Dublin band the Lee Harvey’s have been on the go 8 years and in that time have released 3 albums on foad. I’ve seen them only a handful occasions but have always been impressed. Their sound has a feel not unlike those northern Irish bands on good vibrations but where good vibes had a lot of pop going on Lee Harvey’s are more rooted in clash and punk, lots of great melodies though. I’m sitting here listening to their Still Angry album on a plane journey back from Spain. I spend 7 days there on a family holiday and this was a perfect accompaniment for heading home. As I pondered going back to the real world and wondered what was going on in the world I had bitzy’s observations on the states in my ears. This album was written before the current President made claims for most powerful man in the world. No doubt that will provide fuel for rainforests of lyrics but the observation of
“It’s what you do that makes you count
Not who you serve”
is as deliberate as ever in the week white supremacists felt it was ok to March and then commit a terror attack. What will happen will become the history books of our children’s children, let’s hope it doesn’t repeat the mistakes of the past.
I sent Bitzy a few questions after their successful appearance at Rebellion and here is what he had to say.
For those interested can you give us a bit of history to a) the lee Harvey’s and b) some of the other bands you’ve played in? What do you do outside the band?
I formed The Lee Harveys in 2009 with Mike a guy from work who has gone back to New Zealand. I wanted it to be a sounding board about all things good and bad with the USA. It is a country full of contradictions…plenty of subject matter forever.
We did our first gig in Thomas House. Paul joined after that.
I was in The Strougers back in the 70’s and played the Dandelion market etc, Paul was in thee amazing colossal men, guernica and firewater creed. Tony was in jobseekers. We were a 3 piece for a long time until Rory joined on lead guitar
I work as an outreach worker with homeless drug users and people with alcohol issues
How did the three albums on FOAD come about? Who asked first and what does the process involve?
We recorded the first 2 albums in ashtown studios. PA and Whelo from the dubtones guested on guitar. basically PA said he would put the records out on FOAD which we were happy to do. Our current album is also on FOAD and fair play to them for helping us immensely. we sell cds at gigs basically. gun city is sold out and still angry is almost sold out so several hundred sales there.
how many times have you played rebellion? What are your honest impressions of it? Did your opinion change after attending the festival?
We’ve played rebellion 4 times. The first time is now part of folklore., too long to go into but I still have nightmares bout it. My impressions of rebellion are a very well oiled rock n roll machine. Its good to be rubbing shoulders with some of the punk rock legends, but there are some of the older bands from back in the day who seem happy to just play the circuit and not release anything new. Its a great festival run by great people.
can you tell me your favourite gig a) to play and b) to see ?
I loved playing with buzzcocks a few years back. rebellion, as i said, is great coz the sound ya get is second to none. Seeing the clash in TCD and Ramones 4 times was the ultimate.
what made you pick up an instrument to begin with and decide yes I can be in a band? What makes you keep doing it?
Punk happened at the right time for me, 1976, hearing new rose and seeing the radiators from space told me that anyone could do it, they were a great irish band. i do it for the love of music, not for money coz theres fuck all money in it and coz ive still got something to say.
we ain’t gonna ever play jazz, put it that way.