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Friday 17 March 2023

Fitzroy Avenue

Joe Duggan is a poet from Northern Ireland, currently in Crystal Palace, whose work I'm a big fan of. He writes about every day life and the lives of others, writing about the little details and the big themes. As well as a gifted writer he has a distinctive voice. Out today on Paisley Dark is a poem set to music by Warriors Of The Dystotheque. Fitzroy Avenue describes a party taking place at 47 Fitzroy, Belfast, 'various substances, Stella Artois and the vague outside chance of a result tonight'. Joe's Northern Irish accent, his use of repetition and the cosmic disco chug of the music are a perfect blend. 'It's all happening here'. Fitzroy Avenue, the video and not one but six remixes are all available today at Bandcamp

The BFP Acid- Flex Mix is a beauty, the throb and buzz of the bassline and Joe's voice, some echo and some distorted synth sounds, combining over seven and a half minutes in a sweet spot of poetry and acid house.

Joe has previously recorded with Nina Walsh and Andrew Weatherall. He recorded Downhill with Andrew and Nina in their Woodleigh Research Facility guise, a collective based in the Crystal Palace environs. Downhill came out in March 2020, just weeks after Andrew died. 'From where I live', Joe declares over the wobble of synth bass and a kick drum, 'It's downhill all the way/ To the pubs of Waterloo Street/ Derry just kind of tilts me', the phrase, 'Has anyone seen Joe? Where'd he go?' repeated again and again. 

Joe also put his words over WRF's music on Play Bingo With Me, more dystopic future machine music with Joe's voice revealing slices of everyday life.

In 2019 Joe recorded with Fireflies, another Crystal Palace based group (who also recorded a single for Andrew Weatherall's Moine Dubh 7" singles club). Fireflies are Nina, guitarist Franck Alba and Dani Cali. The five track EP, Surrounded On All Sides, opens with Joe's poem Falling Man, the tale of a man who fell 3, 500 feet from the wheel arch a plane over South London, from a flight that took off in Kenya. It's is a dark and affecting poem, full of empathy for someone who took an enormous, fatal, risk to find a better life and died trying. There is light and shade on the EP too- Leonard Cohen Knows is more reflective. You can buy Surrounded On All Sides here. Stick all of today's poetry/ music into one playlist/ onto one CD for a Joe Duggan Friday festival.


Khayem said...

I pre-ordered this but haven't got around to listening to the whole EP yet. I wasn't familiar with Joe Duggan's work, to be honest, but Fitzroy Avenue has piqued my interest.

On a related note, as you switched me onto Michael Smith via his collaboration with Andrew Weatherall, have you heard Sun Moon Town, a 4-track EP/album with Steve Queralt? I bought it last Bandcamp Friday and it's a fantastic, absorbing work.

Swiss Adam said...

Yes Khayem, got the Smith- Queralt EP at the end of last year, it's very good. Lots of depth and layers to it.