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Give me '05

Annual article: Stuart Clark looks back at the news stories, rumour and innuendo that shaped the rock'n'roll year.

Stuart Clark, 20 Dec 2005


  • This year’s Oxegen festival proves to be the most successful yet, with 70,000 people flocking to Punchestown for a two-day bill headlined by Green Day and Foo Fighters.

  • It’s another triumph for MCD’s Denis Desmond who’s just had his and Clear Channel’s £39 million takeover of the Mean Fiddler Music Group green lighted by Britain’s Office of Fair Trading.

  • The MFMG was set up 20 years ago by Tramore man Vince Power who pockets £13m for his 35% stake.

  • Hot Press reveals that Bono is the Script Editor on a film called The Virgin Of Las Vegas, which has been written by long-time U2 collaborator and Horslips man Barry Devlin.

  • Good news from Los Angeles where the city’s top alternative radio station KCRW is putting its considerable might behind BellX1. After dropping in to their Morning Becomes Eclectic breakfast show and performing a session that’s archived at, the band play to a sell-out Viper Room crowd that includes Mischa Barton and Rachel Bilson from The OC.

  • Damien Rice says that he wants to run his own festival in Ireland this summer. "It’d be great to have something to go to where you can watch music, and have amazing food and where there’ll be fires and music going on all night," he enthuses. Recording commitments mean it doesn’t materialise this year, but keep those fingers crossed for 2006!

  • Dublin’s Colm McGinley is the winner of our ‘design a sleeve’ competition. A graphic artist, his work will adorn Pierce Turner’s ‘The Ballad Of Rory Gallagher’, which is available exclusively from and samples the legendary Fender-bender.


  • The Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA) welcomes the High Court decision to compel a number of internet service providers to release the names of the 17 individuals engaged in serial filesharing of music here. Abuse of copyright on the net has contributed to a €28 million drop in music sales between 2001 and 2004.

  • “We will now be writing to the 17 individuals informing them of the seriousness of their actions,” says IRMA Director General Dick Doyle (right). “We will offer them the opportunity of settling their actions. If they refuse our settlement terms, we’ll pursue the matter through the courts.”

  • In the first test case, John Paul Nevin of Navan is fined €1,500 on each of four sample counts of copyright infringement.

    Phase II of IRMA’s legal action is launched in November and includes the FastTrack – on which KaZaA runs – and Gnutella networks among its targets.

  • Bob Dylan fans celebrate as it’s confirmed the Never Ending Tour will roll into Dublin again in November. The Big Zim also graces our screens in Martin Scorsese’s No Direction Home documentary, which focuses on the 1961 to 1966 part of his career. A sequel is being mooted for 2007.

  • With Annie Tierney departing for solo pastures, The Radio draft Caroline Lee-Baker in as their new lead singer. Following a successful CMJ showcase in New York, they’re confirmed as one of the two 2FM-elected acts, The Chalets being the other, who’ll be journeying to Holland in January 2006 for Eurosonic.

  • The Arctic Monkeys make their Dublin debut with a Sunday night gig in Whelan’s. Two months later they’re top of the UK singles chart with ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’.


  • Damien Rice is among the all-star cast that spends Thursday September 8th recording a track for the new War Child Help: A Day In The Life compilation, which can still be downloaded for a bargain €9.99 from According to manager Bernadette Barret, "'Cross-Eyed Bear’ is an old song that Damien and the band took a break from working on new material to rework. War Child approached us a few weeks ago, and we were delighted to say, ‘Yes’."

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