So ’90s: Why Derry Girls is the best nostalgia trip in town

Derry Girls '90s Culture

And so Derry Girls hop-scotches into the sunset after a successful second season (the last episode is on Channel 4 tonight at 9pm). Once again, the biggest surprise about the Lisa McGee hit is not that a late-period Troubles comedy could be a rich source of chortles. It’s that we all so very desperately miss the ’90s.That seems to be true even of people too young to have meaningfully experienced the Nineties first time around. For some reason, the decade of grunge, boybands and cynicism pouring from our pores and through the walls continues to exert a deep fascination. Why this should be so, is a matter sociologists could spend forever and a day interrogating.

What’s unquestionable is that Derry Girls paints a halcyon picture of a time when the music was better, the fashion was… more interesting and selfie moments weren’t a thing.

In her portrait of female friendship in the pre-social media age, McGee pleads a powerful case, moreover, that life before the internet was in many ways superior. Nobody had a mobile phone constantly distracting them and a Twitter storm was what happened when a flock of birds took fright en masse.

How far have we come in the interim? Not quite the distance we might like to think, is the implication. So what have we leant?

1 The music was just better back then

From The Cranberries’ ‘Dreams’ to Cypress Hill’s ‘Insane in the Brain’, at its most assured Derry Girls is a valentine to the pre-internet music era. The soundtrack brims with nostalgia – season one, for instance, treated us to ‘Alright’ by Supergrass, ‘Unbelievable’ by EMF and ‘No Limit’ by 2 Unlimited (which yielded surely the greatest nineties pop couplet in “I’m making techno” and “I am proud”).

This was a golden age for pop, the show quietly argues – perhaps the last golden age. Rap-metal was coming over the hill and then music downloading would bring the industry to its knees. But in 1994 we’d never had it so good.

Most impressive of all is the way Derry Girls conjures the era without resorting to clichés such as grunge or early Britpop (which was just about twinkling on the horizon circa 1994). Even techno cheese-mongers D:Ream come away with their reputations burnished. Continue reading

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This Scene In Derry Girls Was The Most Irish Thing On TV

The beloved Derry Girls danced to one of the biggest Irish songs in last night’s episode of the hit Channel 4 show.

Derry Girls is truly the perfect show for giving anyone a good laugh, and last night’s episode was no exception.

Let’s start with the fact that Aunt Sarah casually showed up to a wedding in a white dress almost identical to the bride’s — it’s safe to say the first Derry Girls wedding went out with a bang.

What really had us in stitches was when the song Rock the Boat came on and and nothing has ever been more relatable.

Source: This Scene In Derry Girls Was The Most Irish Thing On TV

Lankum: ‘Dublin folk miscreants’

Lankum, a four-piece group from Dublin comprised of Ian & Daragh Lynch, Cormac Mac Diarmada, and Radie Peat, is truly one of my favorite current acts.

They set incisive original songs with material taken from the traditional repertoire to fiddle, pipes, concertina, and guitar accompaniment.  The result is a thick and captivating sound with intense, penetrating lyrics that makes their website’s motto, “Dublin folk miscreants” as apt a description of the group and their music as you’re likely to see.A short while ago, Ian, the group’s piper, reached out to let me know that the band would be embarking on a short U.S. tour this January, with stops in Brooklyn, Vienna, Va., Sellersville, Pa., Cambridge, Mass, and Barre, Vt.  Longtime readers will remember my very enthusiastic reviews of their albums “Cold Old Fire” (which was recorded under the group’s former name, “Lynched”) in 2014 and “Between The Earth and Sky” last year, so you can imagine my excitement – it’s great that American audiences will have a chance to acquaint themselves with their music [ . . . ]

Read more at IRISH ECHO: Lankum: ‘Dublin folk miscreants’ | Arts & Leisure | Irish Echo

Lisa O’Neill: Artist of the Month Interview | Folk Radio

Lisa O’Neill’s remarkable fourth album, Heard a Long Gone Song is a work that commands attention. As honest and creative as it is arresting; her mix of collected and self-written, traditional and contemporary song has earned high praise, and justifiably so. With the influence of traditional song stronger than in any of her previous albums, both in terms of content and approach, it’s not so much a change in direction for the County Cavan artist, it’s an entirely relevant exploration of the background to her music [ . . . ]

Continue at FRUK: Lisa O’Neill: Artist of the Month Interview | Folk Radio

Reflecting on the life and music of Shane MacGowan

Shane MacGowan will be honored at the National Concert Hall on January 15th, with a long line of celebrities eagerly anticipating this momentous event. On Monday night, the NCH rolls out the red carpet to celebrate MacGowan’s 60th birthday. He lived hard, but the songs he wrote hit home. Considering his life of excess, it is amazing he has lived as long as he has. An enigma. A God among men. Even if he doesn’t outlive Kieth Richards, it is clear his songs will continue to capture the hearts of music lovers long after Shane is gone [ . . . ] More at: Reflecting on the life and music of Shane MacGowan