Thursday tunes

Book Yer Ane Fest is a three-day celebration of DIY punk music and culture that aims to be a positive force while raising money and awareness for and support the great work of many great people and organisations within our community. Started as an all-dayer in a Perth pub in 2008, the evolution of Book Yer Ane Fest continues in 2017 as it prepares to welcome 50+ local, national and international artists to Dundee to perform across three venues in the heart of the city over the first weekend of December.


I saw Chris recently in Dublin and was blown away by the honesty and integrity. Playing to a crowd numbering single digits it mattered little to the Canadian.

Kaddish roar and scream and move and swing in a way you may have heard before but with a passion rarely copied


No Matter are making the trip over from Northern ireland. Snotty Gobby pop punk perfection


Tongue trap will be bringing their noise and message


Scotish pop punk diy giant Uniforms will be providing the real sing a long tunes for the weekend

Relitics – Interview

Durham punk band Relitics came to my attention earlier this year with the song Anti Fascist. I like bands that proclaim their politics through their lyrics and Relitics are one of these. There’s no fences to sit on with these. I sent singer Carol Nichol on a few questions and here’s the results.

1. Can you tell us a bit about the band and releases.  Any previous bands?
3 releases which includes Vinyl Anti Fascist Do Something and Paying, vinyl split with Australian punk band Myrtle Place. The Relitics formed in 2015 by guitarist Mick Hall who is the main songwriter he had been part of the punk scene in bands such as the nothing which amounted to nothing at the time one member went on to play with Uproar and red london some band members deceased, he also played in other punk bands The horrid lads 79 80 young boys,and ended up with The Kicks for years up until 2015 until he decided he wanted to form an original political band being inspired to write born out of anger and frustration and current state of the country.  Myself I started age 14 original bands first being band Gerbils in Red wine was my first band and we would rehearse at Durhams,fowlers yard home to Toy Dolls and Prefab Sprout we where more post punk inspired by punk post punk, I was big fan of Iggy pop Ian dury, The Damned Bowie etc, I was and  still am a lover of visual front people as  you go to see a band as well, because of my diversity in music I played with many styles of bands but my heart was with making a statement in the music and punk inspired me to join a band at a young age. Our drummer Vince Ward another kid in 1970s into punk attending early gigs  he played with band Mid life crisis up until 2014 a Durham punk band, Vince  hates religion and came up with the name The Relitics meaning Religion/Politics. Our Bass player left after a year I think our vinyl release finished him off liaising with Australian band and the hard work getting it out, he also was a lover of American hardcore and we where more melodic punk.  We where spotted by Steve Hoggart who saw us play The Hop 2016 wknd of rebellion and liked what he heard so joined the band he was inspired by early SLF gig to get into bands and play bass. We have supported many established bands in the two yrs including Uk subs, Chelsea, drongos for Europe, The Vibrators, Gimpfist, 999, MDC and many more also doing charity gigs to raise money for minors memorial for Hetton le Hole home to Bob Paisley Liverpool manager.
2. When did punk rock rock start meaning something to you and what is that meaning?
For me Never mind the bollocks album and New boots and panties album the image appeal first and then the controversy around the queens jubilee my sister painted our tortoise with album cover im afraid my dad was upset with posters going up in box rooms as they where royalists in the 1970s and we wanted to rebel with society. I saw Killing joke The Tube and wanted to be a front singer writing to rebel  to make a statement about how unfair life was in our society young I suppose but exciting times for music, our generation. Mick our  guitarist was jam fan his first live band was boomtown rats who got all bands banned from Sunderland empire as it was destroyed.
3. Does D.I.Y. mean something to you? why/why not?
DIY
All inspired to write, play an instrument, arrange gigs,self release,self promote,no management, we all work DIY is what we are.
4. You “combine political lyrics with driving guitars” How important are lyrics?
Mick writes the lyrics wat he feels what is from his heart, put together with strong hooky arrangements. Lyrics can have different meanings to different people, painting a picture with words, sometimes powerful statements sometimes mystery.
5. You’ve played some decent gigs, What has it been like in the quest for getting to play live?
Played some great gigs with great bands we are not oi oi band and not easy to put us in a box. Played NSleazy last yr when I was called a fucking hippy by two girls who didnt know me and know I was getting up next in band, must been flowers in my hair these two girls where very punk in image and preferred to go and see a tribute band.living in Durham is not great for original bands but all the struggling original venues like us to play I say struggling as venues do struggle. We would like to go further a field with gigs. We playing with lurkers next yr waterloo bar Blackpool. Rebellion was great for us but again its sometimes down to who’s more punk in image who screams the most. We try to be different in creating different styles of punk dont want to be in an obvious box.
6. When i saw you play I was very impressed by your anti fascist band statement.  What gives you the fuel to write such a song and make. e such a statement
 
Mick wrote AF so people know in no uncertain terms where we coming from as there are so many levels in punk scene. I’m not a racist you hear so many times with bands playing with dodgy right wing members.
7. You are from Durham which voted extensively for britain to leave the EU.  Why do you think it voted that way?
there are lots of reasons peolpe voted out of the eu, many are intelligent peolpe who are tired of being ignored and governed by archaic laws from europe. many for the wrong racist  reasons , immigration was obviously an issue for many . The nhs would collapse without its foreign workforce, the leisure industry etc but that seems to be overlooked. thinks its all been said now . the end result is now the tory party has no brakes and are effectively free to cause more suffering / impose or remove laws which are there to protect. .. our song short changed was written about brexit. to be recorded shortly.
8. What is your opinion on the aftermath of the vote?  is it as you were expecting?
A bono fide  shambles the British people systematically lied to again
9.  What would have been your ideal outcome to this years british election?
Labour All the band Corbyn has won many people over especially the young, he has his weaknesses but as the rich get richer, press more manipulated, divide continues to grow. A rich country with food banks used by public service’s, no alternative.
10. Durham is also home of the annual Durham Miners Gala. Do you think trade unions have an important part to play in todays society?
Trade Unions have an important role to play  in today’s society weakened by the defeat of the minors,strike mrs Thatchers the milk snatchers hand the truth is coming out. Unison/Unite to protect from the big businesses tearing the working class to bits what with 0 hour contact s, terms and conditions decimated. HS ignored. Our Bass player is a trade unionist branch Secretary for a college of a 1000 staff. So yes very valid today trade unions.
11. Can you tell me a bit about lo-fi? Why the need to do something completely different to relitics?
Music is my life wrote my first song age 14 after being inspired by live bands I have always performed as a front person and wrote music.  I love music  I love music history, as it goes way back, lyrics can be powerful in all ways.  I have always been diverse in what I listen to and watch. A lover of front people visual, individuality. I  am dyslexic and struggled at school wasn’t the support for visual people back then. Can sometimes be criticised for not just listening to punk but I love to go back to see artists who set the spark. Lo Fi is a project I do at home record produce arrange all styles of songs no style in particular. I work with offenders and have  helped alot of people in life but I would love to write for a living as I am so creative that being in a job that isn’t creative can sometimes destroy you as a person. I dont watch much tv but got inspired to write around the character s of peaky blinders I’m a big nick cave fan and so stated writing the album Pow, however I struggle with the mainstream music industry today I find it bland mundane and shallow.  I go to see bands all the time the smaller the venue the better for me. Lo fi is getting into an occupation I would love to be in as a,songwriter for tv film will probably never happen but I love what I do, and the Relitics is also something I love to do feeling passionate about the band and what it stands for.

niallhope

We Shall Overcome Dublin 2017

PUNK

D.I.Y

40

 

40 Years of Punk and D.I.Y. in Ireland.

 

The Hope Collective proudly presents a series of chats to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the pivotal TV Tube Heart from the Radiators From Space.

 

Grand Social, Dublin

Sunday 1st October 2017

5 pm to 9 pm

 

Followed by a Grant Hart/ Hüsker Dü celebration. Listening to some of their songs.

Admission €5

 

 

All proceeds to Aoibhneas Women’s Refuge and Crosscare homeless charity.

http://www.aoibhneas.org/

http://www.crosscare.ie/index.php/residential-adult

 

Members of Ireland’s punk and DIY music community will chat about their experiences, the fun and the legacy of punk and DIY.

 

Speakers:

 

Steve Rapid and Pete Holidai (Radiators)

Kitty Kav (the Boy Scoutz)

Deborah Blacoe

Suzanne Rhatighan (Toy With Rhythm)

Ferdia MacAnna (Rocky de Valera/The Rhythm Kings)

Elvera Butler (Cork Kampus, Reekus Records)

Bernie Furlong (the Golden Horde)

Edwina Forkin (first female Ents Officer in TCD/film-maker)

Caroline O’Sullivan (DJ/promoter)

Clodagh, (Hope Collective, Slanted and Enchanted fanzine, GRIT)

Aoife Destruction (Paranoid Visions)

Peter Jones (Paranoid Visions, FOAD Records, DIY promoter)

 

 

This event is part of the global We Shall Overcome initiative of local events to raise money and awareness for local charities.

 

Contact:

Niall@thumped.com

Or Michael at MermaidLakeMusic@yahoo.com

 

 

Tickets available here

https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/punk-diy-40-tickets-37997978978

 

 

 

Thursday’s Tunes…in memory of Grant Hart

Husker Du Don’t Want To Know If You’re Lonely

 

This week’s Thursday’s Tunes are posted with a deep sense of loss.
Apparently Grant Hart from Husker Du has died.

I’m so sad. I never met the man, yet his music touched me in so many ways at different times of my life. Husker Du were my pre-Nirvana Nirvana. Lots of the things that I grew to love in R.E.M, the Replacements and the Jesus and Mary Chain struck me first with Husker Du.
As Michael Heaney and Michael Connerty noted, knowing about Husker Du in mid-1980s Dublin was like tapping into a wild and free American underground full of exciting music, possibilities and unlimited potential.

There was always a hint of hearbreak about Husker Du and Grant Hart’s later music. I know of few sadder, more honest, songs that his 2541.

Here are some memories of what Grant Hart meant to the small Dublin DIY independent music scene and some videos.

Michael Connerty: Such prolific output over those five or so years and so much of it was total dynamite. Before I had any of their records I had this taped off John Peel and must have listened to it about a thousand times!

It’s hard to get going today with the full volume Husker Du soundtrack. One of their unique qualities was their ability to convey intensity, youthful aggression and confusion at the same time as sweetness, melancholy and romance – absolutely perfect for that time of my life.

Michael recalled a night when as a DJ at the Cathedral Club he played Husker Du’s Songs About UFOs. Michael Heaney was one of the only people to dance!

Michael Heaney: I remember that night! I also recall Stan Erraught [Stars of Heaven] remarking on my Huskers badge after some Stars of Heaven gig – it was the first time I ever spoke to him. Back then, knowing bands like Husker Du was almost like a password to a secret, exciting world of music, shared only by a few fellow freaks. Those memories are all bound up with my love of the band. Poor old Grant

Husker Du Makes No Sense At All

 

 

Husker Du Could You Be The One

Husker Du Interview/Retrospective

Grant Hart 2541

 

Green Day Don’t Want To Know If You’re Lonely [Husker Do cover]

Michael

Thursday Tunes Week 3

This weeks tunes are based in punk rock then and now.

Radiators
Under Clerys Clock
Much has been written about the Radiators releasing TV Tube Heart 40 years ago. Pete Holidai talked about it here this week and although Under Clerys Clock isn’t on that album it holds a special place in many people’s hearts in Ireland. A punk rock love song at a time when there wasn’t too many AND an anthem for a time in Ireland when same sex relationships were very much scorned


Downtown Boys
Full Communism
Downtown Boys are coming to Ireland next month. I hope I don’t miss it, please remind me

Wonk Unit
Go Easy
Wonk Unit are coming over next February and I for one can not wait. A modern Snuff for the generation that never experienced the magic that was Snuff

Snuff
Not Listening
Not sure whe n you last heard this but it’s worth 2 nd a half minutes

A Page of punk
I was at this gig, incredible energy. This doesn’t quite capture it but you can get the idea

niallhop

Pete Holidai Interview


It is important for irish punk to be championed with all the other anniversaries this year. It is 40 years since the release of Ireland’s first punk record, on chiswick records, tv tube heart, The radiators from space were our trailblazers back then.  Chiswick imprint Ace records has just re-released that debut album so I sent guitarist Pete Holidai a few questions.  Pete is now in Trouble Pilgrims who will have a new album out soon.

pic by Paula Geraghty

You went to school in London? When did you come to ireland and how did you get over all the bodies heading in the other direction? How did you all meet and form the Radiators?

I was born in dublin a stone’s throw from Santry where Philip Chevron was born and raised, my family moved to London when I was four years old. I remained there throughout the 60s until the family returned to ireland in 1972. Not long after I returned I met Steve who work in a record shop in liffey street, he approached me when i went into the shop and he asked me if i wanted to be in a band…a few years later in ’75 [ i had returned to london on my own for a few years] we got serious about forming a high energy band and after we met philip, jimmy and mark the band got up and running

The band  moved to London after a couple of years, what was the motivation behind that?

Eamon carr and Jackie Hayden paid for some demoes that were pitched to chiswick records in london, they came over and saw us live and offered us a singles deal with the option of and album which they proceeded with. We went to London to promote the release of tv tube heart [tv screen and enemies had already been released in the uk] we stayed there for five years!!!

How did the first reunion come about? I was at that Hawkins House gig and it was a special event. Do you remember much about it ?

We were approached by gha [gay health action] an aids awareness group and were asked to reform for one night only to raise awareness and funds for the group. the supporting cast included the Real Wild West and Gavin Friday, it was a sold out event. A ltd edition cassette (Dollar for your dreams) was also released by Comet Records

Had you any idea how important and relevant to many people under Clery’s clock was? Or was it just a great song for you?

I think I quickly realised how personal the song was to Philip, so it was a rare occasion he was willing reveal deeper feelings to the public, I always thought of it as a most beautiful love song that just happened to be about same sex relationships. It is a timeless masterpiece [as are most of our songs lol]

So 40 years ago what would young pete holidai make of a band rereleasing an album from 1937?

No problems with that if the content has retained some relevance, in fact I’m a big fan of the great writers from that era such as George Gershwin, Irving Berlin et al, plus being turned on to Brecht and Weill by phil.

How did it all come about? Any chance of a radiators gig to celebrate its release?

Roger armstrong [who produced tvth] is a director at ace, who evolved from chiswick in the eighties, decided he would like to release an expanded 40th ed of the album, steve and i contributed in terms of the artwork and final selection of the additional tracks. There is no chance of a radiators gig without philip [or steve or me]

What’s happening with Trouble Pilgrims? Gig wise and releases?

Trouble pilgrims have just finished recording their debut album “dark shadows and rust” we are currently discussing and negotiating a worldwide manufacturing and distribution deal

After the electric picnic we will be looking towards a high profile launch gig -watch this space-

What’s happening with Loom records? What’s the plan for it?

I will be producing a series of releases over the next few months featuring emerging talent, the plan is to record and album in a day unplugged and solo!!!

You still talk about music daily, play it and are involved. What gives you that inspiration?

It’s such an integral part of my life and I feel I still have things to say and do, I’m writing the best songs of my life at the moment…I’m driven by the world around me life produces a huge range of emotions that fuels inspiration

You can organise your own talk at electric picnic  what 5 people would you ask and why?

Paul McGuinness, Roddy Doyle, Eamon Carr, Abner Brown AND Steve Rapid

SUBJECT: DIGITAL WAS THE DEATH OF REAL MUSIC DISCUSS

niallhope

In Concert – Contributors

The following is a list of contributors to In Concert and the gigs they chose

 

TED CARROLL (promoter, manager, record shop and record label owner) ROCK AND ROLL IN IRELAND AND BEYOND
JOE WEADICK (Red Seven/Columbia Showband) RED SEVEN, LONDON, 1963
MARCUS CONNAUGHTON (broadcaster, author) FLEETWOOD MAC, DUBLIN, 1969
BRIAN O’KEALLAIGH (The Gorehounds) GOOSE LAKE INTERNATIONAL MUSIC FESTIVAL, MICHIGAN, 1970
FERDIA MACANNA (Rocky de Valera, The Rhythm Kings, author) THIN LIZZY, DUBLIN, 1971
GERRY MCAVOY (Rory Gallagher band, author) RORY GALLAGHER, BELFAST, 1971
JOHN MCKENNA (broadcaster) LEONARD COHEN, DUBLIN, 1972
PETE HOLIDAI (The Radiators, Trouble Pilgrims) ALICE COOPER/ROXY MUSIC, LONDON, 1972
CIARAN MCLAUGHLIN (The Undertones, That Petrol Emotion, Everlasting Yeah) PLANXTY, DERRY, 1973
NEIL MCCORMICK (author, journalist, musician) U2, DUBLIN, 1976
DAVE SWEENEY (the Max Quad Band, Rocky de Valera and the Gravediggers, the Fat Lady Sings) DR FEELGOOD, DUBLIN, 1976
TONY CLAYTON-LEA (author, journalist, DJ) IGGY POP, 1977
DAMIAN O’NEILL (The Undertones, That Petrol Emotion, Everlasting Yeah) SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEES/THE HEARTBREAKERS, MANCHESTER, 1977
JUDE CARR (Heat fanzine) THE RADIATORS FROM SPACE, DUBLIN, 1977
AIDAN O’ROURKE (The Sinners) THE CLASH, DUBLIN, 1977
JAKE REILLY (The Blades) THE CLASH, DUBLIN, 1977
JOHN FISHER (The Dandelion Market) THE CLASH, DUBLIN, 1977
ELVERA BUTLER (promoter, head of Reekus Records) FROM THE WHO TO THE STRANGLERS
BRIAN SEALES (DC Nien, Tokyo Olympics) THE STRANGLERS, DUBLIN, 1978
BARRY COOKE (Dead Fridge in the Road) STIFF LITTLE FINGERS, DUBLIN, 1978
PAUL CHARLES (booking agent, author) SIGNING THE UNDERTONES, BELFAST, 1978
GERRY SMYTH (author) THE BOOMTOWN RATS, 1978
PAT O’DONNELL (The Fountainhead, producer) IAN DURY, DUBLIN, 1978
RAYMOND GORMAN (That Petrol Emotion, Everlasting Yeah) DEXY’S MIDNIGHT RUNNERS, COLERAINE, 1979
DAVID LINEHAN (Aidan Walsh and the Screaming Eagles, Hooligan) R0CKY DE VALERA, DUBLIN, 1979 + OTHERS
RORY STOKES (The Sussed, the Spiders From Kimmage) U2/THE SUSSED, DUBLIN, 1979
FRANK RYNNE (Those Handsome Devils, the Babysnakes) THE RAMONES, DUBLIN, 1980
BILLY MCGRATH (UCD Ents Officer 1975-1976, manager of The Atrix and Stagalee, TV producer, documentary maker) U2, LONDON, 1980
SÉAN O’CONNOR (The Lookalikes) THIN LIZZY/THE LOOKALIKES, DUBLIN, 1980
PETER DEVLIN (The Devlins, producer, broadcaster) THE SPECIALS/THE BEAT, THE STARDUST, DUBLIN, 1981
PAUL BYRNE (In Tua Nua, producer) ECHO AND THE BUNNYMEN, DUBLIN, 1981
ANDREW BASS (Reveille, producer, studio owner) U2/REVEILLE, GALWAY, 1981
CÁIT O’RIORDAN (The Pogues, Radiators, PreNup) U2, LONDON, 1981
STANO (artist, musician, composer) TOM WAITS, DUBLIN, 1981
CATHAL O’REILLY (The Shade, Luggage) KID CREOLE AND THE COCONUTS, DUBLIN, 1981
DEKLAN DACHAU (Paranoid Visions) THEATRE OF HATE, DUBLIN, 1981
CION O’CALLAGHAN (freelance Drummer – Paddy Casey, Shane McGowan) ROCKY DE VALERA, DUBLIN, 1982
COLM O’DWYER (TCD Ents Officer 1991-1992) U2, 1982
PETER JONES (Paranoid Visions) POISON GIRLS, DUBLIN, 1983
DARAGH MCCARTHY (musician, filmmaker: The Stars are Underground) VIRGIN PRUNES, DUBLIN, 1983
WILL WALSH (The Pleasure Cell, The John Wayne Memorial Dancing Lizardmen) THE SMITHS, 1983
ROY WALLACE (Toxic Waste, documentary maker) TOXIC WASTE, BREMEN, 1984
PAT CLAFFERTY (Mexican Pets) THE CLASH, DUBLIN, 1984
KIERAN GLENNON (DJ Dr Night Dub) THE JOHN WAYNE MEMORIAL LIZARDMEN, DUBLIN, 1985
HUGO FITZGERALD (Kill Devil Hill) THE MEMBRANES/THE PLEASURE CELL/KILL DEVIL HILL, DUBLIN, 1985
COLM WALSH (manager Intoxicating Rhythm Section, Sultans of Ping) THE GOLDEN HORDE/THE GOREHOUNDS/BONESHAKERS/PARANOID VISIONS, DUBLIN, 1985
PAUL PAGE (The Whipping Boy) ECHO AND THE BUNNYMEN, DUBLIN, 1985
MICK HEANEY (journalist, DJ) THE CRAMPS, BOSTON, 1986
GARETH MURPHY (author, Cowboys and Indies) U2, LONDON, 1987
REG GORDON (photographer, The Hope Collective) SO MANY SUNDAYS, DUBLIN, LATE 80’S EARLY 90’S
JIM DAVIS (TCD Ents Officer 1990-1991) PHIL CHEVRON, DUBLIN, 1990
PHILIP O’CONNOR (author, journalist, musician, The Banished)FUGAZI / THERAPY?, DUBLIN, 1990
DAVE O’GRADY (promoter, publicist, Gilded ALM) THERAPY?, DUBLIN, EARLY 90’S
SMILEY BOLGER (DJ, promoter Morans, McGonagles, the New Inn) THAT PETROL EMOTION, DUBLIN, 1990
NEIL DOWLING (promoter, Event Ease) STONES ROSES, BELFAST, 1990/BOLT THROWER, DUBLIN, 1990
EDWINA FORKIN (film producer, TCD Ents Officer 1989-1990) SONIC YOUTH/NIRVANA 1991
JILL FORTYCOATS (Mexican Pets) THE EX/DOG FACED HERMANS, DUBLIN, 1991
FINBAR MCLOUGHLIN (Gearhead Nation) THE EX/DOG FACED HERMANS, DUBLIN, 1991
CANICE KENEALY (Engine Alley) PRIMAL SCREAM, DUBLIN, 1992
SEAN CAMPBELL (author) U2, KANSAS CITY, 1992
KEVIN MARTIN (promoter, fanzine editor) MOBY/ORBITAL/APHEX TWIN, CHICAGO 1993
JOHNNY BOYLE (Lir, Pugwash, Picturehouse, Marianne Faithfull, The Frames) RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE, DUBLIN, 1993
BARRY MCCORMACK (Jubilee All-Stars, solo artist) SWERVEDRIVER, DUBLIN, 1993
PHIL UDELL (journalist, State ie, Word-Up Collective) BACK TO THE PLANET, DUBLIN, 1993
EILEEN HOGAN (author, lecturer) THERAPY?, LIMERICK, 1994
PETESY BURNS (Toxic Waste, FUAL, The Outcasts, member of Warzone Collective) VICTIMS FAMILY/GROTUS, DUBLIN, 1994
TOM POLLARD (The Pyrex Babies) ROLLINS BAND, DUBLIN, 1994
KIERAN KENNEDY (The Black Velvet Band) THE BLACK VELVET BAND, SWITZERLAND, 1994
MICHELLE MCCARTHY (marketing manager, Madison Square Garden) GARTH BROOKS, DUBLIN, 1995
WAYNE P SHEEHY (producer/studio owner, drummer with Ron Wood) RON WOOD, TORONTO, 1990s
PAUL McDERMOTT (DJ, zine editor, lecturer) CATHAL COUGHLAN & NINE WASSIES FROM BAINNE, CORK, 1997
IAN PEARCE (Split Red/Los Cabras/The Dangerfields/Comply Or Die) ABHINANDA, BELFAST, 1998
EMM GRYNER (David Bowie/The Cardigans/The Cake Sale/solo artist) DAVID BOWIE, DUBLIN, 1999
COLM O’CALLAGHAN (journalist, broadcaster) ELVIS COSTELLO, DUBLIN, 1999
FRANCES ROE (Jam Jar Jail) ROCKET FROM THE CRYPT, DUBLIN, 2001
EMMET GREENE (Bandicoot Promotions) BOBBY CONN, CORK, 2002
KIERAN CUNNINGHAM (sports editor, The Star) CATHAL COUGHLAN, CORK, 2005
ROISIN NIC GHEARAILT (M(h)aol) FLAMING LIPS, 2005/DEADMAUS, 2009
EOIN DEVEREUX (author, lecturer) MORRISSEY, OSTIA, 2006
JIM ROGERS (author, lecturer) CHRISTY MOORE, DUBLIN, 2007
CONSTANCE KEANE (M(h)aol) INCUBUS, DUBLIN, 2007
THE LATE DAVID TURPIN (artist) LAURIE ANDERSON OLYMPIA THEATRE, 2007)
PETE MURPHY (publicist) TOM WAITS, DUBLIN, 2008
DES O’BYRNE (The Golden Horde, NYC DJ) GÉTATCHÈW MÈKURYA AND THE EX, NEW YORK, 2008
VONA GROARKE (author, Spindrift) RICHARD HAWLEY, DERBYSHIRE, 2009
ROB FLYNN (The Winter Passing) HAVE HEART, DUBLIN, 2009
ROBBIE ROBINSON (film director, An Irish Exorcism and member of the Intoxicating Rhythm Section Captain Tripps) KINGS X, LONDON, 2009
AIDAN WALSH (musician, rehearsal room proprietor) AIDAN WALSH AND THE SCREAMING EAGLES, DUBLIN, 2010
DAVE LONG (Into Paradise) THERAPY?, DUBLIN, 2010
BRIAN CROSBY (musician, Bell X1, The Cake Sale, producer)
SUFJAN STEVENS, BERLIN, 2011
ELLIE & LOUISE MACNAMARA (Heathers) THE MOUNTAIN GOATS, BLOOMINGTON, IN., 2011
MICHELLE DOYLE (Sissy) THE RAINCOATS, SEATTLE, 2012
JUSTIN MCDAID (freelance journalist, Golden Plec) ENABLERS, DUBLIN, 2013
JIM CARROLL (journalist, broadcaster) THE GLOAMING 2014
COLIN COULTER (author, co-editor Ireland Under Austerity) RUEFREX, 2014
SUZANNE RHATIGAN (singer, promoter) GRACE JONES, COUNTY LAOIS, 2015
HENRY CLUNEY (Stiff Little Fingers, X-SLF) SOLO, BLACKPOOL, 2015
JOHN O’FLYNN (author) MAPPING POPULAR MUSIC, DUBLIN, 2015
CLODAGH SPUD (fanzine editor) RUDE PRIDE/THE SULTANS/TAKERS AND USERS/THE DIVILS, DUBLIN/BELFAST, 2015
PAUL PURCELL (DJ, founder of Glacial Sounds record label) SWING TING, MANCHESTER, 2015
MICHAEL McCAUGHAN (TCD Ents Officer 1984-1985, author; The Price of Our Souls: Gas, Shell & Ireland) JELLO BIAFRA, DUBLIN, 2015
GARRY O’NEILL (cultural historian, author) VARIOUS
TERRY O’NEILL (manager of Thin Lizzy and others, promoter and publicist) VARIOUS
ANTO DILLON (editor, Loserdom fanzine) VARIOUS
JAMES HENDICOOT (freelance journalist, NME, Dublin Gazette) TALKING WITH THE DROPKICK MURPHYS, 2013

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Thursday’s Tunes: Songs of Inspiration

Petrol Girls
Touch Me Again

Summer’s almost over, sometimes we need a bit of a boost, a bit of inspiration to propel us into the colder months.

This week’s playlist is a reminder of just how diverse and creative the music influenced and inspired by punk was, and is. There are some old classics here, like Masquerade from the Skids, Hong Kong Garden from Siouxsie, Enemies from the Radiators (which is my favourite Irish single of all time), the Ruts with West One (Shine On Me).

Then we have a bit of Scream, showing how hardcore brought a new life and creativity to punk in the early 1980s. Along with Minor Threat, Black Flag, Seven Seconds, Dead Kennedys and MDC, Scream made emotional, direct and turbo-charged music. The clip here feature Dave Grohl on drums in his pre-Nirvana and pre-Foo Fighters days.

Following that we have some of the new bands that are part of the multi-faceted family, Petrol Girls, Heavy Drapes and Interrobang?!.
The we have a bit of Irish music….the mighty Paranoid Visions with the TV Smith, the vital force behind the Adverts.

And finally a really great documentary on the Scars. A brilliant band from Edinburgh who like to many other artists of the era were influenced by Bowie and Roxy Music and then found the spark of creativity from the Pistols and the Clash to create their own sound.

Michael

The Skids Masquerade

Siouxsie and the Banshees
Hong Kong Garden

The Radiators
Enemies

Ruts
West One (Shine on Me)

Scream
Feel Like That

Petrol Girls
Touch Me Again

Interrobang
I’m So Taciturn

Heavy Drapes
Into The Blue

Paranoid Visions with TV Smith
Outsider Artist

Scars
Documentary

GRIT interview

pic by David Pujol

Dublin Oi Punk DIY band Grit have been doing the rounds for over a year now.  Their fast snappy tunes almost coming across like an Oi X Ray Spex at times have seen the light of day on vinyl a couple of times on Distro-y-records.  They are a feature of the DIY scene throughout Ireland and have toured Europe too.  I sent their lead singer Clodagh a few questions and here are her words.

Can you give me some history of the band?

The five of us know each other from the Dublin punk scene and have played in bands together before.  Byrneos (bassist), Eric (guitarist) and John (drums) always wanted to do an Oi! style band but it took some years before they got into a room together with instruments in their hands instead of pint glasses!  They had a few casual jams and decided the tunes were worth making public.  Seán came on board with a second guitar and then myself on vocals.  We had our first practise as a 5 piece in June 2016, our first gig on the 1st July in the Grangegorman Squat complex.  Since then we have been busy: released two 7”s and gigged in Ireland, UK, France, Basque Country and Spain with more gigs in U.K. and Germany to come in 2017.

What gives you the fuel to keep wanting to sing and play songs?

The fuel and drive is that I’m still excited about the punk scene and live music.  I want to participate in the Irish scene, I also enjoy travelling and seeing how the punks do things abroad.

I wanted to be in this band because I am partial to the oi! genre – current bands like Bishops Green, Rude Pride, The Jollars, Syndrome 81,  as well as older staples such as Runnin’ Riot and Camera Silens.  In the early days of GRIT there wasn’t any Irish oi!-punk bands playing the particular French-inspired type of music that we do and none with a vocal viewpoint coming from someone other than, ahem, a cis white male, so that was the stimulus that drove me to approach the lads about doing vocals in GRIT – no-one else doing what I was interested in listening to.

(R.A.Z.O.R. with a more uk-inspired sound formed around the same time as us and are worth checking out!)

You’re the front person. Does singing songs give a sense of confidence that otherwise just wouldn’t be there? Why do you think that is?

For me, feeling comfortable or confident in myself was something that instead came with age and learning not to undermine myself with negative thoughts.  If I give the impression that I’m confident on stage it’s because I am at ease with the lads and enjoying myself.

Who writes the words? What are you trying to portray with your lyrics?

Mostly myself and/or Eric, however, Back up Loader is all the boot-iful poetry of John.

Our songs’ subject matter reflects that of the traditional punk and oi! canon but portrayed or interpreted through our individual experiences of living in Ireland.  Some of the topics we have tackled are: austerity politics, class struggle, the decline of the Irish small town, dysfunctional relationships, mental health, friendship.

We try to have a defiant tone, I hope that although some of the subject matter may be bleak you will still feel optimistic about the future when you listen.

Do you think there is a class struggle in the western world?  What do you think the term working class represents in Ireland?

Yeah, I believe there is a class struggle and there will be as long as capitalism exists.  Top-down stuff like austerity politics, zero-hour contracts, gentrification* and bottom-up movements like people mobilising against water charges, going out on strike. *Earlier this Summer on tour with the band, almost everywhere we visited had a version of the scenario… this venue/this neighbourhood/my home won’t be here much longer.

It’s a tricky term to define … the working class doesn’t look the same way as it did, for example, forty years ago because of the changing landscape of employment.  Experiences vary depending on the environment (i.e. city versus rural communities).  A lot of traditional working class people are now long term unemployed or the working poor.  There’s also the consideration of what is economically versus culturally working class, who is middle-class aspirational and who has class consciousness.  I don’t have the terms to answer adequately … it’s more a gut feeling.

GRIT are a lot different in sound to your last band (Burnchurch). Did you purposely set out to form such a band? Any reason?

It was most definitely a conscious decision.  The other members and I have played in heavy bands before and wanted to try our hand at a different style.

All the band have deep roots in the DIY scene and have been for over 20 years. Has this DIY scene achieved much?  Is it a different space now compared to the mid to late 90s?

Although I don’t live there any more, I am still connected mostly to the Dublin DIY scene.  I think it has achieved lots and evolved over time.  The younger generations always seem to improve on what they have inherited,  I am continuously impressed by them.  Two achievements that stand out for me are:

The Karate Club – in existence ten years is a punk run practise space.  I know there are others like it in Dublin too.  A dedicated space enables more and more bands to form and creates a very healthy scene.

Tenterhooks –  were a formidable collective that rented a city centre space, kitted it out for concerts and put on regular events which was a refreshing alternative to pub venues.  It shut it’s doors in 2016.

In international terms,  cheap flights and the Internet has widened the web of the Irish punk scene as bands can hop on a plane and do a weekend tour anywhere in the EU quite easily.  The exchange of ideas and new links formed are a positive influence on us all.

It’s definitely a different space… some changes that jump out at me

– everyone has their own gear, so you don’t have to keep asking the one band who own a backline to play your gig! This can empower more folk to put on their own gigs: all they need is a room.

– as i recall Dublin in the 90s there were two scenes that sometimes merged… now there are several different diy punk scenes.

– more active women, openly queer folks, immigrant punks add diversity

One thing that hasn’t changed much is the price of gigs, some people appear to want to maintain door prices at mid to late 90s rates.  I’m not a bread head and no-one is ever going to be rich from playing punk gigs but a decent door price (e.g. €10 or more) would ensure no-one has to take a hit.

You’re driving a group of 10 year olds to their dance class and they ask you about music. What 5 songs do you play to give them an introduction to your world?

You drop them at dance class and have the deck to you and you only.  What 5 songs do you throw on?

Ha ha!! That’s an hilarious premise! And the answer could change daily.

I’m gonna just give you five dance-able punk songs instead.

I actually made a mix CD for my niece of a similar age and put some accessible punk tracks on it.  These were:

  1. Aggressors BC, Tone of the Times – punky ska/dirty reggae with social commentary
  2. Buzzcocks, Ever fallen in love? – bittersweet power-poppy punk
  3. Le Tigre, Let’s Run – positive lyrics about not being afraid to risk failure set to a dance track

To those three I would add:

  1. Hexen, Shame on us – melodic oi from Bilbao, I would cough over the cursing of course. I like the lyrics that warn of “false friendship, false rebellion” which are wise words for the younger generation coming up in ubiquitous social media.
  2. G.L.O.S.S. Outcast Stomp – after the other four songs i think the chisslers will be able to handle something kinda heavy and this is an absolute banger.

You’ve an interview coming up for a blog: What question do you hope you’re going to be asked and why? What question do you dread and why?

I always hope I will be asked questions that can help me promote the good things happening in the scene here because neither I nor GRIT exist in a vacuum.  I like when I’m asked for veggie recipes too because I’m wholesome.

I dread being asked “what’s it like being a woman in punk”.  Yawn.  Punk interviewers are way too intelligent and original to ask that though.

You played GGI festival (not your first time). What is so special about this festival?  Why should people go to it next year?

GGI is the Glasgow Groningen Ireland festival (established 2004), a rotating annual DIY fest that celebrates the friendships and connections between those scenes. This year had a great mix of approximately 40 bands: crust, d-beat, hardcore, kraut-space-punk, noise, ska, etc,. etc., playing over two days drawn from the above mentioned places (and beyond).

It’s unique because it has a completely different character every year depending on the location and the crew involved but always maintaining a DIY punk ethos.

In a sense, the festival’s impetus was a nostalgic one but it has become a self-fulfilling prophecy and now is a permanent fixture on many Irish punk’s calendar.  This year I was pleased to see the demographic widening – alongside the (supervised) toddlers who were pottering about during the afternoon, there were teenagers all the way up to folks in their 60s in attendance ( with bands of all ages too).

It will be in Groningen in 2018, the crew there run a well-organised festival in excellent venues and great after parties in the Crow Bar run by Esther (Fleas & Lice).  You can rent a bike and enjoy the flat bike routes of the city and whatever Dutch specialities you enjoy in the afternoon before the gigs – little beers with big heads and falafel would be mine.

niallhope

 

 

 

 

Bear Trade Interview

 

Anybody who has followed this blog will know of my respect and admiration for uk band Bear Trade. Last week I described as “think Leatherface, the replacements and wedding present getting together to write some songs with northern sensibility” for Thursday Tunes. Or when I reviewed their excellent new album, Silent Unspeakable and described them as “I know none of bear Trade but the beauty of music makes me feel like they are in my community and we all look out for each other. Along the way they are providing part of the soundtrack and it’s such a good one it would be a real shame if you missed out.” In 2014 I described them as my “new favourite band” and nobody has overtaken them since. I thought it only proper, in a blog that documents what is good in diy, that Bear Trade get their deserved space and sent the bass player Lloyd some questions.

For the benefit of people reading can you give me a breakdown of band members and maybe a feel of some of the bands you have been in or indeed still are.

Greg was in 46 Itchy, The Mercury League, Former Cell Mates, Broken Few and also most recently toured with Medictation
Peter was the drummer in Leeds fast punks The Mingers
Callum played in Writhe and with Pure Graft
Lloyd played in Blocko, Ruin You!, Southport and Spines

Greg, Peter and I have known each other for years from our previous bands, and Callum was friends with Greg…when none of us had a band and we all lived relatively close to each other, we were naturally drawn to each other as we are pretty much on the same page musically and personally..

What’s the relationship with Japanese record labels? Have you tried to get the band on any particular label?

I knew Kazu at Waterslide since back when Blocko toured in Japan which was booked by Yoichi at Snuffy Smile who put out our split with Minority Blues Band there to coincide. Kazu had a tie in as a sister label with Boss Tuneage (who Blocko released records with, and Waterslide distributed), so that helped me and Southport get records out there too and a chance to tour. He does a great job and is a great person with a wonderful family, and so it was a no brainer to ask him if he wanted to help out when Bear Trade were recording. He actually helped remix/master our first CDEP there, “Whiskey On A Bluebird” before release. It also worked well in as much as Waterslide do primarily CD only releases, so in terms of formats that ticked that specific box.

My feeling of a bear trade practice or gig is a gang of mates getting together (probably in a bar) and having a chat about life and a sing song. Is that an accurate description

Yeah, pretty much spot on mate! Hahahaha! I guess our band output is a continuation of our collective personalities and likes/dislikes. Three of us are married with children now too, so it gives us a chance to recharge our batteries and simply be mates out together sharing – what we believe is – our special bond.

You’ve a few videos on YouTube, who does them for you? Why the need for this?

Greg pretty much made them all. “Spielgerg” can go a bit left field sometimes, but as he has access to the gear and the skills to mould the visuals around a song we all play a willing part. There is no real “need” I guess, solely provides a fun and different medium for presenting a song and ourselves I guess, and again I would like to believe that these captured the essence of what we are about. My kids star in a couple for example.

Words, are they important to a song?

Very – words and dialect and meaning, and how they can elicit a feeling or emotion in a listener. In my opinion it is certainly a skill that Greg has honed and a lot of people find that they can relate to them, either specifically or in capturing a reflected view of their own daily challenges and struggles in life.

My life is in its fiftieth year so I can relate to many of the words on offer. For those those who haven’t read up on the band can you tell us what you sing about? Death is a reoccurring theme, any reason for this?

The songs are very much around the day to day occurrences in life that getting older throws up, about our relationships with people, with animals, with alcohol…as we get older death becomes more and more a part of living, and so how we deal with those losses is brought more into focus more often. On the flipside, family life is also about nurturing our relationships with our partners, and also creating new life, and how that in turn changes your perception and outlook on the past, present and future. “Sad punk for happy drunks” Drew Millward labelled us. Pretty apt I guess.

I have to talk football. Are you a season ticket holder? What is the ultimate aim for a Bromley fan like yourself?

I was a season ticket holder for a couple of years, but living near York meant for a long while the closest Bromley games in the regionalised south east centric leagues for me were still around the M25. I made the trip a few times a season, but their amazing title win in 2014/15 and elevation to the Conference National (now just The National League) opened up a whole range of games much nearer or more accessible to home. Funnily enough it often takes me longer to get to some of these games than my friends from the South East, but there are a few northern exiles who get together and travel to these, meeting fellow fans there. I would recommend reading Home And Away, by Dave Roberts, which is a best selling tale of that first season in the big boys league and which I feature on the cover and also in some pages. Bear Trade get a mention too, as Dave is a fan and sees us when we play in Leeds.

The ultimate aim in the 2015/16 season was to not get relegated. Most of the people I go to the match with I have known for approaching 30 years, and there were times when if it wasn’t for that kinship there would have been little reason to go. The club was on its backside, and very nearly slid into oblivion. So those old school heads remain realistic and grateful for what we are currently enjoying. Lot of us have sons now so we’re passing the bug on to them! Going forwards, the club has a phenomenal owner (and ex player) who saved us…we now have sensible investors and are building the infrastructure including a new stand with facilities, developing a huge Academy system and we now have a 3G pitch which is a valuable asset, along with our 3G training facilities. The aim is to try and build a club where the finance is self generated from not only match days, but throughout the week, with a core of youngsters brought through from a child to the ultimate aim of the 1st team. So I’m just enjoying the ride just now J

I often wonder for fans of teams in the conference as it seems like they are the “real” football fans. If their team gets promoted to the football league do they loose their grip on reality? What is it with football and it’s completely incredible sums of money? I find it so difficult to even read about it these days as huge businesses take over clubs and community seems to be less of a thing.

Yeah, I fell out of love with football like that 30 years ago, mainly because football fans were solely treated as a commodity and the police seemed solely interested in making your day as sterile and controlled as possible. Funnily enough, there has always been a similar pecking order in non league circles, and currently Billericay Town are making national headlines as they have a new testosteroned to the max Essex millionaire pumping insane amounts of money in and signing ex league players (e.g. Jamie O’Hara, Jermaine Pennant), as well as deciding he will be the manager too. He is trying to play the “community” card here but you can’t pay for that, only attract sycophants and hangers on and glory hunters. Of course, it would be naïve to not accept that money will always have an influence, but what is happening there is being done in a manner which is both vulgar and classless…two words which describe much of the Sky Sports/Premier League/Champions League world of today.

Water slide ask you to put together lloydfest with an unlimited budget as they have unearthed a footballer with unlimited talent. They give you free reign on 6 bands to ask who would they be?

The Wedding Present (George Best era line up)
Broccoli
Hot Water Music
Jawbreaker
Strike Anywhere
The Cure

You’re on the guestlist Niall


You’re a family man, what gives you the urge to leave the family and go play a gig 200 miles away to 50 people?

I have always felt drawn to music and the feeling that music evokes in me. It has also provided me with the opportunity to travel a lot around the world, and being able to bump into friends and visit old haunts, as well as discovering new acquaintances in towns and cities I’ve never visited is a big part of my life. In the last couple of years I have been fortunate enough to tour with Strike Anywhere around Europe again, and the camaraderie which I have always shared with them is something I treasure and hold dear. When it comes to playing – and it may seem like a cliché – but when I was first in a band I always thought that if you play to a people, there may be just one person who hasn’t heard you who might have just had their ears opened to something new, and every time I play, I think of that one person that I might be connecting with. Also, I find Bear Trade are a part of my family, and when we are together and away we are feeding off each other, making us better people, happier people. Without that, I truly believe that as an individual I would not have what I have to offer to my family at home, to share the experiences and energy and passion that I have that money or TV or Facebook can’t buy. To show my children who their dad really is.

All the band have “form” in the diy, independent music scene. Is that by design or chance and why?

I first started watching bands regularly in 1987 and then worked for bands from 1990. The independent music scene has always been in my blood and always will be. I feel strongly that whatever you put in, you will get back, either directly or indirectly. We looked after our own then, and still do now to a certain degree. To me, it has always revolved around people, and (especially in the early days) the trust and confidence that you have in individuals you have probably never met or even spoken to. I remember going on European tours with a piece of paper with an address and the promoters home phone number on and you rolled up 400 miles from home and that was all you had! You and I are probably a good example of this, having first met in 1991 (I think!) in Dublin when I travelled over with Drive and slept on top of the bass cab in their van for a fiver a day. I try to explain to people who ask that it worked just like Facebook in many ways, except with real people and real places and real situations. But I guess that would just make me old, right?

I’ve got to ask about Brexit as it’s referenced in one of your songs. Do you know anyone who voted for it and what is their reason? I ask because I can see the virtue in splitting the European Union but amn’t sure that’s why Brexit was so popular.

My parents voted for Brexit. We had a bit of a bust up last time I stayed with them after a few drinks. The suggestion was that they did it for their grandchildren…did what exactly, I’m unsure. It is very much indicative of the small town England mentality which still prevails, but this gave it a voice. The greatest despair is that people are so ignorant that they completely bypassed the realities of what Brexit would actually mean and simply voted out…as you say, the vote was not based on the pros and cons of leaving the EU, but more about our insecurities as a nation and an opportunity to sing Rule Brittania whilst waving a flag. I live in a small village in East Yorkshire now, and there were posters put up spreading the unsubstantiated claims and the underlying (at best) xenophobia and at worst straight up racism which this vote has given a voice to is depressing and worrying in equal measure. Humanity and compassion go out of the window, and it is the “foreigner” blamed for the failings of the very Government that these ignorant masses have continued to vote in. If I could emigrate I would seriously consider it.

Do you get a chance to play many gigs? Any chance you can get over to Ireland at some stage?

No. But yes.

No – because we all have family and responsibilities and sometimes these take priority for a period of time until we can work it all out.

Yes – because we all have family and responsibilities and sometimes we need to take priority for a period of time before we need to return to them.

niallhope