Two artists who need no introduction in their homeland of Ireland, David Long and Shane O’Neill present their ‘Far From Home’ 3-track single. Best known as frontmen of successful 1980’s post-punk / indie rock bands Into Paradise and Blue In Heaven, respectively, now they are together creating invigorating new music.
The title track ‘Far From Home’ is accompanied by b-side ‘Shake Me, I’m Magic’and bonus track ‘Hand Of Love’, a cover of a song by Adrian Borland’s The Sound. Recorded remotely during the lockdown, this release previews the duo’s ‘Moll & Zeis’ LP, which will be released in autumn.
David Long was the face of 1980s band Into Paradise, who released two albums and several EP’s on legendary British independent label Setanta Records and also one major – Ensign. Their most successful album was their major record label debut, the Adrian Borland-produced ‘Churchtown’.
Shane O’Neill fronted Blue In Heaven, who recorded / released a few singles and demos (including one produced by U2′s The Edge) before signing to Island Records in 1985. Their debut album ‘All The Gods Men’ was produced by Martin Hannett (Joy Division, Magazine, New Order, OMD, Happy Mondays). 1986 brought the ‘Explicit Material’ LP, produced by Island Records head Chris Blackwell and Eric Thorngren. Their popularity grew as they toured with the likes of U2, Echo & The Bunnymen and The Damned. In 1990, the band reformed as The Blue Angels.
Hailing from the same part of Dublin, Long and O’Neill have known each other since they were 6 or 7, when they knocked over Shane’s TV set, fighting over which channel to watch. Their first band was a trio called amuse with David on bass and vocals, Shane on guitar, and Dave Clarke (Warren Zevon, now Hothouse Flowers) on drums. After splitting and doing their separate thing, around 1996 they recorded an album as Supernaut.
Now creators of “folk art garage rock”, this recalls a time when bands were clumsy and unrehearsed. Atmospheric, emotional, not interested in technique, or campfire sing-songs. The reverb is as important as the notes in some places, and it’s a good thing if you cannot recreate the full sound live.
“We wanted to make an album that could and should be listened to all the way through. It was an equal collaboration, Shane and myself have known each other so long that there was never a problem editing each other if something didn’t fit with the song. We had no time restrictions, or release dates to go by, so we took our time with this album and thought about every aspect of it, song titles, running order, album cover, album name, and what songs to leave on and leave off. The instrumentals are very important to the album’s story.,” says Dave Long.
“We were always the kind of musicians who couldn’t play other people’s songs properly, barely able to play some of our own songs. We’ve always loved music but didn’t always get some of the community surrounding it. I was trying to use my memories of working with Hannett to help create atmospherics and space behind the guitars and drums, (he used to stop the tape and joke it was mixed if the echo was interesting). Dave wanted an early style of guitar I used to play, less bar chords, more angular ringing notes,” says Shane O’Neill.
1 Far From Home
2 Shake Me, I’m Magic
3 Hand Of Love (The Sound cover)
Written, arranged, recorded and produced by David Long & Shane O’Neill
Album Cover Art by Noel Farrell
Country Pylon Recordings 2021
David Long photos by Ivan Rakhmanin. Shane O’Neill photos by Sabrina Colley