It’s a poster for three benefit gigs in September/October 1983 in aid of the Anti-Amendment Campaign. This wide reaching group unsuccessfully fought against the Eighth Amendment which introduced a constitutional ban on abortion in Ireland. Thirty-two years later and we are unfortunately still fighting to repeal it.
The leaflet indicated that the ‘Anti Amendment Music’ sub-group had the support of many of the country’s leading musical acts including Bob Geldof, Paul Brady, Christy Moore and the Tokyo Olympics.
Ringsend’s finest The Blades also backed the fight and played a benefit gig for the campaign in September 1982. They, along with the Rhythm Kings and Some Kind of Wonderful, headlined the annual The Lark in the Park concert in Saint Anne’s Park in Raheny in July 1983. Illustrating the point well that these ‘on side’ bands were really at the top of their game when they helped the campaign out.
The poster offers an interesting snapshot into the Dublin music scene of a time featuring some of the leading gigging bands in three iconic venues. The first of which is now demolished, the second one completely unrecognisable and the last renamed.
On 30th September, Dublin funky reggae band Some Kind of Wonderful headlined the first gig in McGonagles (now demolished) on South Anne Street off Grafton Street. Support came from Max (featuring former members of the Soulmates and the New Versions) and pop music luminary BP Fallon. Other enticements to get punters through the door included food, wine and “video” (!)
On 9th October, pub-rock group the Rhythm Kings featuring Ferdia MacAnna (aka Rocky de Valera) played The Baggot Inn. The venue, which along with McGonagles was a crucial cornerstone in the Dublin live music scene for decades, has been completely refurbished and was reopened recently as a Mexican-themed bar called Xico.
On 14th October, stand-up comedian Billy Magra hosted a night in The Sportman’s Inn (now known as Kiely’s) in Mount Merrion. The Club Comedy nights, along with others that Billy ran in the Project Arts Centre and the Mansion House, helped develop the live stand up comedy scene in Dublin and played host to amongst others the late Dermot Morgan, Kevin McAleer, Michael Redmond, Ian MacPherson and Mannix Flynn (today an independent Dublin City Councillor).
If anyone has any more posters from ‘Anti Amendment Music’ gigs or related memories, please get in touch or leave a comment.