Limerick 1979 - 198?
Christy Barry Vocals & Guitar
Teresa Fitzgerald Guitar & Vocals
Andy Murphy Bass
George Barry Drums
Monday 11/08/1980 The Experts, AWOL, The Fuze
Tuesday 12/08/1980 Vain, Waves, Les Fruits, Katmandu
Wednesday 13/08/1980 Double Vision, Nun Attax, New Versions
Thursday 14/08/1980 Tangents, The End, The Outfit, The Law Breakers
The competition was won by The Fuze, with The End coming second (claiming a £100 prise), with Double Vision & Katmandu coming 3rd & 4th.
Tramore review supplied by Cormac Wright A more unlikely setting for rock music would be hard to find. Yet, amid this kaleidoscope of carousels, hurdy gurdys, one armed bandits, two armed bandits and old bandits you damn well know the harsh, clanging sounds of guitars, drums and vocals were heard. Top of my pops were The Experts from Limerick and The End from Dublin. Why? Because they were great, that’s bloody why, and rock fans had a thimble full of savvy, these groups would get their just desserts instead of slogging their guts out.
If The Experts were from Liverpool or Helsinki, instead of the arse end of Munster, they’d be feted and heaped with plaudits. These boys (and girl) can sing soulfully, in tune, even in harmony, nay even when they are playing guitars. And if you listened to their songs, you’d forget that the Third World War even existed. It doesn’t exist! The Experts have saved the world!
But that’s not all. They are serious when they say that their biggest influence has been their mums and dads, and (wait for it) they used to do a cover version of (this’ll kill ya) “Tracks Of My Tears”. With that rhythm section? If they continue thus, I see nothing standing in the way ot their realising that burning ambition to play 50 gigs. 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.
08/10/1980 Roundhouse Bar, Limerick
15/10/1980 Roundhouse Bar, Limerick
22/10/1980 Roundhouse Bar, Limerick
The Radiators were perfect gents and gave us marvellous support on the nights , I became a life long fan of the band and we got to Phil's last stand in the Olympia which was a very special eveningThe gigs were not well attended at the time which was unfortunately very common down the country with punk or even rock being a bit hit and miss but if you look at the list of dates that they tried they were really trail blazing , no band or artist would even attempt it nowadays.
The Gaff’s A Go Go: Punk Rock and New Wave in Limerick
Although the Punk and New Wave explosion was somewhat slower to develop in Ireland, the international success of bands like The Boomtown Rats; The Radiators From Space; Stiff Little Fingers and The Undertones as well as the emergence of pirate radio and publications like Hot Press resulted in a vibrant alternative music scene.
In Limerick, the late 1970s and early 1980s witnessed significant changes in terms of the overall music industry. Although MOR artists still pre-dominated, R&B acts like Dr. Feelgood and Graham Parker and The Rumour played in the old Savoy on Bedford Row - as did The Undertones and The Smiths. Other changes were also in evidence on the streets with the arrival of a small punk and new wave scene in the city. A band called U2 won the top prize in the 1978 Civic Week Competition in the Stella Ballroom, Shannon Street. Tom Fitzgerald (later, a Termights DJ) opened Limerick’s first punk clothing shop in the Summer of 1979. ‘Something Else’ was initially located in Catherine Street and then on Thomas Street until it closed in 1983. Many bands were formed, including The Humans and The Experts. Alternative gigs were held in NIHE Limerick (now UL) and in Moylish College (now LIT). Big L Radio in Ellen Street had a programme dedicated to playing punk, new wave, interviewing bands and playing demo tapes.
As part of these changes, John Dundon and Teresa Fitzgerald opened a small music venue called The Gaff in 1981. Located in the basement of the then Hotel Cecil, the venue (with just a few exceptions) operated on Friday and Saturday nights. Bands played two nights in a row and were paid £40 per gig, along with B&B in the hotel.
The Gaff was promoted by a series of DIY screen printed posters. The venue issued its own button badges with the logo “The Gaff’s A Go-Go”. The roster of acts to play there drew upon the expanding Punk and New Wave scenes in Dublin, Cork, Galway as well as Limerick. Copies of Dave Clifford’s VOX magazine were on sale in the venue. The ticket price for gigs was typically £1.
Looking back, many of the bands who graced the Gaff’s tiny stage reads like a ‘Who’s Who?’ of the Irish music industry. The Gaff featured an early Microdisney who went on to find significant international fame and critical and commercial success with records like “We Hate You South African Bastards” and “The Clock Came Down The Stairs”. The New Versions featured Regine Moylett on keyboards. A sister of Johnny Fingers (The Boomtown Rats) Moylett went on to become an important figure within the music PR business working for bands like U2. Tom Dunne, now a radio and television presenter (and lead singer with Something Happens) sang in The Gaff with his band
The End. Kieran Kennedy (later of The Black Velvet Band and Maria Doyle-Kennedy’s band) gigged there as part of Romeo Butcher. Cork singer-songwriter John Spillane performed in The Gaff as a member of Sabre.
Small as it was, The Gaff was a perfectly formed venue. During its short existence it was a space for the Punk and Indie sub-culture in Limerick to express itself. Although a wide mixture of musical genres were featured at The Gaff, it was an important focal point for cutting-edge music being generated in the Irish Punk and Indie scene.
Dr. Eoin Devereux, September, 2014.
Where Are They Now?
At this time I have no information on what the band members are doing now.
Demo's & Recordings
4 track demo "Rockabilly Who?", "Vertical Take Off And Landing", "Moving Parts", "Stukas & Spitfires".
If you have any more information about these tracks, or have a copy of the tape, please get in touch.
your help is needed!
If you can help with any information, demo tapes or memorabilia on this band please get in touch, using the above form.