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Playlist 23.07.12

Stuart Bailie | 13:36 UK time, Thursday, 26 July 2012

The Mighty Shamrocks had a brief bloom in the mid Eighties - cosmic American music with nuances of reggae and flecks of blarney. They came from the north west of Ireland, where musicianship was valued and the width of your trouser leg was not such a handicap. Micky Stephens sang with a woozy, Jaggeresque pitch. His songs were literate and sweetly maudlin - 'Breaking Up With Harry' seemed to be about a dalliance with Sister Morphine. Terri Hooley was a fan and I recall the cover of their 'Condor Woman' release on the wall of the Good Vibrations store. There was an aspiration to release an album on Terri's label and sessions were handled by Mudd Wallace at Homestead Studios, but when the shop went bust in 1983, all was shelved and the masters presumed lost.
Occasionally I'd meet someone like Bap Kennedy, who would talk keenly about the myth of the Shamrocks and how the band had had hipped him onto country music. And less frequently I'd hear rumours of the missing album, magically extant. And now, it seems, the collection is finally ready for release on the Good Vibrations label. There's a long version of the story, but it seems that Fran McCloskey, dedicated music supporter, had safeguarded a copy of the mix. Terri and the band's former manager Willie Richardson got the chance to package it together, the band gave it their blessing and sleevenotes were fetched up, with a remembrance of Paddy, their late drummer. The release date is August 6 and behold, they will even play three dates: The Portrush Playhouse (August 10), the Belfast Barge (August 11) and Connolly's of Leap, (August 12).

Blur - Tender (Parlophone)
Bobby Womack - Please Forgive My Heart (XL)
Calexico - Splitter (City Slang)
Ike And Tina Turner - It's Gonna Work Out Fine (EMI)
Dirty Projectors - Dance For You (Domino)
Duke Special - Stargazers Of The World Unite (Adventures In Gramophone)
The Herbalizer - The Lost Boy (Department H)
Soak - Sea Creatures (white)
Glen Hansard - High Hope (Anti)
Dirty Projectors - Swing lo Majellan (Domino)
David Byrne, St Vincent - Who (4ad)
The Mighty Shamrocks - Coronation St (Good Vibrations)
Madness - It Must Be Love (Stiff)
Hat Fitz And Cara - Freedom (white)
Euros Childs - That's Better (National Elf)
JD McPherson - Your Love (Rounder)
Big Joe Turner - Born To Gamble (Proper)
Soak - Doorstep (white)
Cold Specks - Hector (Mute)
Paul Buchanan - My True Country (Newsroom)
The Mighty Shamrocks - Marie (Good Vibrations)
The XX - Angels (Beggars)
Karine Polwart - King Of Birds (Hegri)
Dylan Leblanc - Part One: The End (Rough Trade)
Bessie Smith - Reckless Blues (Proper)
Ben Glover - No Means Yes (white)

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