Ladies and Gentlemen! Brruuppp! Your M.C., in the Place To Be ... Tonight, direct from the set of The Hobbit, a very special guest D.J. ... Boom! Yes, courtesy of Two Paddocks Virtual Air (The airline of choice to the virtual jet set) here in the Dayglo Disco (this week's colour - Livid Lime) the fourth actor from Ireland to grace our decks count them, and award yourselves ten free points if you've got them all -- yes, one of the world's best loved actors ... and one of the very best, period. You knew him first from Cold Feet, great series, you followed him religiously every week in Murphy's Law, he made you laugh in Hear My Song and Waking Ned Devine, he rattled your cage in Bloody Sunday, you thought him a knockout in Five Minutes of Heavenand Jekyll and ... look, this is beginning to sound like bloody Spotlight. Let's just say we wish we had half his talent, his wit, his charm, his charisma ... yes it'd make you crook, the man's got it all. Without further ado, let's bring him up here, the likeable larrikin, Ballymena's Best, here with his very own Top Ten, a big Dayglo hand, if you please for ... Mr ... Jimmy Nesbitt!
(webmaster's note: we apologize, but couldn't find a recording of Paddy Reilly performing Green Glens of Antrim, but please enjoy what we did find -- Green Glens of Antrim played by two Ballymena schools at Arthur Cottage, Cullybackey.)
My mother is from the beautiful green glens in Northern Ireland and she sang this ballad to me to help me sleep. I, in turn, sang it to my daughters, Peggy and Mary to imbue them with a sense of Irishness. Just before Peggy was two, she asked her mother to draw heaven. When my wife, Sonia asked her what it looked like, Peggy, quoting from the song said, " It's where the sea ripples over the shingle and sand." Priceless. My girls shall forever be connected to their Granny through this song.
My father's favourite song. "And now the purple dusk of twilight time steals across the meadows of my heart". Unbeatable.
As the only boy growing up in a family with three older sisters, I spent most of my time kicking a ball against a wall. Then I heard The Beatles. They were my first musical obession, introduced to me by my adored cousin, Andrew. Not wanting to offend the living Paul nor the deceased John, I've chosen If I Fell. It showcases them at their youthful, innovative, harmonious best. Try hitting the harmony in the chorus. It's a bastard to get.
For a Presbyterian Ulster boy, living in the country, with one pair of crinoline flares and an Aran sweater, Slade represented unimaginable glamour and excitement. Noddy Holder's intro used to scare the pats out of the friesans in the field beside my bedroom. And their skewed spelling was pure class!
When Northern Ireland was reaching its nadir in the 1970's,The Undertones emerged from Derry, which itself had borne witness to the defining moment of The Troubles. Electrifying, unfettered and joyous, they suggested hope. And this song starts with a whistle!
(webmaster's note: we apologize, but couldn't find a recording of Frank Sinatra and Count Basie at The Sands, but we've linked to a nice recording of Frank performing the song live in 1965.)
I'd give it all up to be Frank for a day. The opening track on this live album from The Sands in Vegas finds the greatest of them all completely at one with his gift. I could, and have listened to it all day. Fix a martini - or three - kick back, and listen to the man "and the man is ... Frank Sinatra!'
A moment of indulgence. Hear My Song was my first film. It tells the story of Irish tenor, Josef Locke. When Joe sang, women wept. In the film my character magically mends a clock belonging to Joe, with the suggested help of the fairies. When my sister took my parents to a screening in Derry, the journey home was apparently completely silent apart from when my mother turned to my father - bear in mind, they'd never seen me on screen - and said, "I didn't know our James could fix clocks." Our tenor on the soundtrack was Vernon Midgely. His voice is haunting but this song reminds me of the start of my career and the happiest of times supping pint after pint of guiness with the star and co writer Adrian Dunbar.
No top ten is complete without Van. Musical genius, Belfast icon, grumpy bollocks, he and George Best were my idols. It's almost impossible to choose one Van song but this track from the seminal Astral Weeks has amazing vocals, syncopated rhythms, striking dissonance, an arsenal of brass and wind instruments exploding in a cacophony of ecstasy as it soars to its thrilling climax, the way young lovers do.
Sale of Liquor License Ref: OF129
Licence No. 67/OFF/30/2022
Expires 24th August 2025