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Bizarrely named new album from nasty but nice Fight Like Apes

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Date Published: {J}

The brilliantly mad Fight Like Apes return to the Róisín Dubh this Saturday, August 28. The Dublin based band will celebrating the launch of their album The Body Of Christ And The Legs Of Tina Turner. Lead singer May Kay and synth player and songwriter Jamie are in chipper form as they prepare to head out on the road.

Fight Like Apes have come great song titles – Katmandu (Face It, You’re Caviar, I’m Hotdogs) and Waking Up With Robocop are two examples. Do they come up with names for tunes before they’re even written?

“Sometimes someone says a ridiculous line and we say ‘we have to call a song that’,” says May Kay. “But a song’s rarely based on a title.”

Jamie came up with the name for the second Fight Like Apes album. It’s hard to imagine another group dreaming up The Body Of Christ And The Legs Of Tina Turner.

“It was just something that was floating around for a long time,” he says. “Once I threw it out there as a possibility of being the album name none of us seemed to want to call it anything else.”

Fight Like Apes’ debut, The Mystery of The Golden Medallion was released in 2008 and it quickly established them as one of Ireland’s most in-demand indie acts. The singles, Something Global and Lend Me Your Face got extensive air play and saw them wow crowds at the Oxegen and Electric Picnic festivals.

For the follow-up, Fight Like Apes relocated to London. They spent a month working with producer Andy Gill, lauded for his work with post-punk pioneers Gang of Four. The band had honed their new songs down to the sound they wanted and were ready when the record button was pressed.

“That was quite important to us, that we were going over knowing what we wanted and how it would sound, to avoid making any rash decisions,” says May Kay.

Their aim was to make The Body Of Christ and the Legs of Tina Turner a more cohesive piece than its predecessor.

“This time we were ready to record an album whereas last time it was just songs that we’d be playing for so many years,” May Kay continues. “With this we were very sure we didn’t want to mess with the songs in the studio. We wanted them to just be songs and not be production and not be fancy computers.”

Having a veteran like Andy Gill in the studio was vital for Fight Like Apes.

“We wanted to talk to Andy for the first record but he wasn’t available,” explains Jamie. “We’re big Gang of Four fans and we really like the records he’d done. When we put it out there that we were looking for a producer, we got in touch with him. He wanted to record the album live, which is exactly how we wanted to do it. And he held the whole conversation from a bathtub – so he seemed like the right man to record the album!”

Some producers seek to put their own stamp on a band’s sound. This can often lead to it coming across as their work, rather than the band they’re working for. Fortunately for Fight Like Apes, Gill works in an entirely different way.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past

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A photo of Galway city centre from the county council's archives

People’s living conditions less than 100 years ago were frightening. We have come a long way. We talk about water charges today, but back then the local District Councils were erecting pumps for local communities and the lovely town of Mountbellew, according to Council minutes, had open sewers,” says Galway County Council archivist Patria McWalter.

Patria believes we “need to take pride in our history, and we should take the same pride in our historical records as we do in our built heritage”. When you see the wealth of material in her care, this belief makes sense.

She is in charge of caring for the rich collection of administrative records owned by Galway County Council and says “these records are as much part of our history as the Rock of Cashel is. They document our lives and our ancestors’ lives. And nobody can plan for the future unless you learn from the past, what worked and what didn’t”.

Archivists and librarians are often unfairly regarded as being dry, academic types, but that’s certainly not true of Patria. Her enthusiasm is infectious as she turns the pages of several minute books from Galway’s Rural District Councils, all of them at least 100 years old.

Part of her role involved cataloguing all the records of the Councils – Ballinasloe, Clifden, Galway, Gort, Loughrea, Mountbellew, Portumna and Tuam. These records mostly consisted of minutes of various meetings.

When she was cataloguing them she realised their worth to local historians and researchers, so she decided to compile a guide to their content. The result is For the Record: The Archives of Galway’s Rural District Councils, which will be a valuable asset to anybody with an interest in history.

Many representatives on these Councils were local personalities and several were arrested during the political upheaval of the era, she explains.

And, ushering in a new era in history, women were allowed to sit on these Rural District Councils – at the time they were not allowed to sit on County Councils.

All of this information is included in Patria’s introductory essay to the attractively produced A4 size guide, which gives a glimpse into how these Rural Councils operated and the way political thinking changed in Ireland during a short 26-year period. In the early 1900s, these Councils supported Home Rule, but by 1920, they were calling for full independence and refusing to recognise the British administration.

“I love the tone,” says Patria of the minutes from meetings. “The language was very emotive.”

That was certainly true of the Gort Rural District Council. At a meeting in 1907, following riots in Dublin at the premiere of JM Synge’s play, The Playboy of the Western World the councillors’ response was vehement. They recorded their decision to “protest most emphatically against the libellous comedy, The Playboy of the Western World, that was belched forth during the past week in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under the fostering care of Lady Gregory and Mr Yeats. We congratulate the good people of Dublin in howling down the gross buffoonery and immoral suggestions that are scattered throughout this scandalous performance.

 

For more from the archives see this week’s Tribunes here

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Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr

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Date Published: 23-Jan-2013

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Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup

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Date Published: 29-Jan-2013

Athenry FC 1

Kilbarrack United 2

(After extra time)

For the second year in succession Athenry were done in extra time in the FAI Junior Cup as last season’s beaten finalist’s came from behind to snatch an excellent game in Moanbawn on Sunday afternoon.

On a heavy pitch that was only playable following extensive groundwork by club officials all morning, the home side were by far the better side in the opening half, but failed to take advantage of a number of opportunities that came their way.

An Alan O’Donovan penalty gave them a merited advantage just after the restart, but thereafter were on the back foot as Kilbarrack took over, but for all their pressing, the home rearguard were dealing comfortably with their forays.

However they were struck a body blow just six minutes from time, as big striker Keith Kirwan was left all alone at the far post to head the equaliser and from that point on the Dubliners were the better side.

They started off the extra time in the ascendancy and enjoying all the momentum before striking for a good winning goal on 104 minutes. A strong bench allowed them to make some necessary changes and it was not a facility that was available to Athenry manager Gabriel Glavin.

With Gary Forde and Gary Delaney out through suspension following their sending off against OLBC in the previous round, and Seamie Crowe injured, it left their bench rather threadbare with just a number of young squad players available.

Playing with the aid of the slight incline and any wind advantage going, the home side had a Connor Cannon effort on target in the opening minute, while John Meleady was just over with a flick at the other end.

Meleady then tested Andrew Walsh who saved comfortably, before the goalkeeper pulled off a brilliant double save on 14 minutes.

Firstly he went full length to push away a Meleady shot and was then back on his feet to parry David Jackson’s close-range rebound.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

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