Gracious, I’d written this article, then forgotten about it. It’s a for a no-nonse music blog called Sweeping the Nation, and their series of posts titles “Songs to Learn and Sing“.
Here’s the background from Sweeping the Nation:
If you’ve somehow missed all our trails, what this is is every day in November a different writer, one whom we trust implicitly, will be recommending a song that they reckon everyone should hear – to that end, leave comments on them all should the mood take you. And where better to start than with the choice of slightly dour and generally unreliable blogger Sweeping The Nation:
So, I wrote about the Fatima Mansions’ song Blues For Ceausescu. I first heard it about 16 years ago, and it blew my mind. And just recently, I see the lead singer, Cathal Coughlan, doing a solo-ish performance in London…
It must have been early 1990 when the noise began. I was 17 and studying for my final school exams. There I was one dark night, bent over my student desk in a dark corner of Co. Wexford, listening to the Dave Fanning Show on Ireland’s 2FM radio station. A vicious noise tore through my headphones. What the hell was Fanning playing at? Guitars like chainsaws beating their way through a butcher shop and howls of feedback circling overhead. A murky, distorted but recognisably Irish voice lurching through the noise, spewing vitriol. But not before it greeted the listener: “Well hello”. Impossible to work out the lyrics from there but for the chorus – “Ciao, Ceausescu”. The top of my head lifted off. From that moment on, rock music stopped being just entertainment for me. It wasn’t a lacuna or lovestruck escapism anymore. Music could transcendent the mundane, and be charged with raw energy. And it could still be good music!
Read the article: Fatima Mansions – Blues For Ceausescu »