fter last week’s rock’n’roll diary from Delgany’s drummer dreamer Bjorn Baillie, today it’s the turn of groovy Greystones guitarist Paul Maynes.
The occasion being the release of Californian Poppy, the latest album from his Belfast band of brothers, The Minnows.
It was karate kidder Richard Roche who twigged us to the latest future rock god to fly high once they got the hell out of this one-horse town of ours, and sure, we just had to find out how Maynes got all the way from here to there.
Whilst revealing those songs that can, hey, make him break down and cry…
I have fond memories of growing up in Greystones. With the two beaches, the old harbour, the cove, the Mens and the fields behind Bellevue Park (before the houses were built), it felt like an adventure playground and it was an idyllic place to grow up.
In my early teens, my parents had the bright idea to move to Northern Ireland (at the height of the Troubles!) and they dragged me along, kicking and screaming.
I always thought I’d move back to Greystones, but Belfast got its hooks in me and it’s been my home ever since. I met the guys in the band at university. They needed a guitarist and I volunteered. We’ve been playing music together ever since.
Fun fact! My old friend Joe Morrison, a founding member of the legendary Greystones supergroup, The Baskerville Sisters, taught me my first guitar chord – so, it’s his fault that you are now reading about my music choices.
Our new album, Californian Poppy, is out now, available from our website here, or all good major online retailers.
Would love to come back and play in Greystones one day, when live music returns.
So, to the tracks of my years – in no particular order…
Madness House of Fun First single I ever bought. There was a little record shop down near Mooney’s, I think, or have I imagined that? I had pocket money and was intent on buying some badges to put on my bomber jacket. Hello 1980s! Instead, I splurged on a Madness single. Still one of my better purchases in life.
The Violent Femmes Blister In The Sun Greystones native and my old friend Liam Sweeney played this song to me one day and I now play it often to my kids. It always makes me smile, even though the lyrics are quite dark.
Dinosaur Jr Freak Scene In my late teens I visited Greystones to see my friends. I had a VHS camera with me, so Liam, Joe, Richard Roche and I walked up to the Three Trout River and made our own music video to the tune of Dinosaur Junior’s Freak Scene. I edited it using two VHS players and was very proud of the result. Alas the video is long gone but the memory of one of my last summer days messing about in Greystones has stayed.
AC/DC Back In Black AC/DC came to the RDS in 1982 but we were too young to get in, so my mum had to come with us. She was horrified, but Back In Black at full tilt with a dangerously loud PA was something to behold! Also, best snare sound ever committed to vinyl!
David Bowie Rock and Roll Suicide I was very tempted to include Life On Mars, arguably one of Bowies’ best, but the last song on the Ziggy Stardust album is my favourite. From its slow beginnings about a dying rock star to its intense ending of “You’re wonderful!”, it always feels very powerful to me.
Elbow Powder Blue While a browsing a record shop in Belfast, I heard this being played on the speakers and thought ‘who’s that’? From their 2001 debut album, Asleep In The Back, Powder Blue is a beautiful love song about two addicts, that I imagine could make a great movie script.
Lloyd Cole Morning Is Broken My band have always been a bit obsessive about Lloyd Cole, ever since his days as Lloyd Cole and The Commotions. He is still going strong and continues to put out great albums. The one song I continually return to is Morning Is Broken, from his album Bad Vibes. Myself and Michael, from the band, got into trouble for swearing on air when we were guest DJs on a local radio station. After playing the song Michael, with all sincerity, proclaimed ‘What a f**cking great song!’, thus ending our radio presenter careers right there and then.
A House I Am Afraid We got to play with some great Irish bands back in the day – The Four Of Us, An Emotional Fish, Something Happens – but my favourite was this lot. I love their album I Am The Greatest. This song, in particular connects with the introvert in me.
REM Nightswimming My wife’s favourite song so, you know.
The Minnows What Was I Supposed To Do Shameless plug! This is the second single from our new album Californian Poppy. It’s my favourite because I nailed the delay guitar in one take. Boom!
There should also be a Beatles, Prince, Neil Young and Pink Floyd song in here, but I couldn’t choose, so insert your own favourite here.
You can find out more about The Minnows here, and go explore more Tracks Of My Years here.
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