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Teenage Fanclub mix old and new for Festival show



Date Published: {J}

Teenage Fanclub’s show at the Radisson is one of the musical highlights at this year’s Arts Festival. The veteran Scottish band make play their first ever Galway show on Thursday, July 22. Teenage Fanclub released their first album A Catholic Education in 1990 and have since built up a loyal, cult following.

Gerry Love, bassist and singer with the group, is in chipper form as he reflects on Teenage Fanclub’s career and their impressive new album. Shadows is a record that reprises the band’s winning combination of Byrds-like harmonies and jangly guitars.

“We recorded it quite a long time ago,” says Gerry. “It seems to be getting a decent reception across the board. It’s kind of hard to gauge records when you’re making them; some people like that sound at the moment so that’s helpful for us.”

Teenage Fanclub started recording Shadows in 2008, so why did it only seeing the light of day this year?

“A few things have changed – we have new management,” Gerry explains. “In the past we would just prepared to bang the record out, [but] they’re taking a wider view of it – trying to fit it into some sort of strategy.”

Having been signed to major labels like Creation and Geffen in the past, Teenage Fanclub are used to playing the waiting game in music.

The group is blessed with songwriters. Gerry, Norman Blake and Raymond McGinley all sing and write songs for the group. You might think that this would create tension but Gerry enjoys the band’s unusual dynamic.

“In terms of recording for an album, I think we’re happy to only have to present four or five ideas,” he says. “I don’t think any of us are extremely prolific so it’s not like there’s somebody turning up with 15 songs.”

The members of Teenage Fanclub also like to push themselves when it comes to making records – they only write songs when they are in the studio.

“That’s the thing that holds it up a lot of the time,” Gerry admits. “If we were totally prepared, we’d make records very quickly. Apart from the very first record, we’ve always been in the process of writing while we were in the studio. We always say, ‘next time we’ll have everything prepared’ but we’ve never really learned how to do that!”

In 1994, Teenage Fanclub recorded Fallin’, a collaboration with legendary hip-hop group De La Soul. This unlikely partnership featured on the soundtrack for a film called Judgement Night – but the band nearly ended up working with a different artist.

“That was an amazing experience – it was like Jim’ll Fix It or something,” Gerry says. “It was such an unlikely partnership. This guy phoned us up and said ‘do you fancy working with PM Dawn?’ and we said ‘am . . . yeah, maybe’. A couple of days later he said PM Dawn can’t make it, how about De La Soul.’ We said ‘you must be joking!

“We were makinga record just outside Manchester and they flew over from Long Island,” he adds. “It was kind of surreal but there wasn’t much time for pleasantries; we had two days to come up this song that didn’t exist when they arrived. Just to watch how those guys worked was amazing.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past



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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Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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Archive News

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.

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