with  RICK McMURRAY of


“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists & music people beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day. Today’s guest is a drummer whose work I first loved since John Peel played tracks from their first album “Trailer” in his 1994 Festive Fifty – a countdown which I had on a well-played C90 or two and which I can recite the order from.

On a visit to legendary PR man Anton Brookes’ Bad Moon PR, I saw some of the band reclining on a sofa, but amazingly given my years at MTV/MTV2, this is the first time I’ve had the proper pleasure…currently on the 20th anniversary tour of their album “1977”, with his “song for ewe” – from indie rock icons Ash, it’s the most awesome Rick McMurray!


The videos of Ash permeated my consciousness during ten years at MTV, and in particular “Oh Yeah” takes me right back to when I started working for MTV Europe’s Alternative Nation, but I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for this one…(thanks Peelie RIP)…


Ash have an ear for a single unlike most other bands Buzzcocks aside, and they haven’t been afraid of pushing the form with the likes of the A-Z singles series in 2009, a bi-weekly stunt which in terms of output one-upped that of the Wedding Present’s hit a month from 1990 (got to love such punky quirk).

I was intrigued to find out who Rick would choose, and it turns out to be someone with a strong personal connection, a band whose drummer stood in for him during paternity leave from Ash in 2011 – so without further ado, here’s Rick’s “song for ewe”…

“Here’s a little something for you. I’ve had a hard time picking one song from these guys; check out their debut if you have time. It’s so good.

“The Ballad of Burnt Dave” by Lafaro

A song by one of my favourite all time bands. From Belfast the mighty Lafaro somehow managed not to come to more mainstream attention and split a few years ago after releasing two amazing albums.

Perhaps the metaphor of having a dead duck on their debut album sums up a lot about them. This song showcases what they did better than most bands. Huge riffs, pounding drums that would give even Dave Grohl a few sleepless nights, and some tongue in cheek lyrics delivered with a snarl and a wink. I could have chosen pretty much anything from their debut.

It’s a record I keep coming back to again and again and it still gives me the shivers. Herb, Dave, Alan and Johnny; you were up there with the best.”