Biography

Engine Alley formed in 1989 in the shape of Kilkenny boys, Canice Kenealy (Vocals), Brian Kenealy (Guitar) and Eamonn Byrne (Bass). Moving to Dublin they recruited drummer Emmaline Duffy-Fallon and the line-up was completed in 1991 with the addition of Ken Rice (Orchestra) from Kerry on violin." While living in Dublin they took their name from a grey barren street in the heart of the Liberties, an old part of Dublin's south inner city.

They quickly established a loyal following with their generally manic live performance and colourful appearance. Mother Records signed them in 1990 and their first release was the FLOWERBOX EP in August 1991. The next single INFAMY was followed by their excellent debut album A SONIC HOLIDAY (produced by Steve Lillywhite), which won a Smithwicks / Hot Press award for Best Irish Album of 1992. The album contained a fine collection of tracks including the singles MRS. WINDER, SONG FOR SOMEONE and INFAMY." In September 1993, INFAMY was released in the UK followed by a return to the studio in the company of Pat Collier. The results were included on a revamped version of A SONIC HOLIDAY entitled ENGINE ALLEY which was released in the UK in November 1993 and included the single SWITCH.

At this stage Engine Alley had moved lock, stock and barrel to London. SWITCH was released in Ireland in December 1993 with three other new tracks from the Pat Collier session. The band relocated to Dublin in 1994 and the album ENGINE ALLEY was released Stateside on Island records. October of that year saw the band on a short but very successful tour of the US. On their return home in November 1994 there was a setback with the sudden departure of drummer Emmaline. This was quickly redressed by the inclusion of ex-Hothouse Flowers drummer Jerry Fehily. February 1995 saw the band part company with Mother. Not ones to hang around they immediately began to write and entered Sun Studios, Dublin with an armful of songs ready to record. They emerged triumphant with a ten-track album entitled SHOT IN THE LIGHT, produced, engineered and recorded by Engine Alley, SHOT IN THE LIGHT, which was released on 28 July 1995 on the Irish independent label, Independent, is a move away from the pseudo-glam rock/pop, sound/image of A SONIC HOLIDAY. The new sound is a raw, rocky, live sound which shows the darker sound of Engine Alley. There is now more emphasis on the guitar/bass/drum nucleus of the band.

1996 the band decided to take a break. Canice and Brian pursued separate musical and non-musical endeavours while Eamonn landed bass duties with 'The Lord of the Dance' show. In early 1998 the lads felt ready to reconvene and along with Paul O'Byrne (drummer from Brian's interim project, The Valleys), played a triumphant return gig in April in The Da Club. That gig found the collective engines in fine form with Canice as irrepressible and compelling as ever and band locked into a fresh accomplished groove, onwards as ever! In 1999 they released The Lavender Girl E.P including the title track and 4 others.

Since then the band has played gigs in Kilkenny every year, usually one in the summer and one at Christmas. Engine Alley has had a variety of line-ups but the issue is not as confusing as it may seem. The basic core of the band is Canice Kenealy (lead vocals and second guitar), Brian Kenealy (lead guitar and backing vocals) and Eamonn Byrne (bass). This has been the consistent and non-changing basis of the band. In true Spinal Tap fashion, drummers have come and gone, not infrequently. On drums from late 1989 to late 1994 was Emmaline Duffy-Fallon, followed by ex-Hothouse Flower Jerry Fehily for 1995, Gary Sullivan in 1996 and our present skins Paul O'Byrne 1997…….. In 1991 they introduced a fifth element with classical musician Ken Rice (Irish Chamber Orchestra), who played violin and keyboards, he remained until late 1995 and also appears on the unreleased 1996 recording sessions. 1998 the line-up was briefly augmented by Mark Murphy on guitar. Mark had played in Brian's 1997 side project The Valleys, (which also included Eamonn and Paul). Confused? Good! Canice has his own band these days, Kilkenny based Rigmarole. Brian released a solo album in 2004 called Paradise Place Guest musicians over the years have included; Mark 'Anthony' McGrath, Kirsty MacColl and Paul Kelly. As it goes the four-man twin Kenealy guitar assault is what they are happiest with these...

 

Old Biography:

"Engine Alley has had a variety of line-ups but the issue is not as confusing as it may seem. The basic core of the band is Canice Kenealy (lead vocals and second guitar), Brian Kenealy (lead guitar and backing vocals) and Eamonn Byrne (bass). This has been the consistent and non-changing basis of the band. In true Spinal Tap fashion, drummers have come and gone, not infrequently. On drums from late 1989 to late 1994 was Emmaline Duffy-Fallon, followed by ex-Hothouse Flower Jerry Fehily for 1995, Gary Sullivan in 1996 and our present skins Paul O'Byrne 1997…….."

"In 1991 we introduced a fifth element with classical musician Ken Rice (Irish Chamber Orchestra), who played violin and keyboards, he remained until late 1995 and also appears on the unreleased 1996 recording sessions. 1998 the line-up was briefly augmented by Mark Murphy on guitar. Mark had played in Brian's 1997 side project The Valleys, (which also included Eamonn and Paul). Confused? Good!"

"Guest musicians over the years have included; Mark 'Anthony' McGrath, Kirsty MacColl and Paul Kelly."

"As it goes the four-man twin Kenealy guitar assault is what we're happiest with these days. Engine Alley formed at the latter end of the 1980's in the shape of Kilkenny boys, Canice Kenealy (Vocals), Brian Kenealy (Guitar) and Eamonn Byrne (Bass). Moving to Dublin in 1989, they recruited drummer Emmaline Duffy-Fallon and the line-up was completed in 1991 with the addition of Ken Rice (Orchestra) from Kerry on violin."

"While living in Dublin they took their name from a grey barren street in the heart of the Liberties, an old part of Dublin's south inner city. They quickly established a loyal following with their generally manic live performance and colourful appearance."

"Mother Records signed them and their first release was the FLOWERBOX EP in August 1991. The next single INFAMY was followed by their excellent debut album A SONIC HOLIDAY (produced by Steve Lillywhite), which won a Smithwicks / Hot Press award for Best Irish Album of 1992. The album contained a fine collection of tracks including the singles MRS. WINDER, SONG FOR SOMEONE and INFAMY."

"In September 1993, INFAMY was released in the UK followed by a return to the studio in the company of Pat Collier. The results were included on a revamped version of A SONIC HOLIDAY entitled ENGINE ALLEY which was released in the UK in November 1993 and included the single SWITCH. At this stage Engine Alley had moved lock, stock and barrel to London. SWITCH was released in Ireland in December 1993 with three other new tracks from the Pat Collier session. The band relocated to Dublin in 1994 and the album ENGINE ALLEY was released Stateside on Island records. October of that year saw the band on a short but very successful tour of the US."

"On their return home in November 1994 there was a slight setback with the sudden departure of drummer Emmaline. This was quickly redressed by the inclusion of ex-Hothouse Flowers drummer Jerry Fehily. February 1995 saw the band part company with Mother. Not ones to hang around they immediately began to write and entered Sun Studios, Dublin with an armful of songs ready to record. They emerged triumphant with a ten-track album entitled SHOT IN THE LIGHT, produced, engineered and recorded by Engine Alley."

"SHOT IN THE LIGHT, which was released on 28 July 1995 on the Irish independent label, Independent, is a move away from the pseudo-glam rock/pop, sound/image of A SONIC HOLIDAY. The new sound is a raw, rocky, live sound which shows the darker sound of Engine Alley. There is now more emphasis on the guitar/bass/drum nucleus of the band."

"1996 the band decided to take a break. Canice and Brian pursued separate musical and non-musical endeavours while Eamonn landed bass duties with 'The Lord of the Dance' show. In early 1998 the lads felt ready to reconvene and along with Paul O'Byrne (drummer from Brian's interim project, The Valleys), played a triumphant return gig in April in The Da Club. That gig found the collective engines in fine form with Canice as irrepressible and compelling as ever and band locked into a fresh accomplished groove, onwards as ever!"

Engine Alley continue to play occasionally mainly around Thomastown and Kilkenny City.