Tag Archives: Hope Collective

Cornershop, Wheel, Jam Jar Jail – Dublin 1993

Feb 28 1993

Cornershop, Wheel, Jam Jar Jail

Fibber Magees (Anarchy Night Cafe)

Technically this isn’t a Hope gig but we arranged the accommodation and made the provision for Cornershop to play in the Anarchy Night Café. The band was looking to play Dublin on that date which was a Thursday. Rather than clashing with Anarchy Night café, which was getting regularly good crowds, we asked could they be put on the bill. This was readily agreed. The people behind the Anarchy Night Café had a similar motto to Hope: “We are not promoters, we are people – just like you”.

They went to a lot of our gigs so we knew they’d be keen on helping. Cornershop had been getting plenty of attention from the British music press, which was interesting from our point of view. We weren’t too used to dealing with bands that garnered such interest. All we knew about Cornershop was that they had a link to the Membranes. Our base line, though, was they weren’t on a major record label (at the time) so we were happy to help. The major label thing left us open time and again for criticism.

It grew and grew as people were questioning our activities. For me I felt I just didn’t want to deal with big record labels. Hope never signed a “contract” and never gave cast-iron guarantees. Sometimes we would have a good idea of how many people will go to the gig and would pass  that info on to the band. It was a nice level to deal with people.

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Headcleaner Irish tour 1993

Feb 24 1993 Headcleaner, Holemasters Barnstormers
Feb 28 1993 Headcleaner, Slunk, Flexihead Barnstormers

Headcleaner used many of the contacts they had made to organise an Irish tour. I loved their enthusiasm. They were willing to travel anywhere for a gig. They became regular visitors to the country and struck up many friendships. They may not be a big-name band or hugely popular but they were able to visit many parts of Europe on free holidays and have a great time doing so. Not as many bands looked to come over this year.

We were happy with that as my health was starting to improve and Miriam, Pat, Joe and I were trying to find a premises. We had an idea that it would be good to have our own place for gigs and tried to figure out the best way  of making it happen. Finance came into the equation so we decided to start a coop and look at ways of getting funding. We expanded the idea into a café and saw that you could readily obtain grants to run a business.

Everything was flowing except the main ingredient: a suitable premises. Because we were getting funding everything had to be above board. Therefore any prospective place had to meet all the necessary health regulations (or have the ability to meet them). We spent a lot of time putting together business plans, setting up a co-operative and putting together the relevant paperwork for grants. Many afternoons were spent over coffee discussing the price of potatoes.

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Downcast, Groundswell – Dublin 1992

Nov 4 1992

Downcast, Groundswell


After 16 gigs in 8 and-a-half months in Barnstormers this was a depressing one to finsh the year on. As you will read below, DOWNCAST were not on friendly terms with each other and that carried forward onto the stage and also in any activities we had with the band.

It was a nightmare from an organisational point of view. I only learned that the band were having difficulties when I was assembling this book and for years I had held an opinion on the band based on their personal feelings at the end of a long tour. Funny how wrongly one can judge others after a couple of hours. People still talk about the DOWNCAST gig and how the singer left the stage crying. They think that it was “emo” or something. The music was all about feelings and he gave it everything. I would have preferred a chat but that wasn’t to be tonight.

Still, no matter what was going on with the band on the night, the fact that we had put on an average of 2 gigs a month all featuring bands from outside the country and who otherwise may not have had the chance to visit Ireland was pleasing. Barnstormers was ideal for these touring bands.
“I had joined Downcast in the UK, on the last leg of their European tour sometime in the early nineties. I don’t even remember the year. It was miserable and cold and the band was doing very badly. On day one of the tour, Brent, the guitarist, had decided that he didn’t want to be on tour. He wanted to be home with his girlfriend.

So, in order to let everyone know that he was here against his will, he stood on stage stone-faced, played his riffs, showing no emotions at all. Nobody in the van talked to him. I don’t think I said a single word to him in ten days. It was beyond awkward. It didn’t help that most of the shows in the UK had been cancelled. Everybody was feeling dismal. Then, in Belfast, I got very, very sick. So sick, in fact, that one night while staying in somebody’s house I was sure I wasn’t gonna make it through. I had such a high fever I honestly  thought I was going to die. Needless to say, I made it and we arrived in Dublin. I went inside the club and had a look around, but it was still hours till the show, so I decided to take a nap in the van. At this point I’d like to say that it’s really unwise to tour with cargo pants, because those stupid pockets on the side of your leg really hurt when you’re trying to sleep across 3 seats.

Anyways, not surprisingly, I slept right through the show. I was awoken by Kevin (the singer) ripping the door open and throwing himself on the floor in the back of the van. He was bawling. I never really talked to him about it, but I think he had simply reached the end of the line. He couldn’t take it anymore. Kent, who had also been on tour with them, later told me that there had almost been a fist fight between Brent and Kevin. And apparently Kevin just ran outside during the show. What an undignified end to such a great band. Because that was it. It was over. And I had slept through it.

We had the next day off and stayed in a very nice house with a bunch of awesome eople. All the time I had been aching to take a shower or a bath and now, finally, we were at a place that was nice and warm. Except that, by then, I was feeling so weak I was unable to even make it upstairs to the bathroom. So, while everyone spent the day sight-seeing, I sat on the settee alone, crying quietly and feeling sorry for myself. When I got back and went to see a doctor, the first thing he did was check my armpits for track marks. I must have looked so fucked-up he thought I was a junkie. It turned out I had pneumonia. Fun!

And that’s what I remember about Dublin. I swore that one day I would go back and really see the place. And I know, some day I will.” Marianne Hofstetter


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Revenge Of The Carrots, Donkey – Dublin 1992

Oct 9 1992

Revenge Of The Carrots, Donkey


The first time I met Ajay he was throwing pieces of paper up in the air in perfect time to Membranes songs, no mean feat I can tell you. He travelled everywhere with the Membranes, going to as many of their gigs as possible, until they were looking for a bass player and needed to search no further than their audience.

After leaving the Membranes he left his hometown of Manchester for Amsterdam, where he swapped Man Utd for Ajax and joined Donkey. He wanted Donkey to come to Ireland with Revenge Of the Carrots and we arranged it. This gig was another one of those moments when I questioned the purpose of ‘Hope’. Here were 2 excellent bands trying to do something a little bit different while remaining interesting and being ignored by Dublin audiences. I felt so bad for the people in both bands. They didn’t care but after travelling from Holland I felt it would have been nice to play to more than 30 people. Although I always said not to expect anything from people, deep down I wanted them everyone to like DONKEY.

This was the 26th Dublin gig of 1992 that Hope had put on. The 26th time that year that we had asked people to pay into a gig and people were being choosy. They obviously felt that their £3 could be better spent elsewhere.

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Crane Irish Tour 1992


Sep 20 1992 Crane, Mexican Pets – Barnstormers  

Sep 17 1992 Crane, Mexican Pets – Fibber Magees
Sep 18 1992 Crane – Our Price Records

Crane were good friends with Slum Turkeys and after that band’s successful tour the previous year they looked to come over and do something similar. Mexican Pets had also become friendly with Slum Turkeys during this period, after travelling to play Manchester at singer Paul Morley’s invitation. So when Crane came over to play some gigs it seemed opportune for Mexican Pets to accompany them.

They became bosom buddies for 5 days as they play the Anarchy Night Café, Cork, New Ross, Belfast and Barnstormers. Crane did one extra day-time gig. This was a bizarre afternoon performance in Our Price records. A friend, Pete Murphy worked there and he liked Crane. I asked if there was a possibility of the band playing there and, lo and behold, the management agreed. The band got £50 and won over a few people. After the tour Mexican Pets + Crane were like patients leaving hospital. They had become dependant on each other and had grown rather fond of the company. Plenty of promises to stay in touch were made, promises I’m not sure were ever carried through, but both bands will keep good memories of this Irish tour with them.

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Dawson, Long Fin Killie Dublin 1992, 1993

Sep 11 1992 Dawson, Long Fin Killie Barnstormers                                                                          Aug 18 1993 Dawson, Long Fin Killie, Pet Lamb Attic

When my parents bought me my trusty typewriter in 1990 the first band I wrote to was Dawson. I corresponded regularly over the years with Jer of the band. I loved their wild discordant noise. I took some copies of their records to sell and kept talking about them to anyone that would listen. When Jer asked if I could help organise something for them and fellow Glaswegians Long Fin Killie I was over the moon.

When he asked for it to be on August 13 I was devastated. Miriam and I were due to be in Mayo that day in the middle of a holiday with her family. We had a long discussion about it and agreed to get the train home that day. Thankfully we got back in time to see Dawson in Dublin. What a privilege. Not too many others got to witness that privilege but it was their loss, undoubtedly. Amazing! Barnstormers the following year was equally thrilling.

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Cowboy Killers Irish tour – 1990

Jan 18 1991 Cowboy Killers – NCAD
Jan 19 1991 Cowboy Killers, Shred, Paranoid Visions – Attic
Jan 21 1991 Cowboy Killers, Paranoid Visions – Grattan

Through SKETCH I came into contact with the drummer of Cowboy Killers, Kip Xool. They were based in Wales and really wanted to come over to Ireland. Paddy was in NCAD at the time and he got them a lunchtime gig there. I contacted Trinity College about the possibility of the band playing there also. Senseless Things were already booked in but they added Cowboy Killers to the bill. At this point the word had spread around Dublin that Hope were the people who put Fugazi on and I think both colleges were secretly hoping that they could get Fugazi the next time they played Ireland.

I never said they could; but come to think about it, I don’t remember saying they couldn’t either. Both college gigs came with set guarantee fees, which meant COWBOY KILLERS could cover their ferry fare. We then booked another 2 Dublin gigs. They came over for a weekend and did a Dublin tour. Their Attic gig nearly brought about the downfall of the floor. The place was packed and despite Lenny’s frantic efforts people just wouldn’t stop dancing. The plaster was coming off the ceiling below and the floor was literally shaking.

Those who weren’t dancing were standing on tables and seats. It was crazy. The Grattan on the following Monday evening was only slightly more refined. Very slightly.

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Suburban Rebels, Violent Phobia – Dublin 1990

Dec 30 1990

Suburban Rebels, Violent Phobia


Morty was the aforementioned editor of Sunny Days fanzine so when he asked could his band play Dublin with another Cork band I was only too happy.to be involved and to be one of the 30 people to pay in and see them

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The Umbrellas – Dublin 1990

Dec 23 1990

The Umbrellas


Benefit for Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children

My musical influences in early life come from my family. I can’t claim anything else. It was my brothers who turned me onto to Punk, returning from their weekly  expeditions to Advance Records and Golden Discs on Liffey Street. They continued listening to punk but also moved on to other music. I was left behind.having developed  a penchant for their record collection. My brother Gar is a huge ska fan and it as with him in mind that I asked The Umbrellas to play.

I knew their singer Barry (who went on to play in Skint) from the times when his previous band Hey Presto had played with Not Our World. Up to now Gar (along with other brothers John and Joe) had  helped if we needed assistance with transport, or on the night at some gigs. They were willing weight bearers of PA stacks and were always available. Gar had also
been helping me with stuff due to my illness so I thought he’d like to see “The Brollies” 2 days before Christmas. He enjoyed it, as did 50-odd others who forgot about  their shopping for a while and supported this gig. It may seem odd criteria for selecting a band but The Umbrellas were a good band and one worth asking to play.

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Sloth – Dublin 1990

Dec 16 1990



Benefit for Vegetarian Society of Ireland

The five charities were picked out after discussions with Valerie, Miriam and the Bearded Lady. We could have run a gig every week for a year and still have had more  than enough good causes. We decided to go with ones that meant something to us and hopefully raise interest among people who were going to the gigs.

We handed out  leaflets at each gig but other than raising money I often wonder about the long term value of such events. I would rather they took place than didn’t; I would rather
they didn’t have to take place at all. The cynic in me suggests that they change nothing. The optimist belives that someone may relate to it, somewhere, sometime.
We raised the following amounts

All organisations were very grateful. This made me think about how we sometimes don’t bother with things because they seem so unimportant on a wider scale. £90 to the RCC is probably loose change by their standards but they really appreciated the effort. It’s the gesture, the small step that counts. Whenever I think about my small  world not making a difference, I am reminded of that.

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