The largest digital showband archive in the world!
Based In Sligo, Ireland / email: showbands@gmsproductions.com

CLICK FOR:     FREE FORUM        HOME PAGE        GUESTBOOK      MAKE A DONATION

Bagatelle Photos (1978-)

Photo Gallery - Band Lineups - Discography - Audio samples - Where Are They Now?

The Story

The first reference we can find to Bagatelle is an advert in October 1978 for "Bagatelle - ex-Boulder Band." This caused us to look further back as the Boulder Band were popular in Dublin night spots.

The Boulder Band first got mentioned in the papers a year earlier in July, 1977 as they were about to appear in RTE's summer show, "Hello Summer." The show would end up being panned by critics, but the band were given a favourable review. The line-up at the time included ex-members of the Elastic Band, John O'Brien (guitar), Paul Fairclough (drums), Ken Doyle (bass), and Marion Byrne (vocals and sister of folk singer Anne Byrne); and with them was Breda Maher (wife of songwriter Mick Maher).

In October, 1977 the band were signed to Hawk Records and by December they were being hailed as a new band to watch on the Irish scene. The band were being managed by Brian Molloy and in early 1978 they were being compared to Chips as the next pop band who might make the grade on the Irish ballroom scene after spending all their time on the Dublin scene. By March it was reported that the band had signed a deal with London based State Records and would soon be off to London to record their first single. Around this same time Hawk had signed Sandy Duskey (Kelly), Tony Stevens from Cork and the Gibney and Donovan Band. At this time, the band was still playing almost exclusively in and around Dublin.

On October 20th, an advert appeared in the The Nationalist and Leinster Times for "Bagatelle" who were playing in the El Ruedo club Carlow with the tagline "ex Boulder Band featuring Marian Byrne. Weeks earlier an advert had featured the "New Boulder Band." Out of this split came Bagatelle which featured three members of the Boulder Band: John, Ken and Marian. They were joined by new members Liam Reilly (keyboards) and Wally McConville (drums).

In early 1979, an article appeared in the Sunday Independent reporting on the band's rise in popularity in Dublin. They had won the Harp Lager Songwriting competition the previous year with their song, Summer In Dublin, but had still yet been able to finalize a recording deal. An advert in the Evening Herald on July 20th, 1979 said the band was looking to add a second girl singer "into R&B, soul, etc. harmonies essential."

Throughout this period the band was still playing regularly in places like the Crofton Hotel, Mississippi Rooms and Toners. In October, 1979, the band released its first single, the Reilly-penned Trump Card. By this time Marian had been replaced by Maggie Coady from Monkstown. The band had also formed its own publishing company, Bagamusic, which was highly unusual back in those days. Unfortunately the record failed to chart, but was a great freshman offering and definitely a great precursor to Reilly's songwriting talent.

Undaunted the band kept moving forward and six months later, they had just returned from a month long stay in England (minus girl singer Maggie) and were now down to a four piece band. Along with playing some gigs, they had spent time in the studio laying down tracks for their much awaited debut album. 

In May, 1980 their album, simply called Bagatelle and the single "Summer In Dublin" were released to less than ecstatic reviews as the LP was described as "a very enjoyable album and a credit to the band" in the Irish Press newspaper. Meanwhile, the single Summer in Dublin had started to received heavy airplay. A western newspaper wondered "Are Irish Songwriters Alive At All?" and lamented that "the lyrics in almost all of their recorded work are shoddy compared to their arrangement and production." In the meantime, the single entered the Irish charts where it stayed for sixteen weeks, finally peaking at number four in the Irish charts. Bagatelle was a hit!

Within am month, Bagatelle were being heralded as "the most talented band to arrive on the rock scene in a decade" being compared to Thin Lizzy and the Boomtown Rats. The band was now being managed by Oliver Barry. By the end of July, their album was reported as being number one in the Hot Press charts and although the single didn't get to number one, it was in the charts so long, it didn't really matter.

Almost immediately, the band were appearing in the biggest ballrooms around the country and packing them in despite only being a four piece band (their first appearance in Mayo was at a "cabaret night"). By September the band embarked on a "nationwide tour" which I guess was the rock band equivalent of playing the ballroom circuit. In August, 1980, the band re-released Trump Card, however this time the record reached number 17 spending six weeks in the Irish charts.   

On the home front, although many expected the band to do what so many successful Irish groups had done before, head to London to find their fortunes, the band was adamant that they were staying in Ireland.

More to come.....

Photo Gallery

click on thumbnails for full image

Bagatelle (RF) Bagatelle (RF) Bagatelle (RF) Bagatelle (RF) Bagatelle (RF)

Bagatelle

Bagatelle - 1981 Bagatelle - 1979 Bagatelle - 1978 Bagatelle - 1980

     
Bagatelle - 1980 Bagatelle - 1980 Coming Soon Coming Soon Coming Soon
Years Vocals Guitar Bass Drums Keyboards
1978 Marion
Byrne
John
O'Brien
Ken
Doyle
Wally
McConville
Liam
Reilly
October
1979
Maggie
Coady
John
O'Brien
Ken
Doyle
Wally
McConville
Liam
Reilly
February
1980
  John
O'Brien
Ken
Doyle
Wally
McConville
Liam
Reilly

Discography

Singles

Trump Card / Can't Get Over Losing You
Polydor Records - Unknown - October, 1979
Summer In Dublin / Highway Blues
- #4 Irish Charts
Polydor Records - 2078-111 - May, 1980,
Trump Card / Turn The Heat On
- #17 Irish Charts
Polydor Records - 2121-436 - August 1980
Second Violin / Getting What's Mine
- #4 Irish Charts
Polydor Records - 2121-442 - March, 1981
Old Soldiers /
 - #22 Irish Charts
Polydor Records - Unknown - June, 1982
Jersey Girl /
- #17 Irish Charts
Polydor Records - Unknown - January, 1983
Can't Get You Out of My Mnd /
- #28 Irish Charts
Polydor Records - Unknown - February, 1984
All Fall Down Philadelphia /
- #21 Irish Charts
Polydor Records - Unknown - July, 1984
Hurting Inside /
- #25 Irish Charts
Polydor Records - Unknown - June, 1985
Don't Say No /
- #20 Irish Charts
Ritz Records - Unknown - May, 1986
If Paradise Is Half As Nice /
- #25 Irish Charts
Zero Records - Unknown - March, 1987
Just Another Lover /
- #15 Irish Charts
MOB Records - Unknown - July, 1988

Albums

Bagatelle
Polydor Records - 2904-015 - June, 1980
Are We Keeping You Up
Polydor Records - 2904-024 - 1982

Audio Clips

         
Coming Soon Coming Soon Coming Soon Coming Soon Coming Soon

Coming Soon

Where Are They Now?  

Band Member:
Band Member:
Band Member:
Band Member:
Band Member:
Band Member:

 


2002-2017 GMS Productions

In Loving Memory of Grant Gallagher: Sept. 21, 1990 - Nov. 18, 2006