Dublin 1979 - 198?
Tom Dunne Vocals
Cormac Wright Guitar
Brendan Lynott Bass
Johnny Bonnie Drums
If you get the chance, I highly recommend you see them live.
Our first gig was in Dec 1979 in McGonagle's, supporting The New Versions - where Tom held a live mike through the PA for the first time and didn't realise it was switched off for the first half of the set.
Those were the days of bands having to bring their own PA setup into a pub to play, and you'd split the door with the pub/club - a far cry from the pub / club owners actually realising that it may have been in their interest to ENCOURAGE a band ! Ahh the nostalgia - isn't what it used to be !
We went on to support Teardrop Explodes at McGonagle's, The Radiators from Space @ Crofton Airport Hotel, and regularly played with Chant Chant Chant, The Epidemix, The Resistors, The Lookalikes, & also played with The Blades @ the legendary Magnet gigs.
We played the Carnsore Point Anti-Nuke gigs, getting our pics on the front of the Sunday World, for what that was worth !
We recorded a demo with Dave Freely who did U2's Another Day, which got us the Fanning Session, and other recordings besides the Vinyl Verdict LP. We released a cassette in 1981 with 5 songs which sold reasonably well in Ireland & Scotland ...and believe it or not, when I moved to Detroit , I met somebody here who had a copy..and was singing songs I'd written a few years earlier !! - Funny how these in these "global" days that seems so naive..but it was a big deal then!
In August 1980 The End entered the week long Tramore Music Festival, the wining prise was £1,000 & and a recording contract with Mulligan Records. They came second (claiming £100 prise) behind The Fuze, with Double Vision & Katmandu coming 3rd & 4th.
Tramore review supplied by Cormac Wright The End continue to improve drastically. In poetic terms, their progress resembles that of a spiral staircase, which at the start of its long, relentless climb, barely rises above the ground, but which goes up, then up again, then further up again than that, even until it reaches to Heaven. Heaven, as we know, is a place where nothing ever happens, and to me, The End are embroiling their souls in a quest for Samuel Beckett’s concept of Nothingness. So much so, that Tom Dunne has all but become Samuel Beckett, and Tom... enjoy your hundred smackers.The Fuze made a similar impression, maybe because like the End, their music reminds me of a mountain stream, ascending inexorably to the top of Croagh Patrick.
As I have no intention of emulating War and Peace, the groups’ known as Waves, Tangents, The Outfit and A.W.O.L. will be mentioned briefly. Katmandu were surly, and slaughtered “Heroes” – but impeccably.
Nun Attax were fine, but Donnelly’s real forte was reserved for the dancefloor, frugging to “Over 21” and making displays of crass homosexuality during the slow set, before being brought to order by a trio of scandalised bouncers.
Johnny started his career playing for the "Skank Mooks", his first gig being the St Anthony's Punk Festival in November '78. He is still gigging today, playing with Pete Holidai & Stephen Avrill in the Trouble Pilgrims.
First Demo 1979
Hot Press Review The demo under scrutiny represents the fruits of their first venture into the studio, and a more confident and impressive début by a young band would be difficult to imagine.
There are four songs here - all self penned, as is the rest of their set. Obviously, given their relative inexperience, the End are prone to certain comparisons - say, for now, the Jam and U2, but to be fair, such influences are very much secondary to the bands own fast forming identity.
"Outside My Head" and "Picture Postcard" in particular are representative of the End's modus operandi - they trace out certain familiar guidelines, then twist and blur them just when you think you know where you are. These borrowings are but means for the End to create their own soundscape. They're particularly imaginative in the vocal department - something that's definitely not to be taken for granted in the capitol.
The End without wishing to lumber them with cumbersome tags - could well turn out to be one of the major hopes for 1981: already, the two aforementioned tracks would make for a very desirable single. The demo, incidentally, was recorded in Lombard Studios and engineered by Dave Freely. The End are in sight - and they'll be staying there. Liam Mackey
Hot Press review of Vinyl Verdict
The First Gig
16/12/1979 McGonagle's, Dublin with New Version. This was a Sunday afternoon gig.
Cormac Wright Our first gig was in Dec 1979 in McGonagle's, supporting The New Versions - where Tom held a live mike through the PA for the first time and didn't realise it was switched off for the first half of the set.
05/01/1980 Dandelion Market, Dublin with The Epidemix
The ten songs that currently comprise The End’s set are all self written: they prefer their own stuff, and wouldn’t feel happy doing other people’s. They are so confident of their own material that they avoid the trap of becoming a punk showband. And they’ve every right to……… everyone who has heard them so far has been highly impressed. “Love On The Airwaves” is one of the best songs this city has heard in eons. Their music is new wave pop – harder than U2 and The Blades, but equally melodic. They are like U2 and the Police in that the bass is used as an instrument in its own right, not as a backing noise – bassist Brendan is a reggae freak, and a lot of The End’s music has that punch – “It’s Not For Me” (subtitle) “Rastus B. Goode”.
An equally good song to “Airwaves” is “Listen”. “Don’t Listen For The Meaning/I’ve Nothing Left Too Say/It’s All Been Said Before/You Didn’t Listen Anyway”. Some of the songs are about singer Tom’s unhappy love life thus far (sort of Paul Cleary with nickscarf and leather jacket) e.g. “She Didn’t Care”, “You see Her Face”, “My Cross – Legged, Narrow – Minded Lover” (!) and “Sex Movies”. One of the best songs in the set is “Fashion Street” – about standing outside McGonagles in the rain – “And it all seems to happen down Fashion Street, and the kids are all queuing down fashion Street…… and there’s no one over 30 in Fashion Street………..and the sun never sets down Fashion Street”.
“Newsflash” was inspired by that hallowed kip too, and a horrific fight outside. “My Hero” is about nobody at all – “All My Heroes Died Last Night”.
At this stage they have incredible potential, all that’s left is for that promise to be fulfilled, It seems likely that in a few months The End will become recognised as one of the best bands in the city. This writer happens to believe they are already.
Gerard Siggins Imprint Fanzine March 1980
Doug Fieger would've loved it. A rock ‘n’ roll crowd composed mainly of schoolgirls, average age 15 – 18. There’s about 10 blokes in the audience. Most don’t seem to be aware of the conduct required at a concert type thingy. They around, squeal a lot, and enjoy themselves. Um, golly gosh, punk rock! One or two put together some suspiciously hip dance steps. Imagine! Not one stage
invasion! Not one bottle, not one punch thrown! What’s this town coming to?
Up on stage the End are having problems. The guitarist needs practice, and his guitar seems to wish it was somewhere else. The sound is thick, jangly, flies all over the place. The vocalist shouts above the din. The rhythm section, heads down, concentrate on keeping the show together. The vocalist needs to sing, not shout, put more variety in his voice. The set needs more variation. There are good tunes in there, and some good songs, especially “Love On The Airwaves”. The End, I hope, have only begun.
I came to the gig ready to slag the Versions right off the stage. A so so track on the “Kicks” LP, and a godawful “Our Times” video were my only previous experiences of the band. However, I left all my preconceptions and prejudices (“No Romance” and
Boomtown Bigtime connections etc.) in a plastic bag outside. Objectivity prevailed……..
Imagine a big, fat fairground organ sound tacked on to a melodic ’77 thrash, and you’ve got the New Versions. Regine Moylett looks like a cross between the wicked witch and a music teacher. She sits at the keyboards, pumps out the colours, the textures that flesh out the rest of the sound. Guitarist Iggy Kiang (somebody read this man the 2nd commandment) pale, gangling, with a self inflicted haircut, wraps himself round his guitar looking incredibly like George Harrison circa 1960. He strikes the right poses, plays the right guitar (Fender telecaster original!!) from which he gets the right sound – raw, dirty, and very loud. Bassist Ivor – plays bass, and looks grim. Drummer Bibby – plays drums, and adds effective backing vocals. Covers include Glen Miller’s “In The Mood” and Talking Heads’ “ Psycho Killer”, which they play without sounding like Talking Heads.
The Versions are by no means a great band, and probably never will be. They do make, however, an entertaining rock ‘n’ roll noise. The songs start to run into each other as the set progresses, the result of a lamentable lack of pace and variation. The need; (a) a lead singer (Kiang cannot sing). (b) a lot more texture on guitar. Moylett’s keyboards do too much of the work in that area. (c) Some manners. No credit was given to the End when they loaned their snare drum to the Version’s drummer when the latter inadvertently demolished his. It’s little details like that that matter.29/04/1980 Magnet Bar, Dublin with New Heroes
First up were special guests the End, who I've seen several times before. Their fine sense of songwriting is growing, and quite a few songs have dropped or chopped. Tonight it all gelled - a lot of the rawness went, the sound was good and the crowd loved them. Once they polish their set off, they'll challenge the Blades. A few flaws exist, the jangly simplistic guitar (a la early Blades) and the static routines of their lead singer, Tom Dunne. The Magnet stage is quite big, but only once did he venture to explore even half of it. A few months development will hopefully see them drawing and deserving Blades like crowds to their headlines. Meanwhile though, savour the delights of "Fashion Street" and Refuge".
09/05/1980 Project Arts Centre, Dublin with The Atrix
17/07/1980 Magnet Bar, Dublin with The Resistors, Teen Commandments
06/08/1980 Parliament Inn, Dublin with The Solid Gold, A.W.O.L.
13/08/1980 Parliament Inn, Dublin with The Solid Gold, A.W.O.L.
20/08/1980 Parliament Inn, Dublin with The Boards
27/08/1980 Parliament Inn, Dublin with The Boards
28/08/1980 Magnet Bar, Dublin with Chant! Chant! Chant!, Broken Doll Hot Press review by Des Traynor The End wear leather jackets and play pop songs. It's not that I'm a hippie in disguise, but the lack of one lead line all night from Cormac Wright meant that the sound did get a little tedious. Lynott is the best player in the band - and I'm sure if I heard their songs frequently enough, I'd call them infectious, but I probably won't allow myself that dubious pleasure.
03/09/1980 Parliament Inn, Dublin with The Boards
10/09/1980 Parliament Inn, Dublin with The Boards
17/09/1980 Parliament Inn, Dublin with The Solid Gold, A.W.O.L.
24/09/1980 Parliament Inn, Dublin with The Solid Gold, A.W.O.L.
04/10/1980 Imperial Bar, Wexford with Chant! Chant! Chant!
05/10/1980 Showboat, Waterford with Chant! Chant! Chant!
06/10/1980 Parliament Inn, Dublin with The Solid Gold, A.W.O.L.
Here we go Boddi-ing again. A very disappointing crowd came to the Magnet for this gig, which is a setback to the financing of the planned EP. This record – one track each by four local bands – has a projected release date of early December, but crowds like this are only going to postpone (or even cancel) that day.
The End suffered an amazing series of accidents. Terrible PA, then bass too loud. Microphone breaks, guitar becomes too loud. Buzz on guitar amp, broken strings. With several stoppages (one lasting ten minutes), they could only deliver a six song exhibition of their wares. Their new demo will soon be assaulting your consciousness over the airways – only “Outside My Head” and “Picture Postcard” were on show tonight. But sure sign of their development was the fact that the band knuckled down after all the disasters to turn in a storming last three songs that earned them two encores.
Hot Press Gerard Siggins
16/12/1980 Magnet Bar, Dublin
18/12/1980 Magnet Bar, Dublin with The Low. According to Hot Press this gig is to celebrate The End's 1st Birthday & their 50th gig.
24/01/1981 Boddis, Dublin with The Threat
Review supplied by Cormac Wright There were three support acts, the Ju-Ju Gooks who still have some way to go, the Siamese Monitors, a synth band and thus hardly suited to pub entertainment, and The End, whose “Picture Postcard” was definitely the best thing on the recent Scoff compilation “Vinyl Verdict”.
As for The End, they possess abundant verve and exuberance, playing a Doors influenced pop with a freshness akin to the early U2. But their songwriting hasn’t stuck in one style and it was good to find that a new number, “Heartache”, was the most impressive of their set. Right now, The End are a most underestimated band but they can’t continue being frisky amateurs and badly need the investment that would take them to a more professional plane. There may be more exposed bands but they don’t have an album’s worth of songs in their set, as do The End. Bill Graham
Yet more venues have been STOLEN from us recently. The closing the stable door after the horse has bolted syndrome is widespread since the Stardust tragedy, and the only ones who suffer, as in the Stardust, are the young. Why should we pay for their mistakes?
The New Versions played their first gig in nine months, but that gestation period hasn’t resulted in a fresh start. The not so New Versions played a short set of seven songs, including their soon to be released “Like Gordon Of Khartoum”. More than interesting at times, overall the N.V. sound is still a bit stodgy; they want to be XTC, but sound like The Stranglers. Still, for their first gig in almost a year, they were good.
The End, with Chant! Chant! Chant!, are spoken of in all the right circles as Dublin’s Next Big Things. Tonight The End were forging ahead despite the fact that this was their first gig with new bassist Finbar O’Riordan. Their excellent Fanning session was even better than their much praised demo tape. Highlights of the set were “Reguge” and “Something Somewhere (Here We Go)”, as well as the projected Scoff LP tract “Picture Postcard”.
After a brief set from Stuart of Alternative Cabaret, a Scots comedian who didn’t appeal to some of the rowdier elements, we were treated to the first public appearance of The Last Hurrah.
Featuring three ex Epidemix and the lady of the hour herself, they played for but ten short minutes. Besides Epidemix vocalist Paul (now on sax) and guitarist Colin (now on bass), the line up included another guitarist and a keyboard person. They played two originals, and “Lets dance” Billie possesses a fine voice, and combined with some beefy sax, was the highlight.
And then Chant! Chant! Chant! OK, it was a party, but I still don’t agree with 50% of the band staggering on stage in a stupor and dragging the other two down for the whole gig. Their playing was atrocious, and so was the sound, but bassist Larry did his best to pull it together – losing a tooth along the way!!
The new songs couldn’t be evaluated on this performance, but hopefully we’ll get the chance soon.
Thanks Billie! Happy birthday! Gerard Siggins
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