Boy Scoutz
1977 - August 1979

Hot Press "Letters" 23/06/1978 Finbarr Donnely (Nun Attax). 

The last thing I want to say is that more coverage should be given to Irish bands in your paper. Groups like The Vipers, Pretty Boy Floyd and the Gems, Revolver, U2, to name but a few, need more publicity than Bob Dylan, Patti Smith and all the other creeps that you've interviewed in the past. A quarter of a page on Homefront is not enough. The only Irish groups you lot seem to favour are groups that play tradition Irish music.
Now a few words of thanks (I) to Pretty Boy Floyd & The Gems for the great gig they played in Cork and for the single (autographed and all). (II) to The Vipers for the great gigs they played in Cork and for the poster I got from their "Fan Club", (III) to The Boy Scoutz for having the nerve to do what they did (i.e. form an all girl group in this bigoted hole, sorry ..... country). 

An early publicity handout, image supplied by Jude Carr from Heat fanzine.

Dublin's first all girl "Punk" band


Line up; 1977
Ed Darragh Keyboards & Vocals
Carol Walters Guitar
Cathy Owens Bass & Vocals
Ita Carr Drums
Original line up photo from Heat Fanzine, Left to right Ita, Ed, Cathy & Carol. Picture by Susan Byrne.
I have been told that Bob used Cathy's legs for this backstage pass for The Boomtown Rats two gigs at Moran's Hotel.The Boy Scoutz were formed after an advert, appealing for girls to make up an all female punk band appeared in the Dublin "Punk" fanzine "Heat". See the above picture. The girls would also write articles for "Heat".There were strong rumours that the Boy Scoutz were to sign a record deal with the London based record company Chiswick (The Radiators From Space) record label. This even got some coverage in Hot Press at the time.The Boy Scoutz had a lot of coverage in the Dublin based fanzine "HEAT". The Boy
Scoutz are known to have played the Howth Community Centre but the dates are
unknown.Bitzy Fitz Do you remember me auditioning for Boy Scoutz in a flat in Leeson st? As singer? (Loose analogy lol) Bill Graham was there. Bernie Creegan brought me along.
Ed Darragh I do indeed bitzy.... oh dear bill I adored him!!!!! he was just so well read x

Photo by Susan Byrne, from Heat Fanzine Volume 2, number 2

Howth Community Centre picture by Steve Avrill

Ed Darragh They are scans from Heat Magazine - very punk indeed.
The first is the Boy Scoutz playing Howth Community centre circa 1977 - could have been early '78, The second is The Scoutz playing Blackrock Park with U2 circa '78 (you can see a very young Adam Clayton standing directly behind my bass rig). The third press clip shot, was taken in 1980 - I think in the Sportsman's Inn, where Ferdia Mc Anna reviewed one of my solo gigs, I was the first Female Rock Solo Singer Songwriter to take the stage in Ireland, clearing the path for the likes of Enya and subsequently Sinead O'Conner".

Ed Darragh "One of my most memorable gigs of that era, with the Scoutz was our regular gigs at McGonagle's... when it quite bizarrely had a tree on Stage right (do you remember that?) and I played stage right that night and just before we were due to go on stage some goon in the audience lifted my bass guitar and was in the depth of the audience miming he was playing. So when we took to the stage, we realized my guitar was missing and when I looked into the audience and saw this halfwit I leapt into the crowd to retrieve my guitar! Another gig I'm reminded of was when I joined Steve Rapid's Modern Heirs ... I think we opened for The Cure, again at McGonagle's, the tree was gone by this stage - but I had exchanged my bass guitar for a toy piano... I think our sound was best described as punk synth - I loved playing with Steve on stage... just an immense front man. Loving this idea of yours - might be nostalgic - but I think we were the kids to kick start the Irish pop/rock record industry as we know it. being in the first punk/rock all girl band ever to play Ireland was immense craic altogether... in fairness the other bands treated us with such respect and were unbelievably helpful.. especially rocky devalera and the lads in U2.... there were only about a dozen of us (at most) playing the circuit so we were like family.. or probably more like a feccin circus... in terms of fav band support/we supported.. the most amusing tale that can be told here is... we declared ourselves as the headline at the Blackrock Park gig with U2 in the band stand.... somehow I think the boys just let us believe we were headline... we certainly brought the crowds... like I said.. bit like a circus..."

Second Line up;
Kathy O'Donoghue Vocals
Carol Walters Guitar
Ed Darragh Bass & Vocals
Ita Carr Drums
Ed replaced Cathy Owens on Bass & Kathy comes in on vocals

Blackrock Park

Photo supplied by Ed, you can see Adam Clayton behind the bass speaker

Gig Guide

00/03/1978 Lepardstown Inn

00/03/1978 Community Centre, Howth

26/05/1978 Community Centre, Howth with Rocky DeValera & The Gravediggers

16/05/1978 McGonagle's, Dublin

04/06/1978 "Peace" Concert Peoples Park Blackrock. Strange Movement did not play at this concert, they did invade the stage. Irish Press report "A punk rock group which gate-crashed a Dublin open air peace concert yesterday was asked to leave the stage at the People’s Park in Blackrock after shouting slogans at the audience, threatening to burn down Leinster House, throwing holy water in a lake and burning Vatican flags".

George Purdy They used Papal Flags at the gig in Blackrock during an anti-papacy song. The Papal visit was in Sept '79 which would have been a year after the pictured gig so I don't know if there would be any connection. I remember on the day in Blackrock Park I wasn't even aware of the existence of papal flags as I had to ask someone what the yellow flags were.

Emmett O'Reilly My memories (unreliable) of the gig that U2 were supposed to play was that there was, for some reason, a large contingent from N. Ireland at it and that they were the source of the trouble (!) Saw some awful scenes, one guy decking another, then taking off his boot and smashing the guy in the face with it. Strange Movements: played with them and The Alternatives a couple of times, when I was in The Citizens, probably in the Magnet. Thought they were OK but at the time regarded them as a bit hippy-ish and certainly not "hard".

Hot Press "Frontlines" June must be a wicked month for punks. Certainly the Blackrock Festival held last Sunday was a depressing sequence of cock ups. The organizers had formed the impression that Fran Quigley was going to deliver them a PA. He didn’t so they had to use The School Kids’ gear which wasn’t built for open air performances.
Then fights broke out which led to one unfortunate blood spewing individual, being carted off to hospital. Then amidst the shambles, The Vipers and U2 decided not to play. Just another gig in Blackrock Park, huh?..................

Kay Kav We only had six or eight song set and I still would forget the lyrics , always remember bring prompted by the crowd ( of 6 or 8 people ).

Ed left the band sometime after this gig, she joined Steve Avrill in the Modern Heirs in August.

Gig Guide
02/07/1978 Blackrock Park, Dublin Open Air Festival with The School Kids, Velvet Valves, The Vipers, U2, Rocky De Valera & The Gravediggers, The Sinners, Sasperilla, The Vipers. 

Patrick Brocklebank U2 DID NOT PLAY  this gig as the outdoor amps and rigging that was hired for this gig never turned up. The bands that played, had to play with the School Kids indoor amps, this lead to the sound quality not being very good.

Ross Crowley The Blackrock Park Bandstand gig, later in Summer 78 included U2 on the bill and they were there but didn't play as things got a bit heady during the School Kids set! I think that was the last of the Blackrock Park extravaganzas!

Third Line up; August 1978 - August 1979
Kathy O'Donoghue Vocals
Carol Walters Guitar
Deirdre Creed Bass
Ita Carr Drums
Deirdre replacing Ed on bass

16-17/02/1979 24 Hour Dark Space Festival

Photo left by Patrick Brocklebank, right with Protex
22/03/1979 Magnet Bar, Dublin with The Alternatives, The Blades. 
Hot Press review by Bill Graham Rehearsals rehearsals rooms at the Magnet but the Pearse St. kids outside don’t identify.
Afterwards, someone stumbles back with a bruised scalp. The difference between Dublin and London; here gangs don’t have isms or projected ideologies.
Upstairs, no sweating scene, just friends and allies at a workshop. The Alternatives open, their bassist opting for the low slung  Simenon/Ulster model. Still at the 1, 2, 3, 4 stage, they haven’t yet counted to 10 or more.
The Blades are neat if not enough. Their bassist buys his ties
from the same shop as Foxton or Robinson and sings like Elvis C so I don’t know whether their Beatlism pop punk revivalism comes from Buddy’s publisher or his clone. Still, they have a design, etched with some understanding fills from the guitarist. Work to do but a concept, worth the effort.
The Boy Scoutz excuse themselves by announcing they had only an hour’s notice so hadn’t the time to get pissed/sober enough. They exude but not flaunt a sense of style, but problems remain with the rhythm machine (The Slits/Runaways trauma too). None the less, new bassist Deirdre has a power and the pulse to develop.
So far experimental rather than applied science. Strange Movements used to be but now their Good Vibrations signing makes sense. Truly, Dublin’s only Ulster band in attitude, their bassist takes off the Undertones v-neck sweater look while singer Turlough has a holed pullover but it’s a bainin. He doesn’t take no fun for an answer either, as much inciter as exciter.
Too many prior statements have used the spirit of ’76 as fuel for other purposes than punk or neo-same.
Not the Strange Movements who are instinctive fans who know about emotion not “Rock”. Beneath it all a sense of desperation, thus a lament on “Loughan House”, and of isolation, their projected single “Dancing In The Ghetto” The Magnet Theme, slow and sure fingered and a record worth wanting.
Strange Movements have an instinct for rock’s primal power and can’t be so jaded to pastiche. Their one cover, the Stones “Sympathy For The Devil” but the gang at the traffic lights isn’t in tune. A ghetto yes but nobody’s dancing and the movements are strange, stranger still than Turlough comprehends. If and when…………………

Martin Egan, Vinnie Murphy & the Boy Soutz, in Stephen's Green

02/06/1979 St Stephens Green, Dublin with Zebra, Rocky DeValera & The Gravediggers. 

Liam Mackey "Frontlines" Hot Press All concerned have agreed that the colourful several thousand strong Anti Nuclear march in Dublin on June 2, winding up with a concert and speeches in Stephen’s Green, was a successful blow struck for the cause, even allowing for the late evening rain which dampened audience enthusiasm and terminated a reportedly excellent set from Zebra. “They could’ve played all night” was the offered by one observer.................Earlier in the afternoon, the Boy Scoutz had opened the gig, with a set which however raw it may have been, indicated that they’re treating things more seriously than of days of yore, and there are no major problems afflicting the band that assiduous rehearsal won’t iron out. Cathy’s amazing vocal range is still the trump card though, and she gets better with every outing. Anyway, how can you honestly dislike a band discriminating enough to do a version of the Boys’ “The First Time......”

Also on the bill were Barry Moore and ace harpist Eamonn Murray (currently doing business with the Gravediggers) who joined forces for a set, which served as a fore taste of their soon to be released, adaptation of “Danny Boy” on Mulligan........... but at the end of the day it was Zebra it seems, who stole the show. Here’s to the next one.........

At the Magnet Bar, Dublin

28/06/1979 Wexford with The Sinners & Fabulous Fabrics

30/06/1979 Dandelion Market, Dublin. This is an afternoon show, its not known if the Sinners & Fabrics
also played this concert

30/06/1979 Navan Road with The Sinners & Fabulous Fabrics

02/07/1979 Abbey Inn, Tralee with The Sinners & Fabulous Fabrics

05/07/1979 Hibernian Hotel, Mallow with The Sinners & Fabulous Fabrics

06/07/1979 Abbey Inn, Tralee with The Sinners & Fabulous Fabrics

09/07/1979 Village Inn, Killkenny with The Sinners & Fabulous Fabrics

11/07/1979 El Ruedo, Carlow with The Sinners & Fabulous Fabrics

15/07/1979 Dandelion Market with The Sinners & Fabulous Fabrics

16/07/1979 Blue Lagoon, Sligo with The Sinners & Fabulous Fabrics Hot Press review by Liam Mackey The initial plan was to leave Dublin early on Monday morning, and arrive in Sligo around 1pm, leaving plenty of time to set the gear up and wind down before the evening's gig in the Blue Lagoon.
That was the plan, I swear.
A brief run through of the major obstacles which resulted in us negotiating the streets of Dublin at two in the afternoon: 1,
The petrol shortage which increased the difficulties of hiring vans. Eventually at midday, Fabrics drummer Bernie Creegan managed to get two Toyota Hi Aces, laying out something in the region of £100. 2, Sinners vocalist Tony Pugh was missing. Worse still he had been depping for Cathy, who'd left the Boy Scoutz (did she jump or was she pushed?) in mid tour. As the van left Dublin, no one knew whether he'd make it or not. There were other problems. Fabrics lead guitarist Sean Caroll had been ill most of the morning, and for good measure, bassist Mick Whelan had got himself bowled over by a car while crossing the
street. He got up and walked away, as they say. Can you believe that?
We eventually ease onto the Lucan road. Bernie Creegan at the wheel, around 2.30, the load comprised of 4 Fabrics, 1 Sinner (Fergus Nolan) two friends Lorraine and Janet, yous truly and the P.A.. We're on the road, hey!
There follows a four hour trip, the speedometer juddering at 70, populated mainly by jokes and smokes, and the occasional excitement of a lunatic trucker intent on getting a bit part in Convoy, and also seemingly intent on wipping us off the
road. (Bet, he won't even make it onto a Yorkie ad).
Fast forward wind and the Blue Lagoon. A very fine venue mind, whose boss Seamus Monaghan had worked overtime putting up posters for the gig around town, but the Sligo area has been hit by a power cut, which precludes a sound check until the crowds are already filtering in for the gig. The power cut also means that it takes four of us the best part of two hours to get something to eat in the town. Ah, the joys of being a rock n roll touring band.
8.30 in the Blue Lagoon and the place is filling up. The jukebox is playing Deep Purple and the bands are in a tense huddle, trying to some way to compensate for Tony's absence. No one wants to voice their worse fears: that both the Boy Scoutz and The Sinners are going to die the proverbial death.
9pm and suddenly the word comes through from Dublin, that Tony is aboard the six o'clock train, meaning that he'll arrive in
Sligo at a quarter to ten. The pressure that's been building up all afternoon dissolves; the sence of collective relief is paipable. However haphazard the tour might seem, it means a lot to everybody concerned - no one wants to see less than a 100% performance.
The Boy Scoutz decide to go on without Tony, guitarist Carol apologising for Cathy's absence and promising "to do or best".
Under the circumstances they manage a gritty, uncompromising, if truncated set, that's a testament to their increasing control or visceral hard rock, even if at this stage, they hint at far more than they deliver.
An instrumental, a "Chinese Rocks" with bassist Deirdre's inexperienced vocal inevitably lacking presence, an original "Emergency" and their indispensable version of the Boys "The First Time" (aided by Fabric Gerry Oliver but hindered by Sinner guitarist Vinny) comprise the set which earns them a warm, and probably sympathetic, round of applause.
No extravagant claims can be made for the Boy Scoutz at this stage, but to put it bluntly, they'd better not turn back. The potential is readily apparent - a compatible vocalist and absolute commitment is all that's needed to set them firmly on the launching pad.
Well, that's one hurdle out of the way. "Dreamdates" has ensured that the Boy Scoutz, the Sinners and the Fabrics are no longer merely "darlings of the punk elite" - the word is out. Here's lookin' at ya gang.
20/07/1979 Community Centre, Kiltimagh wth The Sinners & Fabulous Fabrics
12/08/1979 McGonagle's, Dublin with The Sinners & Fabulous Fabrics
20/07/1979 Community Centre, Kiltimagh with The Sinners & Fabulous Fabrics

12/08/1979 McGonagle's, Dublin with The Sinners & Fabulous Fabrics

After the Dream Dates tour the Sinners & Boy Scoutz split up. Bernie & Tony (The Sinners), Mick (Fabulous Fabrics) & Carol (Boy Scoutz) would form the New Heroes.

Paul Rooney (Fabrics) In answer to your Boy Scoutz/Sinners question, there was, obviously, some secret talks going on behind the scene of the Dream Dates tour. Jude poached Bernie and Tony from the Sinners, Carol from the Boy Scoutz and Mick from the The Fabrics to form The New Heroes. We didn't know anything of it until Mick left!!!!! They played a few gigs in Ireland, then upped and left to make their fortune in London. Never played over there, something to do with Carol and a new guitar we heard. Mick, Tony and Bernie came back after about 6 months and formed Ghostdance with me.

Carol Walters joined the New Heroes in August 1979, this band was made of members from the 3 bands on the "Dream Date Tour" The Boy Scouts, The Sinners & Fabulous Fabrics. Cathy Owens joined The Boylers. Deirdre Creed who replaced Ed would also later leave & join the Threat.

demo's & recordings

At this time it is not known if this band recorded any demo tapes.

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