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Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Top 102 Albums. No 51. Half Orphan


Top 102 Albums. No 51. 
Half Orphan -  The Knocking Shop

I know, I know. This doesn't belong on a list of 102 Greatest Albums or 1001 or 2002 Greatest Albums but that's not what this list is about. These are 102 of MY favourite albums. and I couldn't put that list together without putting this in, my own foray into the world of making albums. I know there are other albums on this list which don't tick the box marked 'objective greatness' and if I can list those because they tick a box in my heart why not this.

Being in a band was one of the great adventures of my life, and also created and cemented some of my most treasured friendships. I can still remember our first "rehearsal", at which stage I had passed the bass guitar onto a friend, finally accepting that the only thing I had any talent for was not keeping my mouth shut.  That friend was possibly less competent than me on bass and was replaced by Derek Barter, who had experience with The Subterraneans who had been Dublin's next big thing for a while. Another ex-Subterranean Paddy Brady was our super-sub and also played on the album. The line up was completed by my old school friend Dave Connolly on guitar and drummer John Healy, born in Dublin but raised in Sydney, who worked alongside me at the time.

This album was recorded and mixed in one day, and not a long one at that. It was my first time in a studio. It probably shows. Some of these were 'guide' vocals that never got improved. Sadly we were unable to afford the 1/4" tapes and when a producer wanted to do some work on this we went back to the studio to discover that they had been taped over the night before.

But, rough and ready as they are, they were (self)-released and I got to hear myself being introduced by Dave Fanning on the radio. Anything more would probably been anticlimactic anyway.... although I do plan to reform the band when I win the lottery. You have been warned!

In a surprise development the inclusion of Half Orphan (the song) on a compilation album of lost indie gems from Record Collector magazine has led to the reformation of the band to play the launch gig in London on Jan 26th, 2016.

10 comments:

  1. Hi Seamus this way tops my one effort at glory - the short lived insistent porpoises!

    I can hear a bit of Nick Cave in their and you probably won't like this but Into Paradise as well

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    1. Thanks David, for watering my needy ego. The Nick Cave affect became more pronounced (see Ship of Fools on Reverbnation player in sidebar). I can't say that I ever picked up on (Backwards) Into Paradise but Rachel from that parish went on to play in Luggage who I once managed and who inspired me to give the rock band thing a try out.

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  2. There's a whiff of The Go Betweens on the title track.
    I like your gentler moments Seamus, Barry's Tune and Half Orphan, although I was singing Cab in the bath too...
    The boy on the cover is a ringer for my younger self...

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    1. Go-Betweens! I can feel my ego getting out of control.
      The boy is even more of a ringer for my younger self!
      In an obscure visual joke he is standing in front of Knock Cathedral.

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  3. Replies
    1. Indeed. Where you can get a mighty feed.

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  4. Finally got tracks to play by clicking on the picture. I really like DBB. Sounds like early Joy Division. Did you have a hand in the lyrics? Tom Waits/Burroughs could have ripped off Barry's Tune for That's the Way off the Black Rider!
    Brendan

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    1. I'd have to take full responsibility for the lyrics. I have my lawyers writing to Tom Waits. You may be called as an expert witness.

      Joy Division, to add to the Go-Betweens and Nick Cave. Why amn't I famous? No, don't answer that.

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  5. I followed the link from your most recent post here. You're a rock star, Dude! How come I didn't know that? Seriously, this is a great energetic album. I'm going to pass it on to my punky music pals. That line on "Half Orphans," -- Some things you can't get away from / No matter how far you go" took me back to a completely different music genre, but a kindred spirit perhaps, in Jackson Browne. He's got a song, "Your Bright Baby Blues" on The Pretender with the line that reminded me of yours: "No matter how fast I run / I can never seem to get away from me".

    Enjoying your album very much!

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    1. Thank you. Great to be getting to relive some of those R'n'R' fantasies again... And Jackson Browne to add to all the other comparisons here...

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