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    The long out of print Michael O'Shea LP, produced by Bruce & Graham & originally released on DOME Records in 1982, has just been re-issued on a limited vinyl edition, via the Dublin label Allchival . It's available to order from Boomkat here:


    We've been waiting for this one for a while, but Michael O’Shea’s sole, eponymous album is finally out this week as an upfront exclusive. Among our all time favourite albums, it's an incredibly singular yet little known gem, produced by Wire’s Bruce Gilbert and Graham Lewis and released on their fledgling Dome label in 1982, showcasing O’Shea’s gifted performance on the Mó Cará, a sorta hybrid dulcimer/zelochord with electric pick-ups. It recalls music by everyone from Alice Coltrane to Dariush Dolat-Shahi, but ultimately it’s truly in a league of its own. Biggest respect to Dublin’s Allchival for this first vinyl reissue, replete with fascinating new sleeve notes. 100% essential!
    Very positive review of it on Pitchfork too:
    Thanks a lot for the tip off Medulary!! What a great album, have been transfixed by it for the last week and just ordered the vinyl.
    Whilst researching for the WMO CD reissue I was tipped off that Michael had performed on Irish TV. Despite making contact with RTE they denied having any footage.
    With the rerelease of the album RTE have issued the footage ...finally!!
    That is good news, indeed, Kevin. Thanks for sharing the link.

    Thanks a lot for harrying RTE Kevin :) they need it! Great footage, lovely to see the man in conversation and action! Thought Mike Murphy was a bit patronising at times (particularly that jibe about O’Shea having “musical pretensions” (huh!) and “some mother’s do ave em”. But Murphy always had a predilection for pomposity.
    Michael's album passed me by but on watching the RTE clip I realised I had passed him by on the Underground many times. He was clearly inspired by Laaraji, whom Eno had found busking, and Moondog, another street musician who built and played his own instruments. There are echoes of both in the album.

    It does appear that the doors opened but he couldn't quite establish himself. I hope the radio life is made as it would be interesting to find out why he faded. The sad aspect is that there will be no Vashti Bunyan or Linda Perhacs second chance with his tragic death. You can't help but think Michael had far more to offer.
    Thanks Toxfly for your comments

    I can say that Michael was unaware of Laraaji, but Laraaji has commented to me that he sees a kindred spirit in Michael (perhaps not in lifestyle, but certainly their musical explorations).
    With his life cut suddenly short it does make one but wonder what or if any further musical offerings he could have made.
    I've recently moved house and had all my CDs packed away in boxes. After unpacking the blighters after a few months, it turns out I have the original WMO edition of this but can't actually remember if I've ever played it.

    I'm going to dig it out this weekend.
    The promised radio documentary finally appeared and good to hear from those who experienced him first hand
    The RTE appearance is now on YouTube
    There's a one page article (page 104) on Michael O'Shea, and his recording for Dome from 1982, with comments by Graham Lewis, in the (current) Mojo magazine for October 2020 (I'm writing this on the 19th of August - magazines eh!)