Tag Archives: Hope Collective

Whipping Boy, House Of Byron, The Grown Ups – Dublin 1990

Dec 9 1990

Whipping Boy, House Of Byron, The Grown Ups


Benefit for Rape Crisis Centre

The Therapy?? gig in the Attic was absolutely packed. You could sense at this time that there was a buzz around the band. People who were rarely at gigs came out to this one. The Attic wore its title well. Situated upstairs in the small WHITE HORSE INN it could fit 30 people comfortably and 100 people very uncomfortably. All Health + Safety regulations went out the window the day Therapy? played there. Lenny was very worried that his pub would be closed down but still continued to serve  beer. This gig, along with the other 4 in the series provided something completely different to a normal Sunday afternoon in the lead up to Christmas.

The Whipping Boy played the following week and almost drew an equally good crowd. It is ironic that both Whipping Boy and Therapy? then went on to sign major label record deals. We had  decided that ‘Hope’ would not work with a band on a major record label. My main reason for wanting ‘Hope’ to go down this road was in reaction to the way that record
labels went about their business and how they were linked into other businesses (namely the Arms trade). I also felt that the music business has enough people working  for it and if a band subscribes to the business they have the option of utilising that machinery. If Hope’ could stay outside the machine as much as possible we could show people inside and outside bands that there was an alternative. So major label bands were turned down and not approached. It wasn’t a snub or a judgement. It was just something we wished to do. It also left us open for contradiction – something people were only too willing to point out.

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Therapy?, Shred, Pig Ignorance – Dublin 1990

Dec 2 1990

Therapy?, Shred, Pig Ignorance


Benefit for Irish M.E. Association

I still felt ill and was seriously lacking in energy. Post-Viral Fatigue Syndrome had given way to a new diagnosis – M.E. If I took even any small exercise I suffered severe muscle pain. My parents bought me a typewriter and I got to work on doing a new fanzine (SKETCH). I spent the little bit of energy I had on writing letters. Valerie, Miriam and the Bearded Lady agreed to help organise these benefits.

We arranged the bands between us and got Paddy to do up a poster. The best way to
publicize the gigs was to do a newsletter to inform people. Hence REACT was born. It started out as 500 2- sided photocopied A4 pages, and cost me£20. It proved a good
way of getting the word out. I put it in record shops/ book shops and cafes as well as giving it out at gigs I wrote REACT solely so I could pass on to other folk some  bands I thought were good.

I had heard a lot of good music from bands that weren’t getting exposure anywhere. REACT gave me a chance to write some brief stuff about a  band and people could take it or leave it after that. It also allowed Hope a chance to advertise our gigs. REACT became monthly and spread to 5,000 printed copies. It  fizzled out after 3 years. It became a chore. I was investing a lot of energy into it and it had advanced from my original intentions. People were taking things too  personally. They wanted their band to be reviewed (favourably). They wanted their gig to be mentioned. My feeling on it was if they felt strongly about it they should  do one themselves. So I stopped doing it. REACT.

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Firewater Creed, Lethargic, Renegade – Dublin 1990

Nov 25 1990

Firewater Creed, Lethargic, Renegade


(Benefit for Stop Animal Experiments)
Andrew Bass asked if I was interested in getting bands to play in the Attic (upstairs in the White Horse Inn). For £30 we’d get the room and a sound engineer. It  sounded interesting to me but I didn’t want to become a local promoter. It has always puzzled me as to why music is so inaccessible to people who aren’t old enough to  drink in pubs. Most folk start off in bands when they are under 18 but there is nowhere for them, legally, to play.

Back in the late 80s, Ireland’s barowners had a  strange interpretation of the licensing laws. They would allow “Minors” (Under 18’s) on their premises until 6.30 but only if accompanied by a legal guardian and, obviously, without serving them alcohol. The police drew a blind eye if minors were on the premises before that time. That “law” has since been rubbished but in 1990  the only way to have no age restrictions at a gig was to play it in the afternoon. So I asked if it could happen! The Attic’s manager, Lenny, agreed to try out Sunday  gigs with no age restrictions, starting at 4pm. Again, licensing laws meant people weren’t legally allowed on the premises (even to set-up equipment) between 2.30 and  4 p.m. so sound checks had to be completed by 2.30. In response to Andrew’s suggestion to me, I thought the best thing to do was to have a series of afternoon benefit  gigs leading up to Christmas.

Loads of bands had been asking to play ‘Hope’ gigs so here was a chance for many of those to play

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Babydigger, Lawnmowers ; Jailcell Recipes, Drive, FUAL – Dublin 1990

Jun 7 1990 Babydigger, Lawnmowers – New Inn
Jun 29 1990 Jailcell Recipes, Drive, FUAL – New Inn

Drive - New Inn

Drive (pich by George Curran)

John Robb passed my name onto fellow Mancunians Babydigger. They sent me a tape I thought was excellent. I couldn’t wait to get them over to play a gig. Around this time, people in Belfast contacted me. Jailcell Recipes were coming to Ireland to play and wanted to visit Dublin. I booked the New Inn for the 2 gigs. Hope’ was put on the posters in the ‘hope’ that people might go along even if they didn’t know the bands, as we were the people who had put on Fugazi. Unfortunately this wasn’t the case for either gig. There was a miserable turnout at both. We would have lost a fortune had we been made to pay the full price for the venue. Smiley realised that we were trying and let us off with any shortage we had. We had money left from the Fugazi gig that went to pay off the bands travel expenses but those NEW INN gigs were jinxed.

First D.I. not happening, now this. What else could go wrong? There was still the toilet smashing craze to contend with. It was hard to ‘police’ the toilets for a whole gig, therefore they were prime targets for vandalism. By the end of each gig the ladies were flooded. Someone found it a great laugh. We sure didn’t. Thankfully the toilet smashing craze didn’t last very long. Lost £210 on Jailcell Recipes, Lost £96 on Babydigger

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Pitchshifter – Dublin 1991

October November 1991Oct 31 1991 Pitchshifter, Golden Horde NCAD
Oct 31 1991 Pitch Shifter, Jam Jar Jail, Dust Revolution – Fox + Pheasant

Pitchshifter from Nottingham asked through their friend Stuart if they could come over . It was Hallowe’en and we managed to get them a gig at the NCAD hallowe’en ball as well as one in the Fox.2 gigs in the one evening would help pay their ferry fare. They arrived at the Fox complete with TV screen and video. This portrayed some  disturbing images throughout their set. A precursor to U2’s Zoo TV!

Unfortunately for the band, the art students of NCAD must have wanted to watch MTV and they broke the TVscreen that evening. Maybe it was some sort of art statement. Understandably Pitchshifter were very annoyed. Also playing in the Fox that evening were Dust Revolution. None of us knew anything about the band beforehand. Shane from Jam Jar Jail asked if they could play. He knew the band. They didn’t get too many gigs as they were on day release from Grangegorman mental institution. After their set they went around the audience almost individually looking for feedback. For that night they were stars in their eyes.

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Sons Of Ishmael, Turtle Assasins, Arnheim – Dublin 1991

SonsOfOctober November 1991Oct 11 1991

Sons Of Ishmael, Turtle Assasins, Arnheim

Fox + Pheasant

Sons Of Ishmael came all the way from Canada for their Irish tour. I was still ill with M.E. and had to take plenty of rest. I missed this gig due to that but met up  with the band earlier in the day and showed them around Dublin.wSince they played I have struck up a friendship with Chris Black from Sons f Ishmael. It is one of a number of friendships that have spawned from being involved with ‘hope’. As an aside, and as an example of how the world is such a small place, a woman wrote to me  after picking up React on a trip to Dublin. We corresponded with each other and when Miriam and I went to Canada we stayed with this woman, our new friend. It turned out that she was seeing Chris Black from Sons Of Ishmael. We talked long about punk rock in Ireland and Chris had many good memories of his European tour. After the  band split he ran Raw Energy Records in Toronto for a while. I believe he hasn’t needed Survivor’s Pie in a few years.Back to the gig, Turtle Assassins came down from  ferry for the night. Tony Doherty had been putting stuff on in that city and when he asked could some friends of his play in Dublin, of course we agreed.

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Anhrefn, Negu Gorriak – Dublin 1991


Oct 5 1991

Anhrefn, Negu Gorriak


Negu Gorriak also stayed in the “Dumps”. They were from the Basque region and couldn’t speak a word of English. They didn’t want to keep their gear in the van and so we filled the whole room up with equipment. I’ve no idea where they slept – it must literally have been ON their amps. Unfortunately they stayed over the day the landlord came to collect the rent and I wasn’t going to be there. I left the money in an envelope, stuck it to the outside of the door with a note for the landlord. Needless tosay that made him more intrigued and in he came. He found a room full of musical equipment, one Basque national with no English and NO explanation. He had plenty of questions in thefollowing weeks. My long lost misunderstood Basque friends I explained.

October November 1991

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Babes In Toyland Irish tour 1991

Jul 20 1991 Babes In Toyland, Pet Lamb – Charlie’s
Jul 22 1991 Babes In Toyland, In Motion – Fox + Pheasant

This was the twelfth Saturday afternoon gig of the year in Charlie’s. Southern Studios had been in touch about Babes In Toyland playing. They were going to play Belfast and Cork with THERAPY? and wanted to fit in the capital while they were over. I was delighted because John Loder was involved in Southern. John was involved with Crass and Flux Of Pink Indians and also helped out with Ian McKaye from Fugazi. This was a great gig and NO, Therapy??, did not play the Dublin gig. There was confusion before this gig as the rumour spread that the “Babes” had signed to a major label.

Given our refusal to deal with bands on major labels it may have seemed contradictory to put on a band just because of a link with John Loder. However we were told they were not on a major when they visited Ireland and that’s all the reassurance we needed. They subsequently signed to (and got dropped from) a major but when they played Ireland they were aligned to Southern. It may seem a small and inconsequential point but it was important to ‘Hope’. As mentioned, ‘Hope’ didn’t want to be part of the major record label’s machinery for their bands.

We had NO guest list at our gigs, we treated all bands the same, the same way we treated people who paid in to the gigs, and anyone involved in helping with a gig paid in. This way there was no “them” and “us”. For us to put on a band tied in to a major record label would have been a sign of support for the band, something we didn’t want to do through our gigs, regardless of individual feelings. Monday night and the “Babes” played the FOX. Another surprise gig, my surprise being when I was asked for ALL the money (£300) from the gig to go the “Babes”. “I think they deserve it after tonight’s show, don’t you”. I was too busy dreaming of those CRASS records and thinking this isn’t right to give the reply I wanted to.

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Econochrist tour 1991

Jul 13 1991 Econochrist, World Of Drums, Jam Jar Jail – Charlie’s
Jul 15 1991 Econochrist, The Grown Ups, Ciunas – Fox + Pheasant
I had a bedsit that I gave over to bands when they were visiting. The neighbours never complained but I’m sure they wondered. I was away for the Econochrist tour.  There was a mix-up over their Derry gig. It was cancelled but they travelled up from Dublin not realising.

I don’t know whether they were annoyed or not but they decided not to tidy anything up after themselves in my small cell. When I got home, one week later, there were things growing in my pots. Awful.

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NOFX, GO, Decline – Dublin 1991

Jun 1 1991

NOFX, GO, Decline


Again a case of two tours happening simultaneously and of us not wanting to say no. GO! from New York were an outspoken hardcore band that tackled many issues including homosexuality and discrimination. They wanted to come over with Decline form England. NOFX on the other hand wanted to do a few gigs in Ireland as part of their European tour. The band made a living through their music, which poked fun at everyone. Getting the two bands on the same bill would provide them with an  excellent opportunity to confront each other – a far better forum than discussing it through the letters page of big American fanzines like Maximum Rock’n’Roll. This is something that is very common throughout the whole of the punk/hardcore community. People find it easy to complaining letters pages aboutthe actions of others.

We thought it would be interesting to see what would happen on the day (and make for a pretty good gig) Nothing did happen on the day except the 140 people at the gig seemed to enjoy themselves and NOFX then played in the Fox+Pheasant on the Monday evening. GO! + Decline were only over for 2 days so they missed the Monday gig. The gig on the Monday evening was equally  insane with all 4 bands playing a diverse sound. It was announced on the Saturday afternoon that NOFX would be playing a surprise gig. I think the only surprise for people was that GO! weren’t also playing.


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