When Niall and myself wanted to raise money/awareness for the Syrian refugee crisis, we came up with the idea of collecting gig memories from the music community. Between us, we knew a few people, so we figured we’d ask them. Niall was far more effective than I was. He quickly gathered really interesting gig memories from people including Becki Bondage (Vice Squad) and members of Fugazi, Chumbawamba, The Rollins Band, The Gang of Four, Paranoid Visions, The Radiators, The Golden Horde, The Undertones/That Patrol Emotion and many more. He compiled them and produced an outstanding fanzine.
The we hit on the idea of doing a book, filled with the memories specifically of Ireland’s music community. We chanced our arms and asked lots of people we didn’t know. Just about the first people to say ‘yes!’, we’ll write something’ were Jude Carr whom we admired from Heat fanzine, and Raymond from The Everlasting Yeah! and formerly of the magnificent That Petrol Emotion. Raymond even managed to persuade John and Ciaran from the Petrols/Undertones to write something too. To my shame I miss-spelt Ciaran’s name in the book. What can I say, we were in a rush. His wasn’t the only name I got wrong either…even worse, I forgot to include one of the fine contributors…..so maybe volume 2 will happen sometime!
Jude and Raymond proved to us that you can ask people you don’t know to do something really cool for a very worthwhile cause. To me, that is what a music ‘scene’ or community means in action. Good people creating something special for good reasons.
Since then, Jude has continued to help in so many ways, answering my questions and cheering me on as I collected the fascinating memories of that music scene and the moment punk/new wave/whatever you call it was embraced in Ireland.
Here are some of Jude’s memories.
Did it feel like you and your friends were part of a ‘scene’ at the time, (1977-1979)?
I never knew we had a scene going…we were just hanging out with mates. I went to loads of gigs with Pete (Nasty) Price. We started Heat [the funny, innovative, knowledgeable fanzine full of attitude]. The Fabulous Fabrics were my friends. They formed a band, buying some instruments in Woolworth and debuted at Moran’s supporting the Radiators. That was special. At that gig were the Jags and those around them. They were featured in an ad in our fanzine for TV Tube Heart. So Donal, Martin, Colm and the two Johns, should stand tall with The Kamikazee Kids, the Sinners and Boy Scouts.
Above all we had two very wonderful cats who contributed so much but also gave the “scene” a proper rock n roll cool. Paul Verner and Billy Morley. Both were hip beyond belief. Both sadly missed but they will never be forgotten.
How important were the Purdy brothers to the Dublin DIY/punk/new wave scene?
To answer your question. Dick and George were inspirational. They made everything seem possible. They were fun-loving chaps who loved to lig [get into gigs and clubs, often for free and generally have a good time]. I was similar…we hit it off. However when I first met them individually on last bus home I wasn’t aware there was two of them ! We went on to share a million adventures. I was with George when he claimed t o be Toots Hibbert to gain entry somewhere. It worked !
Dick blew me away after he had moved to Oz and he detoured from Dublin to London to have a catch up. Special folk.
What was Moran’s like as a venue?
Moran’s was fun. It was a place where we caught great gigs. I loved seeing the Radiators with Revolver, the Vipers and the Fabrics. Seeing Eddie and the Hot Rods on telly on Top Of The Pops, then going downstairs in Moran’s and watching them getting heckled by Bob and his Rats. I loved Smiley Bolger, and am pleased that myself and Carol, (Boy Scouts, ) were featured on a track he released. In Moran’s, Billy during a Revolver gig whilst playing a guitar solo, with a long lead, wandered around the crowd. Some of us bundled him into the jacks. He continued as if nothing had happened.
I had bought advance tickets for Cado Belle at Morans after enjoying a previous gig. On the day I got hold of an import copy of Ramones. An LP that changed my life. I and friends left early to go home and hear it again. I have to admit, that that led to be culling my record collection and friend list.
Later when I had moved to London, the Friday night Garage session at the Clarendon had a similar vibe to the Much More Music nights. We saw the same faces, gave new acts a listen and supported each other.
Even though I didn’t play when living in Dublin, my involvement in the “scene” encouraged me when we formed Bad Karma Beckons.
And here’s Jude’s contribution to the book to raise money for the Syrian refugees:
Jude Carr, (Heat fanzine), Radiators from Space, Dublin, 1977. (extract from In Concert: Favourite Gigs of Ireland’s Music Community).
A message outta the blue from Michael…Write a few words about Your Favourite Gig…. It sounded like homework… the hound dog ate my ecker. Christian Brudders.
I agreed as its such a great cause but Whitney we have a problem…. I can’t put my arms around a memory… I went, saw, dug and partied… but I took no notes.
Mid/ late 70s Dublin was a fairly desolate place… Rory, Lizzy and Horslips. I never got Gallagher. It was black and white…. Our world had not yet gone dayglo. Punk arrived…. We were saved!!!
Eddie and the Hot Rods and Dr Feelgood were the early outriders….They had energy and didn’t rely on wasp in a jam jar guitar solos.
The Clash played back to back gigs in Trinity….the first one was the better. That was some gig.
The Ramones played Phibsboro…. Rewind… The Ramones played Phibsboro.! The State Cinema where as a kid I had seen Darby O Gill and the Little People (a movie not a Boston garage punk band).
Belfield Burnin’ was a Punk gig where it went wrong… A boy, Patrick Coultry, got murdered, Punk got blamed ..It was a difficult time. Me and Pete, were disc spinners that night.
Fast forward to the most important gig of all time…..Jimmy …drum roll please…..
Moran’s Hotel…. A new house record. Heat our fanzine, called it ”Punks first night out since Belfield”. It was the debut of the new four-piece Radiators from Space, and the Rads farewell to the Emerald Isle. It included The Fabulous Fabrics…who were playing their first gig days after buying guitars in Woolworths (whatever happened to them? Woolworths I mean). The Vipers and Revolver completed the support. Billy from Revolver was one of the coolest cats I have ever met.
The Radiators invited Steve back on stage at the end. They belted out “I feel alright” by Iggy and the Stooges. Our world was back as it should be, we could all move on.
Later Dublin hosted gigs by The Only Ones, XTC , Elvis and the Buzzcocks.
Heat got into a spot of bother with a local band…. They had yet to release a record. The High Court agreed we damaged their career. In a roundabout way it led to another classic gig…. For one night only The Defenders at the National Ballroom. Paul, Donal and Bill R.I.P. and thanks.
Shortly afterwards I ran away from the circus.
Michael Mary Murphy