- 20 Dec 18
'Late At Night' is mandatory listening this Christmas for Leo and the government...
We are loving this powerful tune from Philip McGauley, which highlights how perilous life on the streets is for the homeless.
‘Late At Night’ was recorded at RASP, the Dublin 17 centre that supports problematic drug users living in the local community. Philip has had addiction issues for many years, but has come out the other side and is giving hope to his fellow service users with his poetry, which has been set to music by producer JackKnifeJ.
“Philip has lived an extraordinary life, he was born in Manchester in the ‘50s to a 17-year-old Irish mother escaping the fears of the Catholic Churches in Ireland,” we’re told by the folk at RASP. “Four years later a young Philip returned to his grandmother's house to be raised by her in Cabra, Dublin. Upon the death of his grandmother Philip’s life was turned upside down and spiralled dramatically when his alcoholic and abusive father moved into the house.
“A radiogram in the parlour of the house was Philip’s escape from the world around him, listening to the 78s of the time made up mostly of American jive and any other music a young Philip could get his hands on. Philip joined the army and served his country honourably for nine years before heading to Amsterdam to see the world. On his return to Ireland for a funeral, while attending a Thin Lizzy gig in Baggot Street, an old comrade from the Irish army introduced him to heroin; again life began to turn upside down. Escape was found from the realities of what was always in the back of his mind from his abusive childhood
“From the first time taking heroin, life started to slowly fade away until eventually he was asked to leave the home he grew up in by his mother. Philip was caught up in a life of petty crime, stealing to feed his habit and in and out of the prison system.
It was around this time his soulmate came into his world which gave him some light in his darkness and something to live for. He had two children in the process. Life on the outside was looking good, a wife two kids, a house, and a job, but through all of this he was still trying to hide his heroin addiction. Once he began heavily drinking he started to see himself turn into the person that caused him so much pain as a child.
“During the famous Ireland v Romania game during World Cup 1990, after an intoxicated row Philip decided to leave his wife and kids and made himself homeless not wanting them to suffer the same childhood he experienced. The drink and drugs had taken its toll on his relationship and his world. At first he stayed on sofas and then moved to hostels. Philip didn’t enjoy the hostels as they weren’t secure and he felt uncomfortable in the surroundings, so he decided to leave the city centre and sleep rough, strapping himself to an oak tree high up in the Phoenix Park overlooking the goings on of Dublin City at night.
“Philip received a four-year sentence in 2004 on condition that he received treatment. He started doing art and music and things he had long forgotten that were once so important to his world. From Mountjoy, Philip was given a home in a half-way house and through continuously staying clean, attending counselling and looking to better himself, he was given his own accommodation and a place on the RASP programme in Coolock, which he feels has given back the life he thought he had long lost to addiction. Always seen with his poetry book in his hand, ‘I Stand Alone’ was recorded in RASP as a way of bringing Philip’s poetry to life. It’s a testament to how one man can overcome all of lifes obstacles and come out the other side.”
Team Hot Press applaud Philip’s strength, honesty and talents as a wordsmith, and wish him and all the RASP crew a very Happy Christmas! More music by him will be released onto iTunes in the New Year.