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You've Got Dale

Stuart Bailie | 09:00 UK time, Wednesday, 25 June 2008

One of these weeks I'll put together a cool radio show full of songs about local landmarks. These will include 'Napoleon's Nose' by St Vitus Dance, 'Sailortown' by Energy Orchard and of course Van Morrison's 'Cypress Avenue'. Given that there have been two bands called Colenso Parade, there's the chance for a Holy Land reference, while Therapy's 'Six Mile Water' is just about essential. And if there's anything you can recommend, kind readers, please feel free with your suggestions

Another recording that I can't pass on is 'Macosquin, Coleraine' by The Sleeping Years. This is the work of Dale Grundle, a man who grew up near that parish, whose music is quietly exceptional. He was once in a band called The Catchers, who were raved over by the UK music press, were big in France and who seemed like the equal of that other literate combo, The Divine Comedy.

sleepingyears.jpgThe song looks back to the old place with a painterly care. He observes the stillness and also the religious tension, the coloured kerbstones and all. It's tinged with many years of exile and the regard of a proper artist. It's like Dylan Thomas, hauling Llaryggub over to County Antrim for a sentimental excursion. There a charming video here.

His debut album, 'We're Becoming Islands One By One' is made of similar stuff. He's also cares about the way his music is packaged, and if you can track down those previous EPs, you'll be delighted with his style. So hopefully, Dale won't always be such a stranger to us.


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