HARD-ONS ON FILM!

Aussie legends HARD-ONS are to have their amazing story captured on celluloid.

Hard-Ons: The Most Australian Band Ever! is a new feature-length doc from Living Eyes Films, the makers of the award-winning Radio Birdman doc, Descent Into The Maelstrom.

Forming at high-school in the Sydney suburb of Punchbowl, the multi-racial trio emerged out of the highly fertile 80s Aussie underground scene taking their hugely-influential supercharged pop-punk around the world, sharing stages with the likes of Ramones, Nirvana, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. The band hold an Australian indie chart record with no fewer than 17 consecutive No.1s. Their most recent album, 2019’s So I Could Have Them Destroyed proves there’s no sign of them slowing down just yet, the band already preparing material for their 13th album.

“The Hard-Ons are extremely pleased to be having a documentary made about us, by professionals that know our band musically, spiritually and ideologically, very well,” says bassist Ray Ahn. “We are honoured and flattered. We look forward to the finished film in great anticipation. We want our story told.”

With the film already in production, the band and producers are currently soliciting donations to complete the project. To find out how you can contribute, go here.

 

Hard-Ons on Facebook

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THE BLIPS VIDEO PREMIERE!

Alabama pop-punkers THE BLIPS trail their forthcoming debut album with a video which they’re premiering exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

‘Throw Me Around’ is the second single to be taken from the Birmingham band’s self-titled album which is due out on 9 April through Cornelius Chapel.

“The music to ‘Throw Me Around’ was the first song the band wrote entirely together,” says the band’s Taylor Hollingsworth. “I wrote the words after coming up with the vocal melody. The song is about a relationship you have with someone who lives a fast life. It could be a friend, or a lover, but either way, it’s someone you see as more exciting than yourself. It’s someone you are intrigued by and attracted to, but when you finally join in for the ride, it’s a bit more than you bargained for. You regret letting yourself be persuaded by them, yet when it’s over, you want more.”

Emerging out of the same Alabama southern-punk scene that has produced giants like The Dexateens and Verbena, The Blips are a supergroup of sorts, their five members serving time in a variety of bands over the years including The Dexateens, Timber, Vulture Whale, Holy Youth, Bad Hops, Dead Fingers and Conor Oberst and The Mystic Valley Band.

The ten tracks that comprise their debut were laid down in February 2020, two weeks ahead of prior to lockdown at drummer Wes McDonald’s Ole’ Elegante studio with Verbena’s Les Nuby engineering. The band members were then forced to share their thoughts on the mixing and mastering process via the medium of text-messaging.

The Blips is available to pre-order here.

The Blips on Facebook

Pic by Dustin Timbrook

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THIS MEANS WAR(ISH)!

SoCal rockers WARISH have just unveiled a single from their forthcoming new album.

‘Seeing Red’ is the second single to be taken from the San Diego punk-metal trio’s second album Next To Pay, following on from the recent ‘Say To Please’.

Founded by in 2018 singer/guitarist Riley Hawk (son of skate legend Tony) , the band hit the ground running, dropping their debut album Down In Flames for Riding Easy the following year. Joined by bassist Alex Bassaj, drummer Nick McDonnell stayed long enough to play on half the tracks on the new album before handing the stool to new kid Justin de la Vega.

Next To Pay is about a sense of imminent doom, everyone is going to die,” chirrups the genial Hawk. “It’s not the happiest record, I guess.”

Set for release on 30 April, Next To Pay is available to pre-order now from Riding Easy Records.

Pic by Magdalena Wosinska

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DROPKICKS DIAL UP!

DROPKICK MURPHYS have unveiled a new single as a taster for their forthcoming new album.

‘Middle Finger’ is taken from the album Turn Up That Dial, the Boston band’s tenth album, which follows on from 2017’s Billboard Top 10 album 11 Short Stories Of Pain & Glory.

Working with longtime producer Ted Hutt, the 11 new songs on Turn Up That Dial were recorded under strict lockdown conditions: tracks were laid down at Q Division Studios in Somerville MA in shifts of two band members at a time while backing vocals were recorded in five separate rooms. Hutt, meanwhile, oversaw sessions by videolink from his studio in LA.

Along with ‘Middle Finger’, the album features recent singles ‘Mick Jones Nicked My Pudding’ and ‘Smash Shit Up’. It closes with ‘I Wish You Were Here’, singer Al Barr’s moving tribute to his late father Woody.

“Al’s dad was just an incredible man,” explains band founder and co-lead singer Ken Casey. “He and Al had a very special bond. To watch Al grieve his death was heartbreaking. He persevered through it, even when we had to go back on the road, away from family. He kept his head held high. We’ve never ended an album with a slow song, but we had to end it with a tip of the cap to pay our respects to Woody and so many others. It’s a moment to stop, count our blessings, and remember those who we’ve lost, including the 400,000-plus people to this virus.

“On this record, the overall theme is the importance of music, and the bands that made us who we are,” Casey continues. “We just hope [the album] takes people’s minds off their troubles. We’re so fortunate and grateful to be in the position to share a little happiness in our own way. Our gratitude levels are off the chart. 25 years ago, somebody bet me 30 bucks I couldn’t form a band with three weeks’ notice to open for his band. As kids, we’d never been out of New England and here we are – we’ve made ten records and have been all over the globe. If there’s a message to this album, it’s ‘put your fist up and play it loud.’”

As previously announced, the band will be livestreaming a special St Patrick’s Day show on 17 March at 7pm in Boston time / 11pm London time. Admission is free but donations are encouraged at www.DKMstream.com

Turn Up That Dial is out through the band’s Born & Bred label on 30 April. Pre-order it here.

Stream/download ‘Middle Finger’ here.

Dropkick Murphys on Facebook

Pic by Ken Susi

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DESPERATE TIMES CALL FOR DESPERATE MEASURES!

Written and recorded in-between lockdowns in 2020, New Zealand-born but London-based punks DESPERATE MEASURES managed to escape the COVID-19 madness for some cathartic writing and recording sessions and the first taste of those gatherings arrives today with ‘The Rich-Tual’, a bullet of classic punk reloaded for the pandemic generation that rips from the speakers screaming ‘fuck the system, before the system fucks you!’

Recorded at The Brook Studios in South London by Andy Brook, ‘The Rich-Tual’ is taken from a forthcoming mini-album that will be released this summer by British rock n’ roll label Easy Action (home to and in good company with Iggy and the Stooges, The Damned’s Brian James, Marc Bolan and T-Rex and Lords Of The New Church).

The video, assembled by Craig Temple, perfectly captures the intensity of ‘The Rich-Tual’ and was also featured as part of the Vive Le Rockdown 2 on Vive Le Rock’s YouTube channel.

Desperate Measures on Facebook

Pic by Dod Morrison

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SONIC BOOM BOYS!

Cult freak-rockers T2 are to have their classic debut 1970 album reissued in a new 3-disc edition.

The band formed out of the ashes of London mod/psych band Bulldog Breed whose sole album, the highly rated Made In England came out just too late for the first psychedelic era in 1969.

Bassist Bernard Jinks and 17-year-old guitarist Keith Cross recruited singing drummer Pete Dunton from ‘Race With The Devil’ hitmakers Gun to form T2. Signing to Decca for a then huge £10,000 advance, the band recorded It’ll All Work Out In Boomland; comprising just four tracks marrying long proggish passages with Cross’s searing proto-punk guitar, it was at odds with what else was going on musically and sold poorly, going on to become hugely collectable.

The band began working on their second album but internal tensions caused line-up ructions, the band splitting in ’72 with the album going unreleased for years. T2 reformed, without Cross, for more releases during the 90s.

It’ll All Work Out In Boomland has had sporadic reissues across the intervening years, but this new Cherry Red edition has been remastered from the original Decca master tapes and adds two further CDs featuring material from their original 70-72 period.

Set for release on 26 March, It’ll All Work Out In Boomland is available to pre-order here.

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PETAL MACHINE MUSIC!

Legendary Italian garage band THE SICK ROSE have their classic second album reissued this month.

Formed in Turin in 1983, The Sick Rose were one of the best known garage revival bands on the European scene, contemporaries of US bands The Fuzztones and The Chesterfield Kings, Sweden’s Nomads and the UK’s Barracudas.

Taking its title from the MC5 song and featuring the indie chart hit ‘Double Shot’, Shaking Street caught the band at their early commercial peak. The band took most of the 90s out before returning in the 21st century with renewed vigour and a string of new albums including 2006’s Blastin’ Out and 2011’s No Need For Speed, both produced by The Stems’ Dom Mariani, and most recently, 2018’s Someplace Better, produced by The Posies’ Ken Stringfellow.

Limited to 300 copies, the new vinyl reissue of Shaking Street comes in a new gatefold sleeve with download code and a CD two bonus album outtakes.

Shaking Street is available to stream/buy here.

Check out The Sick Rose live in Hamburg in 1987…

The Sick Rose on Facebook

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HIV+ MIND

Having been diagnosed with HIV in 1989, Mat Sargent decided to do something to help out the various charities that supported him and in 1995 he began the Sex, Drugs & HIV project to release a fundraising album.

Through his work as a musician on London’s punk scene, notably with SHAM 69, CHELSEA and SPLODGENESSABOUNDS, he called in a few favours.

Taking 16 years to complete, the album was initially released in 2014 in 2- and 3-disc versions, making thousands of pounds for charity. Now Mat has decided to release the full Sex, Drugs & HIV sessions in a mammoth 8-DVD set. Boosted by numerous outtakes, bonus tracks and extras, the set features contributions from over 200 guest musicians, including Adam Ant, Afrika Bambaataa, Beki Bondage, Boz Boorer, Brian Robertson, Captain Sensible, Charlie Harper, Damien O’Neill, Dick Lucas, Gina Birch, Gizz Butt, Jerry Dammers, Jimmy Pursey, John Otway, Kelly Johnson, Lee Thompson, Mark E. Smith, Mickey Fitz, Mike Spenser, Nicko McBrain, Paul Gray, Paul Samson, Pauline Black, Poly Styrene, Tony Hadley, TV Smith, Vic Godard, Wurzel and dozens more…

“I was diagnosed HIV+ in 1989 and the beneficiary charities for the project were my first port of call at the time. It was a scary time, I was just a teenager and was given between 3 – 5 years to live. It was 1995 when I had the mad idea to record the album with many of my musician friends and people I’d met on the road.

“I wanted to give something back to the charities that helped me through my journey in life. The Sex, Drugs & HIV album was released in 2014, it took 16 years to finish all the recordings and I was happy with the mixes for all the songs. The first release was the special edition 3 disc version (2xCD + DVD), this did very well so it was repressed as the 2-CD version. The project has made thousands of pounds for the charities so I’m happy it continues to sell and make money for the charities.”

Proceeds from sales of the set will benefit Cancer Research, Rape Crisis, Release and Terrence Higgins Trust.

For more information and a full list of contributors, and to buy Sex, Drugs & HIV -The Studio Sessions, go here.

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KILLING TIME!

London punks TIME TO KILL have just dropped a video from their forthcoming EP.

A raging punk/metal crossover anthem, ‘Infected’ shines a spotlight on police corruption and brutality.

“‘Infected’ is a shout out to all brave people who stand up for their cause in peaceful way and face the brutality of law enforcement officers,” they say.

Fronted by Vibrators vocalist/bassist Pete Honkamäki, the Time To Kill also feature former Demented Are Go guitarist Stan Standen and drummer Ed Avian.

‘Infected’ is available to download here.

Time To Kill on Facebook

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COUNTDOWN TO ROCKDOWN 2!

Not long to go now ’til ROCKDOWN 2, Vive Le Rock‘s own online music festival!

This Saturday 20 February from 8.30pm GMT on our YouTube channel, you can catch an exclusive Vive Le Rockin’ star-studded line-up including NEW MODEL ARMY, THE LOVELESS, YOUTH from KILLING JOKE (DJ set), BUZZCOCKS’ STEVE DIGGLE, THE MISSION’S WAYNE HUSSEY, THE CRAZY WORLD OF ARTHUR BROWN, THE BUSINESS, VICE SQUAD, THE HOLLYWOOD BRATS, MAID OF ACE, WONK UNIT, SVETLANAS, DESPERATE MEASURES, THE SPEEDWAYS, BUSTER SHUFFLE and more…

Watch the whole extravaganza on YouTube!

All proceeds raised go to stagehand.org.uk helping roadies and stage crew throughout the UK​. Please donate what you can via Paypal: info@bigcheesemagazine.com

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GOOD TIMES AHEAD FOR BLACK SPIDERS!

Reignited Sheffield rockers BLACK SPIDERS have just dropped a video for their new single.

‘Good Times’ is a storming cover of the classic hit by The Easybeats, the Australian band formed by future AC/DC producers Harry Vanda and George Young (brother of Angus and Malcolm), and has been recorded by numerous bands including Shocking Blue, Quartz and The Count Bishops.

The track is the lead song from a four-track EP, Deaf Proof, which precedes the band’s forthcoming new self-titled album and includes three new songs not on the record.

“We recorded a lot of songs for our third album, there was so much material it was difficult to see which songs sounded like an album,” says singer/guitarist Ozzy Lister. “This EP is made up from songs that didn’t make it, but we felt still deserved to be heard.”

Download Deaf Proof here.

Set for release on 26 March, Black Spiders is available to pre-order here.

Black Spiders on Facebook

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SPIZZENERGI REVEAL NEW VIDEO!

Just in time for St Valentine’s Day, SPIZZENERGI have unveiled the video for their cover of David Bowie’s ‘Valentine’s Day’.

As previously revealed, the track was mixed by legendary Bowie producer Tony Visconti and will feature on a forthcoming new album, alongside the recent hit single ‘Christmas In Denmark Street’.

“Originally Spizzenergi were tagged as a singles band,” says Spizz. “The modern Spizzenergi, as a performing band, have found it hard to find studio time to put down tracks. The current climate has, if anything, provided that space. The band are relearning the recording process with surprising results. As the main lyric writer, I have to sing songs that mean something and are more than songwriting for songwriting’s sake. So whatever constitutes the final collection there will be no padding. It’ll be passion without the fashion.”

Spizzenergi on Facebook

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THE MIDDLENIGHT MEN UNVEIL DEBUT ALBUM!

New pop-rock favourites THE MIDDLENIGHT MEN release their long-awaited new album today and they’ve given Vive Le Rock! a sneaky peak!

The band are the brainchild of singer/guitarist Nick Hughes, whose impressive work record has included stints with THE YO-YOS, TERRORVISION and DUNCAN REID & THE BIG HEADS

Written over the course of a year, Hughes went into the studio before lockdown with longtime friend and STATUS QUO drummer Leon Cave, producer Andy Brook and various friends and miscreants to lay down the album. Trailed by three well-received singles – ‘Heroine Heights’, ‘Rat Star’ and ‘B.A. Baby’, the aptly-titled Issue 1 is now ready to see the light of day.

Issue 1 is an epic collection of our biggest influences all rammed in to 45 minutes of gloriously unashamed singalong pop-rock anthems,” says Hughes. “The whole point of this album is both to provide a means of escapism from the shit that we all have to deal with right now and an excuse to stick a load of make-up on and be unashamed as we place ourselves in a different reality where we’re free to sing, dance and drink the night away like it’s 2027, presuming we can by then! If ya like Beach Boys, Wildhearts, Alice Cooper and even McFly, this one’s for you.”

Issue I is available to buy here.

The Middlenight Men are featured in the latest edition of Vive Le Rock!

The Middlenight Men on Facebook

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EVEN MORE PRESSURE!

Coventry ska legends THE SELECTER’s classic debut album is to get a new expanded reissue.

Initially released in February 1980 , Too Much Pressure was the second long-player to emerge on the 2 Tone label, coming just four months after THE SPECIALS’ self-titled debut.

Rising to No.5 in the album charts, the album featured the Top 30 hits ‘Three Minute Hero’ and ‘Missing Words’.

As part of a 2 Tone reissues programme from the recently relaunched Chrysalis label, the album is to be re-released as a 3-CD box set, comprising the original 12-track album and stand-alone singles ‘The Selecter’ and the Top 10 ‘On My Radio’ as well as a Peel Session, live tracks, outtakes and other previously unreleased rarities. The set is completed by a booklet with sleevenotes by author Daniel Rachel.

At the same time, Chrysalis will be releasing a half-speed mastered 45rpm edition of the album on black or clear vinyl, with a bonus 7″ of ‘On My Radio’. Both versions are set for release on 23 April.

The Selecter on Facebook

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THE ALARM UNVEIL NEW ALBUM!

THE ALARM have announced a brand new album for release later this month in a novel way.

War has to be completed by 24 February in order to be serviced around the world at midnight on 25/26 February via the world’s digital music suppliers.

In order to combat production times and to have physical product available immediately, the band is advance-releasing the album (without music) in a special CD-Rom format. Fans will then burn their own copy of the finished record. The album’s writing and recording creative process only commenced on 7 January, but the band promises finished tracks will be sent electronically to fans once the final mix and mastering process has taken place.

War is also available to pre-order as a hand-cut vinyl LP which will be released to fans on 25 February, Mike Peters’ birthday.

Peters, along with band members James Stevenson (guitars) and Smiley
(drums) and producer George Williams, are currently writing and recording the record from scratch using their own isolation studios. Mike’s wife, Jules Jones Peters has been documenting the recording process and creating a very incisive fly on the wall vision of Mike and The Alarm at work, sharing regular videos online at www.thealarm.com

“The record is really starting to take shape,” says Peters. “The responsive nature of the writing and recording situation has given rise to some radical thinking on how to instantly release the album into the modern world and also across all the major formats – stream, download, CD and LP.”

To release the album on vinyl, a specialist cutting-house has been engaged to hand-cut as many pre-ordered vinyl copies as possible, once the final master has been cut in Los Angeles by the legendary Howie Weinberg.

The digital edition of War is being distributed internationally by InGrooves who have already paved the way for this groundbreaking release to appear on all digital service provider platforms on 26 February.

As the artwork has been created in advance, each CD/LP will also have
the album title and band logo painted onto the cover by Peters personally, with the tracklisting left intentionally blank so that fans can write in the song titles themselves, once they receive the completed work.

“I really want the fans to have access to this album as soon as it’s finished,” says Peters. “We have set ourselves a very tight deadline, and the music is already being created out in the open for all to see and hear. The technology is there so that fans who still have access to a CD burner and wish to get involved in the spirit of the project can do so by interacting with the creative process and play their own part in bringing this new Alarm album into the world.”

War is available to pre-order/pre-save here.

The Alarm on Facebook

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FUNK’S NOT DEAD!

A new box set anthologises that period in the immediate aftermath of punk when musicians began drawing influence from US funk.

Bands – most notably Gang Of Four and The Pop Group – began marrying often confrontational lyrics and exploratory, experimental sounds with the bass and drum rhythms of Funkadelic and the Fatback Band, and emboldened by New York’s no-wave movement brought post-punk to the dancefloor.

Compiled and with sleevenotes by noted DJ and writer Bill Brewster, the 3-disc Shake The Foundations: Militant Funk & The Post-Punk Dancefloor 1978-1984 features a raft rarely heard floorfillers from familiar bands like THE HIGSONS (pictured), A CERTAIN RATIO, SIMPLE MINDS, 23 SKIDOO and JAH WOBBLE to the less familiar – QUANDO QUANGO, PLAYGROUP, THE CHICKEN GRANNY etc…

Set for release through Cherry Red on 26 March, Shake The Foundations is available to pre-order here.

Track Listing

DISC ONE

  1. GUESS WHO? – A Certain Ratio
  2. COUP – 23 Skidoo
  3. 100 EVIL SMOKESTACKING BABY – Haircut 100
  4. THIS FEAR OF GODS – Simple Minds
  5. LOVE 30 – The Stranglers
  6. BORN EVERY MINUTE – The Passage
  7. SARAVA – Blue Rondo A La Turk
  8. SERBIAN VILLAGE – Medium Medium
  9. PUSH OUT THE BOAT – The Higsons
  10. POST WAR GLAMOUR GIRLS – John Cooper Clarke
  11. SKIN DEEP – The Passions
  12. INVADERS OF THE HEART (MIX ONE) –Jah Wobble
  13. CAN YOU MOVE – Modern Romance
  14. SLANG TEACHER – Wide Boy Awake
  15. HYPNOTISED – C Cat Trance
  16. STRETCH – Maximum Joy

DISC TWO:

  1. LIONS – Tones On Tail
  2. TRUST IS A MUST – Ian Dury
  3. WHAT DANCE IS THIS? – Perfect Zebras
  4. FAITH & HOPE & CHARITY – The Fun Boy Three
  5. DREAM GAMES – Shock
  6. RUSHA – Jesse Rae
  7. DON’T – Thomas Leer
  8. BIG MAN RESTLESS – Kissing The Pink
  9. BLUE FOR YOU – Paul Haig
  10. FREQUENCY 7 – Visage
  11. BANG EM RIGHT – Six Sed Red
  12. TINGLE – Quando Quango
  13. CCCAN’T YOU SEE – Vicious Pink
  14. MOVE ON – Fashiøn
  15. SET FIGHTER – Wide Boy Awake

DISC THREE:

  1. WHEN ARE WE? (NOW WE ARE) – Surface Mutants
  2. WHY ARE WE IN LOVE – Furniture
  3. ROB A BANK – The Pop Group
  4. GET IT RIGHT – Animal Magic
  5. BLACK LEATHER – Nightmares In Wax
  6. OBEDIENCE – Normil Hawaiians
  7. ASBESTOS LEAD ASBESTOS – The 012
  8. KEEP BEAT – Vee VV
  9. LIVING WILD – Mataya Clifford
  10. SO MANY WAYS – Electric Chairs
  11. DREAMS ARE BETTER – London Underground
  12. ARTY-FACT – Group Therapy
  13. WE ARE ALL ANIMALS – The Diagram Brothers
  14. QUIT THE BODY – The Chicken Granny
  15. BED BOUND SAGA – Machine Gunn Hogg And Co
  16. HOGGS MIGHT FLY – Playgroup
  17. SHAKE (THE FOUNDATIONS) – Glaxo Babies
  18. DISCO PURGE – Family Fodder

Pic by Steve Rapport

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PUTTING THE HOOT IN!

Former MICRODISNEY and FATIMA MANSIONS frontman CATHAL COUGHLAN is back with his first new album in more than a decade.

The Cork singer-songwriter is trailing the release with a video for the brooding, nightmarish ‘Owl In The Parlour’.

His sixth solo album, Song Of Co-Aklan comprises 12 new original songs and features guest appearances from friends and former bandmates including Sean O’ Hagan, Jon Fell and John Bennett (Microdisney/High Llamas), Luke Haines (Auteurs/Black Box Recorder), Rhodri Marsden (Scritti Politti), Aindrías Ó Gruama (Fatima Mansions), Cory Gray (The Delines) and Dublin singer-songwriter Eileen Gogan.

Coughlan formed Microdisney with O’Hagan in 1980, forming Fatima Mansions after their dissolution in 1988. In recent years he’s maintained with his solo career as well as collaborating with Blixa Bargeld, Ute Lemper and Gavin Friday on Change The World, a reimagining of the works of Bertold Brecht at Dublin’s National Concert Hall. This year will see the results of his partnership with producer and musician Jacknife Lee under the name Telefis.

Set for release on 26 March through Dimple Discs, Song Of Co-Aklan is available to pre-order here.

Cathal Coughlan on Facebook

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