Thursday, May 13, 2010
Pugwash - Almond Tea - 1999
Led by vocalist/ songwriter Thomas Walsh, Pugwash has featured an ever-changing cast of supporting players and special guests which has included Andy Partridge & Dave Gregory of XTC (Andy co-writing several tracks), Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy, Michael Penn, Jason Faulkner, The Section Quartet and Nelson Bragg of The Brian Wilson Band. The band itself consists of the aforementioned Mr. Walsh with Keith Farrell (Mundy, Cathy Davey) and Johnny Boyle (The Frames).
Thomas Walsh is that rare breed of British songwriter capable of writing that melodic gem with an instant hook. Having grown up on steady diet of ELO, Beatles and The Kinks in Dublin, Walsh started Pugwash around 1993 as a vehicle for the pluperfect pop songs he’d begun writing and recording at home.
Upon releasing the Almond Tea, debut in 1999 Pugwash, became an instant cult favourite among Irish and British music critics alike, many of whom nominated Almond Tea, as their album-of-the-year. The Hot Press rated it (only 4 weeks after its release) as one of the Top 30 albums of the Millennium (actually #23, ahead of Suede, Orbital and other outfits of no little renown!) Walsh was quickly deemed one of the most talented songwriters on the contemporary Irish rock scene by many journalists that side of the Atlantic. Pugwash played stand-out headline gigs throughout Ireland receiving rave reviews of their live show that echoed the response given the album. Support gigs included high-profile appearances with Jason Faulkner (Jellyfish), Glen Tilbrook (Squeeze), Cotton Mather, and Martin Stephenson, among many others.