Londain Calling

Ronan McManus (second from right) with Kevin Kelly, London manager Paul Coggins, London Rose Grace Kenny and Declan Flanagan pictured at Rock 4 Londain

By David Hennessy

Ronan McManus of The Biblecode Sundays and several more London-Irish musicians have gone into the studio to record a song in support of London’s footballers as they head into a Connacht final against Mayo. A new take on The Clash’s London Calling, the record will feature members of The Biblecode Sundays, The Monday Club, Hungry Grass, The Reels and The Black Notes. Collectively known as The Ginger Melodeon Experience, the local acts have combined before on a cover of Do They Know It’s Christmas? And last year on Up Mayo: A reworking of Flo-rida’s Whistle ahead of the All-Ireland final. A new addition to the Ginger Melodeon Experience will be John Walsh of the London hurling team who is well known from the band Na Fianna who came second in 2009’s All Ireland talent show. John’s musical talents went down a storm at the recent Rock 4 Londain fundraiser.

“At the start it was going to be myself and Enda (Mulloy, BibleCode Sundays) going in with a couple of other people,” Ronan tells The Irish World how the venture has snowballed. “Then I mentioned it to Kevin Kelly to try and get some of the London footballers down there and mentioned it to a few of the other bands in the area, they’re all up for coming down so it’s gonna be a bit more Save the World than we originally envisioned for it. It’s gonna be a bit of fun really and hopefully hype up the match a little bit.”

Ronan was one of the organisers of Rock 4 Londain, a recent event to raise much needed funds to bring London back to Ireland for the replay after drawing with Leitrim and his BibleCode Sundays will also be performing at The Welcome Inn, Castlebar on the day of the match, July 21 at the official London GAA post match party. Tickets are available from London GAA.

Reaching their first Connacht final, London’s footballers have made history and Ronan has noted a buzz around the London-Irish community that reflects their achievements: “There’s a real excitement, you can feel it. It’s just brilliant to see really.

“There’s definitely a shift in loyalties for a lot of people. Everyone wears the shirt of their parents’ county or their grandparents’ county because there’s never really been anything (for London) to shout about in the past really but now if London can keep this up in the next few years and really compete, then I think we’ll find a real shift of people opting for a London shirt over a Kerry or Donegal shirt.

“It’s the element of why people would choose Man United or Chelsea over their local team: Because there’s a chance they will go and play Juventus and AC Milan and they get away trips in Europe and things like that. It’s a bit like that with London now, people may opt to support London now because there’s a chance of travelling over. The first round game is here but if every year, that first round game is won, there are subsequent trips to Ireland from then on and those sort of away days are what a lot of soccer fans live for. It was felt a bit of an injustice that the replay wasn’t over here, the upside of that is we get to go there so you can find the silver lining of that cloud.”

In addition to the new song which should be complete in plenty of time for the final against Mayo on July 21, Ronan is working on a London anthem for all future occasions.

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