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Boomkat Product Review:
After amazing sides by Michael O’Shea and Stano, Allchival survey suitably singular post-punk, indie and thrashing jazz-funk-rock by Cork/Belfast’s Finbarr Donnelly and his bands; Nun Attax, Five Go Down To The Sea? And Beethoven. Lovers of stump-legged post-punk drums, gutwrenched Neo-folk vocals and rowdy melody should fill their boots.
“Nun Attax, formed in the late 70s, are synonymous with the Downtown Kampus at Cork’s Arcadia Ballroom, the lynchpin of the city’s post-punk music scene. Their live performances being the stuff of Southern legend - unforgettable, incendiary events, examples of which can be heard on the tracks here [White Cortina, Reekus Sunfare]. In the early-80s the band changed its name to Five Go Down To the Sea? and recorded the Knot A Fish EP 7’’ for London–Irish label Kabuki Records and soon after the band left recession-ridden Cork for the UK capital.
Squatting south of the River, working on building sites and collecting welfare under several aliases recording and gigs were sporadic but by 1984 they had hooked into the early Creation scene, and played gigs at Alan McGee’s Living Room club. Working with The Mekons Jon Langford they release The Glee Club on Edward Christie’s Abstract Sounds label. Following it up with the last of their three releases as Five..on Creation itself the band’s chaotic existence led to its demise only re-emerging in 1988 as Beethoven. Down to two original members – Donnelly and guitarist Ricky Dineen – plus two new additions their only release – a 12” on the fledgling Setanta records – features a cover of “Day Tripper” backed with original tracks and was NME’s Single of the Week in the summer of ‘89 when such things carried weight. The planned second single doesn’t go ahead after Donnelly’s death.