They were one of the greatest bands on the Creation Records label. A band who famously hit the big time by, er, ‘waking up’ and embracing Britpop. Label chief Alan McGee says the song destroyed them, maybe it did, but they still remain a top band. Who were they? Where are they now? Well, thanks to a local Irish newspaper and featured on my Medium-Sized Town, Fairly Big Story slot on RTE2FM’s ‘Breakfast with Hector’ Show one of the Boo Radley’s has turned up in rural Newry!
Rock star urges public to ‘Wake up’
Our main source for news in Northern Ireland, Cormac Campbell of the Newry Reporter has a great musical story this week, which teaches us that you just never know who is living and working in your community.
“A charity initiative by the staff and students of St Louis Grammar has unearthed the exciting hidden history of one of the Kilkeel school’s teachers.
Moved by the devastation in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan, the school linked up with the SERVE charity to produce the song ‘Now I Know’ which was written by teachers and performed by A-Level Music Technology Pupils.
The song was written by senior teacher Tim Brown, his wife Catherine and the school’s music teacher Mrs Dearbhla McDonagh – and speaking to the Reporter Tim revisited his previous career in a band that had a number one album which yielded an instantly recognisable single.
Born in Wallassey near Liverpool, Tim was the bass player of The Boo Radleys – whose 1995 single ‘Wake up Boo’ still regularly graces the national airwaves.
“It tends to be other teachers who tell the students (about the band),” he said. “They have all heard the song.
“I started playing guitar when I was 11. We were in a band from 15 and played our first gig at 15 as well. We dreamt we could make a career out of it. We did our A Levels and got jobs to pay for the equipment. It started to get serious at 19 or 20.
“We were living in Liverpool and did a deal with Action Records in Preston. It was all on vinyl then. Then we signed with Rough Trade Records. We were able to not work as we were getting £80 a week. From then until the band ended we were on Creation Records. After we’d been signed they signed Primal Scream and Oasis.
“Oasis actually supported us a couple of times, but it was clear they wouldn’t be doing that for long.”
However, after Sony bought over Creation, Tim and his band found themselves without a record deal, leaving them at a career crossroads.
“Changing (career) wasn’t really our choice,” he said. “We’d done seven albums for Creation, it was the end of our contract and Sony was buying over the whole label. They weren’t interested in us. I was happy to carry on but it was the guitarist, who wrote the songs, choice to call it a day.
“After the band, I ran a studio in Liverpool, I was also working to sustain it. Then I had to think of what I was doing in future and I saw that they were looking for IT teachers in England. I did a year’s teaching in Liverpool. My wife is from Belfast and after her father died she wanted to move home. I ended up getting a job teaching at St Louis and have been here since.”
To view the video for Now I Know log on towww.youtube.com/StLouisGrammarSchool.
Hat’s the news
The Sligo Weekender newspaper had some earth shattering news last week. In it’s local notes pages there was a story that sent shockwaves throughout Sligo — and thanks to Twitter — to the whole of Europe!
The headline: “Hat found”
The story: “A hat has been found up a tree in Carney village. The head garment, which is green with a white bobble, was discovered last Sunday by a local resident. ‘I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw it up there,’ said the resident. ‘I got it down with a stick and put it on a fence post opposite Laura’s Pub.’ The owner now has until December 6th to reclaim the hat, after which it will be destroyed.”
After it was posted to Twitter by photographer Ciaran McHugh a campaign to save the hat began. However, after the UK edition of the Huffington Post ran the story it was revealed to be a cruel hoax.
Apparently it was an April Fools story printed in the Wetherby News in 2011, with a a few differences. So, the bad news, the story is a fake, the good news is that the hat is saved (if it existed of course…)
No lights in ‘Blaney?
Hot news from the Northern Standard.
Horror briefly visited the town of Castleblayney when it was announced that there would be NO CHRISTMAS LIGHTS put up in this year due to lack of funds in the town council!
Never fear however after a town meeting held this evening, with the Christmas lights top of the agenda, all was resolved and the town council have now changed their minds and have agreed to add additional funds so that the town will have lights this year!
Christmas is saved!
The Women of Christmas
A great column by Jean Farrell in the Westmeath Independent this week caught our eye. Talking about Nativity Play’s she questions if Christmas would have different without shepherds, smelly sheep, and wise men bringing even more useless gifts.
She writes: “what would have happened if it had been three wise WOMEN instead of three wise men who had come a calling. They would have asked for directions, arrived on time, helped deliver the baby, cleaned the stable, made a casserole, and brought practical gift like disposable nappies, warm blankets and baby clothes.”
The title of the column says it all: Was Mary in too much pain to ask for a room at the inn?
Speaking of women, an unusual advert appeared in the Westmeath Topic and Westmeath Examiner this week advertising “the next generation in Christmas Lighting”
“NO PLUGS! NO FUSES! NO FUSS!” EVERY WOMAN’S DREAM!”
Kerry sharks fail to eat Dubliners
According to the Kerryman: “DINGLE Oceanworld’s two eight-foot sand tiger sharks were rather bemused last Saturday as three people climbed into their tanks and began to swim alongside them.
The 200lb plus sharks circled around for a while as a large crowd peered in to see the how the collective fates of Paul Fennell, Sean Doran and Bernard McMahon would pan out.
Dubliner Paul Fennell from Lucan had decided to go swimming with the sharks to raise funds for the Irish Premature Babies Charity.
Accompanied by scuba instructors Sean Doran and Bernard McMahon, the trio cut quite the figures as the two sand tiger sharks circled around them, while an equally inquisitive stingray took note of the situation unfolding in the tank.
The three Dubliners remained submerged for around 20 minutes as the sharks, a male and a female who normally dine on herring, squid and whiting, took their time in assessing the situation.
The sharks remained unperturbed by their visitors (or by memories of Kerry’s defeat toDublin in the All-Ireland semi-final earlier this year) and to the relief of family and friends, the three remerged from the tank unscathed.
Speaking to The Kerryman afterwards, an exhilarated Paul described the experienced as “magical”.
“This was something I had wanted to do for years, it was really special and the sharks were very calm, it is definitely something I would do again,” he said.
To help Paul in his efforts, the staff at Dingle Oceanworld also hosted a coffee morning in conjunction with the event which raised in the region of €690 for the cause.
Paul’s fund-raising drive for the Irish Premature Babies Charity is still open and people can text PREM to 57802 or visit his page on MyCharity.ie if they wish to donate.
Pope’s ‘eyes lit up’ at mention of Limerick
According to the Limerick Leader, the Pope’s “eyes lit up” when the Bishop of Limerick, Dr Brendan Leahy, told him he was from Limerick during a meeting last month.
According to Bishop Leahy, the Pope spent two or three months in Ireland in 1983 and he suspects he was in Limerick “because he knew it immediately once I said I was from Limerick”.
“I said to him ‘I come from Limerick’ and his eyes lit up. He said ‘Limerick, I know it, I was in Ireland’,” said Bishop
Dr Leahy, who met Pope Francis while he was attending a course for newly ordained bishops.
Jimmy Carr receives certificate of Irish descent in Limerick
ToWARDS the end of a sold out show in the UCH on Saturday, top UK comic Jimmy Carr made brief reference to his Limerick roots.
“I’m kind of from here because my parents are from here, although I don’t sound like you because I was brought up in the Home Counties,” he smiled.
Earlier, the comic was presented with a certificate of Irish heritage, joining such illustrious company as Tom Cruise in receiving the object, which is signed by Enda Kenny and recognises “the contribution made by members of our Diaspora worldwide”.
Given Carr’s show that followed, in which no section of society was spared his withering assesment, it would be interesting to have heard his thoughts on the certificate’s provenance, but the official statement merely said that he was “honoured and delighted” to receive it from Mayor Kathleen Leddin and Gathering co-ordinator Mary Killeen Fitzgerald.
Mayor Leddin said that Carr was “very proud of his parental connections with Limerick and certainly has an emotional attachment to the City and Ireland”.