Blur (band)

Blur are an English rock band formed in London in 1988. The group consists of vocalist Damon Albarn, guitarist Graham Coxon, bassist Alex James, drummer Dave Rowntree. Blur's debut album Leisure shoegazing. Following a stylistic change influenced by English guitar pop groups such as the Kinks, the Beatles, XTC, Blur released Modern Life Is Rubbish and The Great Escape. Blur were central to the 1990s Britpop movement. Blur's self-titled fifth album incorporated influences from the lo-fi styles of American indie rock groups, became their third UK chart-topping album, its single "Song 2" brought Blur mainstream success in the US. Their next album, 13 saw the band experimenting with electronic and gospel music, featured more personal lyrics from Albarn, their seventh album, Think Tank, was shaped by Albarn's growing interest in hip hop and African music, with more minimal guitar work. Coxon left during the recording, Blur disbanded for several years after the album's release, with the members engaged in other projects.

In 2009, with Coxon, reunited for a series of concerts. In the following years, they toured internationally. In 2012, they received a Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music, their eighth album, The Magic Whip, was the sixth consecutive Blur studio album to top the British charts. Childhood friends Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon from Essex met Alex James when they began studying at London's Goldsmiths College in 1988. Albarn was in a group named Circus that October. Circus requested the services of Coxon after the departure of their guitarist; that December, Circus fired James joined as the group's bassist. This new group named themselves Seymour in December 1988, inspired by J. D. Salinger's Seymour: An Introduction; the group performed live for the first time in summer 1989. In November, Food Records' A&R representative Andy Ross attended a Seymour performance that convinced him to court the group for his label; the only concern held by Ross and Food was. Food drew up a list of alternatives, from which the group decided on "Blur".

Food Records signed the newly christened band in March 1990. From March to July 1990, Blur toured Britain, opening for the Cramps, testing out new songs. In October 1990, after their tour was over, Blur released the "She's So High" single, which reached number 48 in the UK Singles Chart; the band had trouble creating a follow-up single, but they made progress when paired with producer Stephen Street. The resulting single release, became a hit, peaking at number eight; as a result of the single's success, Blur became pop stars and were accepted into a clique of bands who frequented the Syndrome club in London dubbed "The Scene That Celebrates Itself". NME magazine wrote in 1991, " are acceptable pretty face of a whole clump of bands that have emerged since the whole Manchester thing started to run out of steam."The band's third single, "Bang", performed disappointingly, reaching only number 24. Andy Ross and Food owner David Balfe were convinced Blur's best course of action was to continue drawing influence from the Madchester genre.

Blur attempted to expand their musical sound, but the recording of the group's debut album was hindered by Albarn having to write his lyrics in the studio. Although the resulting album Leisure peaked at number seven on the UK Albums Chart, it received mixed reviews, according to journalist John Harris, "could not shake off the odour of anti-climax". After discovering they were £60,000 in debt, Blur toured the United States in 1992 in an attempt to recoup their financial losses; the group released the single "Popscene" to coincide with the start of the tour. Featuring "a rush of punk guitars,'60s pop hooks, blaring British horns, controlled fury, postmodern humor", "Popscene" was a turning point for the band musically. However, upon its release it only charted at number 32. "We felt. We put ourselves out on a limb to pursue this English ideal and no-one was interested." As a result of the single's lacklustre performance, plans to release a single named "Never Clever" were scrapped and work on Blur's second album was pushed back.

During the two-month American tour, the band became unhappy venting frustrations on each other, leading to several physical confrontations. The band members were homesick. I missed everything about England so I started writing songs which created an English atmosphere." Upon the group's return to Britain, Blur were upset by the success rival group Suede had achieved while they were gone. After a poor performance at a 1992 gig that featured a well-received set by Suede on the same bill, Blur were in danger of being dropped by Food. By that time, Blur had undergone an ideological and image shift intended to celebrate their English heritage in contrast to the popularity of American grunge bands like Nirvana. Although sceptical of Albarn's new manifesto for Blur, Balfe gave assent for the band's choice of Andy Partridge to produce their follow-up to Leisure; the sessions with Partridge proved unsatisfactory, but a chance reunion with Stephen Street resulted in him returning to produce the group. Blur completed their second album Modern Life Is Rubbish in December 1992, but Food Records said the

Donough MacCarty, 1st Earl of Clancarty

Donough MacCarthy, 1st Earl of Clancarty, 2nd Viscount Muskerry, called Donnchadh Mac Cárthaigh in Irish, was a leader of the Irish Confederation. He led the Confederates' Munster army during most of the Irish Confederate Wars and the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland, he belonged to the moderate faction, which wanted to collaborate with the royalists against the Commonwealth and the Covenanters. He was one of the last to surrender. In 1658, in exile, Charles II created him Earl of Clancarty, he recovered his lands at the Restoration. Donough was born in 1594 at Blarney Castle, the habitual seat of his parents, he was the second son of his first wife Margaret O'Brien. His father was the 1st Viscount of Muskerry, his grandfather was Sir Cormac MacCarthy, who had received an English title to his lands during the Tudor conquest of Ireland. Donough's mother was a daughter of 4th Earl of Thomond. Both sides of the family were important Gaelic Irish dynasties, his parents married about 1590. He appears below as the younger of the two brothers: Cormac.

Nothing seems to be known about his education. In his forties, he sat in the Irish House of Commons in the Irish parliaments of 1634 and 1639 as member for County Cork, his elder brother having predeceased his father, he succeeded his father in 1640 at the age of forty-six as the 2nd Viscount Muskerry. As he was promoted Earl of Clancarty only in 1657, he was known as Lord Muskerry during the events of the Irish Rebellion of 1641, the Confederate Wars and the Cromwellian conquest, he married Eleanor Butler, eldest daughter of Thomas Butler, Viscount Thurles sometime before 1641. This marriage made him 1st Duke of Ormond, their children were: Helen. The Irish Rebellion of 1641 was launched by Phelim O'Neill from the northern province of Ulster in October 1641. Muskerry raised an armed force of his tenants and dependants to try to maintain law and order. However, he was prompted to join the rebellion by the atrocities committed by the English President of Munster, William St Leger, against the Irish Catholic population in general.

In addition, many of Muskerry's relatives, who had lost lands to Protestant settlers in the Plantations of Ireland had joined the rebellion – a factor that doubtless influenced Muskerry's decision. In 1642, being 49, he put his armed men at the service of the Confederate Catholic Association of Ireland, an alternative, Catholic government based in Kilkenny, formed by the rebels. Muskerry was appointed to the "Supreme Council" of the Confederation of Kilkenny, their effective government, he was part of the team that negotiated with Charles I and his representative in Ireland, James Butler, Earl of Ormond, to secure an alliance between the Irish Confederates and English Royalists in the context of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. Ormond was his brother-in-law. Muskerry was sympathetic towards royalism and disliked the more intransigent Confederates led by Giovanni Battista Rinuccini and Owen Roe O'Neill. Muskerry, 49 at the time, was given the command of the Confederate Munster army. However, large parts of Munster were held by the Inchiquin's Protestant army.

On 4 June 1643 he commanded the Confederate Ulster army at the Cloghleagh where the Irish horse under Castlehaven, seconded from the Leinster Army, routed a detachment of Inchiquin's troops. In 1646 Muskerry commanded the Confederate army that laid siege to the army of Parliament at Bunratty Castle and captured it mid-July 1646. Early in August 1647 Muskerry resigned as general of the Confederate Munster Army; the Confederate Supreme Council gave this command to Viscount Taaffe, who lost the Battle of Knocknanauss on 13 November 1647 against English and Munster Protestant troops under Inchiquin. In 1649, shortly after the execution of Charles and the declaration of the Commonwealth of England, the Confederates did approve a treaty with Charles II and the English Royalists. However, Ireland was soon invaded by the Parliamentarian New Model Army in 1649 under Oliver Cromwell, who had the aims of avenging the uprising of 1641, confiscating enough Irish Catholic owned land to pay off some of the Parliament's creditors, eliminating a dangerous outpost of royalism.

Muskerry fought the last three years of this campaign in his own lands in western Cork and Kerry, from where he raised troops from his tenants and guerrilla bands known as "tories". He tried to relieve the siege of Limerick in 1651 but was intercepted and defeated on 26 July 1651 by General Roger Boyle, Lord Broghill Earl of Orerry, in the Battle of Knocknaclashy, near Banteer, east of Killarney, never came near Limerick, which surrendered on 27 October; this was the last pitched battle of the war. Muskerry fell back into the mountains of Kerry. On 27 June 1652 he surrendered to Edmund Ludlow, handing over his last stronghold Ross Castle near Killarney and disbanding his 5000-men army, he was allowed to embark to Spain. He lost his estates in the Act of Settlement of 1652, his name is the eighth on the list of over 100 men. He found that he was not welcome in Spain because he had opposed Giovanni Battista Rinuccini, the papal nuncio, he t

Gananoque (ship)

Gananoque was a wood-hulled clipper ship of 785 tons, built in Quebec in 1857, that made a number of emigrant voyages to New Zealand. She had two serious collisions with icebergs in the North Atlantic, the second of which caused her loss. Gananoque was built at Lauzon, Quebec in 1857 by George T Davie & Sons and sold the following year to Thomas Bailey of Newcastle upon Tyne. In May 1858 he sold a one-eighth share in the ship to Archibald Morris, she made four voyages to New Zealand in the 1860s under contract to the provincial governments. The ship was first chartered by Willis, Gann & Company for a voyage from London to New Zealand in 1860 and for three more by Shaw and Company; the first three carried government immigrants. 7 July 1861 departing London, arriving Auckland on 18 October 1861. 7 December 1862 departing London, arriving Port Chalmers, Otago on 12 March 1863. 16 May 1864 departing London, arriving Port of Bluff on 5 September 1864. In 1867 Gananoque was sold to William Johnson of Newcastle upon Tyne.

On 11 July 1874, on a voyage from Quebec to Newcastle, she struck an iceberg off Cape Race. Crew abandoned ship and all but one were rescued. However, the ship did not sink, was found abandoned and taken derelict to St John's, Newfoundland,She was subsequently repaired, re-sheathed and re-rigged as a barque, was offered for sale in 1876. Gananoque again collided with an iceberg on 10 May 1881 four miles off Bird Rocks, Magdalen Islands on a voyage from Belfast to Miramichi and sank quickly; the crew landed on Bird Rocks, were picked up from there on 12 May. The first voyage to New Zealand resulted in a High Court of Admiralty case "The Gananoque", a dispute between the ship's captain Archibald Morris and the other owners over contract payment terms; the judgement was "The law will presume that the terms of a master's engagement for one voyage extent to a succeeding voyage performed without a new agreement express or implied." Lansley, Belinda. The Voyages of the Gananoque – New Zealand Immigration Ship 1860–1864.

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