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Setanta Records was started in a Camberwell, London squat by former bicycle courier Keith Cullen. The label was at the forefront of the indie Irish music scene in the late eighties and nineties as it championed young Irish groups. The label re-emerged in 2007 with a new signing, The Tacticians.

Setanta's first taste of success came when Dublin band Into Paradise received glowing reviews from the British music press for their Setanta debut entitled "Under The Water". A flurry of major label interest followed and Into Paradise subsequently signed to Ensign Records retaining Cullen as band manager.

Shortly thereafter, Cullen signed the quirky Cork trio The Frank and Walters, who wore orange shirts and purple flares. As with Into Paradise, early critical acclaim led the band to sign to Go! Discs retaining Cullen as band manager. The Frank and Walters achieved minor commercial success when their song "After All" peaked at Number 11 on the British singles chart.

However, major commercial success followed Cullen's signing of The Divine Comedy whose first three albums "Liberation", "Promenade", and "Casanova" were very well received in the UK and Europe. The Divine Comedy also provided the soundtrack for the immensely popular Channel 4 sitcom Father Ted.

Despite label boss Cullen 'not rating' the song, Setanta also had major chart success with the Edwyn Collins (former leader of Scotland's Orange Juice on Postcard Records) hit "A Girl Like You" which went on to become a worldwide smash.

However the label stalled in the late nineties when it turned down The Magnetic Fields album 69 Love Songs which ended up being a huge critical and commercial success. In 2006, according to Ireland's Hotpress Yearbook (2006,) Setanta Records is now being run by Keith Cullen in a joint partnership with Denis Desmond, boss of Irish promoters MCD, who may use it in the future as a launching pad for some of his favourite domestic Irish acts like The Sawdoctors and Aslan.

In 2007 Setanta signed London band The Tacticians. Their debut album "Some Kind of Urban Fulfilment" was released on Setanta Records in August 2007.




Ireland's Hotpress Yearbook (2006)

See also

Selected Artists

A House

Adrian Borland


The Chalets

Evan Dando

The Divine Comedy

Edwyn Collins

The Frank and Walters

Richard Hawley


Into Paradise

Mason Jennings

The Prayer Boat

Josh Ritter

They do it with mirrors


The Glee Club

External links


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