The Swinging Swine

The late eighties, Walter’s bar in Dún Laoghaire, and I think it was Auto da fé who first brought me to the gigs there. Sure wasn’t I (almost) of drinking age, and bored of spending the evenings in my bedroom in Cabinteely. Of middle class origins and still in school, people like me weren’t supposed to go out drinking on a Thursday night, but wasn’t I working in the local Esso station and I had a few pence for a beer.

Auto da fé were a real band, and I could just get on the 7 and head down and see them. Then I discovered the other residencies, The Mary Stokes blues band, Trevor Knight playing on his own or with Leo O’Kelly, after a while I pretty much started going down there to see whoever might be playing.

I’d go and see anything, if only to get out of the aforementioned bedroom and get a naggin in the place across the road, take a walk down to the sea front drinking that before heading inside. One sparsley attended night there with “Tonton macoute“, I was a little loud with my open cristicism of the singer and she came over to me after the gig and gave me a right bollocking. Fair play.

I got to be good mates with the sound man and his rig, – Noel Dickers of Bray, one of the best and most unpretentious soundmen in the county, and I ended up regularly doing the sound for the Mary Stokes band, and Brian was real happy ’bout that, as I could get him plenty of harp in the monitors, and I don’t mean beer.

But out of all of the bands and all that happened there, the best thing (bar getting in a band and playing there myself with my own daughter present, albeit listening through the walls of her mummy’s tummy) was the Swinging Swine residency. I don’t think I made a point of getting to any band’s gigs as much as to the Swine in Walters. Well, maybe An Emotional Fish’s residency in the Baggot Inn when they had harmonica and backing vox. Come to think of it, I can’t think of any city centre bar , except maybe the Baggot that had such good residencies.

At some point later Larry had an 8-track tape of a session he’d done with the swine in Elektra, and I pestered and pestered him to give me the multi and let me sneak into the studio all night and get some mixes off of it. I couldn’t quite get out of it what I wanted to though, and that’s probably the reason why I have very little from that tape.

I meant to get back in another time and mix down the rest of it, but I think what I envisaged it sounding like didn’t coincide much with what Larry had recorded, and I therefore didn’t really know how to get a good mix. Shame. Maybe the swine were a band that were just never really meant to record, maybe you just couldn’t get that swine thing down on tape.

As for Walters, it’s no longer there. There’s a pub called Walters at the same address, but that’s not it. The only bad thing about those nights was having to leg it at 11.30 for the last bus, and you know what, 20 years on, post economic boom and the whole sha la la, that’s one thing that hasn’t changed.

Now, how’s that for a rant? I did mention the Swinging Swine didn’t I?

Surviving Midnight in Elektra mixes: – only two!!!! 😦




About auldtapes

Recordings from the late 80's and early 90's, made in dublin and thereabouts, rescued from cassettes and DAT's found in me mum's attic. If you have a copyright type problem (you gotta be kidding!) with any of these recordings being online here, then contact me and I'll move them somewhere else :)
This entry was posted in Cassette, Dublin, eighties, Rock and Roll and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to The Swinging Swine

  1. John Lalor says:

    Hi, do you have any more Swine stuff and if so could I get my hands on it? Used to play bass in the band and have very little good recorded stuff.

    • adrian says:

      hello John
      i am desperate to get some Swinging swine stuff…. i was an obsessed fan of the band in my youth…. is there any available?

  2. Anto says:

    I got a copy on vinyl of a Swine single or E.P or something from way back then I ‘ll check it out if your interested.

  3. auldtapes says:

    Hi John!, good to hear from you. You found this page quickly.
    I have updated the page since your comment and those are the only two tracks I have from that session. I wonder does that 8 track multi still exist…

  4. fanningsessions says:

    Only found your site today! I dug out a demo recording which I taped off the Dave Fanning show and have posted here

  5. Pingback: The Swinging Swine « The Fanning Sessions Archive

  6. frank says:

    Hi,I have some Swine videos but i have no idea how to upload these or get them onto digital but if I can I will very gladly pass them on. I met John a good few times, any news of the others ?? I have a picture still on my sitting room wall that was taken in Cloggs bar in Galway my wife wants me to take it down but I refuse !! My favourite band of all time !!! Honest

    • auldtapes says:

      Hi frank, are you and the Swine videos in Galway? I’m not on the auld sod right now, but I’m sure someone can help you get those videos digitalised. If not, I will certainly make a point of meeting up with you and doing it next time I am there. What are they on? VHS tape?

      Eamonn for one is still doing his thing –

      The Glee Club has a page on wikipedia but I haven’t found any information on the rest. –


      • John Lalor says:

        Hi, did you manage to track down those videos? We did one for the EP release of Them Ghosts which was directed by David Donoghue but I never received a copy of it (only saw it once). Id love to get my hands on it if anyone has one (or anything else on video for that matter). I have a good few live recordings on cd if people are interested.

        John Lalor

      • auldtapes says:

        Hi John, happy 2010 to ya.. I’m certainly interested in adding to the growing swine collection. let’s meet up!

  7. frank says:

    Hi Auld tapes, I’m in Co Clare, not a million miles away. I will have to get a video and sort through hours of tape but it should be nostagia. I have a Glee Club cd that I could burn and pass on.

  8. Padraig says:


    Long time admirer of Eamonn Dowd here, saw him first when I was a teen playing with New Testament ( which included Steve Wall (The Stunning, The Walls)

    I’ve got a live show + other recordings and some videos and TV appearances which I’m willing to share once I sort them

    Also have some recordings by Captain Hex his band after The Swine if interested

    I’m looking for Toasted Heretic recordings myself 🙂


  9. Nicky says:

    I used to go to those sessions in Walters.
    Great band.

    I got the EP when it came out – I’ve uploaded it and its available at the following link:

  10. Summerproject says:

    The Swinging Swine were a great live band,
    love to hear more tracks if anyone has any please 😉

    Here’s the Glee Club album:

  11. Padraig says:

    Ok, live show and other bits available here

    also some stuff by Captain Hex



  12. Summerproject says:

    Amazing! Thanks for all this..

  13. Pingback: Brown Rabbit « These Auld Tapes from the attic

  14. Fanning Sessions says:

    Someone has posted a lo-fi version of The Swinging Swine performing on what looks like Borderline here

  15. Fanning Sessions says:

    Long time no hear! Dug out the 1988 Fanning session here

  16. kevbarring says:

    I too was blown away by Joanne, Eamonn et al.
    First used to go see them in the Speakeasy in Temple Bar.
    Then Walters.
    Have a tape somewhere of a Donald Lunny produced session.
    Not as good as the live shows.
    God how I enjoyed watching the enigmatic Joanne.
    Did a double page feature on them in Hot Press.
    Must scan it n

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s