In the latest installment of Solid Gold Jams, we’ve asked Anna’s Anchor to pick 5 of their favourite songs from the West of Ireland. Anna’s Anchor are a punk rock act from Limerick City fronted by prolific songwriter, Marty Ryan. Ryan is one of the hardest working musicians that we have come across and one who commits himself fully to his trade. His enthusiasm for songwriting has seen him undertake mammoth projects, such as “The Islands” which saw Marty travel to 8 remote islands off the coast of Ireland over 8 weeks, play a gig at each location and write and record a song influenced by his travels on each island. On the 23rd of September, Anna’s Anchor release their album, Nautical Miles, and will do a tour of Ireland to promote it. Local promotion company and event organisers, NOISE promotions, will be hosting the band’s Galway launch which will take place upstairs in The Róisín Dubh on Thursday 22nd. More information, and a preview of the album, can be found at the bottom of the page.
Words by Marty Ryan
First of all, I want to say I’m really delighted to be writing an article about the best from the West. I feel like nowhere near enough attention is given to bands outside of Dublin, especially out West. I went on a song-writing adventure called “The Islands” in 2015 and also recently did a tour from Mizen Head to Malin Head up along the Wild Atlantic Way so it’s clear the West coast has been a big influence on Anna’s Anchor. Without further ado, here’s 5 of my favourite songs from the West.
giveamanakick – Borrowed Time
I’m from Limerick myself and I am extremely passionate about the music that’s come out of here. I could’ve picked 5 Limerick bands, to be honest, because that’s what I’ve grown up round. I kept it to a minimum from ‘Limrock’ but what better band to start with than giveamanakick. For a band to sound that abrasive and be so in your face yet still be so prominent in the Irish music scene among a lot of safe and bland bands is something I just find absolutely amazing and inspiring. Full of riffs, hardcore drum patterns and lyrics to get a reaction out of people, absolutely amazing.
Old Bean – Sally
Old Bean is a Galway band I’ve played with a tonne of times. They write such catchy songs that still have enough depth to them to make them last long in my memory. Sally is just an all round fantastic tune; simple, catchy and has fantastic dynamics to it between the distorted parts and the quieter ones. The singer , David Boyle, is one of those characters that is just bursting with energy and it’s something that comes across in their songs. I’ve both played this song with them in the Roisin Dubh and covered it a bunch of times so it’ll always be close to my heart.
The Walls – The Bright and Shining Sun
This was one of the first songs I learned on guitar, the song was big at the time in Ireland when I was getting into playing and I’ll always have a fondness for it, I still cover it the odd time if I’m really having fun! Very simple metaphors but enough to get the emotions going, has a real road trip/summer feel to it and there’s nothing better than tearing off out the road. Again, it’s simple but melodic and catchy. Something that really appeals to me in songs.
Padraig Jack – Minnie
Padraig Jack is probably as West as it gets. The man is from Inis Mór, is an incredible songwriter and a part of the Citóg Records collective. A staple at the Open Mic in the Roisin Dubh, Padraig joined me for the Mizen to Malin tour and I felt bad going on after him each night as he was just in a different class. Stand out track is ‘Minnie’ and he’s just recorded his first EP which will be out soon, so keep an eye out for that.
Walter Mitty and the Realists – Green Light Go
My first few years in college, like most Limerick people, were spent inside Bakers Place. It’s a time I look back incredibly fondly over and since it’s closed down, nothing has come near it in terms of an underground venue for new bands to cut their teeth and out of town touring bands trying to make a real go of it play to an audience. Of all the gigs I went to in Bakers, Walter Mitty and The Realists were always the craziest. They were a weird blend of Rage Against The Machine and pop/indie that everyone went apeshit for. The songs were all bangers and the soundtrack to my late teens.