The Gig Cartel - Artist profiles: Sultans of Ping

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The Sultans of Ping

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The Sultans Of Ping FC start in late 1988. Their first demo is recorded in 1990 and includes "Where's Me Jumper". They headline Eurorock 1990 as the token local crowd-pulling band. Ian Wilson , producer of the Dave Fanning show on RTE, loves the show and offers them their first radio session. In June 1991 the Sultans are again invited to be the closing headline act, this time at the Cork Rocks festival. Martin Heath of Rhythm King Records catches their set by accident and promptly offers them a deal. The band play their first UK shows in November 1991. "Where's Me Jumper" is released as a single in January 1992 and instantly becomes a cult classic. It becomes the biggest selling single of the year in Ireland beating off competition from Bryan Adams '"Everything I Do". The Sultans release two further singles that year "Stupid Kid" and "Veronica" which strengthens the band's profile even more.   Their debut LP "Casual Sex In The Cineplex" comes out in January 1993 and crashes into the top 30 of the UK album charts. The fourth single "U Talk Too Much" also makes the top 30 singles charts. The Sultans spend most of the year touring in the UK, Ireland, Europe and Japan clocking up 150 shows during the year playing in places as diverse as Letterkenny and Hiroshima while still finding time to write their second LP. By this time the band have dropped the FC from their name in a bizarre attempt to be taken seriously. Three singles from the upcoming LP are released -"Teenage Punks", "Wake Up And Scratch me" and the classic "Michiko". All make the top 75 of the UK singles charts. The second LP "Teenage Drug" is released in 1994 but doesn't have the same impact as their debut. The band decide to adopt a harder more American influenced sound and recruit Sammy Steiger (ex Golden Horde) to their ranks to beef up the guitar sound. The Sultans continue to tour incessantly to smaller but still enthusiastic audiences. In 1995 the "Of Ping" is quietly dropped from the name and the band are now just known as Sultans. Third LP "Good Year For Trouble" arrives in 1996 but fails to sell well despite good reviews. The band are dropped by their record label and the writing seems on the wall. The Sultans get back to doing what they know best, playing live, and they set off around the UK, Ireland  and Europe again. They support The Ramones on their last European tour as well as supporting The Sex Pistols in France.   1997 sees the band still on the road but starting to run out of steam. Their last show takes place in Cork in December 1997 and the night is ruined by aggressive bouncers who spend the evening attacking Sultans fans. The band split up after the show.   Following the split, McCarthy joins the band "Pharmacy", O'Flaherty gets involved in producing the Japanese girl band Mika Bomb, while Mac Feely forms the rock' n 'roll band "Sister" The band reform as The Sultans of Ping in 2005 amid rising interest in the band again.. Today FM listeners vote “Where’s me Jumper” as the 2nd best Irish song of all time where only U2 received more votes than the Sultans The band do a sell out tour of Ireland and the UK and receive rapturous reviews At the end of the year a live DVD of the band's return to live action in Cork is released by Cherry Red Records and sells remarkably well and encourages the band to do even more shows. In 2007 The Sultans play several subsequent gigs around Europe, culminating in a show at the Brixton Academy in London (with Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine). December 7th sees the band release their first new material in 12 years with the single " Girlwatchin' ". In 2008 and 2009 the Sultans continue their sporadic activities with selected gigs around Europe, The UK and Ireland. They sell out their London show in Oct 2009 In December 2010 the band play their first Irish shows in two years as part of the Reverberation tour 2011/2012 the band support Carter again at their sellout Brixton Academy show as well as playing a few occasional shows around the UK 2013 sees more interest in the band again with Vodafone using ‘Give ‘Em a Ball’ as part of their new advertising campaign while Chris O Dowd champions the band by using ’Where’s Me Jumper’ as the theme song in his Sky TV series ’Moone Boy’ In 2014 the band play a few selected shows during the year including the Indiependence Festival in Ireland as well as two support slots at Carter USM’s farewell shows in London In 2015 the band play the Electric Picnic for the first time,in their first Irish show in over a year In November 2016 the Sultans will be supporting one of their favourite bands and a big influence on them-The Undertones! The Sultans will be playing all the hits from their acclaimed debut LP 'Casual Sex in the Cineplex' - 'Veronica', 'Stupid Kid', 'U talk too Much' and of course the classic 'Where's me Jumper' as well as a whole host of other tracks from the band’s back catalogue The future's bright, the future is still Ping!

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