Happy New Year

I was watching the Jools Holland End of Year Show.

It was really interesting to see the respect he gave to the Dubliners. It is funny how a folk band who emerged in the wake of the Clancy Brothers could still command such respect and prominence on the TV across the Irish Sea. It makes me wonder about what other Irish acts from the 1960s would still be respected today if they were still around.

I really enjoyed Dexy’s too. Hard to believe that time has rushed past since my first ever gig when they played in the Mansion House in 1980. It literally changed my life. The Tearjerkers from Northern Ireland opened and there was a comedy interlude by a young comedian by the name of Keith Allen. He told jokes about the SAS which the audience didn’t seem to find funny at all as I recall. One of the most incredible things about the gig was how at the end Kevin Rowland announced that as there were no barriers between the audience and the band we were all invited to come and say hello and meet the band. I was faced with the prospect of missing the last 46a home…yet who could resist such an invitation? It led to a life of going to gigs and walking.

Happy New year
the wildheartedoutsider

Hope Show Number 9

Hope Show Number 9

So it’s a new year and for the tail end of 2012 I neglected my weekly radio ahow at radioactiveinternational.org Hopefully the technical difficulties that ensued in December have now been ironed out and I will be able to get the show up every Saturday for 9 pm. I playeed a mixture of old and new for this weeks show – playlist and reasons as follows

1. the evens – Competing with the till I’ve just got the new evens album and am delighted by how good it sounds. this needs to be shared

2. fawn spots Spanish Glass Best 7″ for me last year was this record by the fawn spots on the excellent Louder Than War label

3. American Steel – Love And Logic I always enjoy singing along to American Steel and this Song gets my loudest chant ‘Destroy their future before it kills us’ indeed

4. Los Fastidios – Cruelty Free One of the best live bands of 2012, vegan anti-fascist and diy and proud. What more could you want

5. The Membranes – Time Warp 1991 I am forever being accused of being stuck in a Time Warp – well before 1991 I’m afraid. The membranse turned me on to active diy and I’m delighted to see their names back on bills for gigs again.

6. Black Cougar Shock Unit We Don’t have a nail big enough for Peter Lorre I have great memories of Black Cougar Shock Unit playing in Dublin – not last year but it only feels that recent. I also picked up some great stuff from Dave at newest Industry recently so wanna share this

7. Duncan Redmonds – Romford Now a star of BBC Radio 6 Sean Forbes is guest vocals on this along with Duncan from Snuff playing Drums and telling us what they really think of the beautiful pictureque village of Romford. Sean is the skinhead leader of Hard Skin (well one of three hard leaders) who have a new album out soon – one for 2013 eh?

8. Jawbreaker – Chemistry Jawbreaker – what more can I say?

9. Flies on You – Slashing it Down One of the albums of 2012, with the great Nerve Rack bass sound of 1987

10. Ginger Wildheart – Internal Radio I saw Ginger play an acoustic gig in August – I knew nothing about him and was enthralled by the audience singalong.

11. Joe Solo – We’re All Gay Joe came over to Dublin as part of Lithium Joe in the 90’s. He’s now playig solo and kicking against the pricks in 2012 with new songs every week

12. The Ruts – In A Rut Best live band of the year for me – I was amazed when I saw these in Rebellion

13. Paranoid Visions – Outsider Artist Irish album of the year – this is their collabaration with TV Smith

14. the evens – Architects Sleep Wanted to finish on a high note, the baritone guitar doesn’t go too high but this really is a great album.

Enjoy
niallhope

the evens ‘the odds’

evenstheodds

the evens – the odds (dischord records)

before I start I have to admit to a vested interest here. The last gig I was involved in putting on (which total over 200) was the evens when they visited dublin in 2005. I have never said that I’ve stopped doing gigs, Im just taking a
break…. I haven’t given listening to music a break and whilst its harder and harder for a parent of three to keep up to date with new sounds (finance to buy, access to a computer to seek out as well as time not spent taxi-ing kids around to listen are my excuses – what are yours?) I am always happy when old friends release new music.

the odds is a continuation from where the evens left 6 years ago with the second album Get Evens. Since then a child has been born for the two-piece and they have had plenty of time domestically to hone their sound and write songs. The sound is baritone guitar (which as far as i can make out is a lower tuned guitar) strummed with a mixture of chord progression in a folk sense and string strumming in a punk rock mode and jazz fusion drumming (have I made it sound interesting enough)? It’s bare bones electric guitar and drums coupled with male and female vocals that are mixed evenly.

The songs are all well written collections and are tales of the world around us, when Ian sings “What if every single person was a deputy…jails in search of prisoners” in wanted criminals or amy communicating “We got to sort out how to share this place” in king of kings right up to both off them detailing “and the architects lie awake trying to forget all their mistakes” in architects sleep” we remember that another world is possible and the evens want in.

Listen there is history here, I don’t need to rewrite this but this is the present and you should treat yourself.

niallhope
Evens

Seven Psychopaths

7PsychosSeven Psychopaths

In Bruges was a much better film for me the second time I saw it. Initially it felt like it was an OTT Irish tale of killing, vulgarity and misoginy. I lightened up for the second viewing and found myself smiling along with the helplessness of the characters.

7 Psychopaths is almost like a sequel with different characters but still helpless and likeable in some ways, ridiculous and mean in so many others. This is my review after one viewing.

It is the tale of Colin Farrell as an Irish screen writer with a drink problem (imagine that eh?). He is bereft of ideas but his close friend starts giving suggestions. Of course unbeknownest to Farrell he is getting an insight to his close friends life which is all about mutilation. It is tarantino like in its execution and executions. Blood is splattering everywhere as the story evolves and Farrell isn’t happy with this. Farrell wants peace love and understanding but the world isn’t quite ready for this type of movie.

There is an impressive cast of psychopath including Christopher Walken as a polish Quaker pacifist, Tom Waits as a serial killer of serial killers and most impressively of all, Woody Harrelson as the gangster killer who comes looking for his kidnapped dog. With Farrell and Walken pushing Gandhis policy of an eye for eye leaving everyone blind Sam Rockwell leaves us all amused saying that will leave one person winning out. he is delighted with this prospect as his two felllow travellers look on totally bemused. It is that kind of film, very entertaining.

niallhope

The House of Silk

house of silkThe House of Silk
Anthony Horowitz (orion books)

growing up I was a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes movies. Nigel Bruce and Basil rathbone my favourite actors and Arthur Conan Doyle the best novelist ever. I never really read any of his works but those films held a special place in my heart.

As the cycle of life continues to revolve I make it my bsusiness to watch a couple of Holmes movies per year, usually at Christmas in between it’s a wonderful life and Willie Wonka.

I have watched many pretenders to the throne but no actor has been able to give me a real sense of Holmes as Rathbone. BBC’s recent series of Sherlock came pretty close but when I put the monochrome one back on my screen I was enraptured once again.

It was with this background that I started reading the New Shelock Holmes Novel. The fact that it was endorsed by the estate of Holmes’s creator was a positive start. From there the positives keep occurring. A novel that has me picturing BBC’s Holmes as much as my original throughout the pages.It captures the smog and dark streets of London perfectly.

The Houpse of Silk has all the elements for a Holmes and Watson story.

There are twists and turns taking us through areas of London that are unwelcoming to visitors, there’s Inspector Lestrade receiving plenty of stick from colleagues and Holmes but with him displaying a loyalty and respect for the Private Investigator. There’s the relationship between Holmes and Watson with an interesting addition of Watsons wife playing second fiddle to the sleuths relationship. There’s even a cameo by Inspector Moriarty.

It is one of those books that gets you chasing to the end, I’m not a big reader of fiction as I’m in constant search of information but I recommend yo get down to the library and give this some of your time.

niall hope

Here’s to a new year

Here’s a piece originating from a while back but still very true for today.

So goodbye 2012 you were a tome of badness! Well, you weren’t really but politically you were redundant. I wrote my first fanzine in 1984 and had pieces in it about capitalism being the wrong choice for the people. 28 years and a lot of mileage later we should be recreating those zines of yesteryear. We need a different slant to the anti-gang though. We now need to be the pro-gang. Don’t be anti-state, be PRO change. Reclaim our world and reclaim our words.

With that in mind here’s my new year revolutions

1) Keep listening to uplifting music. It may only need three chords, sometimes a lot less but music has the power to do so much more than entertain. Entertainment is good, it’s a start. We can use our music to spread knowledge and inspiration.

2) Support local business. Whether you are anarchist, capitalist or a pain in the ist you use money at some stage. This can pay rent, keep you warm or whatever but it is a chain we are cogs in. You can be a good cog and try and grease that chain.

Anytime you think of something that you feel would be a shame if it ceased then support it. In Dublin it was local shops. Let’s support those worth supporting.

3) All talk is cheap, talk Politics! Don’t be afraid to voice a reasoned opinion. let’s get dialogue going again. How can we get out of this mess? How can we assist each other through this (see point 2). Let’s have debates, let’s have fun, let’s be optimistic and let’s DO!

4) Don’t rely on elected individuals. Whilst I have no doubt that most people believe they can change the world, those that feel elections are the only avenue are misleading the rest. We can work within our communities to affect change. Sure, politicians can enforce decisions that effect us all but lets start local and in the meantime try and get those who might assist the people to be the ones in power.

5) Communities are the key. That could be punk rock community, residents community or work community we can work together to make our surroundings better. Help your trade union, help your local charity, help your neighbour. BE!

6) This one I have given a lot of thought to, let’s help our neighbours out. Invite them in for that cup of tea, car pool, food pool, work together. A group of parents hang out? why not swop babysitting sessions. Gonna go out for a meal? why not dine in and invite your friends. Organise some pot lucks (preferably vegan). Let’s work together and be in it for EACH other.

7) Henry sang it, I’ve said it but the words ring true Don’t talk about it, DO IT
With that in mind my pledge for this year. Remember it is not about what we are against anymore, it is about what we are FOR

Come here and i tell ya

come here to me
Come Here to Me!
Dublin’s Other history
(New Ireland Press)

Ive been a very interested observer to a few Dublin blogs over the past couple of years and high on the list has been http://comeheretome.com/ There is always something interesting to view and stories to read. Bringing out a book with a collection of these tales is a perfect fit. I always prefer to have a book in my hand rather than a webpage so this has become vital for people like me. There is a sense at times when reading Irish history that this was a time for other people, when reading these short collections you can picture yourself on dublins cobbled streets. Very often Dublin is seen as a capital cosmopolitan city but come here to me shows dublins character.

As someone born and raised on Dublins northside with parents and grandparents close to the northside streets along with my wife and her parents all born within a stones throw this is something that assists with my pride. i am proud to be from dublin, it has many faults but this is my city. Come here to me and i tell ya is often heard on the streets and for anyone with some interest in our city this is a great read

http://comeheretome.com/
http://www.newisland.ie/books/non-fiction-irish-history/come-here-me-dublins-other-history/9781848401976

The City Is Ablaze


Music is so emotive. Most of my life experiences have a soundtrack And as I sit recalling tales of yesteryear to my 3kids there is usually a song, gig, album or band reference. My memories of youth revolve around sporting or musical events. First football match is equalled by first album. Sure I remember euro 88, wasn’t that lWhere i bought some ex singles and the same year fugazi came to Dublin?

My earliest memory of being a music fan is getting rid of a showaddywaddy album that was bought for me and taping elvis Costello and the attractions armed forces album. My older bros provided the playlist for me when I reached double digit years and I was the sponge absorbing it all. Sitting in my parents kitchen listening to Ian Dury, the pistols, the clash and just being enamoured by that energy. That was my primary education and after a couple of years I started getting my own records. Skids days in europa album was a Christmas present I remember and I got addicted. Any chance I got I would be listening. At night I would gladly go to bed and take out the transistor radio in the hope that there would be a half way decent reception for the John peel show. It was a struggle at times but well worth it as I discovered many bands that would help shape my life.

One such band was the ruts. I heard of Malcolm Owens death and felt it was such a dreadful waste of life, and then ian Curtis too. Why did this happen? My first fanzine, whose life is it anyway, was written with Malcolm Owen on my mind. Ah fanzines, they are such wonderful things. That was the second part of my education I could hear bands on John peel and then write letters to them asking them questions. My bands were all so accessible – I wanted to tell the world all about them. Don’t rely on hot press for your awareness check out all these bands they wouldnt touch. One of the first bands I communicated regularly with was the membranes. Their singer John robb was an energetic monster, they came to Ireland and played, I helped them along the way and was driven by johns enthusiasm. Other bands of the the time that felt so important were. Bands like crass, flux of pink Indians, the redskins – all singing about stuff that mattered and not bothered on waiting for others to do things for them.

And so I wrote about them and the along in me kept absorbing the written word of other fanzines. Once I saw some photocopied pages with text about politics or music I was quite willing to part with my cash. Letters were sent, any sterling I could get my hands on was smuggled into envelopes with soap stained stamps. There was an excitement each day as the postman arrived on the double. Oh yes there was 2 deliveries a day back then and I was getting mail each time. I must have spent a fortune on stamps but got to reuse any that could be cleaned and our network kept growing. Bands like the three johns, wedding present, bogshed, dandelion adventure, archbishop kebab, Dawson, dog faced hermans, pregnant neck etc. etc.were my soundtrack to these letters. These bands created their own rules and had fanzines like ablaze to champion them.

Reading this book is like going through my 7″ collection whilst flicking through fliers of hope gigs. Splintered and grim humour? Remember the band and zine? I sure do. The keatons? Charlie’s on a Saturday afternoon the weekend my nan tragically died. Ac temple? Charlie’s again. Babes in toy land, huggy bear the list goes on and on. I can’t begin to say how good this book is and how it is a vital document of life two decades ago. Please check it out and thank you to karren for putting it all together and in true fanzine spirit publishing it herself. Support the project, make it a Christmas present for yourself

Hope show the sixth

I’ve had an intersting week. I am finally settling ijn to my new house and the dust is getting a bit clearer. This week was union activity week and we were looking at ways our union can reach out to members. It is hard to find actions that say YOU are the union, get involved and make things happen. Just like the real world.
With that in mind I put my radion show online last night. Remember too that you can do this if you wish

billy bragg – there is power in a union
joe solo – little red songbook
Bluetip – LMNOP
Seein Red – Waste
Flies on You – slashing it down
We were evergreen – Summer Fling
Former Cell Mates Jumping At Shadows
Mika Miko – The Dress
Henry Rollins / Chuck D – Rise Above
Mike scott – Sweatshops and slaughterhouses
TV Smith – True Believers
The Redneck Manifesto – Click
Los Campesinos – There are listed buildings
The Mob – No Doves Fly Here

hopeshowNumber6

Hope show Number 3 now up

The third instalment of the Hope Radio show is now up on Radioactive

http://radioactiveinternational.org/hope-show-number-3/

Playlist as follows

1. Josephine – Flies On You – “You wouldn’t want a holiday in my head, well I wouldn’t want one in yours either”

2. Thou Shalt Always Kill – Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip

3. White Colonial – Dawson

4. I fought In A War – Belle and Sebastien

5. Nashville Radio – John Langford

6. There’s No Way Punk Was meant to be like this – Latterman “lets try to add values to our lives”

7. Count It Down – K-Line

8. Good Guys Don’t Wear White – Minor Threat

9. Zero Tolerance Drum Policy – None More Black

10. Wonderful People – Q and Not U

11. Tone Arm – Kodiak “Still Sounds so great to me”

12. Profit – Omega Tribe “If you stand up you are a start towards change. Say NO!!”

13. It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad World – Atom and His Package

14. By And By – Chumbawamba

15. I really love Penelope – Hey paulette