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Ceol Anocht: Interview : Pete Holidai (25/8/2020)

Comhrá Covid

It’s a blast every time Pete Holidai and I meet up. A stalwart of the Irish music scene, member of the legendary Radiators From Space, producer, tutor, mentor and all round good egg, and of course, more recently, a founding member of the Trouble Pilgrims, it’s not a light CV and he has many stories still to tell. He’s been in Kilkenny on a few occasions and there’s never been such a thing as a quick chat…

During the initial lock-down we discussed the anniversary of one of the great Irish albums. “Ghostown”, released in 1980, drew a line under “TV Tube Heart”’s power pop and punk promise (another seminal album) and showed the depth and breadth of the songwriting and the band’s growing and confident ambition. Comparisons were few because no Irish band had shifted up a gear so radically and it’s a testament to all involved that it still sounds fresh and exciting today in its 40th year.

Hooking up with Tony Visconti (whose CV, even back then, was impressive), the band set about making the best album they could, working harder and faster than they had before. It captures a moment in time when anything was possible.

Pete takes us through the making of the album and put it in the context of the time it was written and recorded.

(Due to a loss of a recording, the quality of the recording of this chat is not as good (my side particularly) as I’d like but the stories, anecdotes and sheer joy of the telling will more than compensate).