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Toasted Heretic

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Biography

Toasted Heretic was an Irish rock group who attracted a cult following in the late 1980s and 1990s.

The band was formed in Galway in the mid-1980s and came to national attention with a self-published album, Songs for Swinging Celibates (an allusion to the Frank Sinatra album Songs for Swingin’ Lovers), in 1988. With resources tight, the album was recorded on cassette tape via a TASCAM Portastudio in drummer and producer Neil Farrell’s home, and distributed only on cassette. Their characteristic style was immediately distinguished by their unorthodox lyrics, the virtuosity of guitarist Declan Collins, and the eccentric showmanship of frontman (and Nenagh native) Julian Gough.

A second album, Charm and Arrogance, was released in the same format in 1989, with its inlay card designed to resemble an addressed envelope, including a real (low value) Irish postage stamp.

By the 1990 release of The Smug E.P., the “Toasties” had attracted a small but ardent following, including some DJs in RTÉ and internationally. Their live shows were popular and gave them the opportunity to play in larger venues and record more professionally. A positive review in Q magazine and a contract with Liquid Records, a small Independent record label, followed. Liquid Records released the full-length album Another Day, Another Riot (1992), the titular single, and the song Galway and Los Angeles, which reached #9 in the Irish music charts.

Toasted Heretic returned to their independent “Bananafish” label for their latest original album, 1993’s Mindless Optimism.

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