As proposed by Bobby Aherne of No Monster Club (and executed by everybody involved), this tribute album to Big Monster Love was cobbled together in the relative secrecy of Dublin and sprung on the man himself at a surprise party in the Autumn of 2012. He didn’t puke or object to the idea so here it is!
Big Monster Love Big Monster Love is a musician, performer, writer of songs, and bookseller based in North County Dublin. He has garnered some admirers over the past number of years and several of them have made contributions to this record.
His songs are serious-minded and amusing in equal measure, with a lyrical style that never feels affected.
His live shows are often peppered with hilarious off-the-cuff banter, as well as moments of candid tenderness. His material is full of contradictions ; primitive and sophisticated, cavalier and humble as you like.
He writes primarily about Ireland or his home town of Swords (see our fun-filled glossary below), but the songs nevertheless have a universal resonance.
Amongst the many and varied artists featured on this record are Mik Pyro of the Republic of Loose, Choice Music Nominated Tieranniesaur, So Cow, Squarehead, The Spook of the Thirteenth Lock, The Mighty Stef and No Monster Club.
Big Monster Love appears on his own tribute album due to a dastardly ruse by Tieranniesaur who tricked him into singing on their recording of one of his unreleased songs under the pretence that it was for the Popical Island #3 compilation. The Mighty Stef recorded his contribution in a hotel room while on tour in the States. So Cow’s Brian Kelly played drums on Big Monster Love’s criminally overlooked 2011 album Game Over (Popical Island).
1. Disco Knacker:
Decked out like Geordi La Forge: dressed up as Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge, a main character in the television series Star Trek : The Next Generation and its feature films, played by LeVar Burton.
The Slits: The Slits were a Punk Band who formed in 1976.
Fucking class: Very, very good.
Plunderphonics: Plunderphonics is a term coined by composer John Oswald in 1985 and applied to any music made by taking one or more existing audio recordings and altering them in some way to make a new composition.
2. Free Gaff Forever:
Free gaff: A crazy party held when someone’s parents go out of town.
Confo money: Confirmation money, or money that is gifted to a young person by relatives and neighbours at the Rite of Confirmation.
3. I’m Gonna Love Ya:
Till a’ the seas gang dry: Big Monster Love ripped this off Robert Burns’ poem A Red, Red Rose.
4. Arctic Circles:
Things fall apart: Big Monster Love ripped this off Chinua Achebe who ripped it off W.B. Yeats.
5. What an Idiot I Am:
Wolf Tone Quay: A street address in Dublin.
Entropic: Disorderly and random.
Angels: Angels is a song originally part written by uncredited Irish songwriter, Ray Heffernan and made famous by Robbie Williams. Williams and Guy Chambers were subsequently credited as joint co-writers. The song was released as a single in December 1997.
Oaklands: Oaklands Avenue is a housing estate in Swords, Co. Dublin.
Young wans: Young women.
7. Little Bear’s Song:
Fibbers: Fibber Magee’s public house, located on Parnell Street in Dublin.
Waxing metaphysical: Talking about the nature of being and the world.
Viking funeral: The practice of burying the deceased along with their material goods.
Best in show: An award to the dog, cat, or other animal judged best of all breeds in a given competition.
ARPA : The acronym for the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), the funding organization in the United States that developed one of the precursors of the Internet (ARPANET)
9. Motorway Flowers:
Town: “Town” is what Dublin suburbanites call Dublin City Centre.
To Harp or to Lamb: The Harp and The Slaughtered Lamb are public houses in Swords, Co. Dublin.
Byzantium: Byzantium was an ancient Greek city, founded in 657 BC and named after king Byzas.
10. Mad Dog:
Guns n’ Roses: Guns N’ Roses are an American hard rock band who formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1985.
Bovver Boots: Stout lace-up boots, especially Dr. Martens, perceived to be worn for the purpose of kicking people in fights, and popular with skinheads or other trouble makers.
Tupac Shakur: Tupac Shakur was an American rapper and actor.
Tiocfaidh ár lá: Tiocfaidh ár lá is an Irish language phrase which translates as “our day will come”, the hoped-for day being that of a united Ireland.
The green: The green space between Oaklands Avenue and Oaklands Park in Swords, Co. Dublin.
The Pavillions: A shopping centre in Swords. Co. Dublin.
11. Chapel Lane:
Chapel Lane: Chapel Lane is a street in Swords, Co. Dublin which runs along the Pre-Catholic Emancipation church – built in 1827. The graveyard contains many interesting headstones including stone to Andrew Kettle who was known as ‘Parnell’s right hand man’.
The Polish discotheque: The the nightclub located at the intersection between Chapel Lane and Swords Mainstreet, called ZavediniE.
12. Hang the Harper:
Hang the Harper: The title and lyric of this song are a reference to the period starting from the 1600s during English rule in Ireland when harps were burned and harpers executed as a way to suppress Irish nationalism.
Nary a tone: Not one tone.
13. Hangover Quay:
Hangover Quay: This is a play on Hanover Quay, a street address in Dublin.
Gossamer: A very fine spider silk.
Begrudgery: Resentment of any person who has achieved success or wealth.
14. Stars and Birds: The Auld Triangle: The Auld Triangle is a song written by Dominic Behan for his brother Brendan Behan which features in Brendan’s play The Quare Fellow.