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Toasted Heretic
Toasted Heretic were a Galway based band that attracted a cult following in the late-1980s and 1990s.

About Toasted Heretic


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 RT? 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.

Without formally breaking up, the band went on hiatus throughout the 1990s, performing sporadically while its members pursued other interests -- Farrell producing music; rhythm guitarist Aengus McMahon taking and publishing photographs; Gough writing a debut novel, Juno & Juliet (ISBN 0-385-72161-7).

In 2005, a double CD, Now in New Nostalgia Flavour, combined the first two cassette-only albums and featured an update of the Tayto package parody from the cover of Songs for Swinging Celibates. The band reunited for several public bookings to promote the release. Following the appearance of the new album and the attendant publicity, Tayto took legal action against the band in 2006, demanding that all copies of the new double CD be destroyed, claiming that the Tayto Man imagery "dilutes and tarnishes [Tayto's] valuable Trade Marks".

Toasted Heretic's songs were decidedly outside the mainstream: comedic, obscene, irreverent, anti-corporate, intellectual, and absurd. Gough's flamboyant showmanship contributed to the image. While effortlessly borrowing from Vladimir Nabokov and Stephen Spender, the band found Frank Zappa, Camper Van Beethoven and Rabelais just as influential.


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