Monday, August 27, 2018

VA - The Irish Showband Collection

The showband boom in Ireland is something that's difficult to explain at this late date. It grew out of a combination of a young, restless population, and a nation where television had not yet arrived, as late as 1960, which helped keep dance halls as a booming business seven nights of the week. Sometime in the mid-'50s, one of the dance bands -- the Clipper Carlton dance band from Strabane, County Tyrone, according to historian Eddie Kelly -- abandoned the traditional static presentation, and created something of a sensation; mostly, they added excitement in their stage moves and personality to their presentation, and audiences -- especially the girls -- responded by the hundreds. It might have heralded the equivalent of a rock & roll boom in Ireland, but for the fact that the music was still mostly more pop than rock & roll, with a healthy does of sentimental ballads. But rock & roll did seep into the repertory, along with the attributes it carried -- a distinctly youthful, exciting presentation, with a lot of energy and not much care for tradition, apart from some of the repertory. That odd mix of sounds is what is represented on this triple-CD set, which represents the best of the Irish showbands recorded by the Pye label in England during the '60s -- the showbands did represent a small but vital presence on the English rock & roll scene during this period, their releases periodically making it onto the charts and getting featured on television programs such as Come Dancing -- the Beatles, still months away from their first full-fledged recording contract, opened for the Royal Showband when the latter played the Pavilion Theatre in Liverpool in April of 1962. The mix of sounds here is decidedly strange to modern ears, jumping from enthusiastic covers of American rock & roll ("Papa-Om-Mow-Mow" by the Freshman, from 1967) to more generic pop and pop/rock, all by acts with names that will probably mean little to anyone not from Ireland: the Real McCoy, Tony Keeling & the Graduates, Alan Dee & the Chessman, Brendan O'Brien & the Dixies, Margo & the Keynotes, Sean Fagan & the Pacific, Butch Moore & the Capitol, Murty Quinn & the Miami et. al. The work isn't bad in any of the various genres represented, and the enthusiasm on the rock & roll and pop/rock numbers does come through on the recordings -- Castle might better have distilled the best of these cuts down to one CD of solid rocking numbers. The set is enjoyable if not exactly essential or revelatory. What's more, it does shed some light on this little-known (outside of the U.K.) musical phenomenon that took place just adjacent to the British beat boom and the British invasion, and Kelly's notes -- spread across separate booklets for each CD -- are highly informative.



01. The Freshman-Papa Oom Mow Mow                           
01. The Freshman-Papa Oom Mow Mow (1)                       
02. Real Mccoy-Many The Memories                            
02. Real Mccoy-Many The Memories (1)                        
03. Tony Keeling & The Graduates-Crystal Chandeliers        
03. Tony Keeling & The Graduates-Crystal Chandeliers (1)    
04. Alan Dee & The Chessmen-Michael Murphy's Boy            
05. Brendan O'brien & The Dixies-I Love You More Today      
06. Margo & The Keynotes-The Road By The River              
07. Sean Fagan & The Pacific Showband-She Wears My Ring     
08. Butch Moore & Capitol Showband-Down Came The Rain       
09. The Hoedowners-Snowball Crazy                           
10. Murty Quinn & The Miami Showband-One Kiss For Old Times 
11. Joe Dolan-The Answer To Everything                      
11. Joe Dolan-Two Of A Kind                                 
12. Shay O'hara & The Royal Blues-Santo Natale              
13. Johnny Kelly & The Capitol Showband-Black Velvet Band   
14. Dickie Rock & The Miami-Just For Old Time Sake          
15. Eileen Reid & The Cadets-Right Or Wrong                 
16. Sonny Knowles & The Pacific Showband-No One Knows       
17. Butch Moore & Capitol Showband-Our Love Will Go On      
18. Pat Lynch And The Airchords-The Leaving Of Liverpool    
19. Gregory & The Cadets-Land Of Gingerbread                
20. Brendan O'brien & The Dixies-Little Arrows              
21. Real Mccoy-Quick Joey Small (Run Joey Run)              
22. Eileen Reid & The Cadets-I Gave My Wedding Dress Away   
23. Brendan O'brien & The Dixies-She's Got You              
24. Butch Moore & Capitol Showband-Foolin' Time             
25. Dickie Rock & The Miami-Wishing It Was You              
26. Tony Keeling & The Graduates-Anything That's Part Of You
27. Gregory & The Cadets-More Than Yesterday                
28. Sonny Knowles & The Pacific Showband-No One Will Ever Kn
29. Brendan O'brien & The Dixies-It Doesn't Matter Anymore  
30. Pat Lynch And The Airchords-The Irish Soldier           
31. Capitol Showband & Des Kelly-Streets Of Baltimore       
32. Sean Dunphy & The Hoedowners-Wonderful World Of My Dream
33. The Freshmen-Just To See You Smile                      
34. Joe Dolan-The Jolly Tinker                              
35. Sonny & Sean-I Only Came To Dance With You              
36. Donnie Collins Showband-Young Love                      
37. Butch Moore-Walking The Streets In The Rain             
38. Brendan O'brien & The Dixies-Save The Last Dance For Me 
39. Margo & The Keynotes-Bonnie Irish Boy                   
40. Gerry & The Ohio-Ring Of Fire                           
41. Capitol Showband-Born To Be With You                    
42. Brendan O'brien & The Dixies-Together Again             
43. Sean Dunphy-If I Could Choose                           
44. Real Mccoy-I Get So Excited                             
45. Dickie Rock & The Miami-There's Always Me               
46. Tony Keeling & The Graduates-Edelweiss                  
47. Patricia O'kelly & The Hiltons-Carlingford Bay          
48. Sonny Knowles & The Pacific Showband-We Could           
49. Derek Dean & The Freshmen-La Yenka                      
50. Pat Lynch And The Airchords-Treat My Daughter Kindly    
51. Clem Quinn & The Miami Showband-Bucks Polka             
52. Sean Fagan & The Pacific Showband-Distant Drums         
53. Gregory & The Cadets-At The Close Of A Long Day         
54. Doc Carroll & The Royal Blues-Far Away From You         
55. Eileen Reid & The Cadets-If I Had My Life To Live Over  
56. Brendan O'brien & The Dixies-Katie's Kisses             
57. Butch Moore & Capitol Showband-So Many Ways             
59. The Millionaires & Michael Conn & Joe Doherty-Winter Win
60. Real Mccoy-Round The Gum Tree        

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the 2 Irish Showband boxes.



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