The Fuze
Galway 1979 - 1983 

Line Up
Pat Coyne Vocals
Davie Fitzgerald Guitar
Paul Gaughan Guitar
John Fitzpatrick Keyboards
Michael (Stan) Staunton Bass
Mike Arrigan Drums R.I.P.

Picture by Stan Shields

"Sunburst"
The Fuze started life as "Sunburst" in 1977, the band were formed when Claremorris native Micheal (Stan) Staunton (left in picture), met Dubliner Dave Fitzgerald on one of his trips to Mayo. As students in Galway they hook up with Renmore friends Mike Arrigan (centre in picture), Paul Gaughan (right in picture). 
The band won the All Ireland, Rock Group Section (under 19) of Slogadh 1977. The competition takes place at Galways Leisureland, the bands set for the finals includes an original composition "As We Were". 
The photo (left) first appears in the Connacht Tribune.
" Front Man Wanted For Original Band"
So reads the advertisement posted on the University Collage Galway notice board.
Self taught musician and songwriter Pat Coyne answers the advert. Along with John Fitzpatrick (medical student & keyboard player). They unite with the lads from "Sunburst" to from a six piece band. It's not until after their first gig that Dick Murphy (R.I.P.) a work colleague of Mike Arrigan's, comes up with the name "The Fuze".   

Gig Guide 05/03/1980 Holiday Hotel, Salthill The Fuze are a six piece band who are stretching the frontiers of pop music in the west, with a flexible lineup of two guitars, keyboards, rhythm section and vocals. From a set comprising almost all originals, “Invasions” is the popular choice, being arty but also danceable. Danceable is the operative word, though caution is detectable among those on the floor. This is no disco, the bass is not driven but is calculated and menacing; “Insanity” leads us up the same by roads explored by XTC, where we’re also treated to “Spanish Village” and “I’m A Priest”.
Covers in the unlikely forms of “Are Friends Electric” and the Jag’s “Back Of My Hand” do little to disguise their points of reference. The is pop for the 80’s; Andy Partridge would feel at home here. The status which they have attained here is quite impressive given Galway’s reticence in such matters. Six months ago the Fuze would have had no place here, now they are oddities in an odd town.
But, it is easy to be the best band in Galway. From being accepted they can easily become overrated the reaction is often enthusiastic and oblivious to flaws.
If they’re to go anywhere in the long run, they’d be as well to remember that they’ve a long way to go.
Barry Moderne Hot Press

Image taken from album sleeve notes

08/04/1980 Claremorris got its first taste of the Fuze on Easter Monday night last, and judging by the reaction it won’t be the band’s last gig there.
The band were a little late arriving on stage, on account of their van breaking down along the way, but they certainly made up for it with the power of their performance.
Opening with a song called “Stone Age Man”, they soon had the crowd on their side.
More originals followed of which the best received were “Invasions”, “I’m A Soldier”, Insanity”, “Spanish Village” and “Moonlight And Roses”. The choice of covers was interesting and varied e.g.: “Are Friends Electric”, “Swingtown” and “I’ve Got Your Number” by the Jags.
It shows how easy it would be for them to be the top showband in the country, but that is not their aim, they are more intent on making it big in England with their own material. Their own confidence in the songs is clearly visible especially in frontman Pat Coyne, who had the crowd under his control from the beginning. The band are very tight for a six piece and obviously well rehearsed.

11/08/1980 Carousel, Tramore with AWOL, The Fuze. The Experts entered the Tramore "Battle Of The Bands" @ the Tramore Carousel, in September 1980. First prise was a recording contract with Mulligan Records & £1,000. The competition was compared by RTE's Dave Heffernan & took place over a full week, Monday to Thursday being the knock out rounds & the final taking place on the Friday. Some of the bands taking part were:
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 of 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.

PictureMike giving the band the eye.

30/08/1980 Maple Ballroom, Bella with Blaze X, Web, Shattered Light, Night Rider, Static

09/10/1980 UCG, Galway

16/10/1980 UCG, Galway

03/11/1980 Blue Lagoon, Sligo with The Radiators

07/11/1980 Aula Max, UCG, Galway with The Radiators

PictureAdvert from Hot Press

14/11/1980 Project Arts Centre with Teen Commandments
Hot Press review Senan Turnball
On their first excursion outside Galway the Fuze walked away with first prize at Tramore completion which, among other things, landed them a contract with Mulligan Records. On their second jaunt away from home they walked away with the prize for best Dublin debut by any band, which landed them with this “rave” review, and probably a kiss of death.
Together since November ’79 they have in a year established a very individual sound with definite influences from the Rats, U2 and even Madness in “I am A Soldier”. On a night when sound problems threatened to drown them out it was difficult to identify individual performances but Pat Coyne’s lyrics and vocal style revealed considerable potential, especially when he was joined on vocals by bassist Mike Staunton, John Fitzpatrick’s keyboards adds a lot of colour and ideas to the sound especially on their upcoming single “Stone Age Man” and the even superior “Sundays”. Instead “Stone Age Man” with a harder rock line is not really typical of their overall modern, Bowie influenced style, which can keep you dancing while listening to subtle underpinnings and off beat themes.
The point for now being that the Fuze have ideas and ability in abundance. Watch them go.
The Teen Commandments would benefit from the addition of a keyboard player/song writer to give a more expensive sound and add a few ideas to the material. At present the band are dominated by bassist, singer Philip Byrne, whose songs are interesting in isolation, but by the end of sixteen all that can be recalled are the titles, a few catchy lines or musical variations. Byrne has a strong voice and the drummer works hard, but the guitar playing seldom goes beyond basic rhythm work. Pete Holidai added a beefier sound and doubled up on vocals for “Private World” and the ensuing crazed jam on “Television Screen” – and his presence was a great help in relieving the tedium of the previous half hour. Anybody know an unemployed keyboard player? Just ring… 

PictureMike picture from album sleeve notes

21/12/1980 Pavilion, Westport. “The Fuze Will Set The Pavilion Alight!” Western Care have, once again, secured the mighty sound of the “Fuze” Ireland’s leading rock group, who played at a fund raising dance in Louisburgh and entranced the hundreds who heard them, so much so that we were inundated with requests for their return.
The new Galway based Rock Group “The Fuze” will set the Pavilion Ballroom, Wesport alight this Sunday night for a fund raising dance in aid of the Western Care Association.
“The Fuze”, fronted by talented Paul Coyne, a native of Claremorris, earlier this year won the Tramore Music Festival for which they received £1,000 and a recording contact.Despite the fact that “Fuze” have a very heavy schedule they have agreed to play in the Pavilion, Westport, and to play for you and a home for the handicapped. The “Fuze” will have their own spot on T.V. in mid December, so watch out for them.
The Western Care are in the process of purchasing a home for the handicapped in Westport and urgently needs funds to fiancé this venture. Once again they are calling on all supporters and friends of Mayo’s handicapped to help by attending a fund raising disco and dance in the Pavilion Ballroom, Westport, on Sunday night next. Louisburgh/Killeen branch of Western Care have secured the services of the Fuze, one of Ireland’s leading rock groups.
Western Care, which caters for mentally handicapped children and adults in Mayo, are negotiating the purchase of Rosmalley House, Westport Quay, which will cater for mentally handicapped adults.
Sunday night’s event is worthy of one hundred per cent support.
Dancing is to 1.00a.m. and admission is £1.50.
The Louisburgh and Killeen Branches of Western Care wish to express their gratitude so generously towards making their fundraising dance, held on Sunday night week such a huge success; to the hundreds of young supporters who flocked to the hall and rocked the night away, we say thankyou. Last but not least, that tremendous group of young musicians “The Fuze” who spliced their fecs to aid the cause, and gave of themselves and their sounds unstintingly to their many fans from far and near; a heart felt God Bless You Lads. We wish you well on your journey to the top of the charts with your forthcoming release “Stone Age Man”.
23/12/1980 Town Hall, Claremorris26/12/1980 Club Amarillo, Tuam

PictureAfter the comeback gig

28/02/1981 Leisureland, Galway The Tramps Ball with The Rhythm Kings

01/03/1981 Claremorris with RTE DJ Dave Langan The band are now a five piece as Dave Fitzpatrick left to study Art.

05/03/1981 Riviera Club, Strandhill Students Rag Ball

14/03/1981 Crystal Club, Kitlimagh

20/03/1981 Club Crystal, Kiltimagh

24/03/1981 County Galway’s No.1 Concert, with all proceeds in aid of Galway charities will be staged in Tuam CBS Hall on Tuesday night 24th March, the concert starts at 8.15p.m. and admission is £3. (£2 if booked in advance).
Topping the bill will be Big Tom and Johnny Logan. Also appearing will be the Champions, Shaun O’Dowd and Ding – a – Ling, Tony Stevens, Susan McCann, Phil Begley, T.R. Dallas, Glen Curtin, Conquerors, The Fuze, Blaze X, Shay Healy and Larry Gogan.
The Galway hurling team will sing their hit song “Galway’s Awake” on stage.

27/03/1981 The Ranch House, Gummer

Picture

09/04/1981 Ulster Hall, Belfast with Bad Manners.  During the Bad Manners 1981 Irish tour, Alan Sayagg (harmonica) became unwell. He had a nervous breakdown. He had to go home. For some time he was unable to work and after his time in hospital, an eventual diagnosis of schizophrenia was arrived at. Sayagg was never fully 'well' again after this event and between 1982 and 1990, he would have to enter periods of retirement from the band before returning again. The incident had an important effect on the other members of the group and it was not really until the Gosh It's tour of 1991 that Sayagg would return to full-time work with the band. When he did it was excellent. Some of these dates may have been cancelled.

10/04/1981 Olympic Ballroom, Newcastle West with Bad Manners

11/04/1981 Beechmount , Navan with Bad Manners

12/04/1981 Hales Hotel, Thurles

13/04/1981 Horizon, Mullingar with Bad Manners

14/04/1981 Youth Centre, Carlow with Bad Manners

15/04/1981 Leisureland, Galway with Bad Manners

16/04/1981 Castlebar with Bad Manners

18/04/1981 Tuam with Bad Manners

19/04/1981 Sligo with Bad Manners. The Teen Commandments are listed as playing this date, I don't know if The Fuze also played.

20/04/1981 Dundalk with Bad Manners

PicturePicture from album sleeve notes, photo by Tadgh Keady

20/04/1981 Tudor Rooms

25/04/1981 Holyrood, Bundoran

26/04/1981 Central, Charlestown

01/05/1981 Horse Shoe Inn, Ballindrait

11/05/1981 Mayflower, Drumshanbo

18/05/1981 Blue Lagoon, Sligo

23/05/1981 RTE 1 6.05 Live with Paul Brady & The Fuze

27/05/1981 Club Crystal, Kilnagh with Alligators, Message, Denis Allen. In aid of Mayo GAA training fund. The gig was compered by RTE 2 D.J. Dermot Langan, he gave away 25 copies of The Fuze new single "It's Sunday Morning".

13/06/1981 Holyrood, Bundoran

28/06/1981 Claremorris

04/07/1981 Riviera Club, Strandhill

05/07/1981 Central, Charlestown

10/07/1981 Town Hall, Ballinrobe

12/07/1981 Ballinasloe Carnival

17/07/1981 Comcutters Rest, Creeslough

​18/07/1981 Club Crystal, Kiltimagh

25/07/1981 Mayflower, Drumshanbo

31/07/1981 The Sunset, Longford

PicturePat & Stan, picture from album sleeve notes. Photo by Tadgh Keady

01/08/1981 Castlebar Festival Ceilidh, Jimmy McCarthy, The Fuze 45min set, General Humbert, The Sharks, Freddie White, Loudon Wainwright 3rd, The Pretenders, Clannad, The Undertones
The Day they celebrated Mass at a rock festival
Three hundred hardened music fans listened quietly and intently in a field outside Castlebar yesterday to a rock festival Mass.
In a unique happening for a music festival, the weary fans crawled from sleeping bags and tents to hear the special Mass celebrated by Castlebar born Fr Tommy Murphy.
“I want to say Mass on the site because the fans would have faced a four mile walk into town”, said Fr Murphy a Columban father home on holidays from missionary work in Taiwan.
And he loudly praised the young people who attended the open air folk Mass and sang along with the Beatles moving Let It Be, “They were one of the most reverend congregation I have ever celebrated Mass for”.
As the two day occasion of the Castle festival ended, Castlebar pubs, hotels and trades reaped an estimated £4m bonanza from the visiting music fans.
Despite a crowd of between 10,000 and 13,000 Gardai reported little trouble. There had been about 10 arrests.
The two days of music brought roars of approval from the fans, who consumed thousands of gallons of beer. Highlight of Saturday night was the appearance of the Pretenders with dynamic lead singer Chrissie Hynde. They thundered through a boisterous set of old and new material encoring with the hit single Brass In Pocket.
Last night Derry’s favourite sons, the Undertones, repeated their Macroom triumph and tied with the inimitable Ian Durry and the Blockheads for hit of the festival.
09/08/1981 Dungloe Carnival

PicturePicture from album sleeve notes

28/08/1981 Town Hall, Crossmollina Fuze play as part of as week long festival other acts include Duskey Sisters, Sheeba stage 2, Dickie Rock, The Message

05/09/1981 House of Music, Cong

06/09/1981 Claremorris

12/09/1981 Club Crystal, Kiltimagh

01/11/1981 Claremorris

04/12/1981 The Ranch House, Gummer

05/12/1981 Thursday’s Club, Omagh

21/12/1981 Pavillion, Westport

23/12/1981 Claremorris

26/12/1981 Tuam

​27/12/1981 Claremorris

28/12/1981 New Centre, Ballinmore

PictureAfter the reunion gig at the Cellar Bar

02/01/1982 Club Cystal, Kiltimagh

03/02/1982 Lilac, Enniskeane
09/02/1982 SBB Ina Shui The Fuze, The Ramblers, Sunshine, Larry Cunningham27/02/1982 Killyhevlin, Enniskillen28/02/1982 Ormond Hotel16/03/1982 Midnight Club, Ballaghaderreen11/04/1982 Claremorris07/06/1982 Claremorris30/07/1982 The Cellar, Galway The band split up in March when Pat left. line up for this gig is Pat Coyne, Paul Gaughan, Michael Stanton, Michael Arrigan, Eddie Lynch.03/08/1982 The Castle, Salthill this concert is part of “Race Week”

14/08/1982 Castlecourt Hotel, Westport

03/12/1982 The Castle, Salthill

Picture

The Fuze Mississippi Rooms
Two Bands on the incline, two bands keeping clear of the city centre traffic: The Fuze, newcomers from Galway who’ve produced an agreeable first sketch of a single “Stone Age Man” on Mulligan; The Alligators, wise but in no way weary professionals, still road testing. A good time was had at both parties.
The sloth of C.I.E. meant a late arrival in Bray. The Fuze were already on stage and despite being an out of town band, they had dismantled and lurking prejudices to impress the locals. Thus comments can only be impressionistic.
The Fuze definitely have promise. They’re now at that key point of decision where they must understand that promise, to use it most effectively. Certainly their pop, most capably coloured by John Fitzpatrick’s keyboards, could persuade executives at the hiring fair but if they’re not to be spalpeens, their music needs to find more fibre, more jolting, jarring presences.
If The Atrix stand at Midge Ure’s left hand and seek more melody and accessibility, the Fuze stand at his right – they must watch that they don’t become Photos, manipulated into Xeroxing pop styles. Ballroom incursions are possible for The Fuze – and they are not to be financially begrudged – but slack, unchallenging audience could mean they get too self satisfied about their undeniable melodic facility. Then, that virtue could decline into a vice.
Pat Coyne could certainly develop into a charismatic front man, albeit that he’s rather isolated from his fellows. Still, The Fuze hold a second card in guitarist Paul Gaughan who’s a most mature singer in his own right. Some more vocal juggling and exploration of harmonic possibilities could have interesting results. Definitely The Fuze have talent but they shouldn’t force the pace, for otherwise they could fall into and be damaged before their time by the London traps described by Peter Owens in his Year article.
A lift to Naas and a different band in a different atmosphere. The Alligators, of course, are the Carr – Fean offshoot from Horslips and through the winter, they have been playing the halls with little fanfare, endeavouring to learn whether this new departure has the right chemistry.
Indeed it may. Despite a bottom heavy sound, The Alligators unequivocally demonstrate that they are to be no footnote to the Horslips saga. It’s some time since I’ve seen both Carr and Fean play with such conviction and neither Gary Eglington nor Philip Fay are passengers hitching a ride on their partners’ past.
Essentially, the Alligators are about modern R ‘n’ B without revivalist trappings. Still in the chrysalis, they can sometimes be Walligators on standards like “Baby, Please Don’t Go”, when Fean over extends his solos – but such padding should diminish once they customise a full set of their originals.
Certainly their own songs, if still unpolished, look as if they’ll stand strong in the light and Fean, now that he’s the prime vocalist, is singing with an accuracy he only occasionally showed in Horslips. And bassist Gary Eglington after hiding away in Dublin’s butchers’ shops and bars, at last is in a band that allows his gonzo personality full exposure.
On only one showing, I’m convinced the Alligators have the wherewithal to capture a contract. OK, these people are good friends but I didn’t want to go backstage and tell them I liked them for all sorts of insincere diplomatic reasons. I didn’t have to worry.
The Alligators – very soon, these mandibles are going to be a mandatory experience.
Bill Graham Hot Press
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