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Fighting With Wire forget frustration as they’re back on road

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Date Published: {J}

Fighting With Wire, a three piece rock band from Derry, play Kelly’s in Galway City on Sunday, February 12. Their fired-up sound will appeal to fans of Foo Fighters and Biffy Clyro.

Lead singer Cahir O’Doherty is just up, having pulled a late shift recording B-sides for singles that the band will releases this year.

“I was in there ‘til about 3 this morning,” he says. “I don’t know when to just stop and leave! It’s just a bit of madness in me.”

Fighting With Wire released their debut album Man Vs. Monster in 2008, and in the same year also signed a deal with Atlantic Records (famed for discovering Led Zeppelin).

“Atlantic were really keen for album number two,” recalls Cahir. “And so were the band, because those songs from the first record were really old to us as well. In 2009 we started writing and by the end of the year we basically had the second record recorded.”

But it would take Fighting With Wire over two years to release their debut, after their major label went cold on them.

“We finished it up in 2010 and then – silence,” says Cahir. “Everything just went on a strange hold. Terms were being thrown around like ‘rock is dead’ at the label. We were like ‘OK, if you don’t like the record, just let the band go’. They said ‘no, we like it. We don’t want to let the band go’.”

“It was a weird time. For the last two years I’ve been trying to get this record back, so we can release it. And this happens a lot within the industry. Labels – I don’t know what their thinking is with it but they do put you in limbo for a while.”

It was a tough time for Cahir and his band mates Craig McKean (drums) and Jamie King (bass). All that waiting around can be very frustrating – they must’ve come very close to packing it in.

“It’s the ruin of many of a band,” says Cahir. They just break up and stop. I understand totally now why they do that. It was a very strange and frustrating time for us as a band. We watched all our peers continue on and tour – we couldn’t even tour, because we had nothing for people to listen to.”

Yet Cahir doesn’t peddle the ‘labels are scum’ line. Looking back, he is grateful for the doors that Atlantic opened for Fighting With Wire.

“I can’t badmouth them,” he says. “They gave us such an opportunity and we got to work with Nick Raskulinecz, a producer who worked with Foo Fighters, Deftones and Alice In Chains. Such an amazing producer, and if not for signing with Atlantic we’d have never got to work with Nick.”

“And also, I went to LA and Nashville, song writing and stuff. And I got to meet some amazing people and work with some really cool guys. They gave us a lot of opportunity, as well as holding the momentum of the band back. There’s a bit of give and take there.”

With their second album slated for release in April or May, Fighting With Wire are rearing to go. They also have a tour lined up with Helmet, a much-loved alternative rock band who were peers of Nirvana. Cahir and the lads are glad to be hitting the road once again.

 

“Yeah, we’re really looking forward to it,” he enthuses. “This Irish tour will be the start of us getting out there. We’ve a load of new material and we’re really excited about it.”

“We’re all big fans of Helmet,” he adds. “So we’re out touring with those guys through March and April, in Europe and the UK. And then we’ll come back to do our own UK tour. But Ireland’s getting the first listen to a whole load of new songs.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past

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A photo of Galway city centre from the county council's archives

People’s living conditions less than 100 years ago were frightening. We have come a long way. We talk about water charges today, but back then the local District Councils were erecting pumps for local communities and the lovely town of Mountbellew, according to Council minutes, had open sewers,” says Galway County Council archivist Patria McWalter.

Patria believes we “need to take pride in our history, and we should take the same pride in our historical records as we do in our built heritage”. When you see the wealth of material in her care, this belief makes sense.

She is in charge of caring for the rich collection of administrative records owned by Galway County Council and says “these records are as much part of our history as the Rock of Cashel is. They document our lives and our ancestors’ lives. And nobody can plan for the future unless you learn from the past, what worked and what didn’t”.

Archivists and librarians are often unfairly regarded as being dry, academic types, but that’s certainly not true of Patria. Her enthusiasm is infectious as she turns the pages of several minute books from Galway’s Rural District Councils, all of them at least 100 years old.

Part of her role involved cataloguing all the records of the Councils – Ballinasloe, Clifden, Galway, Gort, Loughrea, Mountbellew, Portumna and Tuam. These records mostly consisted of minutes of various meetings.

When she was cataloguing them she realised their worth to local historians and researchers, so she decided to compile a guide to their content. The result is For the Record: The Archives of Galway’s Rural District Councils, which will be a valuable asset to anybody with an interest in history.

Many representatives on these Councils were local personalities and several were arrested during the political upheaval of the era, she explains.

And, ushering in a new era in history, women were allowed to sit on these Rural District Councils – at the time they were not allowed to sit on County Councils.

All of this information is included in Patria’s introductory essay to the attractively produced A4 size guide, which gives a glimpse into how these Rural Councils operated and the way political thinking changed in Ireland during a short 26-year period. In the early 1900s, these Councils supported Home Rule, but by 1920, they were calling for full independence and refusing to recognise the British administration.

“I love the tone,” says Patria of the minutes from meetings. “The language was very emotive.”

That was certainly true of the Gort Rural District Council. At a meeting in 1907, following riots in Dublin at the premiere of JM Synge’s play, The Playboy of the Western World the councillors’ response was vehement. They recorded their decision to “protest most emphatically against the libellous comedy, The Playboy of the Western World, that was belched forth during the past week in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under the fostering care of Lady Gregory and Mr Yeats. We congratulate the good people of Dublin in howling down the gross buffoonery and immoral suggestions that are scattered throughout this scandalous performance.

 

For more from the archives see this week’s Tribunes here

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Galway have lot to ponder in poor show

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Date Published: 23-Jan-2013

SLIGO 0-9

GALWAY 1-4

FRANK FARRAGHER IN ENNISCRONE

GALWAY’S first serious examination of the 2013 season rather disturbingly ended with a rating well below the 40% pass mark at the idyllic, if rather Siberian, seaside setting of Enniscrone on Sunday last.

The defeat cost Galway a place in the FBD League Final against Leitrim and also put a fair dent on their confidence shield for the bigger tests that lie ahead in February.

There was no fluke element in this success by an understrength Sligo side and by the time Leitrim referee, Frank Flynn, sounded the final whistle, there wasn’t a perished soul in the crowd of about 500 who could question the justice of the outcome.

It is only pre-season and last Sunday’s blast of dry polar winds did remind everyone that this is far from summer football, but make no mistake about it, the match did lay down some very worrying markers for Galway following a couple of victories over below par third level college teams.

Galway did start the game quite positively, leading by four points at the end of a first quarter when they missed as much more, but when Sligo stepped up the tempo of the game in the 10 minutes before half-time, the maroon resistance crumbled with frightening rapidity.

Some of the statistics of the match make for grim perusal. Over the course of the hour, Galway only scored two points from play and they went through a 52 minute period of the match, without raising a white flag – admittedly a late rally did bring them close to a draw but that would have been very rough justice on Sligo.

Sligo were backable at 9/4 coming into this match, the odds being stretched with the ‘missing list’ on Kevin Walsh’s team sheet – Adrian Marren, Stephen Coen, Tony Taylor, Ross Donovan, David Kelly, David Maye, Johnny Davey and Eamon O’Hara, were all marked absent for a variety of reasons.

Walsh has his Sligo side well schooled in the high intensity, close quarters type of football, and the harder Galway tried to go through the short game channels, the more the home side bottled them up.

Galway badly needed to find some variety in their attacking strategy and maybe there is a lot to be said for the traditional Meath style of giving long, quick ball to a full forward line with a big target man on the edge of the square – given Paul Conroy’s prowess close to goal last season, maybe it is time to ‘settle’ on a few basics.

Defensively, Galway were reasonably solid with Gary Sice at centre back probably their best player – he was one of the few men in maroon to deliver decent long ball deep into the attacking zone – while Finian Hanley, Conor Costello and Gary O’Donnell also kept things tight.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr

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Date Published: 23-Jan-2013

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