Andy Nolan is the accordion player with London’s BibleCodeSundays and a budding movie screenwriter and producer who’s first movie CLAN LONDON is in pre production at the moment. We thought we catch up with Andy and see what’s going on with the BibleCodes and how the movie business is treating him.
SnO – Andy, with the movie and Ronans solo CD what’s happening with the BCS? Any plans to start working on a third full length?
Andy – Yes we are recording our third album in the coming weeks before Christmas! Really looking forward to it as it’s been a long time coming and we have some great songs!
SnO – Ghosts of our Past was release in the US through Cosmic Trigger records. Will we be seeing a US release of Boots or No Boots (and a tour)?
Andy – Yes we are planning a US tour for May next year! We’re looking to play Boston, NYC and Chicago! We will be promoting songs from the new album so for those that haven’t heard Boots or No Boots grab a copy from our website www.biblecodesundays.co.uk
SnO – How’s Ronan’s sold CD doing – I was very impressed, different from the BCS but still good in a Elvis Costello kind of way.
Andy – Yes Strawberry Hill! It’s doing very well and available on Itunes so check it out! It’s always been a very strong side to Ronan’s writing and he’s glad it’s finally out there for people to hear! He’s been writing songs like that since he was a kid. I think a second solo album will soon be on it’s way! He has hundreds of great songs like that ready to record! We played on most of the first album and hopefully can help him with the next one too!
SnO – Speaking of the brother any chance of persuading Elvis and your former bosses Spider Stacey and Shane MacGowan to guest on the next BCS release – on the same track even (I know, wishful thinking)?
Andy – There has been talk of this for a while now! Yes one day I think we could get everyone in to record on one of our albums! That would be amazing! With this third album though we had around 30 very good songs of our own and we had to narrow them down to 12. We realised that we had loads of our own material we had to get out there first! I’d say the next album after this would be a good time to get Elvis, Shane and Spider in! Do watch out for Spider Stacy featuring on the Clan London Movie soundtrack though! We plan to put together The Vendettas to record one or two songs for the movie!
SnO – When you played in Spiders band – The Vendettas – did you guys record anything proper (I’ve heard live bootlegs but no studio stuff) and will anything ever be released?
Andy – Yes we did! We recorded around 15 tracks that have never been released. With the band reforming to record for my movie Clan London you will certainly hear The Vendettas on the movie soundtrack!
SnO – Switching gears. The Movie! I know you have a big interest in gangsters and especially those with Irish blood – so can you tell us what the movie is all about and how the idea of making a movie came about?
Andy – Clan London is a crime drama set in London, UK. It tells of three second generation Irish brothers growing up in 1970’s London up to the present day. Against the backdrop of anti – Irish feeling this particular family refuse to keep their heads down and become heavily involved in organised crime. So much so the rise to the top of the British underworld.
I’ve always been a huge movie fan and always thought there was a gap in the market for an Irish gangster movie set in London. It’s based on people I grew up with, real life criminals and fiction – a melting pot of ideas really.
SnO – Your in pre-production right now? How has it being going to get to this stage – from the facebook page for CLAN LONDON it looks like everything is coming along nicely?
Andy – Yes we’re in pre-production now. We’ve already had auditions in Galway City. We are holding auditions in Dublin on Sat 29 January next year and we will move on to London shortly after that. We also plan to audition in Boston as we have some scenes set in Southie. Jay Giannone from The Departed and Gone Baby Gone is helping us with that. For more details go towww.clanlondonmovie.com
SnO – I also see a couple of big names associated with the movie – boxer Steve Collins and author and ex-gangster Noel “Razor” Smith – how did you hook up with those guys and what type of parts have you got for them?
Andy – Yes Steve will play Paddy McDonagh – the father of the three boys. Paddy is The Godfather of the McDonagh empire, a role Steve is really excited about playing. Steve heard about the movie project and contacted me through a mutal friend. Steve is one of my all time sporting heroes so to have him involved is a dream come true. He appeared in Guy Ritchie’s Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and more recently The Kid directed by Nick Moran (Lock, Stock). He is currently filming Blood Sweat and Wars with Clan London director Stephen Patrick Kenny. He is very committed to his acting career. His passion for the role of Paddy is second to none and will have you on the edge of your seat believe me!
I wrote See You at the Crossroads about Razor Smith which was on our last album Boot or No Boots. After reading his book A Few Kind Words and a Loaded Gun I was moved to write a song about his life. Razor is London Irish like me. Great book by the way! I highly recommend it! Razor, now a best selling author, was part of the inspiration behind the movie and has recently been released from prison. He has fifty-eight criminal convictions and has spent the greater portion of his adult life in prison. Whilst in prison he taught himself to read and write, gained an Honours Diploma from The London School of Journalism and an A-Level in Law. He has been awarded a number of Koestler awards for his writing and has contributed articles to the Independent, the Guardian, Punch, the Big Issue, the New Statesman and the New Law Journal. Razor is also helping with research to make Clan London as authentic as possible and will be cast very soon!
SnO – Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t this the first movie about London-Irish organized crime (excluding ‘The Long Good Friday” which was Cockney gangsters verses Irish politicals) – why hasn’t the subject been tackled before (it’s not like there aren’t Irish families that are major players in London organized crime)?
Andy – Yes it is the first! There always been a huge Irish community in London but with the Troubles back home much of what the Irish achieved in the UK has been overlooked. I wanted to highlight that in the most explosive way possible – through a gangster movie. There have been many cockney Irish criminals down through the years. One of the most infamous was Billy Hill who ruled the London underworld for decades. He was the UK’s first celebrity gangster and handed down his empire to his proteges The Krays.
SnO – As far as Irish gangster movies and books what would you recommend to see/read?
Andy – Well State of Grace will always be one of my all time favourites along with Goodfellas and Carlito’s Way. Regarding books I would highly recommend Rat Bastards by John ‘Red’ Shea, Street Soldier by Eddie MacKenzie and A Criminal and an Irishman by Pat Nee! Amazing stuff! All three authors are fans of Clan London too!
SnO – Andy, thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. Anything you’d like to add?
Andy – Anytime John! Yes keep an eye out for Clan London in 2012! We plan to shoot it next year! And our third album will be released next year too!
Strawberry Hill is the debut solo release from Ronan MacManus, better know around these parts a vocalist of London-Irish Celtic rockers, The BibleCodeSundays. Strawberry Hill is very much coming from a different direction then anything the BibleCodes have done – Soulful and heartfelt acoustic rock, stripped down to barely guitar and piano accompanying Ronan’s rich vocals. The best points of reference would be Dempsey/Rice, David Grey and a certain (dare I say) Declan MacManus.