Tag Archives: punk rock

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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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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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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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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Rebellion 2016 – Day 4


Rebellion 2016 – Day 4

There’s always a certain nostalgia to the last day. Like the last day of a Christmas holiday as you prepare to return to work or revert to a life you had escaped for the week. The stalls that had been a hive of activity for four days are, in some cases selling off their wares, packing up after another years business done. This day also coincides with blackpools annual air show. To me it’s just war planes making a racket but for many who are camped out for the day waiting it is a highlight – maybe it’s their rebellion. There’s a huge breeze on the prom today, wonder how that will affect plane flight tracks

Anyway if speed of music could power electricity the same way as wind does then revenge of the psychotronic man could generate enough power to run this festival. Possibly Manchester’s fastest band this threesome whizz through their each song before you can say psychotronic.

Captain Sensible from the damned always seemed like an interesting fella so I ambled along to the opera house to hear his irreverent talk. Most entertaining talk of the weekend. Captain leaves no holds barred as he gives his forthright opinion of people and the damned’s career to date. is manner means he can get away with saying things the rest of us would be lynched over. I then rushed to the new band stage to get a few songs from head sticks before heading back to see a piece of Omixlh from Greece Head sticks have a lovely blyth powere esque feel to them without a drummer saying 1-2-3-4 in a quaint Cornish accent before each song. Fast folk that veers toward punk with a harmonica

I know little about the punk scene in Greece but I was expecting a more d-beat sound. OMIXLH had more punk than crust feel at home in 1982 uk scene. Pretty good

Demob, from Gloucester, started in 1978 and yet still have a song about Charlie Harper being great. Their first two 7″s weren’t about punk rock legends but more about the situation with disaffected kids growing up in south west England and then finding a voice through punk rock. Sing along anthems


Andy Higgins -rebellion

Andy Higgins is a man on a mission, his mission is to rid Blackpool Fc of its chairman Owen oyston before the club becomes a footnote in footballing history. Andy feels that Stanley Matthews, Stan Mortenson and more recently people like Brett Ormeroyd would be horrified at the way the club has gone downhill in recent years. It’s not like he wishes for the capitalist nightmare of the premiership but, like john Robb, Blackpool people are passionate about their home town. They feel the club should belong to the people and run not solely for profit regardless of what happens on the pitch. Andy will say Oyston out at any given opportunity and ran for election the the uk general election. He also plays in litterbug, runs a label and is doing a solo set today.

More clashes meant I had to miss goldblade, cress and Louise Distras but I wanted to hear Dave dictors story. Mdc have been on the go for many years and dave has just released a book on his experiences in it. Fast politically charged punk rock Johnny wah wah did a great job with this one as Dave spoke of the different scenes and dynamics in each one

After i had a quick chat with dave about the time Mdc played barnstormers in Dublin the nightingales took to the stagwe. Quirky sounds from this quartet. Certainly a band that continue to challenge the listener which is what punk does. No screams of ” n war, no kkk, no fascist USA ” which is what Mdc declared but this is a declaration of intent and rhythm, always rhythm with the nightingales, john Robb summed up rebellion perfectly when he said the festival is like one big John Peeel show, a huge divergence of music but a common ethos. Well the nightingales were peel favourites and belong here.

Ireland or more specifically Northern Ireland took over the empress ballroom for a little while as Belfast punks the defects and outcasts played. Punk rock bands that were very much on the edge and in a dangerous place when they started in 1979. That fear has since changed but both bands will never forget those days. the defects are the more political of the two and the title track of the new album 45 minutes is about bombs instigated by Tony Blair

For me the roughneck riot are a modern day men they couldn’t hang, maybe if the flatliners added some traditional instrument and covered the men. Banjo, mandolin, accordion and punk spirit shining through. Plenty of songs for you to scream along to. There was some power and passion on show. Class


Hagar the womb – rebellion

There was a brief return to the anarcho punk scene of the 80s with anthrax (uk) and Hagar the womb. Both had those circle a’s on their records as I unfolded out every crease in their fold out sleeve to read what they had to say. Anthrax always seemed slightly more serious and little has changed. They use their songs as statements where as Hagar the womb are more stories with plenty of humour thrown in I must admit I find it confusing when bands who have so much to say with their lyrics say nothing between songs as Anthrax did. The stage is their soapbox and some slip off it.

With a collective age of 310 Hagar have plenty of between song banter. Karen does her best to be the host on stage as she opens cans for all the band which led to the inevitable spills and makes sure they are ok. Bassist Mitch joined the crowd and it was all good fun.


Dag Nasty – Rebellion

I had to catch the adolescents. Another institution much like dag nasty. Two great u.s hardcore bands. The adolescents are from south California so it was fast skate core but dag nasty, well that’s a different story altogether. Melodic hardcore songs, the only problem is they were being played in a car park…in the rain!!!! It started raining which was good as there was less people around to smoke but then there was less absorption for the sound which at the start was awful. Like playing a record at home on low volume in case the people on the other side of the room hear you. What a shame. I moved down to stand in front of the pa, that helped a bit bar for the bass drum beating against my heart. I managed to find a spot with decent sound and got lost in the greatness. Where was I?

Ruts DC, as I mentioned, are royalty. The part they play in rebellion is of a people that were the establishment when people had faith in an establishment. People to be respected and listened to. Before it all went sour

I heard three other bands doing ruts covers this weekend. Bands that otherwise played originals. Tonight it is just their songs stripped down and sounding as good as ever. A few newer songs tonight but still it was a special moment when we all stood up at the end and gave an ovation of sheer respect and appreciation.

When the last day is complete I’m reminded of how much rebellion suits this “tatty seaside town”. Remnants of the 70s are rife. The amusement arcades will have their 2p falls and 10p bingo. It seems, almost frozen in time as they look back to the days when Britain used to holiday here and reminisce about then”good oil days”. Amongst this is glimpses of modernity trying to break through, some new buildings, some redecorate old landmarks but underneath it all a people proud of where they come from and not ready for anyone to tell them otherwise.

Up the punks


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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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