Nomeansno, Not Our World, Killercrust, Trenchtown, Sloth – Dublin 1990

April 24 1990

Nomeansno, N.O.W., Killercrust, Trenchtown, Sloth

New Inn
Nik Evans was the person organising the British end of a tour for Nomeansno. He rang to ask if we would be willing to get the band a gig in Dublin. I was a fan of the band so readily agreed and knew that the New Inn would be perfect. It had plenty of space to allow people to dance. Unfortunately for me I was also pretty sick around this time. I had been out of work since the previous December and had been diagnosed as having Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome. I had little energy to deal with all the intricacies of gig promoting. Other bands had to be contacted, posters/fliers made and distributed. Fergus and Paddy helped out immensely with this one. We decide to meet up regularly in my house and discuss forthcoming gigs.

During our discussion it was felt that it would be a good idea to have the Nomeansno gig as a benefit. We thought that seeing as there would be a decent crowd there, we could raise some money for an organisation but more importantly try and raise some awareness. Amnesty International seemed a good choice. Nomeansno were happy if they got their travel expenses and all other bands played for free.

I spent most of Nomeansno’s set in a car outside the venue and therefore didn’t get to see someone hurting their ankle dancing. They were happy with the £20 we gave them for their taxi fare and their hospital fee

Anhrefn tour 1989

Anhrefn

Mar 10 1989 Anhrefn, Not Our World UCD
Mar 11 1989 Anhrefn, Not Our World Grattan
May 19 1989 Anhrefn, Not Our World, Keltic Konviction Old Man Of Arran

Anhrefn was the first band to travel to Ireland on John Robb’s recommendation. They rang me saying they wanted to visit Ireland and play as many gigs as possible. They were a great band to get gigs for. They lived in Caernarfon, near the ferry port in Holyhead, and had their own P.A. Their costs were low, they could come over for the
weekend and play anytime, and people liked them. It made it ideal for getting gigs outside Dublin.
I contacted Morty McCarthy, who had put The Membranes on in Cork, and asked if he could find a venue for Anhrefn, which he did. I also rang up venues in Donegal saying
that I was representing this Welsh speaking band and managed to find two places that were willing to take them. One was a glitzy hotel in Gweedore where they played as part of the weekend’s entertainment. Brendan, Michael, Martin and myself travelled up from Dublin to Donegal. We tried to sneak into the hotel room that Anhrefn were given but were caught by the manager. Anhrefn gave us the keys to their van where we sleptsoundly. Unfortunately for them the battery ran out on the van (must have been all that body heat). They eventually got back to Dublin for this gig. The Old Man Of Arran was an unusual place for a gig but we couldn’t find a place for the  specified night in our regular venues.We found a pub down by the Four Courts that needed a P.A. Anhrefn duly obliged . This night was also memorable for me for another reason. On our way home, walking down the Quays in Dublin we were confronted at knifepoint. We all managed to run to safety and then decided that we’d put no more gigs on in the Old Man of Arran, even though they didn’t want us anyway because of the noise.

 

Not Our World, Banished, Angus, House Of Byron Dublin 1989

February 17 1989

Not Our World, Banished, Angus, House Of Byron

Grattan
At this stage Not Our World were playing regularly in the Earl Grattan, on Capel Street. We were almost turning into the resident band there. We kept being asked to play. There was a group of 20 – 30 people who always came to see us play and maybe some bands asked us on to their bill so they could be guaranteed those 20-30 £1.50s or £2s. We decided that we wouldn’t play in the ‘Grattan’ for more than £2 and one evening threatened to pull out of a gig with The Foremen as they were charging £2.50. We only found out about it on the night and thankfully they brought the price down. If they hadn’t, we certainly wouldn’t have played but people may have come to see us without knowing. We were thinking about our admission price policy.

A lot of bands were charging what they felt they could get away with, looking for as much as was acceptable. Fugazi’s insistence on a door price maximum of £3 helped shape our thinking. It made us be attentive as to why we charged money into gigs. For Not Our World it was a matter of gigs being affordable to all and consequently that was the case for ‘Hope’ gigs too. We decided to book 2 Saturdays in the Grattan and  have 4 bands each night.

The first featured Angus, Dublin’s original Ranting Poet. Poems about Daisy the Cow, The Sun newspaper and Ronald Reagan used to have the crowd in stitches but there was meaning in there too. Angus was always around and, if ever a band didn’t turn up, he was a good man to turn to for an impromptu performance. He was at the gig that night so we asked him to say a few words and added him to the bill.

Fugazi, Three Ring Psychosis, Moral Crusade, Not Our World -Dublin 1988

November 29  1988

Fugazi, Three Ring Psychosis, Moral Crusade, N.O.W.

McGonagles

Fugazi agreed that it would be a good idea to travel to Ireland and play a gig. I booked McGonagles. Some recent Sunday afternoons had been spent there, seeing various British bands that the Warzone people from Belfast had brought over to play. Warzone got George Curran and some friends of his to book McGonagles when bands were travelling over. They booked the venue and helped out on the day. Bands that travelled over to play these gigs included Carcass, Joyce McKinney Experience, Bolt Thrower, The Instigators and the wonderfully named (and aptly for many) Dreadful.

Alan, Fergus, Paddy, Richie and I went about getting bands to play with Fugazi and putting posters up in record shops. We plotted the whole things out and tried to get a varied line-up of bands for the evening. We even did up a press release promising “a night of musical mayhem”. When it came to the issue of money Jabs asked how much the venue was to hire and the cost of P.A. and posters. He then said the band wanted a door price of £3 so we did the figures and said if there were 180 people at the gig the band would get £200.

On the night there were a few less but we put some money together and gave the band £200. They were happy and little did I know it but this was the start of something regular.

Vandals, 3 Ring Pyschosis, Not Our World – Dublin 1988

Vandals

Aug 8 1988 Vandals, 3 Ring Psychosis, Not Our World Grattan
Aug 8 1988 Vandals, Not Our World Sides

My friend Alan always seemed to know everything about American bands. He got to hear that Fugazi were touring Europe. He told me they featured people from Minor Threat and Rites Of Spring, from the Dischord record label. I immediately wanted to see them but didn’t want to travel to England for the privilege. I rang Southern, the British distributor for Dischord Records, and asked about Fugazi. They gave me a phone number for Jabs, who I rang inquiring about getting Fugazi to play. Jabs lived in England and helped get the band gigs there. He said he’d ask Fugazi about coming over.

In the meantime Jabs mentioned that The Vandals wanted to come to Ireland. We knew of The Vandals from the film ‘Suburbia’. Although it wasn’t a regular film on any of our screens, Alan, of course, had a copy of it. We booked the Grattan at a cost of £40. A person running a club night at Sides asked if The Vandals could play there too, so the band got to do 2 gigs in one night to cover their travel expenses. They got the ferry into the country that day as foot passengers and we took the bus out to Dun Laoire to meet and greet them. We brought them back into the city by public transport. It just never occurred to us to do it any differently. We didn’t have our own cars and always travelled by bus – why should a band who have just experienced a gruelling boat journey be any different!!

It was that innocence that gave ‘Hope’ it’s spark but probably also turned bands away a little bit. The first gig of the night was completely packed and the second one saw more than half the crowd make the trek across the city to Sides. The owners of the club weren’t
prepared for the audience that the gig attracted and they promptly pulled the plug during the gig. The Vandals only got to play one or two songs. No-one got a refund. We just went home. That innocence again

Membranes Tour 1988

May 15 1988 Membranes, Pleasure Cell, Not Our World Connolly Youth Hall
May 18 1988 Membranes, Not Our World Underground
May 20 1988 Membranes, Not Our World, A House, Louis Stewart Christchurch Cathedral

 

John Robb of The Membranes was the musical catalyst for me to start putting on regular gigs. His boundless energy and passion for good music rubbed off. The Membranes were keen to return to Ireland and Hugo no longer wanted to be involved. I was more than willing to help out. I rang some venues and arranged for the band to stay in Paddy’s parents’ house. I asked the editor of Sunny Days fanzine how would someone get a gig in Cork. He asked why and then said he could book a venue.

As well as the Cork date, we booked three Dublin gigs – one gig for NCAD as Paddy was in college there, one with The Pleasure Cell at the back of NEW BOOKS in Temple Bar (headquarters to Communist Party of Ireland), and one in the Underground. When John got back to England he told everyone he knew in bands (which was an awful lot of people) that they should visit Ireland. That lead to a lot of phone calls and interest from people wanting to come over. When people say to me that’s it’s easy to say “just do it yourself”, I think back to those Membranes gigs and remember that’s exactly how we started. The only guarantees given to the band was that they would receive any money that was made on the night. The Membranes were happy with that arrangement as they would let to visit Ireland, let people hear their band and even perhaps get some money for it. Perfect! I had started playing in a new band, called Not Our World (N.O.W.). We got 7 songs ready before The Membranes came over. With those 7 songs we got ourselves on the bill of all the gigs and did the “tour” with them.

Anhrefn, Not Our World, Keltic Konviction – Dublin 1989

Anhrefn

May 19 1989

Anhrefn, Not Our World, Keltic Konviction

Old Man Of Arran

Anhrefn was the first band to travel to Ireland on John Robb’s recommendation. They rang me saying they wanted to visit Ireland and play as many gigs as possible. They were a great band to get gigs for. They lived in Caernarfon, near the ferry port in Holyhead, and had their own P.A. Their costs were low, they could come over for the
weekend and play anytime, and people liked them. It made it ideal for getting gigs outside Dublin.
I contacted Morty McCarthy, who had put The Membranes on in Cork, and asked if he could find a venue for Anhrefn, which he did. I also rang up venues in Donegal saying
that I was representing this Welsh speaking band and managed to find two places that were willing to take them. One was a glitzy hotel in Gweedore where they played as part of the weekend’s entertainment. Brendan, Michael, Martin and myself travelled up from Dublin to Donegal. We tried to sneak into the hotel room that Anhrefn were given but were caught by the manager. Anhrefn gave us the keys to their van where we sleptsoundly. Unfortunately for them the battery ran out on the van (must have been all that body heat). They eventually got back to Dublin for this gig. The Old Man Of Arran was an unusual place for a gig but we couldn’t find a place for the  specified night in our regular venues.We found a pub down by the Four Courts that needed a P.A. Anhrefn duly obliged . This night was also memorable for me for another reason. On our way home, walking down the Quays in Dublin we were confronted at knifepoint. We all managed to run to safety and then decided that we’d put no more gigs on in the Old Man of Arran, even though they didn’t want us anyway because of the noise.

Not Our World, Keltic Konviction, Malicious Damage, Lawnmowers Dublin 1989

NotOurWorldFeb24

Feb 24 1989

Not Our World, Keltic Konviction,  Lawnmowers, (Malicious Damage added on the night)

Grattan

The two Not Our World gigs in the Grattan were full of incident. During the first one there was crowd trouble in the venue but, more worryingly, there was trouble   outside the second week. Timo played bass in Keltic Konviction. He later moved on to Shred, where he played with the Bearded lady and Shane (both from Not Our World  who then moved to Joan of Arse). The gig he mentions was chaotic. Some people came along just to cause a bit of havoc. This was familiar to gigs at the time. Abusive  heckling was a craze but the situation got out of control that night when a glass was thrown on stage .

Timo caught the brunt of it and finished his set with a  bloodied head. Thankfully no more glasses were thrown at Hope gigs and Timo had no interest in, or intention of pursing the matter legally (which has happened at other gigs where people have been injured). The second gig was, again, memorable for the wrong reasons. One of our friends had her handbag stolen outside. She ran  upstairs to the venue, visibly shaken. Deko and I went chasing instinctively. We didn’t find the culprit and Susanne was very upset. As organiser of the gig I felt  responsible but she got off better than Timo had the previous week.

Those gigs were turning points. Both attracted 150 people and through the trouble came about a wish for people to make things better. We wanted to be able to go to gigs in peace and not have to worry about safety. Through Not Our World (and then ‘Hope’) a policy was  made to encourage friendliness at gigs, let people see that they weren’t just there to be consumers, that they were at a gig to be part of something – something they could find comfort in and something they could be comfortable with. That became the plan, the “hope”.

Mr Business Man It’s Not Our World

now

The first band I ever played in was called Vicarious Living.  named after a line in a flux of Pink Indians song our reason behind it was that it “pertained to a different way of living”.  That was 1983 and I played in 4 or 5 bands over the next 6 years.  The last of these were called Not Our World or N.O.W. for short.

 

We played a lot of gigs around Dublin and beyond but always on this island.  There were plans tom play further afield and even bring out a record but circumstances dictated otherwise.  We did manage to get a lot of gigs in Dublin, playing in venues now long gone, like the Attic, Fox and pheasant, Trinity JCR and beyond, new inn, and the earl grattan.  At times it felt like we were a resident band in the grattan played there 5 nights one week.

We taped most of our gigs but unlike Fugazi who all had excellent sound desk recording we used whatever tape machines were doing the rounds.  Around that time as part of trainee sound engineers course they would get an overnight session in a recording studio.  We managed to score some time in Temple Lane Studios.  It was our first time in such a place and the experience was pretty forgettable.  We managed to record three songs and when we left we thought they represented our sound.  However whne we got home and the tape was played through our decks the sound was a thinny representation and didn’t really capture us.  So we did nothing with the demo.  Gave it to very few friends and planned to get back into a studio at some stage.   That wasn’t to be and now 25 years later I suppose it is time enough to let the tape be digitised.

 

Here are the  three songs  We felt we could change our world and subsequently the entire world, it wasn’t to be in the end but our world certainly changed.

 

niallhope