Cathal Funge. An interview with the broadcaster Cathal about his punk radio documentary.

What can we expect from the documentary?

 

The documentary is going to be a bit of a trip back forty years to tell the story of Irish music in 1977. I’ll be covering quite a few events from that year including The Boomtown Rats and The Radiators From Space both releasing their debut singles, Rory Gallagher headlining the Macroom Mountain Dew Festival (Ireland’s first outdoor rock festival), Lizzy headlining Dalymount with The Rats and The Rads supporting, The Clash in Belfast and Dublin and the launch of Hotpress.

 

Were there any surprises for you as you delved into the scene at the time?

 

There was a lot of talk in the UK press over the last twelve months about the 40th anniversary of British punk so I started to look at what was happening in Ireland around that time. The initial idea was to look at the Irish punk scene but after a bit of research I noticed a lot of things started to happen at once and not just in Dublin but across the country, North and South.

 

1977 in Ireland seems to be a year of beginnings for a modern Irish music scene. You had bands like The Radiators getting into the charts, rock festivals in Macroom and Dublin, The Rats on Top of the Pops, a national music magazine launched etc. The documentary in many ways is about a bunch of people just going for it, creating new ways of doing things and setting the tone for others to follow, which off course they did.

 

If you compare today’s vibrant local music scene to 1977, it doesn’t just feel like a different era, it feels more like a different planet!

 

What do you make of those early punk ‘pioneers’?

I love the DIY attitude and lot of the music from that era has stood the test of time. A lot of the events I cover in the documentary are not punk but they were inspired by the spirit and energy of time. It seems as if the climate for change was ripe and people went for it. In the case of Macroom, it was just a bunch of people in a small West Cork town trying to bring some extra business into their area. They came up with the idea of staging Ireland’s first rock festival and managed to pull it off with Rory Gallagher headlining the event at a time in his career when he was playing venues like Shea Stadium, not the local GAA pitch in Macroom.

 

At the same time, up the road in Cork City, Elvera Bulter (now label boss at Reekus Records) was in UCC and she started putting on gigs in City Hall including Dr Feelgood and The Stranglers. By the end of the year she was hosting the weekly Downtown Kampus gigs at the Arcadia which quickly established itself as the focal point of a new music scene in the city. That scene blossomed in the 80’s and gave us great bands like Stump and Microdisney.

 

I’m sure they didn’t realise it at the time, but a lot of these people were pioneers. They didn’t just do things, they also showed that there was a market for rock music in Ireland.

 

How did you get into music (as a fan) in the first place?

 

Growing up in Wexford, there wasn’t much going on in terms of music, no record shops, no gigs etc. I was very fortunate that my dad and older brother both had great tastes in music. My dad had a lot of old 60’s albums that I soaked up and then as I got a little older, I would sneak into my brother’s bedroom and rob/borrow some of his albums. So, anything from Teenage Fanclub to Nirvana, Mercury Rev, Pixies, Sonic Youth.

 

Around that time, I got a part time job as a petrol pump attendant in a local garage, working a few evenings after school and during summer holidays. The garage was in the middle of the country side and I sat in a hut for about 5 hours with only a radio to keep me company. Dave Fanning suddenly became my best friend and his nightly show was an education, as was Donal Dineen’s show on Today FM.

 

 

Any particular punk songs/albums/gigs that really moved you?

 

From the late 70’s era, I particularly love Buzzcocks first five singles and I think The Clash’s debut album from ’77 sounds great forty years on. In the documentary, I talk to Paul Burgess from Belfast band Ruefrex and Jake Reilly from The Blades about The Clash’s visit to Ireland in October ’77. The Trinity gigs have gone down in local music folklore, how many bands formed after that night out with Strummer and his gang? On the flip side, up in Belfast the gig was cancelled which caused a mini riot and some claim is was the night that the Belfast punk scene was born. I think that might be stretching it a little but it is interesting to hear about the impact the visit one band had on music fans in two very different cities in October ’77.

This can be your Christmas Song

Joe Solo has done it again.  One of the main agitators behind the we shall overcome movement Joe has got together with the Hatfield Brigade

‘Merry Christmas From Hatfield Main’ by Joe Solo & The Hatfield Brigade was recorded on location at Central Club in Stainforth on October 30th 2016 as miners and their families from up and down the UK gathered to join a choir like no other in the spirit of community and solidarity.

The single is available to download from all major outlets from Monday November 28th and all funds raised will go to those struggling to make ends meet in Food Bank Britain.

There is a VERY limited number of CD copies available which are simply a printed disc in a clear plastic sleeve with just the one song on. Only 200 copies were made and promos have been taken from this, so this is a very rare little piece of history.

 

Fanzine Of The Week – Eaten Alive

I picked up 2 copies of this at Rebellion

It is a hark back to the cut and paste zines from the 80’s with staples down the side, the interviews are pretty sparse but he can only print what the band reply I suppose

Issue 34 has interviews with Anti-Establishment,Angelic Upstarts,RED ALERT and East Town Pirates!

Issue 35 has interviews with The Warriors, Hospital Food, The Defects and Disorder

derrick.moore1@btopenworld.com

Eaten Alive fanzine

152 Heath End Road

Cotton

Nuneaton

CV107JG

UK

Mystic Inane – EP’s of M/I

It’s very rare that a record label gets a description incorrect of one of its bands.  They know them best, theiy know their secret likes and all that goes into the wiritng of their songs.  So when their record label, lavidaesunmus, describe Mystic Inane as “Freaked out FLIPPER meets RUDIMENTARY PENI acid punk from New Orleans who channels the weird vibes of earlier SACCHARINE TRUST and battles them against modern distorted hardcore creating a hybrid soundtrack to a bad trip.” there is no point in me arguing for something else.

It drifts along at a fuzzed out speed as indeed is as confusing as it is exciting

niallhope.

 

 

Fanzine of the Week – Blackpool Rox2

Fanzine of the Week

Blackpool Rox2 Issue 11

image

Another special brought out for Rebellion and has good interviews with Cock Sparrer, Simon Wells, Ted Dibiase Million Dollar Punk Band, Colleen Caffeine and local Blackpool acts Poly-Esters and Du Pig/  ALongside that there’s extensive reviews from Steve Scanner and bits on being a woman in Saudi Arabia and Andys travel blog from the European Championship.  Andy’ style of writing is quirky and chatty and Blackpool Rox2 is always worth picking up.

andy@jsntgm.com

16 Windmill Close
Blackpool
England
FY3 0EB

 

Andy does this youtube show every week where he plays a cover version, check it out below

Fanzine Of The Week – Suspect Device / Zonked

sd58

Tony and Gaz just keep that Suspect Device machine rolling.  It’s heartening to see them into issue 58 and still with the enthusiasm on *1.  It is a split issue with Zonked which has is a newbie in comparison with 13 previous issues.

Interviews with Dry Heaves, Chroma, Rotten Mind, Immolato Tomatoes, Hack Job, Army Of Skanks, Darren Bourne, Time Waster and some great pics and reviews.  I always have a new band to listen to after reading Suspect device

£3.20 post paid in the UK – email suspectdevicehq@hotmail.com for further details

niallhope

 

Vegan Punk rock rules (are there any?)

It’s an indication of how we deal with music in the 21st Century.

When I first heard that Fall Out Boy drummer Andy Hurley was channeling his hardcore roots in a new band called Sect I immediately went to google to check its accuracy.  There was no need for a trip to the record store to ask an informed worker or indeed to check a zine or music press for validation.

And so a quick check led me to noisey and it tells me that the band are a straight edge, vegan group, which also features members of the punk bands Cursed, Burning Love, Earth Crisis and Catharsis, and they will release their self-titled debut album on August 5.

That really piqued my interest do i delved further.  Where’s the bandcamp page? the twitter account, the facepook page so i can like it.  Vegan and Straight edge!  let’s get that back out there.

There doesn’t seem to be any social media presence but the record is going to self released and sounds like a pure belter of aggressive hardcore punk rock.  Screaming at ya

https://soundcloud.com/user-947973294/scourge-of-empire

Primetime – Going Places 7″

primetimeCatchy post punk sound from London based 4 piece Primetime. This is their second 7″ but the band are new to me. I’m sure they haven’t taken their name from the RTE current affairs programme and their sound is a post punk barrage that Kleenex would have been proud of. Angular Gang of four type guitar with basic catchy punk rock rhythm that.

Deadly

Anxiety -new record

Anxiety, from Glasgow, have been on the go for a year. It is punk rock that would have found a home on the same bill as a band like Amebix but without the fear. There is an unease, almost anxious feel to some of the songs. They are ready to atttack you in a way that Rudimentary Peni did but underneath have an almost early US hardcore feel.

Pretty cool

Zine of the week – riot 77

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Riot 77 fanzine

po box 11342

dublin 2

riot77magazine@hotmail.com

I love reading Riot 77.  Cian does a really great job with his interviews. They are always good conversations with insightful questions. I’m sure he spends a lot of time researching the interviewees.

in this issue we get to read about original Northern Irish punks, the undertones and the outcasts. We also get cheetah chrome from the dead boys and Paulie bearer from New York street punks. Sheer Terror.

Worth it for those alone but we also get some good reviews of of 18 months of gigs since the last issue came out. Gigs from North America and ireland

Andy higgins has an excellent piece on Alex oggs Dead Kennedys book and there’s an extensive review section.  Can isn’t trying to be your mate with this zine but for anyone with a passing interest in the history of the punk scene this really is a must read

dks

niallhope