Date Published: 04-Apr-2012
Indie veterans The Frank and Walters play Róisín Dubh on Friday, April 27. This year the Cork quartet celebrate the 20th anniversary of their debut release, Trains, Boats and Planes, and have a new album called Greenwich Mean Time to promote.
Lead singer and bassist Paul Linehan reflects on his two decades in the band.
“It feels good,” he says. “We love being in the band and playing live; we love everything about it. I’d be very sad if we ever had to give up. Really, it’s part of who we are at this stage.
“Ashley (Keating), the drummer, has been with us from day one,” he adds. “We’re good friends. And we’ve two other members – Rory (Murphy), who just joined over a year ago, he’s the guitarist. And Cian (Corbett) is the keyboard player. We all get along together very well and we’ve good craic on the road. It’s a brilliant job!”
The Frank and Walters formed in 1990 and released their debut album in 1992.
Spurred on by the single After All – a song that still gets airplay – Paul and the band quickly found themselves gracing the cover of magazines and playing to thousands.
“Back in ’92 and ’93 we started a very quick rise to fame,” he recalls. “Within about a year, everything we touched turned to gold.
Everything we did was always right. We got great reviews – we had single of the week from NME and Melody Maker for our first three singles.
“After All was the highlight of it,” he says. “And playing Glastonbury, Top of the Pops, and Reading. I suppose we really weren’t prepared for it. We were in a band and we never thought that we’d become successful.”
The hectic demands of the rock ‘n’ roll life were a bit overwhelming for the unassuming Cork band, and they took some time out before releasing The Grand Parade in 1997.
At that time we did a lot of touring; in 1992 we did over 200 gigs and recorded an album,” Paul says. “It’s a lot of work; it was kind of like music overload. We got burnt out, I think, by the end of ’93.
“The record company had kind of run us into the ground with touring and promotion,” he adds. “It was just constant. At the end of ’93 we decided to stop completely, no more touring or anything. We decided to have a break, and then we got working on The Grand Parade album.”
It’s been six years since the last Frank and Walters album. Why the long delay?
“I think it’s life and other things but I’m really the only writer in the band, and it’s up to me,” explains Paul. “With The Beatles, you had three of them writing songs. They basically could write an album three times quicker than I could!
“I have a strict quality control. I’ve loads of songs but I won’t let an album out until I’m really happy with it. That’s probably one of the reasons there’s a gap between albums. When you have a gap, you witness real life and those events that happen over those years, they shape the songs.”
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
The way we were – Protecting archives of our past
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
Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr
Date Published: 23-Jan-2013
Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup
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.