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, The Knock Records
MembersPádraig Meehan
Barry Brennan
Eddie Lee
Susan Rowland
Tom Jamieson

Those Nervous Animals is 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, and (in 1985) a mini-album, Hyperspace. The band recently announced the release of a new album of material recorded over four decades, The Mission Sessions.


Formation and early years

Those Nervous Animals were formed in 1981 by Barry Brennan and Padraig Meehan (who met in Sligo art college in the nineteen seventies) and Eddie Lee. The band were named following a word-play game in a Sligo restaurant. [1] The band's songs combined funky, radio-friendly pop tunes, with quirky and ironic material. 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 residency, and performing at the Self Aid concert in 1986. They performed shows across Ireland, including events in the late 1980's in the National Stadium and Frances Xavier Hall. 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] They worked with a number of notable producers, including Bill Whelan, and Donal Lunny. The early singles were released on their own Dead Fly label. Some of these songs are included (remastered) on tne Hyperspace mini-album.

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. The band will release their first full-length album, The Mission Sessions, on March 26 2021.


Original Members (1981–83)


Extended plays

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


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

Barry Gibb British-American musician

Sir Barry Alan Crompton Gibb is a British-American musician, singer-songwriter 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. He has lived in Britain, Australia, and the United States, holding dual UK–US citizenship.

Clannad Irish folk 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 English-Australian pop singer

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

James (band) British rock band

James are an English rock band from Manchester, who were formed in 1982. They enjoyed popularity throughout the 1990s, with four top 10s on the UK Singles Chart and nine top 10s on the UK Albums Chart. The band's best-known singles include "Come Home", "Sit Down", "She's a Star" and "Laid", which also became a hit on American college radio.

Dave Couse is an Irish musician, producer, and radio presenter best known for being the lead singer and main songwriter with the band A House.

<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.

An Emotional Fish are an alternative rock band from Dublin, Ireland. An Emotional Fish were formed in 1988, and consisted of Gerard Whelan, Enda Wyatt, Martin Murphy and David Frew.

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

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 and dancer for the English band Madness, with whom he was associated from their inception through 2014.

Ireland international rules football team

The Ireland international rules football team is the representative team for Ireland in international rules football, a compromise between Gaelic football and Australian rules football. The team is made up of Irish players from the Gaelic Athletic Association and Australian Football League.

Transglobal Underground Band

Transglobal Underground is an English electro-world music group, specializing in a fusion of western, Asian and African music styles. Their first four albums featured Natacha Atlas as lead singer, and their single "Temple Head" was used in a Coca-Cola advertising campaign for the 1996 Olympic Games. In 2008 they won the BBC Radio 3 Award for World Music after the release of their seventh official album, Moonshout. Their most recent release is 2020's 'Walls Have Ears' marking Atlas' return as a guest with the group. Their work has been described as "a collision of tradition and innovation."

Dervish (band)

Dervish is an Irish traditional music group from County Sligo, Ireland which has been described by BBC Radio 3 as "an icon of Irish music". They were formed in 1989 by Liam Kelly, Shane Mitchell, Martin McGinley, Brian McDonagh, and Michael Holmes and have been fronted by singer Cathy Jordan since 1991. They represented Ireland in the final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2007, singing a song written by John Waters and Tommy Moran. In 2019 they released an album on the US Rounder Records label called The Great Irish Song Book featuring a selection of classic Irish songs sung by a number of well known singers including Steve Earle, Andrea Corr, Vince Gill, Kate Rusby, Imelda May, Rhiannon Giddens, The Steel Drivers, Brendan Gleeson, Abigail Washburn, and Jamey Johnson. In 2019 they received a lifetime achievement award from the BBC.

<i>Nothin but the Taillights</i> 1997 studio album by Clint Black

Nothin' but the Taillights is the seventh studio album by country singer Clint Black. Black co-wrote many of the songs with others and played much of the guitar himself for this album.

<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) 2021 single by The Bee Gees

"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.

Cathal Dunne is an Irish singer. He is most famous for representing Ireland in the 1979 Eurovision Song Contest with the song "Happy Man". He has since gained a following as Cahal Dunne, performing traditional Irish songs in the United States, where he now lives.


  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.