Banter – Feb 21

On Tuesday February 21, myself, Michael and a number of those who’ve contributed to the book – plus some surprise guests – will join Jim Carroll at Banter to talk about the book, the notion of favourite gigs and read their selections as well. Audience contributions welcome too. Guests speaking include….
Ellie & Louise McNamara (Heathers) on The Mountain Goats, Bloomington 2011
Frances Roe (Jam Jar Jail) on Rocket from the Crypt, Dublin 2001,
Edwina Forkin (Zanzibar Films and ex-TCD Ents Officer) on Sonic Youth/Nirvana and early Therapy?, 1991
Elvera Butler (Reekus Records) on The Stranglers and The Who, 1970s
Suzanne Rhatigan (singer and promoter) on Grace Jones at Electic Picnic, 2015
Peter Jones (Paranoid Visions) on the Poison Girls at Sean McDermott Street, Dublin, 1983
Ferdia Mac Anna (director, novelist, screenwriter & Rock Devalera) on Thin Lizzy, Dublin, 1971
Peter Devlin (musician, producer and broadcaster) on The Specials/The Beat, Stardust, Dublin, 1981
Mick Heaney (journalist and DJ) on The Cramps, Boston, 1986

Tickets only €5.50 available here –
https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/banter-in-concert-tickets-31642900768?aff=es2

Banter on In Concert will take place at Wigam (Middle Abbey Street, Dublin 1) on Tuesday February 21. Doors open at 6pm and the event will kick off at 6.30pm.
Like the book, all proceeds will go to the Irish Red Cross’ Syria Appeal.

Cornershop, Wheel, Jam Jar Jail – Dublin 1993

Feb 28 1993

Cornershop, Wheel, Jam Jar Jail

Fibber Magees (Anarchy Night Cafe)

Technically this isn’t a Hope gig but we arranged the accommodation and made the provision for Cornershop to play in the Anarchy Night Café. The band was looking to play Dublin on that date which was a Thursday. Rather than clashing with Anarchy Night café, which was getting regularly good crowds, we asked could they be put on the bill. This was readily agreed. The people behind the Anarchy Night Café had a similar motto to Hope: “We are not promoters, we are people – just like you”.

They went to a lot of our gigs so we knew they’d be keen on helping. Cornershop had been getting plenty of attention from the British music press, which was interesting from our point of view. We weren’t too used to dealing with bands that garnered such interest. All we knew about Cornershop was that they had a link to the Membranes. Our base line, though, was they weren’t on a major record label (at the time) so we were happy to help. The major label thing left us open time and again for criticism.

It grew and grew as people were questioning our activities. For me I felt I just didn’t want to deal with big record labels. Hope never signed a “contract” and never gave cast-iron guarantees. Sometimes we would have a good idea of how many people will go to the gig and would pass  that info on to the band. It was a nice level to deal with people.

Pitchshifter – Dublin 1991

October November 1991Oct 31 1991 Pitchshifter, Golden Horde NCAD
Oct 31 1991 Pitch Shifter, Jam Jar Jail, Dust Revolution – Fox + Pheasant

Pitchshifter from Nottingham asked through their friend Stuart if they could come over . It was Hallowe’en and we managed to get them a gig at the NCAD hallowe’en ball as well as one in the Fox.2 gigs in the one evening would help pay their ferry fare. They arrived at the Fox complete with TV screen and video. This portrayed some  disturbing images throughout their set. A precursor to U2’s Zoo TV!

Unfortunately for the band, the art students of NCAD must have wanted to watch MTV and they broke the TVscreen that evening. Maybe it was some sort of art statement. Understandably Pitchshifter were very annoyed. Also playing in the Fox that evening were Dust Revolution. None of us knew anything about the band beforehand. Shane from Jam Jar Jail asked if they could play. He knew the band. They didn’t get too many gigs as they were on day release from Grangegorman mental institution. After their set they went around the audience almost individually looking for feedback. For that night they were stars in their eyes.

Econochrist tour 1991

Jul 13 1991 Econochrist, World Of Drums, Jam Jar Jail – Charlie’s
Jul 15 1991 Econochrist, The Grown Ups, Ciunas – Fox + Pheasant
I had a bedsit that I gave over to bands when they were visiting. The neighbours never complained but I’m sure they wondered. I was away for the Econochrist tour.  There was a mix-up over their Derry gig. It was cancelled but they travelled up from Dublin not realising.

I don’t know whether they were annoyed or not but they decided not to tidy anything up after themselves in my small cell. When I got home, one week later, there were things growing in my pots. Awful.

React Benefits – Dublin 1991

May 23 1991 Ogre, Shred, Stone Pony, Tension – Fox + Pheasant
May 30 1991 Grown Ups, Onion Breath, Jam Jar Jail, Pet Lamb – Fox + Pheasant

React was 7 issues old and had grown to 2000 copies per month. It was now being printed by Atko-print, Miriam’s cousin. He had his own printing business. He also  printed some fanzines out of his sister’s garage. Since the second Fugazi gig, there had been a fund that we used whenever there was a surplus or deficit at gigs. All ‘Hope’ gigs were not-for-profit in that any money made could be used for other projects. This could be used to help cover a band’s costs at a gig without being completely dependent on the numbers of people attending. Other projects became “loans” to fanzines to help them print their first issues. They then paid back the money out of fanzine sales if they could. Printing React cost money which ads from the record shops Freebird and Comet didn’t cover.

As React was a tool for publicizing gigs it used some of the ‘Hope’ fund but I felt awkward taking money every month. I was building up a list of interested people that would get REACT and fliers for impending gigs – a mailing list. I asked people to take out a 6-month subscription for £2 and got about 75 replies. That paid for one issue but it also meant that people would get their copies posted; therefore, money needed to be found. As an aside to the regular afternoon Charlie’s events I asked bands that had previously  asked for gigs to play a benefit for REACT.

Two weeknights in the Fox + Pheasant were organised. Bands were willing and some people went. However there was a mix-up  over a drum kit at this first gig and Ger, from Tension, really complained about the whole thing. I suppose this gig and the fact they played to 20 people the previous month didn’t enamour ‘Hope’ to them. A low point.

I don’t remember thanking the bands who did these two benefits. If not I apologise and am grateful they took the time out to play and support REACT for no monetary gain.