Dec 7 1996
Stomach, Bambi, Cheapskate, Blackbelt Jones (Benefit for St Vincent dePaul)
Dec 7 1996
Stomach, Bambi, Cheapskate, Blackbelt Jones (Benefit for St Vincent dePaul)
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.
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.
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
Dec 23 1990
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.
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
£150 ME ASSOCIATION of IRELAND
£90 RAPE CRISIS CENTRE
£108 STOP ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS
£68 VEGETARIAN SOCIEY of IRELAND
£65 IRISH SOCIETY FOR PREVENTION of CRUELTY to CHILDREN (ISPCC)
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.
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.
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.
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
December 13 1996
Jackbeast, The Steam Pig, Porn, Brian Bannon, Yawn