Music reviewsFront Door1 - Eisley2 -Wir sind Helden3 - Antony&Johnsons4 - Blue States5 - Gruff Rhys6 - Innocence8 - Kathleen Edwards9 - t.A.T.u.10 - Whipping Boy11- Ladytron12 - Covers13 - Patty Griffin14 - OK Go15 - Beth Orton16 - Rilo Kiley17 - Butterfly18 - Lauren Hoffman19 - Pipettes20 -Fairies21 - Talk Talk
Sound of Music 7 - The Radio
There used to be a record store in the Blackrock shopping centre called ‘The Unmistakeable Sound’ until about two years ago.  My world became a greyer place when it closed.


I never knew the bloke who owned it, but Ireland being the small place that it is, I once got talking to a girl sitting beside me on a flight from Milan to Dublin who turned out to be his little sister.  She worked in fashion, but that’s not important.  What is important is that he didn’t. 


He had a record store and he stocked it with the stuff he liked to listen to from Abba to Zrazy.  An eclectic mix then. Sure he sold a few Robbie Williams CDs to pay the rent, but the place was a treasure trove of the slightly known and the offbeat.  I’ve never seen a Martin Grech album stocked anywhere else.  This place was dangerous.  I would pop in out of idle curiosity to while away a few idle minutes and would often come out with a bulging bag of curios. In a way, this section of the website is a tribute to his taste and influence.



One of the last albums I bought there before it closed was Kindness by Irish band The Radio.  The band appears to revolve around a bloke called Stephen Murray, although now he goes by the terser sobriquet Stephen M.  To respect his concatenating tendencies, let’s just call him Stevo. 


Anyways Stevo used to be the bass player in a band called Rollerskate Skinny, whom you’ve also never heard of.  On the other hand if you were an Irish music fan, they were rather important for an album called Horsedrawn Wishes which they released in 1996, an album of squally yet tuneful guitar and electronic music at a time when people were despairing of Kevin Shields ever getting up off his behind and bringing out another My Bloody Valentine album for us all to youthful and disaffected to.  Ireland being the small place that it is Rollerskate Skinny featured Kevin Shields’ little brother Jimi as guitarist.  Anyways life is cruel – Rollerskate Skinny split up after Horsedrawn Wishes and Kevin Shields went off to do the soundtrack for Sophia Coppola’s film Lost in Translation instead of doing anything else Valentine-related.


rs - horsedrawn wishes.jpg

As an aside – it turns out that Rollerskate Skinny is not a drug-induced babble, but actually a quote from JD Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye – “She's quite skinny, like me,
 but nice skinny, rollerskate skinny.”


Anyhow, some ten years later, Stevo rocks up with The Radio. Liam Mulvaney plays the guitar and handles production. Caroline Lee Baker does the vocals.  When performing live, they’re joined by a bassist, drummer and keyboard player.


So what does it sound like? Glorious soaraway pop.  Beautiful harmonies. Hummable melodies.  Songs that lodge instantly in your brain.  The way pop used to be when it meant something, before it turned into a pretty-boy production line aimed at the discretionary income of hormonal young teenage girls. Like wir sind Helden but slower, lusher and in English.


The Radio are reclaiming our pop heritage and giving us back the music.  The problem is that practically nobody has heard of them. One of the few press quotes on their website is from the RTE Guide.  Welcome, but not very Rock 'n' Roll - these folk need more publicity.  Well, I for one am glad to join the revolution and spread the word.  Check out samples of their music at, or


Those of you nostalgic for Rollerskate Skinny can find a virtual shrine at


The Sound of Music | Front Door | Sound of Music 1 - Eisley | Sound of Music 2 - Wir sind Helden | Sound of Music 3 - Antony & the Johnsons | Sound of Music 4 - Blue States | Sound of Music 5 - Gruff Rhys | Sound of Music 6 - The Innocence Mission | Sound of Music 8 - Kathleen Edwards | Sound of Music 9 -tATu | Sound of Music 10 - Whipping Boy | Sound of Music 11 - Ladytron | Sound of Music 12 - Covers | Sound of Music 13 - Patty Griffin | Sound Of Music 14 - OK Go | Sound of Music 15 - Beth Orton | Sound of Music 16 - Rilo Kiley | Sound of Music 17 - Butterfly Explosion | Sound of Music 18 - Lauren Hoffman | Sound of Music 19 - The Pipettes | Sound of Music 20 - Sugarplum Fairies | Sound of Music 21 - Talk Talk