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Origin Cork, Ireland
Genres Alternative rock
Years active 1980-1988, 2012
Associated acts The Fatima Mansions, The High Llamas, Stump
Past members Cathal Coughlan
Sean O'Hagan
Nick Montgomery
Jon Fell
Dave Galvin
Chris McCarthy
Aisling Hayden
Rob McKahey
Ed Flesh
Tom Fenner
Steve Pregnant
James Compton

Microdisney was an Irish musical duo, formed in 1980 by Cathal Coughlan (keyboards, vocals) and Sean O'Hagan (guitar).

Original line-up[edit]

  • Vocals: Cathal Coughlan
  • Guitar: Sean O'Hagan
  • Bass: Jon Fell
  • Drums: Tom Fenner


Microdisney began recording in their native town of Cork, Ireland. Their first few singles, including 1983's "Pink Skinned Man", were released on indie labels Kabuki records (the label which was also home to Irish artists such as Roger Doyle, Kissed Air and Five Go Down To The Sea). One of their rarest recordings from this period is a live performance of 'National Anthem' (featured on "Kaught at the Kampus"). After relocating to London, they signed to Rough Trade, and utilised John Porter (producer of The Smiths) to produce some tracks on their debut album, Everybody is Fantastic. At this time, the band became acquainted with John Peel, who championed their music, and gave them the first of several celebrated Peel Sessions (they recorded a total of three Peel sessions during 1984 alone). Soon after bassist Jon Fell and drummer Tom Fenner were added as a permanent rhythm section. Microdisney's sound gradually became more commercial between 1984 and 1986 particularly and chart oriented, as heard on their 1985 release, The Clock Comes Down the Stairs, and its corresponding single "Birthday Girl".

"Town to Town" (1987) is a rock song about powerless but morally null individuals attempting to live normal lives under threat of nuclear holocaust; whilst their 1987 single "Singer's Hampstead Home" is often described, inaccurately, as an attack on Boy George. "Town to Town" was the group's only song to reach the top 40 in Ireland. It was a minor hit on both the Irish singles chart and UK charts, reaching #30 in Ireland, and #55 in the UK.

During their career, Microdisney recorded for Kabuki, Rough Trade and Virgin record labels. Albums also included the early compilation We Hate You South African Bastards! (later renamed Love Your Enemies), Everybody Is Fantastic and The Clock Comes Down The Stairs. After signing to Virgin Records, they released two more albums Crooked Mile and 39 Minutes. In 1988, Microdisney disbanded.

The Lenny Kaye produced album, "Crooked Mile" is singled out in Irish Rock literature, while 1985's The Clock Comes Down the Stairs was voted no. 1 album of the 1980s in the 1989 end-of-year edition of the now-defunct Irish newspaper The Sunday Tribune.[citation needed]

Following their demise, Coughlan went onto form The Fatima Mansions and O'Hagan founded The High Llamas, which Jon Fell soon joined, having been part of The Fatima Mansions up until the release of their first album. O'Hagan also worked with Stereolab. Three further compilations were issued of previously released material - Big Sleeping House, Peel Sessions (which has most of their collected BBC John Peel sessions, apart from the last one), and Daunt Square to Elsewhere, a two-disc compilation.

In July 2013, The Clock Comes Down The Stairs and Love Your Enemies were reissued by Cherry Red, with the release of "Everybody is Fantastic" following in November. All recent releases include at least one John Peel session and previously unavailable b sides.



  • Kaught At Kampus (vinyl 1980) Reekus (reissued on CD 2013)
  • Everybody Is Fantastic (1984) Rough Trade (UK Indie #6)(reissued (1996) Rev-Ola, with bonus track and again in 2013 with additional Peel session and b side)
  • We Hate You South African Bastards! (1984) Rough Trade (UK Indie #7 reissue 2013 ibid)
  • The Clock Comes Down The Stairs (1985) Rough Trade (UK Indie #1 reissue 20@3 ibid)
  • Crooked Mile (1987) Virgin
  • 39 Minutes (1988) Virgin
  • The Peel Sessions Album (1989) Strange Fruit
  • Big Sleeping House (1995) Virgin Vault
  • Love Your Enemies (1996) Rev-Ola
  • Daunt Square to Elsewhere: 1982-1988 (2007) Castle


  • "Hello Rascals" (1982) Kabuki
  • "Pink Skinned Man" (1983) Kabuki
  • "Dolly" (1984) Rough Trade
  • In the World EP (1985) Rough Trade (UK Indie #7)
  • "Birthday Girl" (1985) Rough Trade (UK Indie #6)
  • "Town to Town" (1987) Virgin (UK #55, IRE #30)[1]
  • "Singer's Hampstead Home" (1987) Virgin
  • "Gale Force Wind" (1988) Virgin (UK #98)[1]



  1. ^ a b Microdisney, ChartStats
  2. ^ Lazell, Barry (1997) Indie Hits 1980-1989, Cherry Red Books, ISBN 0-9517206-9-4


Mark. J. Prendergast "Irish Rock: Roots, Personalities, Directions" [Paperback]

Cork Rock: From Rory Gallagher To The Sultans Of Ping by Mark McAvoy. Published by Mercier Press (2009) ISBN 9781856356558

External links[edit]