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Down By Law, Wheel, Groundswell Barnstormers – Dublin 1993


May 10 1993

Down By Law, Wheel, Groundswell


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Hope Show 113 – the lowdown

Hope Show 113
1. Pup – reservoir
2. Pup – Dark Days
3. Down By Law – rebel Conformist
4. Bangers – The Pits
5. Maxwells Dead – Home
6. Black Flag – TV Party
7. L.O.T.I.O.N. – Computers Don’t Have a Heartbat
8. Apes Brigade – The Interrogation of the Good
9. Protomartyr – Dope Cloud
10. Sleater Kinney – Bury Our Friends
11. Martha – Chekhovs Hangnail
12. Bedford Falls – Anodyne
13. The Great St Louis – Mooresy
14. No Monster Club – Late Bloomers
15. Kevin Seconds – Only Drug
16. KatJon Band – Machine Gun and the Ugly Doll
17. Flies on you – Action Stations

I’m loving the new Pup album out now on Side One Dummy. Two stand out songs in particular Dark Days and REsevoir – had to play them both.

Down By Law are old faves of mine. I lost a bit of interest when singer Dave Smalley started propgating American Republican politics, they released an album last year ad are touring Europe towards the Summer

Bangers are a punk rock band from Cornwall

Maxwells Dead are on the wonderful Make That a take records singing about the punk scene in the UK. They feel part of the punk rock community that I too feel happy to be part of. They are my neighbours that I’ve yet to meet

Wanted to take a turn and move things heavy for a few songs, in case you think I was mellowing out so I reach for the trusty Black Flag. US Hardcore at its hardest.

L.O.T.I.O.N are industrial punk from New York City, pretty interesting group of people

Apes Brigade
are an intersting group from Marseille who sing in English

Goober Patrol brought out a great split with 7 Day Conspiracy last year with their ‘tribute’ to their party holding government right now – Tory. Wonder what we will be singing about in Ireland after our general election next week?

Hardly Art has some interesting bands including Protomartyr from Detroit, the more I listen to them the more I like them. They are playing Dublin at the end of March

I missed Sleater Kinney when they played Vicar Street in Dublin last year, I wanted to go but it wasn’t to be, like a lot of things the real world takes priority. Martha are flying a flag that Sleater Kinney were involved in raising. DIY rock inspired by strong independent women, showing that you don’t have to be a woman with a gimmick to be in a band. Martha from newcastle are strong exponents of diy lo-fi intelligent indie pop rock punk.

The Great St Louis and Bedford Falls go hand in hand and when stories get written abut influential tuneful UK didy bands these two will be up there and with Leatherface be seen as great great bands. Funny how they can slip through cracks. Thankfuly we still have Bear Trade and Stay Clean Jolene to keep us excited about it.

No Monster Club from Dublin have a new album on the way, this isn’t on it but I havent got my hands on the record yet, I will and I will play it. I love their swagger.

Kevin Seconds was and still is the voice behind positive US hardcore band 7 seconds. There’s an introspective mood to tongihts show so I’m going with a solo song from the great man.

I saw the KatJon Band play one of their few gigs in Amsterdam a few years ago. Kat, from the ex, joined john langford from the mekons + three johns on stage and played as a two piece. Love this record

It’s been a fairly mellow show tonight with some good tunes being the basis for it. For me it’s the calm before the storm as I get ready to head out on another protest march on the streets of Dublin. We, as a nation, will get a chance to voice our collecitve opinion on the poilitics of austerity and (in)equality and the show tonight reflects a sombre mood. It’s a case of what might be or could have been. but let Flies on You finish us off tonight while we sing along to their anthemic chorus
“Please bring down the forks and spoons,
Please bring down the plates and bowls
Please bring down the dirty clothes
And pleeeeease…… bring down the government”



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Down By Law – Revolution Time

Down By Law – Revolution Time
Dry Heave Records

down by law

I have a fear of dentists. it all stems back to me as a 10 year old boy being terrified of a tall man in a white suit with sharp instruments in his hand. I can’t begin to explain this irrational phobia. But there hasn’t been much sympathy for it in the proceeding 35 years. Even typing this my hands are starting to get a bit clammy and lumps appear in my throat. Listening to this album is its musical equivalent. Plainly speaking it is disappointing.

I remember when down by law played Dublin in the 1990s. We were so excited that a stalwart of the dc music scene was coming to play our city. The excitment was palpable as we discussed prior to Smalley and co’s arrival that there was no need for heroes. It was a lifetime ago and for some of us young punks in Dublin there was real buzz of anticipation in the air. We had no real perception of the outside world as our education was through records and fanzines interspersed with protest marches and leaflets from radical organisations. We had no feeling of Dublin being something to be proud of as we grew up here and most of us wanted to get out, those who didn’t have to leave to find employment of course. So when Americans came over and exclaimed how proud they were to be Irish we got ready to swap identities even for one night. Most bands that played over here felt some connection with the country and our cynicism needed to be left outside many venues. I will never forget down by laws introduction to barnstormers. They were so impressed with a Phil lynnott picture on the wall and wanted to talk about thin lizzy. To the young punk in me thin lizzy and their ilk were the enemy, pin them up against the wall with blue oyster cult or whatever they were called. They played a pretty energetic set though and whilst I have mellowed through the years I still haven’t felt a need to listen to “the lizzy” though but I appreciate that Dave Smalley was just a fan like we were of his band.

This is their 9th album and it starts with some note ‘New Autonomy’, ‘The future is good’ and ‘riot riot’ give a little insight into the potential that was once there. It has that melodic punk rock feel that you’d get from Stiff Little Fingers but more of the Go For It era when we all wished they would play Suspect Device instead. ‘Rebel conformist’ could have been good if it didn’t feel like they were just trying too hard. “Truth is you’re not a rebel at all. You hate all those who don’t think like you” is the line there but whilst Tte sentiment sounds good but it just doesn’t seem real. Whether that is dave smalleys self proclaimed celebration of capitalism I don’t know. I don’t call myself a rebel but I don’t appreciate American Republicanism, Smalley had a brief flirtation with it publicly and I find it extremely hard to let that go.

And then there’s the (filler) acoustics covers of elvis Costello and slf> They are the teeth extraction moments, painful. Acoustic sets are great, I’m found in rebellion at the acoustic stage as much as anyone else and love the feeling of a song being stripped bare and sung with real passion. The energy of one person and a guitar can be immensely powerful. But these are so weak in comparison. It’s no tim barry or chuck ragan, I really want it to be

Sorry but no


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