THE GREAT WESTERN SQUARES

Judas Steer
blunt / independent
released : Ireland (via Grapevine) and the U.K. (via Shellshock) August '97

Almost Sober
blunt / independent
released ; Ireland (via Grapevine) April 98
U.K. (via Shellshock) June 98

The Great Western squares were thrown together for an impromptu performance at Eamonn Cruddens by now legendary "Johnny cash appreciation society" which took place through the summer of '96 at the Hut in Phibsboro. The aim of the evening was for a ramshackle bunch of individuals most of whom had connections with various noise bands around Dublin to indulge their country inclinations without having to go totally public on the matter. To this end Gary Fitzpatrick- at the time a full time noise nik in Pincher Martin - got together with Oona White to play some of their favourite songs in a country style. Their debut consisted of country versions of "Dog eat Dog" by Adam and the Ants and "The Lord" by the Bee Gees.

During the summer Gary spent his time(and dole!!) hunting through bargain bins in the likes of Freebird and Chapters( searching for lost country classics. In Oct.'96 they were offered a residency in the White horse on Burgh Quay to indulge their growing taste in the likes of Jimmy webb, Hank William's, Gram Parsons, Merle Haggard, George Jones, John Prine, Loretta Lynn and a host of other traditional American folk and country singers.

In Feb.'97 Gary, Oona and Gog entered Sun studios to record a couple of acoustic type songs to lighten up a full on noise Pincher Martin album. Instead he emerged with a set of fourteen country songs. The main obstacles to recording included no musicians, Gary's 12-string being in the Pawn shop and mandolin playing Gog conveniently having a court appearance for cycling on the path on the day in question. Problems were solved with 30, a guilty plea and a phone call to ex Star of heaven Stan Erraught. Oh and the band only had 72 songs to choose from!!! Hurriedly arranged phonecalls also meant the appearance of John Hegarty on Piano, Tim Rogers on fiddle and Alan Murphy on occasional drums.

The Squares release a new album "Almost Sober" in April 1998. Comprising twelve originals and covers of Merle Haggard and Gram Parsons "Almost Sober2" shows how far the Squares have some in such a short time. Check out 3Don1t tear yourself to peices, A Safe Home and Almost Sober for evidence of Gary Fitzpatricks wonderful songwriting.