It was during my Christmas break in 2015 that I set myself a challenge – Read 52 Books in a year. 1 a week – should be easy?
It all started with Steven Gerrard – a christmas present
The road to wigan pier followed closely. George Orwells tale of how we can show a brighter future
As it was the centenary of 1916 Easter Rising there were plenty of books relating to that theme
Jimmy Wren’s The GPO Garrisson was one such story of all the people in the GPO that week
Kieran Glennon’s From Pogrom TO Civil War took in a slightly later time in Irelands Nationalist history
Roger Casement is not only a figure in Irish Nationalist History, prior to (and during)his involvement in Ireland culminating in his trial where he stated “Ireland has wronged no man, that has injured no land, that has sought no dominion over others – Ireland is treated today among the nations of the world as if she was a convicted criminal” he was a British Foreign diplomat. His most notable work was exposing the slave trade in Congo and the horrendous slaughter of Peruvian Indians. The Devil and Misteer casement tells the story of Peru whole King Leopolds Ghost spoke of Congo
Russian troubadors Pussy Riot have had a lot written about them Words Will Break Cement is one of those
Kim Gordon has spoken a lot about how Pussy Riot are strong Women in a band and her Girl In A Band book tells of her time in Sonic Youth and beyond
Chasing The Scream challenged my perception on the so-called War On Drugs and has really made me think about its relevance
As part of the challenge I asked my kids what book they would like me to read – Pele was my youngest ones choice. A strange book about a character who exists in a world of stardom and almost seems like an alter ego of Edson Arantes do Nascimento. Luca Caioli asked is Messi More Than A Superstar and the answer is very much yes in his mind, interesting that humility is his biggest trait after being a superstar ball player
During Easter Week I decided to take a 360 turn and see how many Ross O’Carroll Kelly books I could cram in this year. Ross is the obnoxious, sexist beast known to so many Dubliners. The teenage Dirt-Bag years is one of the early ones, his formative college years, a J1 American Visa and the theft of a statue from UCD all get the O’Carroll gloss.
One of the hardest books to read was The Wrath of Cochise, not for the level of detail of the blood feud between the Chiracuau Indians and the US Army but just the level of detail. Terry Mort has a way with words, and it’s a long way. It was enlightening to read about the ‘White men’ being willing to loose lives in wars and use that as a tactic or about the Irish Bounty hunter James Kirker. it is interesting that this small island has produced many people who travelled for different reasons and had an impact around the world. Kirker was a hugely successful bounty hunter, willing to work, and kill, for the highest bidder. There were many Irish recruits into the US Army in the 1850’s – over 30% of those enlisted were Irish hunger having forced them from their homes. Then there were those being sold into slavery, a tale of woe that still continues.
I re-introduced myself to the world of pop punk and Lookout records through Larry Livermores two book and the story of Lookout. Interesting that a label with no initial aspirations other than to release records and get bands heard ended up as a multi million dollar business and the tale of how those millions made people want more. Another label I re-introduced my self to was K Records. Love Rock Revolution, the story of K was published a few years ago but I missed out on it then. It tells the story of Calvin Johnson and K, much like Lookout, a label that saw huge increases in sales when Nirvana got signed but thankfully unlike lookout K is still going. Sarah records was another label I listened to many bands from and Pop Kiss tells its story with a glorious jangle.
The Lost Women Of Rock Music – Female Musicians of the punk era by Helen Reddington is still altogether too true as it tells the battle females have just to be recognised in rock.. Punk promised to breakthrough as more and more females joined bands but the establishment re-established its hold and MTV had a different story to tell. It drove it underground
NOFX were a band whose antics when they were in ireland I had blocked out of memory. I knew there was a story around a fireplace and an inscription but the tides of time held no grudges. it was sad to read stories of how fireplaces in other cities, belonging to other peoples parents, were treated with similar disdain. Like spoilt children the drug fuelled lifestyle of nofx left casualties in their wake. We had to run other gigs after they left town, we had to mend a lot of bridges. This book is not surprising in its tome. Pity I like their music so much.
Jack Doyle’s autobiography slowed me down and made me realise I wouldn’t meet my target. Instead of 1 book a week I went for one a fortnight. It halved the overall number but still was hopeful and realistic.
This was bropught to fruitiion with somw time over Christmas allowing me to complete my final two. How Champions Thnk gives some snippets into the mind of sucessful people and it finashed in style with the Aesthetic of Our Anger – a critique of anarcho punk, politics and music. Although this book is aimed more at an academic audience it is an excellent reflection on the influence of Crass throughout popular culture.
So next year I will try and better this, wish me luck
This years List
1. King Leopolds Ghost
2. The Devil and Me
3. Steve Gerard – My Story
4. Jimmy Wren – The Gpo Garrisson
5. Kieran Glennon – From Pogrom to Civil War
6. Paul Howard – Ross O Carroll Kelly, the teenage Dirtbag years
7. George Orwell – The Road to wigan pier
8. Johan Hari – Chasing the scream
9. Pele – the autobiography
10. Kim Gordon – Girl In A Band
11. Masha Gessen – Words Will Break Cement
12. The Wrath of Cochise – The Blood Feud That Sparked the Apache Wars
13. Larry Livermore – Spy Rock Memories
14. Larry Livermore – How to Ru(i)n a record label
15. Jeff Alullis – NOFX The Hepatitis Bathtub and other Stories
16. Kevin Prested – Punk USA – The Rise and Fall of Lookout Records –
17. Mark Baumgarten – Love Rock Revolution – The Story of K Records
18. Luca Caioli – Messi: More Than a Superstar
19. Michael White – Pop Kiss – the life and afterlife of sarah records
20 Helen Reddington – The lost Women of Rock Musc
21.Dave Dictor – MDC
22. The Defects – Nervous Breakdown
23 Michael Taub -Jack Doyle The gorgeous God
24 Adrian Chiles – We Don’t Know What We’re Doing
25 William Macaskill -Doing Good Better
26 Bob Rotella – How Champions Think
27 Mike dines and Matthew Worley – The Aesthetic of our anger
Hope Collective are proud to be part of the Dublin DIY Festival taking place next month. Having come together last year for a night of punk rock and hip-hop, The Hope Collective have once more joined forces with State Magazine and are proud to present an all ages day long event in Dublin Workman’s Club, supporting Oxjam Ireland’s work for female rights and the Dublin Simon Community. This festival falls under the Community Tourism Diaspora Initiative and provides a chance to highlight the great work going on around Dublins Underground music community.
The previous night Hope are joining with FOAD Musick to announce the launch of Steve Ignorant with Paranoid Visions new album “Now and Then…!” in the Hangar
Profits from this gig will go to Inner City Helping Homelessness
Saturday October 8 – The Hangar
Steve Ignorant with Paranoid Visions
Steven VX and the Art Rats
Now and Then…! is the highly anticipated follow up to 2013’s “When…?” album from the collaboration of Dublin art terrorists Paranoid Visions and Crass frontman Steve Ignorant.
Over the past 2 years the band have played major festivals in the UK, Holland, America and Canada and garbered a significant following that surpassed the expectations of the original project. This is the collaborations only Irish appearance.
Sunday October 9 – The Workmans Club
Bill Blood – as part of Flexihead, Jackbeast and Redneck Manifesto, Niall Byrne has graced many DIY stages in the country and beyond. Bill Blood is his latest musical incarnation.
Carol Hodge – described as “Shakespeares Sister fighting Amanda Palmer and Tori Amos in a dimly lit Victorian pub”, Carol is a seven fingered pianist best for her singing work with Steve Ignorant (co-founder of punk legends CRASS) on his Last Supper world tour.
Ed Wenn – first visiting Ireland with the band Sink in 1992, Ed made his name with The Stupids, where his Ed Shred persona blasted out some early UK skatecore riffs. He has also been the main songwriter behind Bad Dress Sense, Big Ray, K-Line and more.
Mhaol – having made their live debut at last year’s WSO, M(h)aol have established themselves as one of the most fiercly political bands in Ireland today, with music to match.
Not Monsters – the meeting of deliciously experimental melodies and in your face power, Not Monsters are firmly in the DIY tradition – springing from a network of shared gigs, spaces and ideas.
Simon Wells – one of the founding members of UK Hardcore legends Snuff, Simon has continued to play and tour throughout the world with Your Mum, Southport and many others.
the objectorZ – sitting somewhere between hard rock n’ roll and punk, the Dublin band flter in a power pop influence.
What Is We Shall Overcome?
We Shall Overcome is a movement of musicians, artists and community organisers who are angry about the human costs of austerity policies but who want to do something practical to help those affected. For one week from 3-9 October we’re encouraging people to organise gigs and events that will –
1. Get direct help to those in our local communities who have been adversely affected by austerity policies.
2. Raise awareness, show solidarity or apply pressure to those who have political power
We operate under the tagline ‘A RAISED FIST & A HELPING HAND’
This is the eleventh in a series all taken from the Fanzine Hope *.2. The fanzine sees a collection of 70 contributors from the punk rock world. All asked the same question What is Your Favourite Gig.
The zine is €5 including postage to anywhere It is a benefit for Pikpa Refugee Centre, Lesvos
This week it is Derrick Johnston, head honcho of make that a take records
Leatherface headlining Book Yer Ane Fest V
Dundee in 2011
To answer a question about a favourite gig is pretty difficult; do I pick one that I’ve attended, one that I’ve played or one that we’ve put on?
There are loads that spring to mind; seeing At The Drive In back in 2000, Beastie Boys at T In The Park ’98, Against Me in King Tuts years ago, so many shows jump out at me; Kula Shaker at The Caird Hall in Dundee was my first “big” show way back in 1997 and I remember that I lost a shoe trying to crowd surf. That was when I figured out that hardcore and indie rock crowds didn’t necessarily mix!
Of equal importance was the gig at the now non-existent Westport Bar in Dundee on my 16th birthday when my band (Humus Kife) played with Mercury Tilt Switch, Tenesee Kait and Agent Orange (now Kaddish). That show was seminal and of great importance to me.
I’ve played some incredible shows with my various bands across the years too; from playing with some of my favourites (Off With Their Heads, The Flatliners, RVIVR; a sold out show in Edinburgh that was Uniforms’ first ever gig) to playing our first ever show in America at Pre-Fest 10 in Gainesville, Florida.
However, I think the greatest set I’ve ever seen with my own eyes was watching the mighty Leatherface headlining Book Yer Ane Fest V at Kage Nightclub, Dundee in 2011. I will never forget the feeling of being absolutely exhausted after playing earlier that day and running the show, which was our first three-day BYAF. I had lost my phone the previous evening and was running around demented all day. I was so nervous when Leatherface arrived as they’ve long been one of my favourite bands and to see them up “on stage” in our club at a sold-out festival was a surreal experience. We’re usually razor-sharp when it comes to timekeeping but nobody gave a shit that Leatherface were running over their set time. I mean, come on, would you go and tell Frankie Stubbs that time was up?
I’ll never forget that night. I believe pride can be a dangerous emotion but there are few times when I’ve felt more proud of being involved in punk rock than standing at the back watching a few hundred punks lose their minds while Leatherface blasted out classic after classic. A truly humbling and educational experience for which I shall be eternally grateful.
A celebration of Sunny Days are here again fanzine exhibition
Cork City Library August 16-27
Days just seem to fly by. You can have many good intentions and time prevents these from taking fruition. That was the case wiith the recent Fanzine exhibtion which was on in Cork City Library. The timing of it was to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the tmioe Nirvana played Sir henry’s in Cork with Sonic youth. I didn’t go to the Dublin version of this gig as I wasn’t rushing out to see bands play “BIG” gigs. I was young (enough) and idealistic. My gigs were diy and rarely did I venture beyond this. There are exceptions (I did see Sonic Youth with Teenage Fan Cluib – and Nirvana in the Point with the Breeders and Teenage Fan Club – there’s a link between these two). In August 1991 Nirvana were on the cusp of something, nevermind was about to be released and commentators were about to have the chance to say a band changed the face of the music industry once more.
Circa 91 is a celebration of Cork at that time. A great little read with contributions from people who were involved in the thriving music scene of the time. Cork is s small enough big city, most venues within walking distance and once you got into the City you accessability was not an issue. Many great bands travelled there and good music sprang up. This kis a celebration of a strong independent community and a great artefact to have to really document an important part of our music history
firstname.lastname@example.org for more info
With one on the recent referendum vote by UK to depart from the EU the mekons have produced a new video. It has an old sing along drinking style feel as they ponder the future of their homeland
This is the tenth in a series all taken from the Fanzine Hope *.2. The fanzine sees a collection of 70 contributors from the punk rock world. All asked the same question What is Your Favourite Gig.
The zine is €5 including postage to anywhere It is a benefit for Pikpa Refugee Centre, Lesvos
This week it is Scott McLauchlan from the excellent Brassneck Records who have a full roster of great tuneful hardcore bands
All + China Drum
My favourite gig? That’s not an easy one. Lots of gigs stick out as memorable for different reasons. I’ve been going to gigs since about 1990 and even though I’ve been to hundreds of gigs over the years, it’s some of the earlier ones that have stayed with me the most. On that basis, if I had to narrow it down, it was probably seeing ALL on their Breaking Things tour @ The London Powerhaus in 93 or 94 with support from China Drum. ALL (and the Descendents) were pretty much my favourite band in the world in the early to mid 90s and I made the trip down from the North to see them.
I grew up in a little Northern town where punk gigs simply didn’t happen. I only had a small number of friends who shared similar musical interests and getting into Manchester for gigs (the nearest city with any kind of notable punk activity that I was aware of at the time) was difficult. Getting to London was even harder. So this was a big deal for me even before I got there.
With memories affected by the passage of time and the beer consumed on the evening, some of my recollections are slightly blurred. I don’t remember all the songs that were played, I don’t recall any specific onstage banter or quite what happened in the latter stages of the night but I remember it as the first time I really felt part of a “scene” in any definite way. Aside from my few local friends, I just assumed there were only a handful of people in the UK who gave a damn about the bands I loved. But here there were hundreds of them all singing along and running into each other as ALL ripped into their opening song. I spoke to loads of peo-ple that night. All strangers who loved the music I loved. I stayed in touch with some of them for a while and often saw them when I went back to London over the following years. It all sounds bit cheesy now, but I was young(ish) and naive to how big the scene was in the UK at the time. As such, it was a defining moment for me and my love of punk outside of just listening to records in my bedroom.
Additional high points included having a pre-gig coffee with Stephen Egerton and talking to Karl about our shared love of cartoons and bands like The Chemical People and The Hard-Ons. Also the inclusion of some of my favourite Descendents songs in the set and meeting a young and slightly nervous Chad Price. This was the first time they’d played the UK with Chad on vocals and, apart from the songs on the (at the time) new LP I’d ever heard him sing before so I didn’t know how well he’d handle the songs Scott and Dave sung on record. Clearly, I needn’t have worried. Chad & the band took it all in their stride and blew me away. I saw ALL play London again in 2014 and, while that show was also great fun, the first time I saw them always sticks out as one of my fondest gig memories.
Scott McLauchlan – Brassneck Records – http://brassneckrecords.bigcartel.com/
Two weeks ago as I was travelling to Blackpool for Rebellion festival I read the sad story of Lawrence Graham Leigh. Lawrence is battling cancer and required stg£16,000 to go towards treatment. I’ve never met Lawrence but feel like I know him well. That’s because when I was involved in putting on bands in Dublin he was putting those same bands on in London. He had a record label, Fluffy Bunny and by all accounts seemed to be one of the good guys. Of course he was, he’s one of our good guys.
Well a quick fortnight later and the target has been reached. stg£16,000 and counting raised, not just by the punks but certainly pushed by many who Lawrence helped through the years. Of course he deserves every penny but it is great to see that his treatment can go ahead.
As for cancer…………………… We will just have to keep fighting eh?