Those Nervous Animals

Last updated

Those Nervous Animals
Small Tna 82.jpg
Background information
Origin Sligo, Ireland
Genres Pop
Years active1981–1989
1993 – present
LabelsDead Fly Records, Tara Records, Danceline
MembersChristy Behan
Cathal Hayden
Eddie Lee
Barry Brennan
Padraig Meehan
Seamie McGowan
Susan Rowland

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.


The band 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. [1] 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. 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. [2] 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.

Band reunion

The three core TNA members Pádraig Meehan, Eddie Lee and Barry Brennan [3] 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 Benadjoud. 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.

Having toured in Ireland for a number of years the group disbanded in 1988, [3] 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. [3] In 2002 Tom Dunne of Today FM put the song The Business Enterprise (My Friend John) on his Top 30 Irish Hits Volume 2 collection. Today FM listeners voted the song number 16 among the best Irish singles of all time. In 2003 Those Nervous Animals contributed a new track - Polar Bear - to the Simpatico album, in honour of the late Finn Corrigan, musician and sound engineer. The song Hyperspace was featured on the album Quare Groove Vol.1 released in 2018 by All City Records.


Original Members (1981–83)


Extended plays

YearEP details
1985Hyperspace [2]
  • Released: 18 November 1985
  • Label: Tara Records
  • Formats: LP


YearSinglePeak chart positions
1983"Just What the Sucker Wanted"
1984"The Business Enterprise (My Friend John)"-9
1986"How Does the Shopper Feel?"
1994"Rocket Ship"
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.

Related Research Articles

Madness (band) British Ska Band

Madness are an English ska band from Camden Town, north London, who formed in 1976. One of the most prominent bands of the late 1970s and early 1980s two-tone ska revival, they continue to perform with six of the seven members of their original line-up.

Barry Gibb British singer, songwriter, record producer, and co-founder of the group Bee Gees

Sir Barry Alan Crompton Gibb is a British-American singer, songwriter, musician and record producer who rose to worldwide fame as a co-founder of the group the Bee Gees, one of the most commercially successful groups in the history of popular music. With his younger brothers, twins Robin and Maurice Gibb, he formed a songwriting partnership beginning in 1955.

Clannad Irish band

Clannad are an Irish band formed in 1970 in Gweedore, County Donegal by siblings Ciarán, Pól, and Moya Brennan and their twin uncles Noel and Pádraig Duggan. They have adopted various musical styles throughout their history, including folk, folk rock, traditional Irish, Celtic and new-age music, often incorporating elements of smooth jazz and Gregorian chant.

Moya Brennan Irish folk singer, songwriter, harpist, and philanthropist

Moya Brennan, also known as Máire Brennan, is an Irish folk singer, songwriter, harpist, and philanthropist. She began performing professionally in 1970 when her family formed the band Clannad, and is considered as the "First Lady of Celtic Music". Moya released her first solo album in 1992 called Máire, a successful venture. She has been nominated for two Grammys and has won an Emmy Award. She has recorded music for several soundtracks, including Titanic, To End All Wars and King Arthur.

Andy Gibb British–Australian singer

Andrew Roy Gibb was an English singer, songwriter, performer, and teen idol. He was the younger brother of the Bee Gees: Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb.

<i>Legend</i> (Robin of Sherwood soundtrack) 1984 soundtrack album by Clannad

Legend is a 1984 soundtrack album for the ITV television series Robin of Sherwood, by the Irish folk group Clannad. It is their eighth album. In 1985, this album won the BAFTA award for Best Original Television Music, making Clannad the first Irish band to win the award.

<i>Three</i> (U2 EP) 1979 EP by U2

Three, also known as U2 3, is the debut release by Irish rock band U2. It was released in Ireland on 26 September 1979 through the CBS Ireland record label.

The Shadows English instrumental rock group

The Shadows were an English instrumental rock group. They were Cliff Richard's backing band from 1958 to 1968 and on numerous reunion tours. The Shadows have placed 69 UK charted singles from the 1950s to the 2000s, 35 credited to the Shadows and 34 to Cliff Richard and the Shadows. The group, who were in the forefront of the UK beat-group boom, were the first backing band to emerge as stars. As pioneers of the four-member instrumental format, the band consisted of lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass guitar and drums. Their range covers pop, rock, surf rock and ballads with a jazz influence.

You Should Be Dancing 1976 single by Bee Gees

"You Should Be Dancing" is a song by the Bee Gees, from the album Children of the World, released in 1976. It hit No. 1 for one week on the American Billboard Hot 100, No. 1 for seven weeks on the US Hot Dance Club Play chart, and in September the same year, reached No. 5 on the UK Singles Chart. The song also peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Soul chart. It was this song that first launched the Bee Gees into disco. It was also the only track from the group to top the dance chart.

Chas Smash musician

Cathal Joseph "Carl" Smyth, also known as Chas Smash, is an English singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. In a career spanning more than 40 years, Smash came to prominence in the late 1970s as the backing vocalist, trumpet player, harmonica player and dancer for the English ska band Madness.

Paul McSherry is a guitarist from Northern Ireland who began playing in 1982, aged 14. He was inspired by two guitarists from his native West Belfast, Maurice McHugh and Mark Kane, and was self-taught on DAGDAD tuning.

Animal (Pearl Jam song) 1994 single by Pearl Jam

"Animal" is a song by the American rock band Pearl Jam, released in 1994 as the third single from the band's second studio album, Vs. (1993). Although credited to all members of Pearl Jam, it features lyrics written by vocalist Eddie Vedder and music primarily written by guitarist Stone Gossard. The song peaked at number 21 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. The song was included on Pearl Jam's 2004 greatest hits album, rearviewmirror .

19th Nervous Breakdown original song written and composed by Jagger/Richards; first recorded by The Rolling Stones

"19th Nervous Breakdown" is a song by the English rock band the Rolling Stones. Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, it was recorded in late 1965 and released as a single in February 1966. It reached number 2 on both the US Billboard Hot 100 and Britain's Record Retailer chart, while topping the charts compiled by Cash Box and NME.

Alan Kendall British musician

Alan Kendall is an English musician and was the lead guitarist for the popular band the Bee Gees, in an unofficial capacity from 1971 until 1980, and again from 1987 until 2001.

<i>Clannad: Live in Concert</i> 2005 live album by Clannad

Live in Concert is a live album by the Irish folk group Clannad which was released in 2005. It features new versions of material from across the band's catalogue as far back as their 1973 debut album. Songs originally released in their simplest acoustic form are now performed here with brand new full band arrangements. "In A Lifetime" features a duet with former Riverdance singer Brian Kennedy. An 11-minute medley of music from the Robin of Sherwood TV series features previously unreleased music. The album was compiled from concerts recorded during their 1996 European tour.

<i>Magical Ring</i> 1983 studio album by Clannad

Magical Ring is the seventh album by Irish folk group Clannad. Released in 1983, the album features the band's biggest hit single, "Theme from Harry's Game", which reached #5 on the UK Singles Chart and #2 on the Irish Singles Chart.

Mary O'Hara is an Irish soprano and harpist from County Sligo. She gained attention on both sides of the Atlantic in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Her recordings of that period influenced a generation of Irish female singers who credit O'Hara with influencing their style, among them Carmel Quinn, Mary Black, and Moya Brennan. In his autobiography Memoirs of an Irish Troubadour (2002), Liam Clancy wrote how her music inspired and influenced him and others of the Folk Revival period.

First of May (Bee Gees song) original song written and composed by Barry, Maurice, and Robin Gibb

"First of May" is a song by the Bee Gees with lead vocals by Barry Gibb, released as a single from their 1969 double album Odessa. Its B-side was "Lamplight". It also featured as the B-side of "Melody Fair" when that song was released as a single in the Far East in 1971 as well as in 1976 and 1980 on RSO Records. It was the first Bee Gees single to be released after lead guitarist Vince Melouney had left the group.

Eddie Brennan is a Gaelic footballer.

The Strypes

The Strypes were a four-piece rock band from Cavan, Ireland, formed in 2010 consisting of Ross Farrelly, Josh McClorey, Peter O'Hanlon and Evan Walsh (drums). The band played the local scene with various members switching parts as they searched for their sound. They draw inspiration from 1960s blues boom and 1970s pub rock bands such as Dr. Feelgood, Eddie and the Hot Rods, The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, Lew Lewis and Rockpile as well as the original bluesmen and rock 'n' roll artists such as Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Howlin' Wolf and Little Walter, among others. The band members' current ages are 22 to 24 years.


  1. "How Those Nervous Animals got their ridiculous name". Sligo Champion. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
  2. 1 2 "Irish Punk and New Wave Discography". Retrieved 30 May 2010.
  3. 1 2 3 "Those Nervous Animals are ready to roar again". Sligo Weekender. Archived from the original on 29 June 2011. Retrieved 31 August 2009.