The Mary Janes & Friends Release ‘Heartbreaker’

December 3, 2021

20 years since the untimely passing of Mic Christopher,  in honour of his memory some of his closest friends re-visit ‘Heartbreaker’ – a Mary Janes song that never saw the light of day.

‘Mic Christopher had only just turned 32 when he slipped beyond the veil, into that timeless mysterious place beyond this earthly plane. His passing was sudden, leaving his family and friends broken and dumfounded:  how could such a life force, such a bright, vibrant soul suddenly be no more? It made no sense, and here, 20 years on, we still feel that same baffling shock and sorrow. 

What happens when in mid conversation fate steps in and steals your best friend away? Well, the conversation continues, somehow, although it’s changed completely; Mic is still a very real and present force to all assembled friends here, and we all hold the line open, even when the static fades. 

How do we honour and remember him? We sing his songs… when words fail and fall short, we sing his words, in his melody, in his style, in his inimitable voice, we remember him by mirroring and mimicking the honourable rock star: hips out, head up, big voice, that high soaring tone, that swagger, courage, plume and strut, part Elvis, Jim, Fela, Marley, and Drake, to name a few from whom his cloth was cut. All we have now are his songs, the ones he recorded and others unfinished, incomplete beauties that we go back to, when a song is still in that first draught unfinished state, it holds a magic, an expectant potential, asking to be finished, all roads still open, to be pulled back out and re-examined. But when it’s author is no longer here to finish it, some might say leave it. And they might be right, but when the song was so near completion and so good that it already sang true and bright, the job might fall to his closest friends to pull it off the old cassette and back into the light.

We’ve gathered here his friends: Mary Janes, Frames, Kíla, Gemma, Lisa, Paddy, Mundy and many more; singers who knew and loved him, others who admired him from afar, to mark this, the 20th year of his departure, by simply doing the only good thing we know how to. We gather to honour our friend with our singing and playing.

Mic had the cool – whatever that is, he had it. And when I think of him now, it’s that broad-shouldered, long-fingered, sloping, stalling, desert boot-wearing, smiling silhouette I see walking just out of reach.
Go Mic… we still believe in you.
“May your heart always be joyful, may your song always be sung,
And may you stay forever young’”  
Glen Hansard

‘Friendship is stored in the most precious place of our being and that it can resonate even after death is very reassuring to me … an absolute treat to be involved in re-recording a few of our old friend Mic’s songs, to have him in the headphones was very special …’  Ronan O’Snodaigh

It was late Autumn, November 29th, 2001 and the myriad of people who had grown to love Mic Christopher commenced grappling with the news he had left us. In nothing short of a tragic accident, Mic had fallen and hit his head, suffering catastrophic head injuries.

In the wake of Mic’s departure, he has continued to influence artists with the most laudable gift a troubadour could leave behind, his songs.  In November 2002, through the persistent work of Karl Odlum and brother David, captaining a large assembly of Mic’s musician friends, ‘Skylarking’ Mic’s first solo album was released to critical acclaim. This album contained inspirative anthems such as ‘Heyday’ and ‘Skylarking’ which posthumously plunged Mic and his devastating story into hearts and homes across Ireland and the world.

For the ten years prior to a solo career, Mic rode point with his band The Mary Janes.  Mic’s time in the group would see him travel to all ends of the world from post-war Bosnia to Australia, America and Scotland and would fertilise the creation of a multitude of prodigious songs, many remaining unreleased to this day.  With impenetrable friendships forged, the highs and lows of four young men struggling in a rock band were traversed, and the writings of these years remained stored on cassette tapes in tattered cardboard boxes, stowed beneath beds.

Once again, a large cohort of Mic and The Mary Janes’ friends have assembled from across music fields and beyond to honour a deeply missed friend, recording a previously unreleased song from The Mary Janes titled ‘Heartbreaker,’ produced by David Odlum.  Time hasn’t changed Mic’s melodies or words, which stand as true today as they did lying on pages in verdant ink the moment they were penned.  Through the hands of musicians and voices of singers, a collective of the pure hearted have come together and built a virtual shrine to a man who after twenty years, is still as alive in each one of us, as the days we would muse one another.

RELEASE DATE : December 3rd 2021 across digital platforms

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