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It's Saturday morning in Galway. 7.30am to be precise and the whole building's asleep. Apart from me. I'm listening to 'Studio One Story', brewing my special coffee and getting ready to write another Cane 141 biography. Could be worse, I suppose. It's just that every time I do this, the story has become understandably longer and still more needlessly complicated. I'm impatient to get to the recent stuff: the shows we've done, the films we've taken, our new gal Sandra, the scuba diving trip that gave us a song called 'Witches Dream of Planets at the Speed of Light', the other still-unreleased musical gems, the many nice folks who've come around in the last while to endure and encourage us and without whom we'd get even LESS done.

Now it's open to debate, but to my mind Cane 141 began in earnest around 1995. The group was me, Mike and Shane with our friend Paul Maye on drums. In 1997, studio owner Pat Neary invited us to do an album for a label called Secret. 'Scene From 6am' came out the following year and we really thought we'd created a masterpiece of very lean-sounding pop music. I even still like some of it. The video for 'Super 8' is suitably dreamy and mysterious and we still do a wigged-out 'Down Angel Road' on stage. The album was well received but just try finding a copy of it now. Go on, if you think you're so bloody clever! Paul left the group before the release and, since it proved surprisingly difficult to find a suitable replacement, the rest of us went back in the studio and recorded tracks that would form the basis of two more records: 'More New Friends' (1999) and 'Garden Tiger Moth' (2001). Look at those dates, man! We'd been playing most of those songs for years before they came out. My faves from that time are 'Real Spacemen Never Walk Anywhere' (we all worked on the video with the lovely Andrew Tait and showed it at every festival that would have us), 'In the Sky the Lucky Stars' (the recording came out just right) and 'Scene From 6am' (a heartbreaker). We do a funky 'Me and Michael' on stage now too. Gradually, the line-up expanded to include Colm Hogan on drums, long-time and indeed long-suffering stage pal Ronan Burke on organ and studio co-producer and engineer Paul Brennan on synth. We had some fun times playing shows with cool bands at home, in the UK, France, Spain and America and having our records come out all over the place.

'Garden Tiger Moth' was released on Chris Metzler's Décor records (through Setanta). Chris also set up the collaboration singles that followed it up. 'New Day Parade' (Décor) featured vocals by Mark Eitzel on a song co-written by Mark and Mike (we got to perform it on stage with the great man in Dublin when he toured his 'Invisible Man' album) as well as a remix of 'The Lookout Kid' by High Llama Sean O'Hagan. 'Cycle Variation'/ 'It Grew in the Fire' (Track and Field) was a 7-inch only split-single with Stephen Hero with whom we played some fun shows when he released his 'Darkness and the Day' album.

Everything went quiet for a while after Easter 2002. Paul Brennan moved to Dublin and Ronan relocated to Oxford. Mike, Shane, Colm and Pat kicked around some tracks in the studio (including the forthcoming single 'Sugarfoot') and I didn't do anything that need concern us here. Next thing, Mike calls up Sandra Friel and asks her to come rehearse with us and we become a five-piece, sounding the leanest and coolest we've ever done. In August, we were shaky support to the Flaming Lips and in September played two of my favourite ever shows with The Butterflies of Love. 'Sugarfoot' has been on your Irish and British radio shows and will be released when we've mixed it properly and done the necessary paper work. We want to bring you another album in 2003. I could claim the new stuff is mostly keyboards, drums and shouting but, of course, it's never that simple.

Hey, that wasn't so bad and I didn't skim over too much. To end though, I want to send huge thanks to: all the folks who've given their free time to work on our videos, particularly Andrew Tait, Keith Walsh and Tadhg O'Sullivan; the musicians who performed with us on stage and in the studio; everyone who has checked us out live, particularly all you guys who come to see us again and again despite… well, you know; the fans who've written reviews; the folks in Europe who've distributed our records and/or put us up and/or partied with us, particularly Muireann Brady, Poplane, Hilary and John Cheyne, Chris Metzler, Burke family, Barcelona people; everyone who has helped with artwork; Pat Neary and Gerry Mulkerns at the controls; Djs who've played us and given us sessions (especially John Peel, Chris Coco, John Kennedy, Donal Dineen and Dave Fanning); web site guys, particularly Mark Wrafter and Adrian Ryan; bands we've done shows with (especially Pere Ubu, Butterflies of Love, Ill-dependents, Stephen Hero, Mark Eitzel, Jonathan Richman, Sparklehorse and the Flaming Lips); all our friends and families.

Gerard




Current live line-up
Michael Smalle - vocals, guitar, synth, little korg and percussion.
Gerard Connolly - vocals, acoustic guitar, ill-advised bass and organ.
Shane Burke - bass guitar and organ.
Colm Hogan - drums and percussion.
Sandra Friel - vocals, concertina, synth, accordian and keyboard

Plus
Ronan Burke - Sometimes Member - Keys, Percussion.


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