A week of punk

“Punk rock saved my life”, Derrick Johnston proclaimed one Monday night in the hut to an audience one could quite comfortably count with two hands and we knew exactly what he meant. My saving wasn’t on the form of punk but it certainly shaped my life. So many decisions I make on a daily basis has some basis in punk, or more specifically the free thoughts around d.i.y. and collectivism. These decisions involve purchases, food, sport, parenting and work. It is steeped in a belief that if you’ve something to complain about then you’ve something to change, and a belief in the strength of an individual being emboldened within the collective. And Derrick Johnston and Chris Snelgrove know exactly what that means.

It matters little how many people are at the gig it is the existence of the event that counts. That two people can travel from Montreal and Dundee respectively to our island and sing some songs to people that want to hear them is the vital ingredient. That they make no money in the process is secondary. We are all friends here, hoping for a better world and a fairer future.

Derrick runs make that a take records , books his aen shows and runs his ane festival. He sings his songs with passion and integrity and sings right from the heart. At times it’s uncomfortable as depression is just not a jovial topic. It’s ok though, he’s amongst friends and we care.

Chris has been playing in bands for 25+ years. Punk rock took him away from a path of succumbing to addiction and he is grateful for that.

This gig was sandwiched between ones in Belfast (smith street band) and the dublin gigs of Martha with Joyce manor and a few days later lemuria. All bands come from similar places. A love for tunes and punk rock but also an appreciation for people and a knowledge that life doesn’t revolved around the music industry.

Smith street band sang their anthems to a Belfast crowd ready to sing along with them but something felt like it was missing.

Martha seemed like they were one of the audience but when Joyce manor hit the workmans stage something seemed to be missing.

Lemuria were celebrating the 10 year anniversary of their excellent Get Better lp all great songs but still something not quite right. It was not quite the Joshua Tree extravaganza of U2 but a similar feeling around it. However Lemuria share that belief that the world can be a better place and music can help us along the way. And this is a world I feel I belong in

niallhope

Hope Show 113 – the lowdown

Hope Show 113
1. Pup – reservoir
2. Pup – Dark Days
3. Down By Law – rebel Conformist
4. Bangers – The Pits
5. Maxwells Dead – Home
6. Black Flag – TV Party
7. L.O.T.I.O.N. – Computers Don’t Have a Heartbat
8. Apes Brigade – The Interrogation of the Good
9. Protomartyr – Dope Cloud
10. Sleater Kinney – Bury Our Friends
11. Martha – Chekhovs Hangnail
12. Bedford Falls – Anodyne
13. The Great St Louis – Mooresy
14. No Monster Club – Late Bloomers
15. Kevin Seconds – Only Drug
16. KatJon Band – Machine Gun and the Ugly Doll
17. Flies on you – Action Stations

I’m loving the new Pup album out now on Side One Dummy. Two stand out songs in particular Dark Days and REsevoir – had to play them both.

Down By Law are old faves of mine. I lost a bit of interest when singer Dave Smalley started propgating American Republican politics, they released an album last year ad are touring Europe towards the Summer

Bangers are a punk rock band from Cornwall

Maxwells Dead are on the wonderful Make That a take records singing about the punk scene in the UK. They feel part of the punk rock community that I too feel happy to be part of. They are my neighbours that I’ve yet to meet

Wanted to take a turn and move things heavy for a few songs, in case you think I was mellowing out so I reach for the trusty Black Flag. US Hardcore at its hardest.

L.O.T.I.O.N are industrial punk from New York City, pretty interesting group of people

Apes Brigade
are an intersting group from Marseille who sing in English

Goober Patrol brought out a great split with 7 Day Conspiracy last year with their ‘tribute’ to their party holding government right now – Tory. Wonder what we will be singing about in Ireland after our general election next week?

Hardly Art has some interesting bands including Protomartyr from Detroit, the more I listen to them the more I like them. They are playing Dublin at the end of March

I missed Sleater Kinney when they played Vicar Street in Dublin last year, I wanted to go but it wasn’t to be, like a lot of things the real world takes priority. Martha are flying a flag that Sleater Kinney were involved in raising. DIY rock inspired by strong independent women, showing that you don’t have to be a woman with a gimmick to be in a band. Martha from newcastle are strong exponents of diy lo-fi intelligent indie pop rock punk.

The Great St Louis and Bedford Falls go hand in hand and when stories get written abut influential tuneful UK didy bands these two will be up there and with Leatherface be seen as great great bands. Funny how they can slip through cracks. Thankfuly we still have Bear Trade and Stay Clean Jolene to keep us excited about it.

No Monster Club from Dublin have a new album on the way, this isn’t on it but I havent got my hands on the record yet, I will and I will play it. I love their swagger.

Kevin Seconds was and still is the voice behind positive US hardcore band 7 seconds. There’s an introspective mood to tongihts show so I’m going with a solo song from the great man.

I saw the KatJon Band play one of their few gigs in Amsterdam a few years ago. Kat, from the ex, joined john langford from the mekons + three johns on stage and played as a two piece. Love this record

It’s been a fairly mellow show tonight with some good tunes being the basis for it. For me it’s the calm before the storm as I get ready to head out on another protest march on the streets of Dublin. We, as a nation, will get a chance to voice our collecitve opinion on the poilitics of austerity and (in)equality and the show tonight reflects a sombre mood. It’s a case of what might be or could have been. but let Flies on You finish us off tonight while we sing along to their anthemic chorus
“Please bring down the forks and spoons,
Please bring down the plates and bowls
Please bring down the dirty clothes
And pleeeeease…… bring down the government”

Enjoy

niallhope