Exile in the Kingdom
Drogheda 1981 - 1983
John Hodgins Guitar
Tony Conaghy Vocals
Baz Quinn Bass
Joe McCormack Drums
They practised in the Drogheda workmans club beside the old library, in the basement. In Feb '83 the band supported British band Doll By Doll when they toured Ireland.
Joe McCormack and Gavin Kierans were both also involved with Enymes, I don't know if this was pre or post the Exile in the Kingdom. As both bands were active at the same time they may well have been gigging with both bands consecutively.
The band are also known to have recorded a demo tape at Slane Castle Studio, does any one know the tracks they recorded? Exile also appeared on RTE at least once.
Freedom/Total Disorder Prophet Records 1984 Profex 8
Baz Barry Quinn on left, Tony Conaghy, John Hodgins and Joe McCormack seated, picture by Susan O'Flynn
The band hail from the dreaded town of Drogheda, and this two track demo tape marks their recording debut. Recorded at Slane Studios, the overall sound is by far the best I’ve heard for a first attempt – full marks to overseer John Dee for the pristine mix.
First off is “Total Disorder”, a driving, pushing song with Undertones of influences, and more besides. It’s good, with guitar work by John Hodgins worth a special mention, but ultimately fails to cut the proverbial mustard on account of its being somewhat derivative and decidedly short at 1 minute 48 seconds. A case of a good idea being cut short.
Second, last, and by every means best, is “Freedom”. Starting off with unaccompanied vocal, courtesy of Tony Conaghy, the song emerges as a considerable triumph. Many a well established band would damage themselves tragically to have a song as good as this in their repertoire. It’s not perfect but it comes as near as dammit.
Both songs, but particularly “Freedom”, offer range, scope, and focus within a punk rock framework, and if Exile In The Kingdom can continue to write material as strong and as convincing as this, then County Louth, at least, is their oyster. Hot Press review Tony Clayton Lea.
Sarsfields, Drogheda with Jump Iceland Hot Press Review by Tony Clayton Lea Look in from the outside into paraphrased camus country, and…..take a leap.
Exile in the Kingdom have been slinking around and about the cobbled street of down town dullsville for sereral months, and I never gave them a second thought until now. No excuses made; my own fault, okay? Whip me, whip me, but don’t hate me!
Exile etc, are right and tight, playing a new music that makes more than the requisite amount of bright noises. Influences abound – Joy Division bass, for instance – but something strong, individual almost, sticks out. And it isn’t Tony Cunningham’s microphone (well it is, but you know what I mean, don’t you?) Given the confines of the place, the not too brilliant sound – which affects the vocalist in particular – Exile In The Kingdom put up a good front. Their set is short, but so are their songs and, John Hodgins wears glasses, but don’t laugh, because his guitar notes are quite sharp, and you might just get cut. Give these men a decent P.A. and they will remain exiles no longer.
Drogheda Independent Drogheda new wave band, Exile in the Kingdom, could be in the wars over a song they wrote lashing the town’s Born Again Christian movement. And although it hasn’t been played locally yet the song is being viewed by some as highly insulting.
Sources close to the band say no name has yet been decided for the song but there’s a chance it may be called “The Backlash”. It apparently mirrors their opposition to the movement.
The lyrics for the Exile in the Kingdom song written by lead singer, Tony Conaghy, and the music was composed by the band as a unit.
Meanwhile Kierans tells me the band were due to play an important support gig with the English outfit, Doll By Doll, in Dublin on Friday but it was postponed. Their next outing will probably be with Cuba Dares in Dundalk.
Drogheda Independent Friday February 17 sees the return of Exile in the Kingdom to their home territory when they play in the White Horse Hotel.
The gig marks the end of a self imposed exile on the bands behalf it being almost nine months since they last thrilled Drogheda audiences with their particular brand of pop.
In the intervening space the band have accomplished little of note save for one gig in Dublin’s Ivy Rooms. Perhaps the most notable aspect of that performance was the fact that it was attended by two members of Alarm.
Exile in the Kingdom possess some talented musicians in guitarist John Hodgins and drummer Joe McCormack while Tony Conaghy’s vocals are seldom less than perfect. The band line up is completed by the inimitable Barry Quinn on bass. Their material is completely self penned and lies somewhere along the Echo and the Bunnymen/Psychedelic Furs line.
Exile have been together over two years and have an excellent demo and an RTE session tape to their credit. They showed great promise in their earlier performances but seem to have lost direction in the last few months partly due to their lack of public appearances.
Friday’s gig should hopefully see Exile take up where they left off in 1983 – on the way up.
02/04/1982 Trinity College, Dublin with The Departure & Yeah! Yeah!
16/05/1982 Rossnaree, with The Outcasts, Aztec Demons
02/09/1983 Ploughman’s, Dundalk
03/09/1983 Sarsfields Auditorium, Drogheda
18/02/1984 Whit Horse, Drogheda with Les Enfants
Where Are They Now?
At this time I have no information on what the band members are doing now.
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