Nessun Dorma, Zygote, SMH Dublin 1992

NessunD

March 8 1992

Nessun Dorma, Zygote, SMH

The Grattan (moved from The Attic)

The Nessun Dorma gig the following month had just as poor a turnout. Both bands had travelled over in a bus, not the fancy tour bus kind that many bands travel in but a bit like a school bus (they’re the journeys the retired buses go on in Ireland).Like Andrew with Decadence Within, Emmet from Cork organised for Nessun Dorma to come over to Ireland and asked us to accomodate them in Dublin. Charlie’s was now closed to afternoon gigs so we had to try and find a venue open to allowing “underage  people” in to a gig.

The Attic weren’t too keen as, even though the floor had been reinforced, they didn’t want to go through the “hassle” of doing it again. Peter Quigley had been looking after the booking of the Grattan and the Fox since Not Our World started playing and he agreed to try an afternoon gig if it was a Sunday. Saturday is a traditionally busy shopping day and bars were uncomfortable compromising local businesses by allowing loud rock music and encouraging large congregations outside their establishments while their neighbours tried to get shoppers in. This suited Nessun Dorma so we tried for the Grattan.

Sundays in Ireland generally have a lethargic feel to them. For many it’s a lazy day. When very few people showed up for the gig we were very disappointed. This gig in the Grattan must have been the hardest gig all 3 bands have ever played and no doubt the 2 touring bands were very eager to get back into their bus for a rest. The bus was amazing. It was a  renovated old bus that the band could use for living in if need be. The atmosphere inside the Grattan was almost churchlike, very sombre. The crowd was poor and most people there were not happy to stay.

Membranes, Paranoid Visions, Kill Devil Hill – Dublin 1986

mems1

April 7 1986

Membranes, Paranoid Visions, Kill Devil Hill

Belvedere Hotel

Hugo asked me to join a band with him, Kill Devil Hill. He also did a fanzine. While putting it together, Hugo came across John Robb, editor of another ‘zine called “The Rox”. John was also lead singer in The Membranes. Hugo asked John why they hadn’t played Ireland and he said that nobody had asked him and it grew from there. Simple as that. My assistance to Hugo for that tour entailed mixing flour and water and using it as a paste to stick posters up around buildings in Dublin city. There were no official poster sites at that stage and whilst it was technically illegal to put up posters there were never any repercussions if you weren’t caught in the act. Unlike currently, where one can be fined if caught postering illegally.

Ringing contact numbers for venues listed in the Hot Press Yearbook, Hugo asked if they were interested in a British band playing? He got a good response from people in Drogheda and Limerick; they were willing to give The Membranes money to play and also to allow Kill Devil Hill to do the gigs Hugo then booked a Dublin venue, the Belvedere Hotel, and asked a mixture of bands that crossed musical genres to play. All readily agreed and, with over 200 people there, the gig was a huge success The Membranes were delighted to be able to tour another country and to see places they’d never been to before. The fact that they got paid was a bonus. We travelled around Ireland with the band and got to experience their enthusiasm. That enthusiasm infected me.

Jailcell Recipes + Decline Dublin 1992

Jailcells

Apr 4 1992

Decline, Jailcell Recipes, Unsound

Barnstormers

I persuaded Robbie and Barnstormers to host a Saturday afternoon show with No Age restrictions. They were hesitant as they were situated in a commercial street with many shops open for business. Because of the success of Spermbirds they agred to go with an afternoon gig. However the carpet showrooms next door weren’t too pleased. The noise was affecting customers judgement and we had to keep levels down ridiculously low until 5.30. A hard thing to do as the gig started at 3.

This was our third time to put a gig on for Jailcell Recipes and our our third time to lose money on the band. The Belfast Gig Collective were big fans so whenever they asked if “Jailcells” could play we had no option but to say yes. This gig was Barnstormers first and last Saturday afternoon affair. The owners decided it wasn’t worth disturbing the neighbouring businesses. We still couldn’t find an affordable venue to put gigs on that wasn’t a pub. So, for now, people would have to make do with false ids.

I had gone to school with the “bouncer” in Barnstormers and, thankfully, he turned very few people away. It wasn’t the ideal solution so, with Warzone collective in mind, we decided to start actively looking for our own place. We scoured Dublin for premises suitable to house a vegetarian café that could double up as a venue. We set up a co-operative and applied for as many grants as we could.

Sink, Stigmatamartyr, AIM – Dublin 1991

 

Sept 28 1991

Sink, Stigmatamartyr, AIM

Charlie’s Bar

Sink
Sink came over to Ireland for a week’s holiday and stayed in (what my brother kindly called) Gracepark Dump (i.e. my bedsit). They were refreshing.

They took their music from country, hardcore and pop, which made a change. Considering that they featured a member of the band The Stupids, who were a full-on fast hardcore band, it was a  challenge to the crowd.

The Charlie’s gig had a good attendance and Sink were one of the most appreciative of bands. They played Bolton Street, Cork, Belfast and Charlie’s as well as a lot of football in the park near my house. I often look back over the times we put on gigs and people ask which are my favourites.  Ones that really stand out are those that had nice people.  Sink were on of the nicest bands, pleasant and easy to deal with.  It was a pleasure to see them and a pleasure to make their acquaintance

 

Gorilla Biscuits + Drive + Unsound – Dublin 1991

Poster for Gorilla Biscuits gig in Dublin 1991

GorillaBs

Apr 13 1991

Gorilla Biscuits, Drive, Unsound

Charlie’s

Christy asked if New York band Gorilla Biscuits could play Ireland. Drive from England had been looking to come over on the same weekend. So we thought why not make it a double bill? I rang Tony Doherty from NorthWest Musician’s Collective in Derry, because his number was in the Hot Press Yearbook, and asked if they would be  interested in putting on certain bands. They had a venue up there and Tony agreed with relish. Though Gorilla Biscuits and Drive didn’t make it to Derry, Tony asked if Roosevelt’s Farm, from Derry, could play Dublin so this gig seemed like an opportune time. Gorilla Biscuits featured some people from Quicksand so we felt there would be a good crowd at the gig. Their ferry was due to arrive into Cork and we asked Emmet and Shane Fitzsimons to organise something there. They readily agreed as, up to now, American bands hadn’t had time to play outside Dublin and Belfast.

Unfortunately Gorilla Biscuits missed their ferry from France and the Cork gig went ahead  without them. So, £180 lost on that one. Gorilla Biscuits made it into Dublin on time and Charlie’s was packed out. The queues had formed early and the doors had to be opened during the soundchecks, as there were complaints from the adjoining businesses.

We fitted 200 people into Charlie’s and the venue was full beyond capacity. We  hadn’t realised just how popular this band was – in an all-too-rare occurrence, people were mouthing the words along to the songs. Our plan was to try and get these to return.