listening to the Very Best Of CD that I’d bought earlier that day. The music shop that I was working in part-time had been playing this new collection on a daily basis, and I like to think that even as I went about the monotonous task of stickering CDs and answering inane customer queries, the music was subconsciously seeping into my brain.
*By far the most famous person I’ve met/interviewed, I was a little star-struck by Robbie Williams – not least because I’ve been a Take That fangirl since I was 9. He was very likeable, though; witty, surprisingly self-effacing, but a little bit (understandably) guarded. I think he genuinely believed that nobody gave a damn about him anymore.
Originally published in The Irish Times, October 16th 2009
ROBBIE WILLIAMS was driving down the M6 with his girlfriend last November when he realised that he wanted to be a pop star again. Continue reading