The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


Normally, this blog is the gentle, timid type. It takes a lot to get it angry; it takes even more to get it in such a state that it’s shouting at the radio while stuck in traffic on the N81, much to the bemusement of its fellow motorists. The reason for such apocalyptic rage? Cllr. Dessie Ellis of Sinn Féin.

Why, you might ask, is Key Notes discussing politics? It’s not, it’s discussing idiots. You see, Cllr. Ellis found the time to address the burning needs of his electorate in yesterdays ‘Irish’ Daily Mirror. His problem was that A Lazarus Soul have featured an image of Martin Cahill, aka The General, on the front of their new single The Day I Disappeared. Cllr. Ellis claims that this is ‘inappropriate’ and ‘sends out the wrong sort of message.’ However, and the reason why I was shouting at the radio, on Phantom yesterday evening, Cllr. Ellis admitted he hadn’t yet heard the song.

If he had taken the time to listen, rather than pontificate, perhaps he might not be so quick to judge. The Day I Disappeared discusses the loss of the ‘Ordinary Decent Criminal.’ It doesn’t portray them as heroes, but it does spark debate about whether Cahill and his ilk were ‘better’ than the ‘Younger, faceless, more sinister gangs’ the Gardai are failing to deal with today.

Of course, Martin Cahill was no saint; who is? What he was though, was the biggest fish in the murky pond at a time when we had crime under relative control, something that Graveyard of Burnt Out Cars, the album from which the track is taken, deals with in full. We used to think things were bad, and indeed they were, but they are a lot worse now. That is the theme of the album in general and this track in particular.

Now, it’s not for this blog to point out that Cllr. Ellis is a member of a party with extremely close links to the organisation that claimed responsibility for Cahill’s death. That information is already freely and publicly available. What this blog would like to highlight, however, is that politicians, and indeed people in general, shouldn’t be so quick to criticise a band/artist for a song they haven’t even heard.

Marilyn Manson isn’t responsible for kids shooting other kids, Elliott Smith (despite what this blogs mother might think) isn’t responsible for people killing themselves and A Lazarus Soul aren’t responsible for the gangland trouble we have today. Sparking debate and posing questions, while still composing a pretty accomplished indie-rock song, is something A Lazarus Soul should be applauded for, not criticised by someone who doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

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Nuggets from our archive

2001 - Early career profile of Damien Rice, written by Sinead Ward. This insightful profile was written before Damien broke internationally with the release of his debut album 'O'. This profile continues to attract hundreds of visits every month, it being linked to from Damien Rice's Wikipedia page.