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Mundy - Manic Mundy
It was a Midlands meeting of minds when two Offaly men, our own Niall Byrne and Mundy, met in Dublin.

1996 saw the release on Sony Records of Jelly Legs, the debut album from a young songsmith from Offaly. Eddie Enright, or Mundy as he is known in the business, is 21, hails from Birr, and this time last year was busking for a living. In the cosy atmosphere of the Burlington Hotel Mundy recalled those not-so-distant days on Grafton Street over a pint of Guinness.

"The first time I busked I was terrified", he says in a thick midlands accent which disappears on the album. "I just closed my eyes and hoped it didn't sound too bad." Despite the tepid beginnings, those minstrel days were an invaluable experience. "Busking is the biggest gig you can do. Its not too safe when it comes to getting an income, but its an opportunity to showcase your songs to the largest possible number of people".

It was on Grafton Street that Mundy met the drummer of Dublin band Dragonfly, who would later split up and become his current backing band. It was a fortunate decision, for a 2-album record deal was just around the corner.

"The past 8 months have been pretty crazy. People have been mentioning names like Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Mike Scott and Beck in describing my music. Thats a lot to take on when this time last year I was scraping a living by busking."

Jelly Legs has received favorable criticism from the press on its release in November. Its an album thats been with Mundy for a while, some songs up to three years old. Blending acoustic pop with Dylan-esque folk poetry, its a very personal record. There are even some Offaly colloquialisms thrown in. When asked how he would describe the typical Mundy fan is, he replies "honest".

"The songs deal with very personal issues, but I try and treat them universally. I feel I'm writing for the world, not for a particular audience. These songs should be able to touch everybody. They're basically about trying to be positive about all the negativity in life".

Mundy views the words over the music as his big achievement, as they're what goes into the scrapbook first.

"I'm totally into lyrics", he says without hesitation. "I've been warned by my friends about trying to be too honest with my lyrics, but I just can't help it. They're the big thing for me. I'm always scribbling ideas down on pieces of paper".

"I love poets like Seamus Heaney, and people like Keats who I studied in school, but mostly I'm into poetic songwriters like Shane McGowan, Nick Cave and Tom Waits".

Killing Joke bassist and Orb collaborator Youth produced the album. The veteran noise experimentalist may seem a strange choice as producer for a singer/songwriter, but Mundy is delighted with the choice.

"I didn't know about Youths Killing Joke background, but I heard some of the albums he produced and really liked the sound he created. We had two and a half weeks to record the album and he was able to capture the necessary points of the songs, no bullshit".

Mundy asserts that Youth was more than a mere technician, that he added creatively to the recording process as he's a totally psychedelic geezer. "He's big into ambient stuff, so were on the same wavelength".

"I believe", he adds in a loveable hippie-like proclamation, "that when you close your eyes you can actually see the music. That's the kind of experience Youth is interested in creating".

Mundys' influences aren't confined to the one man and his guitar archives. Contemporary styles, from American grunge to English drum'n'bass are flavour of the month with the man from Birr, and he talks about them with as much enthusiasm as he talks about the likes of Donovan. With so much interest in the spirit of the times, is there a remix in the pipeline?

"I don't know. I haven't thought about it too much but its definitely an option".

At the moment, Mundy is touring America to promote Jelly Legs which has just been released there. He has at least half the material for a second album which should be released sometime in the latter part of 1997. Mundy - Jelly Legs

by Niall Byrne