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Sultans of Ping

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Sultans of Ping

The Sultans of Ping FC
Cork, 30 December 2006
Background information
Origin Cork, Ireland
Genres Punk
Years active 1988–1996
Reformed 2005
Members Niall O'Flaherty
Pat O'Connell
Ian Olney
Morty McCarthy
Sammy Stieger

The Sultans of Ping FC are an Irish band formed in 1988 by Niall O'Flaherty, Pat O'Connell, Paul Fennelly and Ger Lyons. The band's name is a play on the Dire Straits song "Sultans of Swing", dating from a time when "it was sacrilege to say anything whatsoever funny or nasty about Dire Straits".[1]

Following a number of line up changes the band came to the attention of the UK and Irish music press, when "Where's Me Jumper" was released. After several other independently released singles, the band signed to Epic Records, through a deal organised by Rhythm King Records's Martin Heath.

With Epic, the band released their debut album Casual Sex In The Cineplex, and its follow up Teenage Drug, with additional tracks gaining a Japan-only release. Teenage Drug was renamed Teenage Planet Sexy War in Japan, and included the single "Michiko".


Renaming themselves as The Sultans, they released their third album Good Year For Trouble in 1996. However, the album cover's artwork caused problems, as major record chains like HMV and Virgin decided that the display of bondage and S&M was too explicit. By this time, Rhythm King had been absorbed into Arista Records, as Martin Heath became the head of the department. The record label released the band from their recording contract.


Following a split 1996, McCarthy joined the band Pharmacy, O'Flaherty was involved in producing the Japanese girl band Mika Bomb, while McFeely formed the rock and roll band, Sister, and later recruited a former member of The Young Offenders Steve Hackett. McCarthy moved to Stockholm where he taught English.

The band reformed as The Sultans of Ping in 2005, and played a number of gigs with Jim Bob of Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine. In 2006, the group played a show with Radio 2's Mark Radcliffe, and his band The Family Mahone, as part of Manchester's yearly Irish Festival. The band played several subsequent gigs in 2007, at the Brixton Academy in London (with Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine), in Glasgow, and in Roscommon.

They have played a number of gigs in 2008 including Southend, London and Cork.

Drummer Morty McCarthy has written a book on Cork slang entitled Dowtcha Boy. The title of the song "Give Him a Ball and a Yard of Grass", which appeared on their first album, is a quote from football manager Brian Clough about Nottingham Forest player John Robertson, and the song contains several more of his sayings in its lyrics. This was given away free with a Nottingham Forest Fanzine as a one track flexi-disk.

The band were announced as the support act for Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine's 'Norf and Sarf' show at London's Brixton Academy in November 2011.

"Where's Me Jumper" featured as the theme song to the 2012 Sky1 series Moone Boy. The band later explained that the song was based on a real incident in Nottingham hotspot The Black Orchid, however the item lost was in fact a cardigan.

Band members

  • Niall O'Flaherty - vocals
  • Pat O'Connell - guitar
  • Paul Fennelly - bass (until 1990)
  • John McAuliffe - bass (until 1991)
  • Alan McFeely - bass (1991–1996)
  • Ian Olney - bass (from 2005)
  • Morty McCarthy - drums (from 1991)
  • Ger Lyons - drums (until 1991)
  • Samuel Steiger - guitar (from 1995)



As The Sultans Of Ping FC:

As The Sultans Of Ping:

As The Sultans:



As The Sultans Of Ping FC:

  • "What About Those Sultans?" EP featuring "Stupid Kid" / "Riot at the Sheepdog Trials" / "Eamon Andrews"
  • "Where's Me Jumper" (Divine Records ATHY 01 - Feb 92) No. 67 (UK Singles Chart) No. 8 (Ireland)
  • "Stupid Kid" (Divine Records ATHY 02 - May 92) No. 67 (UK Singles Chart) No. 11 (Ireland)
  • "Veronica" (Divine Records ATHY 03 - Oct 92) No. 69 (UK Singles Chart)
  • "You Talk Too Much" (Rhythm King Records 6588877 - Jan 93) No. 26 (UK Singles Chart) No. 4 (Ireland)

As The Sultans Of Ping:

  • "Teenage Punks" (Epic Records - Sep 93 ) No. 49 (UK Singles Chart)
  • "Michiko" (Epic Records - Oct 93 ) No. 43 (UK Singles Chart)
  • "Japanese Girls" (Sony Japan - 1993)
  • "Wake Up And Scratch Me" (Epic Records - Feb 94) No. 50 (UK Singles Chart)
  • "Miracle Michiko" EP (Japan only release - 1994)

As The Sultans:

  • "Mescaline" (1996) No. 21 (UK Independent Chart)

As The Sultans Of Ping:

  • "Girlwatching" (2007)



External links

  • Originals Sultans website
  • The Sultans Of Ping
  • Sultans Of Ping entry in The Irish Punk & New Wave Discography
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