Archive for June, 2011

Never mind.

Saint Patrick’s Athletic are off to play ÍBV Vestmannaeyjar on Thursday. Needless to say, I won’t be there. Part-timer that I am, it’s a bit much really. Thankfully, it looks like we will have an option beyond eating our nails glued to extratime.ie:

Supporters club have arranged for McDowells to stream the game Thursday evening live on the big screen. All pints only €3.50 for what’s sure to be a great night.

Excellent. The action begins at 7pm. Believe.

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Live Dublin, die young

I was going to do a post containing a few different snaps from tonights saunter around town, but I think I’ll leave that for another time, as I believe the piece below deserves its own post… By far my favourite bit of graffiti to appear on a wall recently.

Right you are...

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os Blades?

Ken Sweeney in The Independent recently brought my attention to a mysterious (and hilarious) ‘easter egg‘ in a recent Nike football video.

The 60 seconds advertisement, which was produced to “commemorate the career of ‘O Fenomeno’, Ronaldo, in the wake of his final game for Brazil”, was uploaded onto Youtube on 07 June 2011.

At approximately 0:35 seconds, the camera focuses on a bedroom. The decor, vinyl and retro cassette player is made up to suggest its from the early 1980s.

On the wall, beside a poster for Ironman, is a (homemade?) gig poster for The Blades playing in the Baggot Inn! If you blink, you’d have missed it.

Screengrab of the Nike ad

Now, if the advertisement was made in Ireland, perhaps, it would make a bit of sense. A nostalgic ad man wanted to slip in something Dublin/Irish for the ad that would be beamed around the world. I’d have bought that. But that can’t be the case, as it was made by an advertisement agency in Argentina!

So, perhaps it’s an ex-pat over in sunny South America slipping in it for a chuckle or perhaps it’s an Argentenian music anorak, who as Sweeney pondered, “… went to the trouble of creating a tribute to his favourite long lost Dublin band by sneaking them into…”, the promo.

I’d love to know. Answers on a postcard. (Paul Cleary himself has no idea but, as you would imagine, is “intrigued” by the whole thing!)

Either way, fair play to the gentleman or lady behind it.

Added bonus: Our friends at Fanning Sessions have uploaded a 9 song live broadcast of The Blades from April 1985. Listen to it here. This is the first live stuff I’ve heard of the band. Been a long time waiting.

We’ve previously written about the band; Revelations (Of 45s) & The Blades Are Sharp.

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Released by Hot Press in 2006 to mark the 20th anniversary Philip Lynott's death.

I always loved Phil Lynnot’s Dublin but I’m embarrassed to say that I only came across this previously unreleased version online this evening. I’ve replayed it six times now. It was originally recorded at Trend Studios in 1970 and ‘remained hidden in the vaults’ until 2006.

After our affair
I swore that I’d leave Dublin
And in that line I’d left behind
The years, the tears, the memories and you

In Dublin

At the quays friends come and say farewell
We’d laugh and joke and smoke
And later on the boat
I’d cry over you

In Dublin

How can I leave the town that brings me down
That has no jobs
Is blessed by God
And makes me cry


And at sea with flowing hair
I’d think of Dublin
Of Grafton Street and Derby Square
And those for whom I really care and you

In Dublin



The song always gets to me. What beautiful, haunting lyrics. This version has now become my favoruite.

The ‘Derby Square’ in the song refers to a small alley (80ft along according to one poster on Dublin.ie) that used to be off Werburgh Street, just beside Burdocks chipper. It was redeveloped in the early 1990s.

Entrance to Derby Square from Werburgh Street, Dublin (1969). NLI.

For an added bonus, here is a spoken word version from the BBC. Date unknown:

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Friday night soul.

Friday night in. No football. With St. Patrick’s in Iceland this week, the normal routine is out the window. Nothing to fear there, as I’ll be up in Ruta (O’Byrnes at the top of Capel Street, it used to be the Four Seasons if that rings any bells) playing the tunes.

Feel free to pop in. It’s free in, they’ve got some excellent Eastern European beers on tap and I promise nothing but the best noise.

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This is a pretty bizarre statement by anyones definition of the term, from Richard Humphreys, the Labour councillor in Stillorgan. The best bet has to be where he refers to the Flotilla, bringing medical aid to Gaza, as a “Mediterranean jaunt”. Right…..

Cllr Richard Humphreys, the Labour Party Councillor for the Stillorgan Ward, has appealed to the passengers and crew of the MV Saoirse, set to take part in the Gaza flotilla, to heed the warnings of the UN and President Obama, and stay at home.

“Ultra left politicians such as Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Councillor Cllr Hugh Lewis, and Paul Murphy MEP, would be fulfilling their duties better if they stayed at home and attended to their constituents, rather than heading off for this ill-advised Mediterranean cruise.” Humphreys said.

“This is not just my opinion” Humphreys said. “This flotilla is in defiance of the call by the Secretary-General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon, that such flotillas should be discouraged, and blocked by member states, as they may only provide a focus for violence. President Obama’s administration, and Hilary Clinton in particular, has made the same appeal to call off this flotilla.”

“I fully support the call by Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore that all sides must avoid the completely unjustified violence associated with the last flotilla. In my personal opinion, the responsibility for that violence rests with the Turkish terrorists who attempted to kill and injure members of the Israeli Defence Forces in front of their colleagues. No defence forces anywhere in the world that are worthy of the name would have responded to that murder attempt with anything less than immediate and potentially lethal force.” Humphreys said.

“While I appreciate the humanitarian sentiments motivating some of the flotilla participants, it has been openly admitted by some of the organisers that the aim of the exercise is not to bring humanitarian aid to Gaza. Such aid can be readily brought through on land in any event – as the UN Secretary-General and the Obama administration have pointed out. The ultimate object of the flotilla is to break Israel’s Naval Blockade on Gaza. The purpose of naval blockade, according to the Israeli Government, is to prevent the importation of weapons and explosives being used to launch illegal attacks on Israel’s civilian population by jihadist organisations committed to Israel’s destruction. Hundreds of such rocket attacks, using munitions smuggled into Gaza, have been launched this year already. Despite the good intentions of some of its participants, the ultimate beneficiary of the flotilla could therefore, unfortunately, be terrorist organisations.” Humphreys said.

“Gaza’s civilian population must also be protected – not least from their terrorist rulers Hamas who have unleashed a repressive, homophobic and misogynist regime on their unfortunate population. I hope the Unity government will herald an improvement in this regard but this cannot be taken for granted.”

“Instead of Ultra Left Alliance politicians waving goodbye to their constituents for an ill-advised Mediterranean jaunt designed to cause a provocation, we need real political progress towards ending Hamas attacks on Israel, protecting the civilian population of Gaza, easing the blockade by political agreement and ultimately towards a balanced two-state solution based on mutual recognition and respect.” Humphreys said.

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Jaysus,Mary and Joseph.

Sure they probably gave Padraig Pearse some grief outside the GPO too…..

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I thought I’d pop this up. It’s an article I wrote for ‘The Commune’ in the UK, when asked to give a brief overview of the beautiful game in Ireland. Some of you may enjoy it.

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Jay Carax will be in Manchester for the next two months but he’s hoping to post irregularly on Dublin and Irish related topics.

The Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) kept detailed files on as many Trotskyites and Trotskyite group as they could, right through the 20th century.

One file came that I came across had a snippet on Ireland. The confidential report on “Trotskyite Activities” from May 1943, under the “Colonial”,
section as this to say:

“Socialist Appeal has recently devoted great attention to Ireland, including special reports from Brian Aherne in Belfast. Young Jim Larkin at a recent Connolly Club meeting in London is reported to gave included a number of Trotskyist ideas in his speech. Socialist Appeal is now being sold in Dublin with no apparent interference from the authorities, who strictly maintain the ban on Communist publications. The Workers’ International League (W.I.L.) is reported (May 1943) to have formed an Irish Bureau.” CP/CENT/ORG/12/01

Harry Pollit (1880 - 1960) who was General Secretary of the CPGB from 1921-1939 and 1941-1956.

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Welcome back, Ding Dong Denny O’Reilly.

Great line in this one, about how the closest we’ve come to a social revolt was the anger over a handball in Paris. That’d be the Irish.

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Just spotted this for sale via the Sinn Féin shop online. It is, quite literally, a t-shirt of people dancing on Margaret Thatcher’s grave.

It can’t be long now! Get ready for the big day

Stone reads: Margaret Thatcher Tyrant and Murderer

Sign Reads: Dancers Please form an orderly queue

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The Shakin' Pyramids at The Magnet, 30 years ago.

It’s often said that recessions ignite music scenes. (Certainly in the last while, we’ve seen the proliferation of underground Dance events in Dublin.)

Music does seem to have that extra edge when it’s written and performed beneath the dark background of economic and political crises. It seems that from the explosion of punk in the summer of 1976 to the birth of the acid house movement in 1988, all decent Irish (and British) music was characterised by bands, imagery and lyrics that told the (often depressing) story of what was going around them – unemployment, inner city riots, boredom and that consistent feeling of ‘no future’. The Blades’ ‘Downmarket’ immediately springs to mind, as does The Specials’ ‘Ghosttown’, The Pogues, UB40, Dexys Midnight Runners, two-tone, reggae, punk, Oi! The list is endless.

What I’ve found interesting recently is that it seems recessions  often reignite music scenes as well. People become more nostalgic, they look back to the ‘good old days’.

In Dublin, in the last eighteen months we’ve seen major reunions of both the 1980s Mods (who I’ve written about before) and the 1980s skinheads whose HQ was ‘The Fox and Pheasant’. Now, it’s the rockabillies and teddy boys turn.

McGrattans (off Baggot St.) sees a reunion on August 27 2011 for teds, bikers and rockabilly fans who frequented the legendary Magnet on Pearse Street. For background, see my feature on Stompin’ George and The Magnet.

No doubt it’s going to be a great night.

The Magnet 31 years ago…

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