Monday, July 30, 2012

Horslips: The High Reel

This morning I awoke with Horslips’ song “Speed the Plough” on my mind for some reason, but alas I have already featured that great rock tune from the Irish band who took their name from a Spoonerism of “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” – “Four Poxmen of the Horslypse.” The name evolved into Horslips.

Since I’ve featured most of their best known tunes, I’ve turned to their first album – my first exposure to the band. Forty years ago, Horslips released “Happy to Meet . . . Sorry to Part.” In the US, the album was released on the ATCO label. It was an interesting packaging, as the album was octagon shaped and depicted a concertina. I was fortunate that a friend gave me a promo copy of the album – so I have it on a rare white label pressing.

Since the studio version of their single release “The High Reel” is not available on YouTube, I decided to show a live version from the same era. “The High Reel” features the fiddle work of Charles O’Connor – the only member of the band born in England.

The guys are so young looking, especially guitarist Johnny Fean; however, he was the youngest member in the band and was only 19 at the time. Recorded for German TV, this is a very strange video. What on earth is drummer Eamon Carr wearing and why does Barry Devlin have a stuffed parrot muting the strings on his bass? So many questions – so little time.

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