Those Nervous Animals
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (December 2010)|
|Those Nervous Animals|
Those Nervous Animals are an Irish rock band from Sligo, Ireland. Formed in 1981, the original membership consisted of lead vocalist, guitarist and keyboardist Barry Brennan, guitarist Padraig Meehan, bassist Eddie Lee and percussionist Cathal Hayden.
Though the band were unsigned until their break-up and remain unsigned after their reunion, they released six singles, including their only EP Hyperspace which was released in 1985. The band currently come together to do sporadic gigs.
Formation and early years
Barry Brennan and Padraig Meehan met in Sligo art college and they were then joined by Eddie Lee on bass. The band were named following a word-play game in a Sligo restaurant. The band's original songs are a mixture of funky, radio-friendly pop tunes, and a selection of quirky material with an ironic or humorous twist. Their material may have been influenced by Talking Heads. The band was originally managed and produced by Riverdance composer, Bill Whelan. At the peak of their success, Those Nervous Animals were a major draw in Ireland, filling the Baggot Inn, Dublin, regularly on a Thursday night and performing on the bill at Self Aid in 1986. They also played The Stadium, the SFX and venues all around the country. There was hype about the band at that time. Those Nervous Animals never played or released records outside Ireland.
The band released six singles, including Just What the Sucker Wanted, The Business Enterprise (My Friend John), How Does the Shopper Feel? and Damien. The early singles were on their own Dead Fly label (Dead Fly being a Sligo slang for someone who is sharp). Some of these are included on their one EP, entitled Hyperspace released on Tara Records.
Having toured in Ireland for a number of years the group disbanded in 1988, but since 1994 they have performed together regularly on a part-time basis. Those Nervous Animals returned with a tour and a CD Single, Rocket Ship in 1994, on Danceline Records. In 2001 Tom Dunne of Today FM put the song The Business Enterprise (My Friend John) on his Top 30 Irish Hits Volume 2. Christmas 2004 saw this album topping in the Irish charts, and one of the most requested tracks was the aforementioned song. Today FM listeners voted the song number 16 among the best Irish singles of all time. In December 2002, Those Nervous Animals performed in The Olympia Theatre as part of a benefit for the Children’s Hospital. They also contributed a new track - Polar Bear - to the Simpatico album, in honour of the late Finn Corrigan, musician and sound engineer. The album Simpatico is available from the Dervish website.
All the band members are involved in different projects nowadays, but come together regularly to perform.
Core TNA members Pádraig Meehan, Eddie Lee and Barry Brennan  have steered the band through a number of personnel changes over the years. This trio also contributed the songs that characterised the Animals style. Among the performers associated with the band is Clonmel keyboard player John Tobin, who played the jazz solo on How does the Shopper Feel? and the French percussionist (now deceased) Pascale Benadjour. Susan Rowland regularly provided vocals; at various times Flo McSweeney, Maura O’Connell and Helen Walshe performed vocal backing with TNA. The band had strong associations with the Sligo pub, Hennigans of Wine Street, where they played and socialised in the 1980s.
Original Members (1981–83)
- Vocals, guitar, keyboards– Barry Brennan
- Guitar – Padraig Meehan
- Bass – Eddie Lee
- Drums – Christy Behan
- Percussion – Cathal Hayden
|Year||Single||Peak chart positions|
|1983||"Just What the Sucker Wanted"||—||—||—||—||—|
|1984||"The Business Enterprise (My Friend John)"||-||9||—||—||—|
|1986||"How Does the Shopper Feel?"||—||—||—||—||—|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.|
- "How Those Nervous Animals got their ridiculous name". Sligo Champion. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
- "Irish Punk and New Wave Discography". irishrock.org. Retrieved 30 May 2010.
- "Those Nervous Animals are ready to roar again". Sligo Weekender. Retrieved 31 August 2009.
- Sligo Arts webpage - Artist profile on Those Nervous Animals