- The Album - JOLLITY.
- 1st single from "Jollity"-IT'S NICE TO BE NICE.
- Second single-THIS COULD BE GOOD.
Fancy some history with a dollop of recent and a pinch of present?
I’ll put the oven on…..
Since releasing their debut power-pop album in 1999, ‘Almond Tea’, Pugwash, aka songwriter Thomas Walsh and friends, has become an instant favourite of Irish and British music critics alike, many of whom nominated ‘Almond Tea’ as their album of the year. The Hotpress rated it – only 4 weeks after its release – as one of the Top 30 albums of the Millennium (actually 23, ahead of Suede, Orbital and almost everybody else you’d care to name!) As a result, Thomas Walsh has been singled out by many critics as one of the most talented new songwriters to emerge on the Irish scene in recent years.
Meantime Pugwash played stand-out headline gigs throughout Ireland, in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Waterford and Kerry, following on from a nationwide radio tour with additional stops in Sligo, Limerick, Longford and Dundalk, receiving rave reviews that echo fully the response of critics to the album. Support gigs included high-profile appearances with Jason Falkner (ex-Jellyfish), Glen Tilbrook (ex-Squeeze), Cotton Mather, and Martin Stephenson, amongst many others.
THE MIDDLE BIT
2001 saw Thomas Walsh returning to the studio with his old mate Keith Farrell, who had so successfully co-produced ‘Almond Tea’, to begin work on Pugwash’s “Difficult Second Album” (actually its working title!). Working in a comfortable domestic set-up allowed these two play with the toys, get in their friends and take their time to turn out a splendid mix of songs, some old, some new, that demonstrate once again Walsh’s strength in depth as a songwriter of classic pop.
The result, after 18 months, was ‘Almanac’. Following the radio release of key track ‘Apples’ in April, the album itself was released in Ireland on 21 June 2002. It became a cult classic culminating in “Almanac” being voted number 61 in the Hot Press top 100 Irish albums of ALL-TIME, as voted by the top Irish musicians of the past 30 years including U2, Van Morrison, Snow Patrol and Damien Rice.
THE HERE AND NOW and…..?
Most public and press alike knew that the band had to step up to the plate, in more ways than one, for the release of their third record….And By Jove They Did!! Not only did 2003 see the release of “Earworm” in Australia (An amalgam of the first two discs re-mastered at the famed Studio 301 in Sydney and released on cult Church/John Kilbey label Karmic Hit) it also saw the band return to the studio to record what eventually became “Jollity”. A certain Mr. Daragh Bohan had been involved in some of the legalities with the Karmic Hit deal down under and he quickly became good friends with the band. As it was a life long dream of music loving Mr. Bohan he quickly decided to nab The Pugs and set up his very own label. Just the small matter of a name for this venture…..? Well, Thomas had mentioned to Daragh that the working title of the new album was “Estd.: 1969”. Heads were quickly put together and eyebrows raised when it transpired that all the main protagonists involved in the project had a close affinity to 1969. It was agreed then…..1969 Records it was!!
2004 saw the band recording in Dublin and Studio 2 at Abbey Road where the strings, which had been scored by Dave Gregory (XTC), were then conducted by him. The string quartet on the day were only famed session players and unique artists in their own right, The Section (Jon Brion, James Blunt, Sean Lennon, Kanye West, David Bowie to name but a very small few). Further recording was completed by famed songwriter and brass and string arranger Eric Matthews in Portland, Oregon – U.S.A.
September 2005 saw “Jollity’s” release to a plethora of amazing reviews for the album and sheer respectful plaudits for the amazing level of quality of a label so new – THIS HAS FELT LIKE THE FIRST RELEASE FROM PUGWASH. And in so many ways it is, yet the band are very proud of their back catalogue and one which is a sleeping giant amongst the struggling publishing game. All of which will be explored thoroughly over the next 12 months. There’s also the tiny matter of Jollity’s impending release in the U.K, a first for PUGWASH. October 31st is the day for that celebration but plenty will be happening in the run-up to that particular release so go nowhere and be prepared – BE VERY PREPARED…..!!!!!
PUGWASH follow up their most critically and commercially successful album ‘Jollity’ with their second ‘1969 Records’ release ‘Eleven Modern Antiquities’. March 21st is the release date for what is possibly the most important Irish pop album release of the year. What we have is an amalgam of Thomas Walsh’s songs and vision brought to the public ear by an orchestra of famed and highly respected musicians. Guests include Andy Partridge & Dave Gregory of XTC (Andy co-writes two tracks with Thomas), Neil Hannon of The Divine comedy, Michael Penn, Jason Falkner, The Section Quartet and Nelson Bragg of The Brian Wilson Band. Not only is that impressive but the band itself consist of the aforementioned Mr.Walsh with Keith Farrell (Mundy, Cathy Davey) and Johnny Boyle (The Frames).
Gird up your loins for 2008’s most required release!! If you cannot wait for the album you can get The Pugs new single ‘Take me away’ which will be released on February 22nd. It will be available in physical format from the ‘1969 Records’ shop as well as download which will be a unique mix exclusive to that format (Bunker mix). Watch out for a video for the track, which has already been A-Listed by 2FM amongst others, which will become available to view from the middle of February. And if you can’t wait to see some Pug-action here’s a unique fun home-made video which was put together by dear friend of the band Peter Fitzpatrick. It’s for a cover the band (plus Neil Hannon) just recorded for a proposed b-side to the second single from ‘Eleven modern antiquities’. It’s ‘The Idle Race’ track ‘On with the show’ and we hope you love it!! Loads more to come, stay tuned…....... PUGWASH – ON WITH THE SHOW