Lost Music – Irish Edition No. 1

Irish music has benefitted, but also suffered greatly at the hands of U2 and the shadow they’ve cast for the last 30 odd years. This series of ‘Lost Music’ (which I sort of gave up on a while ago, as it seemed a bit dull) is about the plethora of Irish bands who’ve been forgotten, or indeed never really managed to make an impact in the first place. There’ll be no Rory Gallagher or Planxty here.

Ideally I would have started with The Magic Children (I think that’s the right name), who won 2FM’s battle of the bands in, I guess, 1993 with a song called ‘God is in the Movies’. The band weren’t very good (I can’t imagine that any of them went on to a carer in music), but they supported American Music Club when they played in the Tivoli the day ‘San Francisco’ was released, and were standing behind us whilst Morgan ranted about just how bad they were. I’ve always felt a bit sorry for that, but there we go – I couldn’t find a clip on the net.

Instead, I thought I’d plump for the endlessly wonderful Rollerskate Skinny. Always seen as a companion band to My Bloody Valentine, mostly because Kevin Shields’ brother was in the band, the band only released a couple of albums (and an EP), though apparently there’s a third fully recorded album that may yet find its way into the shops at some point (presumably not through WEA at this stage though!).

I always liked the name, and was lucky enough to be damn near deafened by them several times in Whelans. Anyway, you can read the Wikipedia page if you’d like to know what the various members have done  since:

In the tradition though, some music. The first clip here is off their debut album, ‘Shoulder Voices’, and was the song that made me go and buy the album. Lovely stuff. Sorry I couldn’t find an actual video for it:

The second is a song from their second album, ‘Horsedrawn Wishes’, which is called ‘Speed to my Side’:

If you haven’t heard the albums I’d really encourage you to go and find them, both are great, though if you’re going to go for one, I’d try ‘Horsedrawn Wishes’, which has some really great moments on it.

Categories: Music

7 replies »

  1. I have the second album. It didn’t really leave me with a lasting impression, though. Maybe I didn’t give it enough attention though, just because I picked it up so cheaply.

  2. I thought they were ‘The Beautiful Children’ and all it would have taken was to whisper to me ‘He’s standing behind you’ and I would have stopped. Anyway, they were probably destined for greatness before that moment!

    ‘Speed to my side’ still sounds so fresh. Actually, Arcade Fire owe a lot to them, listening to that single. They really were something special, pity it was cut short.

    Mud was saying he read an article (which i’ve never managed to find) about Jimi Shields, and he now works in the Botanic Gardens or someplace, with his wife, and has nothing to do with music! He says music is a young person’s game. It’s a real shame if you ask me.

    You ever hear ‘Wounded Knee’, Jimi’s second band with the flute player from Mercury Rev? I must see if I can dig it out.

    Jimi and Kevin’s sister is a shoe designer! Eileen Shields.

    Found Wounded Knees – Easier than i thought… Listening to it now and it sounds pretty good, but quite different from Rollerskate.

    They played in ATP in 2009!

  3. Easily found again, from his Wiki page – TTT (thirtythreetrees) – Shields established thirtythreetrees with wife Maria Vlahos in 2004. The practice provides landscape architecture and garden design services for building and planning projects, and it is also commissioned for artworks.

  4. Actually, it was The Unbelievable Children, now that I think about it. Shame about Jimi, he really should be doing something in music. Thanks for the Wounded Knee link, will check them out!

    Landscape gardening? That’s a scandal.

  5. Oh, well done, it was the unbelievable children! Listening to them now, and i think there’s a good chance they could be the lost irish no. 2!

    Yeah, Landscape gardening, and seems happy! It is odd, but I guess considering neither of us had heard of Wounded Knees, they didn’t do particularly well. Rollerskate skinny had a great sound, and he certainly shouldn’t have given up on it so easily, if you ask me. They were getting recognition from NME and the other rags, so they could have moved up to a decent level.

    Found his garden web site:

    He did the reworked Northbrook hotel, which isn’t very exciting.—front/

    Lots of water with purple lights through them and that sort of junk. He hasn’t worked on anything i have, as far as i can see. that would be freaky!

  6. I’ve just listened to all 7 songs from the unbelievable children and i stand by my previous statements!

  7. All seven songs! You’re a determined man! I’m not sure that they ever ran that competition again, so high successful did The Unbelievable Children prove to be.

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