Spoilers – interview

I saw spoilers play a couple of years ago and their punk pop blast caught my attention straight away.  Their stay afloat album is a gem, capturing that punk rock community feel down to a tee.  Their singer Dan keeps looking to try and get the band over to Dublin to play a gig and hopefully one day we can them here.  I sent him on some questions and here are the results.

1) spoilers were a punk band in California in 1978, they are a punky band from London and are a band of diy punks from Canterbury
Which one are? do you ever get confused?

We are Spoilers from Canterbury, Kent. We sometimes get accidently tagged on Facebook events and confused for the London based Spoilers. So from time to time I get an email from one of the boy’s freaking out ‘Have we got a gig tonight!!!??’ Also I’m told the singer uses the same Gordon Smith Guitar that I do. Maybe we should do a gig together.

But no, generally people know who we are. The other Spoilers are much better looking.

2) Who is in the band these days. ?

Dan Goatham – Guitar + Vocals
Leon Packer – Drums
Stu Randall – Bass + Shouts
Ben Davis – Guitar + Vocals

Occasionally Stew ‘ The Gusher’ Gush fills in on guitar if Ben is away working.

3) When you started it all off did you consciously say this is the way it’s going to sound or did it evolve over a few rehearsals?

It evolved really. Some of the songs existed from a previous project and demo from a few years back. We kind of wanted to carry that on from where it left off. I always liked the idea that we would have melodic punk songs and then also throw in some hardcore.

Who are you listening to these days?

The Kimberely Steaks, Face To Face, Slade, Leatherface, Consumed, T-rex, Lifetime, Kid Dynamite, Snuff, Medictation, Tiltwheel, The GetGone, The Foamers, Pizza Tramp, The Sainte Catherines, Iron Chic, Midway Still, Senseless Things, The No Marks, Billy No Mates, Dealing With Damage.

4) I have a split record and an album. Is that all your releases?

So far yes. We’re currently working on an album and possibly another split.

You work with some cool record labels, how did the relationships with these develop?

Aston and I have known each other for quite a few years now. I’ve been buying Boss Tuneage Records stuff for many years. I used to run into him a lot in Cambridge at DS Wilsher’s gigs. He has put out many of my favourite records. It was actually Dec Kelly (Southport) that suggested we send stuff over to Aston. He’s been great to work with and I hope we keep on working with him.

We sent stuff to Scott mclauchlan at Brassneck records on a suggestion from Mark Murphy (No Marks, Crocodile God). I’d never met him before. He came back to us immediately to say that he was over budget for his releases that year but that he would give it a listen and maybe some suggestions. I awoke the next morning to an email from him saying ‘I’m in, what’s the plan?’ Scott has become a good friend of ours. He likes a beer and a chip barm, so we get on well.

Have I heard a rumour of a new record coming out?

We are working on it at the moment. We started recording at the beginning of the year and we’re booked in the studio in November to finish up. Fingers crossed that it will be released spring 2018.

5) So Canterbury votes for Brexit, what did you make of it? I know it was close, why do think people of Canterbury wish to the UK to leave the EU?

It was very close. I don’t think people took it seriously enough at the time. I’ll include myself in that. I never thought that would be the result.

They then elect a labour mp? Will Canterbury be leading the way in the revolution

I voted for Rosie Duffield (labour MP) and was very glad to see the back of Julien Brazier. I was shocked when I read how long Canterbury had been Tory. I’m actually originally from Sittingbourne which is a few towns away. That was and is sadly still Tory. Our bass player Stu is actually banned from Gordon Henderson’s (Local Tory MP) facebook page, but that’s a whole other story. The election 2017 was also close and Rosie only won by 187 votes, she seemed more shocked than anyone that she actually won.

If you had been at Canterbury pride the weekend following her victory then you would’ve thought the revolution had started.

6) What’s it really like being in a band, leaving work and having to travel long distances to play 30 minutes to a few people.

Sometimes those gigs you do to a few people can be the best ones. No real feeling of pressure and if you have people in the room that are up for a good laugh then it can keep you laughing all the way home. I remember a gig in Basingstoke (I think!?) that we had the whole room singing the theme to Only Fools And Horses at the tops of their voices between every song.

After a long day at work (as I’m in the car working all day working) it can be hard to get going I guess but I think we all just enjoy playing together. The long drive can be irrelevant.

7) I know you’ve been asked before but can you tell me a bit about punks don’t die. I love the way I can associate it with friends I knew from punk rock. Did you mean it that way

That song was written with a friend in mind that had very recently passed away. My closest and certainly my oldest friend. Davee Wild grew up around the corner from me in Sittingbourne and we both got into punk rock around the same time. We used to show each other a lot of bands and lend each other new releases. We would go to local gigs around Swale and Medway in Kent. Davee was a bit older than me and when he started college in Canterbury he stumbled across this amazing venue called ‘The Cardinals Cap’. I think for around the next year we spent every Friday and Saturday night there and saw some incredible bands. It sadly closed in 2001, but it was soon after this Davee Realised the only way all the bands that played there would ever come back to Kent was by us all getting together and putting them on at any venue we could find. He promoted shows at the Oast House in Rainham, and later found a regular venue at The Maidens Head in Canterbury. DIY shows that somehow he managed to keep free entry.

I just wrote and thought about all the memories of going to gigs together, putting on shows in our local scene, lending each other records and the fact that we basically wouldn’t have a music scene in and around Canterbury if it wasn’t for Davee. I miss him a lot.

8) What does punk rock mean to you?

Being yourself.

9) You seem to play a fair few gigs, how do you get on so many bills?

If I’m honest I feel we are very lucky. We have no booking agent and most of the gigs that we do we are invited to play. Myself and Ben have been playing in bands for around 20 years and toured the UK many times as well as Europe. We’re lucky that we have made a lot of friends along the way that put us on when we first started out. Over the last couple of years this has grown and we’ve been invited to play a lot more shows and made a lot of new friends. The punk scene in England is the best it has ever been at the moment and I hope this continues. Bands are finding it easier to stay DIY


Knocking Shop – interview

Dublin based band the Knocking Shop are back playing sporadic gigs after 20 years. They had a place in an emerging independent scene in Dublin that wore guitars on heart. They have been described as a punk Leonard Cohen or the Fall wrestling with Go Betweens. They will be bringing their understated yet underestimated style to the Grand Social on November 3 when they will be playing with Mik Artistik. I sent the singer, Seamus Duggan, a few questions and results are as follows

1. How did it all come together?
It was 1992. I was 25, too old for rock music (or so I thought) and working in the Irish Film Centre. I had been managing Luggage and had really enjoyed watching songs come together and Barry would have been very encouraging of the possibility of me being in a band. Dave Connolly had been a friend since we were in primary school together and we had even toyed with writing songs many years before. Dave had gone on to play with The Sulphate Bambinos, who played mostly speeded up rockabilly / garage and I, having seen Dave’s immediate facility with the guitar, parked any dreams I had of being a guitar hero.
However, I was still a music obsessive and when the idea of forming a band started to come into focus I started trying to learn the bass. I soon passed the instrument onto another friend who had a similar facility for bass playing. Another friend and work colleague, John Healy, was a drummer and he knew Derek who wasn’t playing with anyone since the implosion of The Subterraneans. The first time the four of us were in a room together it just all seemed to come together. I think we wrote Schoolyard Star at that rehearsal. It felt like a band.

Rehearsals and more songs and gigs followed. In September 1993 we went into Sonic Studios and recorded and mixed fourteen tracks in seven hours (from which we culled Half-Orphan), mostly with Paddy Brady, also ex-Subterraneans, as a co-conspirator.

2. How did all fall apart?
It was more of a case of limping into the night. By 1997 we were on our third iteration of the band, and were called The Phantom Jets, with Eoin ‘Skins’ Hanna on drums and it felt like we were getting better and better. We had played a gig in The Attic on New Year’s Day, which we filled to overflow. Considering that the venue had rang me to ask if we wanted to cancel because nobody went to gigs on New Year’s Day it felt like things were building nicely. However the next gig we were set to play, I was hanging posters when I heard that The Attic had been knocked down. This was just a minor setback but it was getting harder to organize our lives around the band. Dave had a job in Derry and had to travel a long way for rehearsals and gigs. I had a daughter and was working full time. It was hard to see any money coming in and then one of the band’s partners got cancer and it seemed that we would just have to park the band. Life’s complications kept us in the garage for a long time.

3. Can I have a list of the bands that you’ve all been in
Me – The Knocking Shop
Derek Barter – The Subterraneans; The Knocking Shop
Dave Connolly – The Sulphate Bambinos; The Knocking Shop
Eoin Hanna – Lord John White; The Knocking Shop

4. So you are based in this little island and have a tape only release. Where does Record Collector fit into all this? How did the launch go last year? Was it your first time outside the country?
I had always felt quite proud of what the band produced, and of what we could have produced. We all remained friends, although living in different places etc. One day I saw an ad looking for people to submit demo recordings recorded between the mid-eighties and the mid-nineties. I sent off a link to the title song of our self-released album Half-Orphan and they got back on to me after a while enthused about the song and saying they wanted to put it on their compilation. Ian Shirley from Record Collector was very enthusiastic and when he listened to the DAT tape, which I had sent over, was saying he couldn’t believe we hadn’t been signed. Then he asked us to play the launch night and so I sent off three emails to see if anyone fancied reforming. All were enthusiastic and so we got together for a few rehearsals, managed to remember a few of our songs and headed off for our first gig abroad!
It was a great experience, with a hugely positive response from the audience. We also had enjoyed each other’s company (I think!) and felt that we should try to play in Dublin as well, as there might be a few people who would like to see it..

5. What gives you the buzz to feel that people want to listen to songs you wrote. Is it hard now to get gigs?
I guess that songs mean so much to me in my life, and although I know there are very few people for whom our songs are part of their lives I feel proud of them and that they stand up. And there are a few people for whom these songs have some meaning. I also have a sense that we were/are a lot better than we were given credit for. We were not really the best self-publicists, nor did we have any real sense of a ‘career’. We did it for love of music and writing songs. It gives me a buzz to watch the band, and I’m still a little bewildered that they are happy to let me on stage with them. It’s been strange, and pleasing, to have people in their twenties come up to me after gigs to say they enjoyed it.

As far as getting gigs now, the difficulty is all managing to get to Dublin for rehearsals and having time to play gigs. We have been very lucky to have been invited to play The Grand Social on a few occasions now, and our gig on November 3rd with Mik Artistik’s Ego Trip will be our fourth appearance there (I think..). The gig with Mik Artistik in January was great because they are a pretty special live experience.

6. Any idea what the difference is between the music scene in Dublin in 1993 and 2017?
Not really. I am about as far removed from the music scene as I could be, living in Portarlington and making the odd trip to Dublin, usually for rehearsals or gigs. I don’t really get to see much of the new breed.. Or even explore the venues. I miss it, but life gets in the way. Even in 1993, I’m not quite sure how much I knew about the ‘music scene’. There were a number of bands we hung out with/played with/watched, we would have been particularly close to Luggage and Female Hercules. There was great music being made but the public attention was elsewhere. None of us seemed to be the ‘next big thing’ although Luggage had their moment after doing a John Peel session. We didn’t make it to the National Stadium, or The SFX. We always had places to play, but there was no money in it and very little media attention of any sort. My awareness of what things are like now comes from the fact that I can go and see someone like Jim White play to fifty or sixty people in an intimate venue in Kilkenny. Gigging and releasing music has become very much a professional hobby for many who would seem to me to be in the ‘big league’ of independent artists. I would like to have got to that league once, if just to have had the opportunity to make more music and have the time to concentrate on it. Now, that money just isn’t there. On the other side technology has made it possible to create and distribute music without a big upfront investment. DIY music making is now more attainable than ever.

However, in 1993 you were able to find cheap accommodation and get by for long periods on very little money. That is a lot harder today and I sense that a lot of creativity is being squashed out of people by the necessity to work to pay their rent. It still feels important to me that people who want to create should have the space to do so. I feel that if I believe this for others I should really apply the same rules to myself. I guess you’ve got to find whatever space is available and try to inhabit it. That hasn’t changed.

7. Looking through the, minimal enough, amount of information on the net the word punk keeps coming up. A punk Leonard Cohen is an interesting comparison. What does punk rock mean to you?
I guess what punk means to me is the idea that the band and the audience are the same. It was an attempt to break down barriers. We certainly haven’t become separated from the audience by money or celebrity – maybe that makes us truly punk? It also valued self-expression rather than consumption and celebrity. In many ways it was a victim of it’s own success but the idea still inspires. You don’t have to be a classically trained singer to use your voice. It’s more important to want to say something. Or just want to make people listen..

Musically the punk / new wave era would be when I became aware of music and it still resonates with me more than any other era.

8. Half Orphan is about the death of your Mam when you were a young boy. Is it a cathartic experience writing such a song? How about playing it on stage? It must be very emotional?
It’s a strange one. On occasion it can feel like being mugged, the emotions just spring up from nowhere. Other times it’s just a song. The song seemed to write itself, as sometimes happens. One minute I was just singing whatever came into my mind over the music, the next minute I had a song.

9. Should lyrics in songs have sentiment to the singer?
For me I always seek out music that seems somehow emotionally connected to the performers. I think it is easier to make that connection if the lyrics connect to the singer in some way but there are other ways to connect with music. I admire lyricists who can create worlds that exaggerate and twist reality, like Nick Cave, Kate Bush or Tom Waits, but leave you feeling that there is a connection to their emotional world.
However I also like the unadorned and plain, and love writers like Ray Davies or Hank Williams who can write songs that seem almost mundane but contain the world too. I’m not really answering this question – I guess the sentiments have to feel real to me. When I’m singing a song, I have to feel a connection. Sometimes singing a song feels like time travel, as feelings and thoughts come back across the years with a startling clarity.

10. So it’s a cold winters night, you’re at home on your own and have 5 records to play before bedlam sets in -what would they be?
They would be different every day! But here goes. I have some time tonight and this is my planned listening. First I’ll pick a couple of current favourites:
I’ve been listening to a lot of Jackie Leven recently. He’s someone I only knew from a few songs on compilation albums but I’ve recently bought six or seven of his albums, which is only a start – there are a lot. He had a life which is crying out for a biography, from recording his debut album as a teenager circa 1970, fronting the great Scottish band Doll by Doll during the punk/new wave era. He then got mugged while recording his debut album, was strangled and lost his voice for a couple of years. He became a junkie but turned his life around and set up the charity CORE which uses holistic methods to help addicts recover. He then restarted his recording career after some encouragement from Princess Diana (I kid you not) and released somewhere upwards of twenty albums before his death in 2011. I regret never seeing him live. I tuned in to him too late. He is part Van Morrison, part Begbie; a Celtic Soul Brother who must be the only person to collaborate with both Ralph McTell and Pere Ubu’s David Thomas. My choice at the moment would be Fairy Tales for Hard Men, an exploration of toxic masculinity full of moving, mysterious, overblown and grittily realistic songs.

My most recent purchase only arrived today so I’m playing that. And it’s perfect for the moments before bedlam sets in as it’s an album based Milton’s Paradise Lost. No, it’s not a prog epic but The Argument, the last album from Grant Hart whose songs with Hüsker Dü shine bright in my personal constellation. His recent passing was a shock. What I’m hearing I like – echoes of Bowie’s Diamond Dogs (which started out as a musical version of Orwell’s 1984). Writers have to find different ways to tap into their creativity. Sometimes it will work, sometimes not. You can’t let the fear of failure cripple you.

Another album I’ve been listening to a lot recently is T-Rex’s Electric Warrior. It’s an album that plugs back into my four year old brain but also is still capable of surprising me today. I still like to get the odd dose of glam rock – it was one of the tributaries that fed into punk and it will forever be a reminder to me of a time when colours were as primary as school and music was simple, sing along joy.

Then I pick up Ray Charles’ Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music just to wonder at how close it comes to being perfect. It’s also, despite its musicianship, tenderness and fragility, as boundary smashing as any punk rock record. And, as I listen again, it’s an object lesson in how to find the heart of a song.

For the final album – Big Star’s Sister Lovers / Third – my Desert Island Disc. The box set, if only for the demo version of Kanga Roo – Like St Joan, which I find extraordinary and also because playing the whole box set will give me a little more time before the bedlam strikes… I got my first copy of this album in 1988, my interest inspired by The Stars of Heaven and must have listened to it almost daily for years. The demos show that the album really is a Chilton solo album in all but name, the peeled nerve beauty already all present and correct in the roughly recorded demos.

Not a very punk selection tonight but it would probably be very different tomorrow…



Thanks from We Shall Overcome 2017

We had a good turnout at our PUNK!DIY!40 event last night and managed to raise €300 for Aoibhneas Womens Refuge

There is a fine line in any of these events between trying to tell a story and being self indulgent.  Hopefully we struck a balance with it last night Have a listen yourselves

We started with a panel discussing punk rock today and the recorded output of Paranoid Visions and GRIT
Clodagh, (Hope Collective, Slanted and Enchanted fanzine, GRIT)
Aoife Destruction (Paranoid Visions)
Peter Jones (Paranoid Visions, FOAD Records, DIY promoter)

We moved on to The Story of the Radiators with  Steve Rapid and Pete Holidai who gave an insight into the Dublin of the early to mid 70’s with brilliant direction from Roisin Dwyer as Chair

Steve and Pete were joined by  Kitty Kav (the Boy Scoutz) who discussed being in an all women band in Ireland in 1977.

Jimi Cullen played a couple of protest songs to show us that acoustic folk protest music is still alive

Kitty stayed on to talk of here agitation with Suzanne Rhatighan (Toy With Rhythm), Ferdia MacAnna (Rocky de Valera/The Rhythm Kings) and Bernie Furlong (the Golden Horde).  The one thing that shone through was their love for music and passion for trying to get a viewpoint across through it all

It all finished with a discussion with ‘promoters’ Elvera Butler (Cork Kampus, Reekus Records), Edwina Forkin (first female Ents Officer in TCD/film-maker), Caroline O’Sullivan (DJ/promoter) and ourselves talking about our love for dong what we did.

Video footage will follow but thanks to all the people for generously donating their time


Thursday Tunes..Menace

This weeks Thursday tunes come from Noel Martin.  Like many more of his Irish generation Noel’s family emigrated from Ireland in the early 70’s to a London that was cosmopolitan, a world away from this island.

He formed Menace in 1976, 41 years and many releases later the band are still going.  They were due to be playing in Fibbers this week as part of the excellent Dando Sessions, however have had to cancel. The show must go on however and the excellent Dubtones have stepped into the fold


In advance of it we asked Noel to give us some tunes he has been listening to lately

Fuck you by Menace

Anarchy in the UK by The Sex Pistols

In a rut by the Ruts

Monkey Wrench by the Foo Fighters

Killing in the name of by Rage against the machine

Safe European home by The Clash

Hey little rich girl by The Specials

Warhead by The UK Subs

Take em all by Cock Sparrer

Jailbreak by Thin Lizzy

Steve Mack Interview. Stag, That Petrol Emotion and the US punk scene.





This was a particularly exciting interview for me. That Petrol Emotion were one of the greatest live acts of all time, and their records captured their musicality, originality, fun, ambition, enthusiasm and ability to construct amazing unique songs.

When I mentioned to one of the stalwarts of Ireland’s independent rock scene, Michael Connerty, that I had just interviewed one of my musical heroes, Steve Mack, I recalled how the Irish rock scene has never produced “another band like That Petrol Emotion”. Michael smiled, and said, no scene anywhere in the world has produced another band like them.

Simply put, That Petrol Emotion, were one of the greatest. In my Top Ten greatest bands for sure. Three of the band, Reamann O’Gormain, Ciaran McLaughlin, Damian O’Neill are now in the outstanding, The Everlasting Yeah!, and were good enough to write brilliant pieces for our book, Favourite Gigs of Ireland’s Music Community. And they say you should ‘never meet your heroes’. It turns out that some of the greatest heroes of Ireland’s DIY and punk scene are also thoroughly decent human beings too!

I won’t go on, but I remember a particularly memorably night when I was lucky enough to finally see one of the all-time-greats, Iggy Pop. The gig was in Birmingham and he was superb, yet the opening band on the night, That Petrol Emotion, were even better. That takes some doing.

The Petrols’ singer, Steve Mack also has a new band, Stag. They make effervescent pop music underpinned by 40 years of men, and women, in platform boots and glitter, stomping their way into the hearts of many pop and rock lovers, and the charts of many countries.

Stag play next Monday night in the Workman’s Club. The decent thing to do would be for legions of music fans to turn up and enjoy a truly spectacular night.


Michael: You are best remembered, and most loved, here in Ireland for your dynamic antics with the incomparable, That Petrol Emotion…..how did you get into music in the first place?

Steve Mack: Hah! Well, I was brought up in a relatively musical family. My grandfather wrote musicals, and my dad had a great stereo. I grew up playing the usual assortment of instruments in school – drums, clarinet, sax – and eventually bought and taught myself how to play guitar. I put together a punk rock band for our high school talent show, where we blew folks away, and I was kinda hooked, though being a professional musician didn’t really seem like a viable option.

Did you get any encouragement from friends, family, teachers etc?

Steve: Yes and no – it always came relatively easy for me, but I never practiced so wasn’t very good to be honest. But one night at a college party my friend forgot the lyrics to a Monkees song and asked me to fill in. I did and he told me I should be a singer. I was blown away – no one had ever complimented my musical ability before.

Are there any particular highlights of the Petrols’ days that you look back at with most joy?

Steve: Oh jeez – so many good times. The Feile was one of the highlights, and I’m not just saying that. We were at our peak, and it felt so good. Playing to 80,000 folks in Estonia was mind-bending. Recording our first album, Manic Pop Thrill. Playing in venues in the US where I’d seen my heroes play. Honestly it was such a great, cherished time in my life.

We’re obsessed with punk at this ‘zine…..what did punk mean to you? Did you have any particular favourite records or memories of gigs?

Steve: And well you should be! Punk changed my life. Seriously – I was a suburban new-wave loser, frustrated with life and the political situation in the US, which was dire at the time, though in retrospect Reagan seems almost lovable at this point. And then you hear the Dead Kennedys – and everything changes. You hear Minor Threat. You hear Black Flag. Gang of Four. The Buzzcocks. And you meet people at parties and at gigs in Seattle, and you realize you’ve found your tribe. My tribe, being the folks who went on to be the godfathers of grunge. We all grew up together, partied together, played together.

The thing that drove grunge was that there weren’t that many acts who came through Seattle at the time, so the ones that did we went absolutely bat-shit crazy over. DOA and the Subhumans from Vancouver – great. Black Flag, of course. I was actually hired to be security at a gig that turned into a riot. Me! All nine stone of me at the time. Hilarious. Iggy Pop at the Showbox where the drums caught on fire – epic. The Dead Kennedys. The Damned. PiL. 999. All of these bands were seminal influences on all of us.

Then in 1982 I went and spent a summer in DC, working for a government agency. The drinking age was 19, so I could drink legally! And since it was east coast, so many more bands played there! Killing Joke. The Dickies. Gang of Four. X. Bad Brains (!!!). Government Issue. The Necros. Man, those DC punks were HARD. In Seattle, we stage dived like crazy, but people always caught you, and helped you if you fell down. In DC, guys were literally trying to beat the shit out of you. I guess they were pissed off because they weren’t drinking.

Stag has a swagger and energy that summons up the past as well as the present, you have always seemed alert to how deeply music can affect people. Were there any acts or genres or even scenes that inspired you in particular?

Steve: All of us in Stag have been in a bunch of bands, and have deep record collections. We decided with Stag that we just wanted to make a big, joyous noise – if we ended up wearing some of our influences on our sleeves, who gives a f**k? Besides, the influences we think are obvious people don’t even remember! So we just go with our instincts and make it big, make it rock, and make it hummable. Obviously we love the Beatles, the Kinks, the Who, and 70s acts like Cheap Trick and Badfinger, as well as glam bands like T-Rex and the Sweet, hell, even Mud if pushed to admit it. But then there’s a modern edge that recalls Guided by Voices, maybe some Spoon – it’s all a great stew of goodness.

What can Irish music fans expect from Stag?

Steve: We will rock. We will crush. We will jump up and down a lot. And tell really stupid jokes. And drinking. Plenty of that. All good fun, right?

Is the process of making music with Stag different from with the Petrols, if so, in what ways?

Steve: Oh yeah. Though, in fairness, a lot of it probably has to do with age and maturity. Ben London, our lead guitarist, comes up with all the song ideas, but we arrange them as a band. Sometimes I fine-tune the lyrics. The most important thing is that it’s a collaborative process where all ideas are allowed a shot. And Ben is great about letting some songs rise to the top, and others fall by the wayside. We’ve more or less taken the ego out of the process, which makes it a lot of fun.

What would you dream festival line-up be……apart from yourself, what other 5 acts (living or dead) would you include?

Steve: Oh lord – you’ll get a different answer from me every day on this. But for today, let’s make it a Detroit-based festival. So that would be the original line up of the Stooges, the MC5, and Funkadelic. Throw Aladdin Sane-era Bowie as an honorary Detroit member. And of course Stevie Wonder. How about that for a great night?





Thursday tunes

Book Yer Ane Fest is a three-day celebration of DIY punk music and culture that aims to be a positive force while raising money and awareness for and support the great work of many great people and organisations within our community. Started as an all-dayer in a Perth pub in 2008, the evolution of Book Yer Ane Fest continues in 2017 as it prepares to welcome 50+ local, national and international artists to Dundee to perform across three venues in the heart of the city over the first weekend of December.

I saw Chris recently in Dublin and was blown away by the honesty and integrity. Playing to a crowd numbering single digits it mattered little to the Canadian.

Kaddish roar and scream and move and swing in a way you may have heard before but with a passion rarely copied

No Matter are making the trip over from Northern ireland. Snotty Gobby pop punk perfection

Tongue trap will be bringing their noise and message

Scotish pop punk diy giant Uniforms will be providing the real sing a long tunes for the weekend

Relitics – Interview

Durham punk band Relitics came to my attention earlier this year with the song Anti Fascist. I like bands that proclaim their politics through their lyrics and Relitics are one of these. There’s no fences to sit on with these. I sent singer Carol Nichol on a few questions and here’s the results.

1. Can you tell us a bit about the band and releases.  Any previous bands?
3 releases which includes Vinyl Anti Fascist Do Something and Paying, vinyl split with Australian punk band Myrtle Place. The Relitics formed in 2015 by guitarist Mick Hall who is the main songwriter he had been part of the punk scene in bands such as the nothing which amounted to nothing at the time one member went on to play with Uproar and red london some band members deceased, he also played in other punk bands The horrid lads 79 80 young boys,and ended up with The Kicks for years up until 2015 until he decided he wanted to form an original political band being inspired to write born out of anger and frustration and current state of the country.  Myself I started age 14 original bands first being band Gerbils in Red wine was my first band and we would rehearse at Durhams,fowlers yard home to Toy Dolls and Prefab Sprout we where more post punk inspired by punk post punk, I was big fan of Iggy pop Ian dury, The Damned Bowie etc, I was and  still am a lover of visual front people as  you go to see a band as well, because of my diversity in music I played with many styles of bands but my heart was with making a statement in the music and punk inspired me to join a band at a young age. Our drummer Vince Ward another kid in 1970s into punk attending early gigs  he played with band Mid life crisis up until 2014 a Durham punk band, Vince  hates religion and came up with the name The Relitics meaning Religion/Politics. Our Bass player left after a year I think our vinyl release finished him off liaising with Australian band and the hard work getting it out, he also was a lover of American hardcore and we where more melodic punk.  We where spotted by Steve Hoggart who saw us play The Hop 2016 wknd of rebellion and liked what he heard so joined the band he was inspired by early SLF gig to get into bands and play bass. We have supported many established bands in the two yrs including Uk subs, Chelsea, drongos for Europe, The Vibrators, Gimpfist, 999, MDC and many more also doing charity gigs to raise money for minors memorial for Hetton le Hole home to Bob Paisley Liverpool manager.
2. When did punk rock rock start meaning something to you and what is that meaning?
For me Never mind the bollocks album and New boots and panties album the image appeal first and then the controversy around the queens jubilee my sister painted our tortoise with album cover im afraid my dad was upset with posters going up in box rooms as they where royalists in the 1970s and we wanted to rebel with society. I saw Killing joke The Tube and wanted to be a front singer writing to rebel  to make a statement about how unfair life was in our society young I suppose but exciting times for music, our generation. Mick our  guitarist was jam fan his first live band was boomtown rats who got all bands banned from Sunderland empire as it was destroyed.
3. Does D.I.Y. mean something to you? why/why not?
All inspired to write, play an instrument, arrange gigs,self release,self promote,no management, we all work DIY is what we are.
4. You “combine political lyrics with driving guitars” How important are lyrics?
Mick writes the lyrics wat he feels what is from his heart, put together with strong hooky arrangements. Lyrics can have different meanings to different people, painting a picture with words, sometimes powerful statements sometimes mystery.
5. You’ve played some decent gigs, What has it been like in the quest for getting to play live?
Played some great gigs with great bands we are not oi oi band and not easy to put us in a box. Played NSleazy last yr when I was called a fucking hippy by two girls who didnt know me and know I was getting up next in band, must been flowers in my hair these two girls where very punk in image and preferred to go and see a tribute band.living in Durham is not great for original bands but all the struggling original venues like us to play I say struggling as venues do struggle. We would like to go further a field with gigs. We playing with lurkers next yr waterloo bar Blackpool. Rebellion was great for us but again its sometimes down to who’s more punk in image who screams the most. We try to be different in creating different styles of punk dont want to be in an obvious box.
6. When i saw you play I was very impressed by your anti fascist band statement.  What gives you the fuel to write such a song and make. e such a statement
Mick wrote AF so people know in no uncertain terms where we coming from as there are so many levels in punk scene. I’m not a racist you hear so many times with bands playing with dodgy right wing members.
7. You are from Durham which voted extensively for britain to leave the EU.  Why do you think it voted that way?
there are lots of reasons peolpe voted out of the eu, many are intelligent peolpe who are tired of being ignored and governed by archaic laws from europe. many for the wrong racist  reasons , immigration was obviously an issue for many . The nhs would collapse without its foreign workforce, the leisure industry etc but that seems to be overlooked. thinks its all been said now . the end result is now the tory party has no brakes and are effectively free to cause more suffering / impose or remove laws which are there to protect. .. our song short changed was written about brexit. to be recorded shortly.
8. What is your opinion on the aftermath of the vote?  is it as you were expecting?
A bono fide  shambles the British people systematically lied to again
9.  What would have been your ideal outcome to this years british election?
Labour All the band Corbyn has won many people over especially the young, he has his weaknesses but as the rich get richer, press more manipulated, divide continues to grow. A rich country with food banks used by public service’s, no alternative.
10. Durham is also home of the annual Durham Miners Gala. Do you think trade unions have an important part to play in todays society?
Trade Unions have an important role to play  in today’s society weakened by the defeat of the minors,strike mrs Thatchers the milk snatchers hand the truth is coming out. Unison/Unite to protect from the big businesses tearing the working class to bits what with 0 hour contact s, terms and conditions decimated. HS ignored. Our Bass player is a trade unionist branch Secretary for a college of a 1000 staff. So yes very valid today trade unions.
11. Can you tell me a bit about lo-fi? Why the need to do something completely different to relitics?
Music is my life wrote my first song age 14 after being inspired by live bands I have always performed as a front person and wrote music.  I love music  I love music history, as it goes way back, lyrics can be powerful in all ways.  I have always been diverse in what I listen to and watch. A lover of front people visual, individuality. I  am dyslexic and struggled at school wasn’t the support for visual people back then. Can sometimes be criticised for not just listening to punk but I love to go back to see artists who set the spark. Lo Fi is a project I do at home record produce arrange all styles of songs no style in particular. I work with offenders and have  helped alot of people in life but I would love to write for a living as I am so creative that being in a job that isn’t creative can sometimes destroy you as a person. I dont watch much tv but got inspired to write around the character s of peaky blinders I’m a big nick cave fan and so stated writing the album Pow, however I struggle with the mainstream music industry today I find it bland mundane and shallow.  I go to see bands all the time the smaller the venue the better for me. Lo fi is getting into an occupation I would love to be in as a,songwriter for tv film will probably never happen but I love what I do, and the Relitics is also something I love to do feeling passionate about the band and what it stands for.


We Shall Overcome Dublin 2017





40 Years of Punk and D.I.Y. in Ireland.


The Hope Collective proudly presents a series of chats to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the pivotal TV Tube Heart from the Radiators From Space.


Grand Social, Dublin

Sunday 1st October 2017

5 pm to 9 pm


Followed by a Grant Hart/ Hüsker Dü celebration. Listening to some of their songs.

Admission €5



All proceeds to Aoibhneas Women’s Refuge and Crosscare homeless charity.




Members of Ireland’s punk and DIY music community will chat about their experiences, the fun and the legacy of punk and DIY.




Steve Rapid and Pete Holidai (Radiators)

Kitty Kav (the Boy Scoutz)

Deborah Blacoe

Suzanne Rhatighan (Toy With Rhythm)

Ferdia MacAnna (Rocky de Valera/The Rhythm Kings)

Elvera Butler (Cork Kampus, Reekus Records)

Bernie Furlong (the Golden Horde)

Edwina Forkin (first female Ents Officer in TCD/film-maker)

Caroline O’Sullivan (DJ/promoter)

Clodagh, (Hope Collective, Slanted and Enchanted fanzine, GRIT)

Aoife Destruction (Paranoid Visions)

Peter Jones (Paranoid Visions, FOAD Records, DIY promoter)



This event is part of the global We Shall Overcome initiative of local events to raise money and awareness for local charities.




Or Michael at MermaidLakeMusic@yahoo.com



Tickets available here





Thursday’s Tunes…in memory of Grant Hart

Husker Du Don’t Want To Know If You’re Lonely


This week’s Thursday’s Tunes are posted with a deep sense of loss.
Apparently Grant Hart from Husker Du has died.

I’m so sad. I never met the man, yet his music touched me in so many ways at different times of my life. Husker Du were my pre-Nirvana Nirvana. Lots of the things that I grew to love in R.E.M, the Replacements and the Jesus and Mary Chain struck me first with Husker Du.
As Michael Heaney and Michael Connerty noted, knowing about Husker Du in mid-1980s Dublin was like tapping into a wild and free American underground full of exciting music, possibilities and unlimited potential.

There was always a hint of hearbreak about Husker Du and Grant Hart’s later music. I know of few sadder, more honest, songs that his 2541.

Here are some memories of what Grant Hart meant to the small Dublin DIY independent music scene and some videos.

Michael Connerty: Such prolific output over those five or so years and so much of it was total dynamite. Before I had any of their records I had this taped off John Peel and must have listened to it about a thousand times!

It’s hard to get going today with the full volume Husker Du soundtrack. One of their unique qualities was their ability to convey intensity, youthful aggression and confusion at the same time as sweetness, melancholy and romance – absolutely perfect for that time of my life.

Michael recalled a night when as a DJ at the Cathedral Club he played Husker Du’s Songs About UFOs. Michael Heaney was one of the only people to dance!

Michael Heaney: I remember that night! I also recall Stan Erraught [Stars of Heaven] remarking on my Huskers badge after some Stars of Heaven gig – it was the first time I ever spoke to him. Back then, knowing bands like Husker Du was almost like a password to a secret, exciting world of music, shared only by a few fellow freaks. Those memories are all bound up with my love of the band. Poor old Grant

Husker Du Makes No Sense At All



Husker Du Could You Be The One

Husker Du Interview/Retrospective

Grant Hart 2541


Green Day Don’t Want To Know If You’re Lonely [Husker Do cover]


Thursday Tunes Week 3

This weeks tunes are based in punk rock then and now.

Under Clerys Clock
Much has been written about the Radiators releasing TV Tube Heart 40 years ago. Pete Holidai talked about it here this week and although Under Clerys Clock isn’t on that album it holds a special place in many people’s hearts in Ireland. A punk rock love song at a time when there wasn’t too many AND an anthem for a time in Ireland when same sex relationships were very much scorned

Downtown Boys
Full Communism
Downtown Boys are coming to Ireland next month. I hope I don’t miss it, please remind me

Wonk Unit
Go Easy
Wonk Unit are coming over next February and I for one can not wait. A modern Snuff for the generation that never experienced the magic that was Snuff

Not Listening
Not sure whe n you last heard this but it’s worth 2 nd a half minutes

A Page of punk
I was at this gig, incredible energy. This doesn’t quite capture it but you can get the idea