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Category: Misadventures in Punk Rock (blog)

One of our regular haunts in Dublin back in the late 1990s was a rock venue in Temple Bar, called Eamonn Doran. The owner was a bit of a cokehead but we didn’t give a crap as the stage was great and the in-house sound guy Niall always worked hard to get us a great big sound onstage and out front. On top of that we always got paid!

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Eamonn Doran, Temple Bar Dublin was our favourite venue to play. Great stage, great sound… and you always got paid!

Getting a good sound is half the battle when gigging also in some venues you had to pay-to-play but not here in the early days.

We were at home in Eamonn Doran, or Doran’s as it was known, and loved rocking out there. As it was right in the heart of Temple Bar you had all sorts of clientele from the regular rockers to tourists venturing downstairs to explore where the noise was coming from.

One of the first times we played there a guy from NOFX’s Fat Wreck Chords caught our show and really liked us but suggested we get rid of our drummer at the time as he had some timing issues. We figured we’re all still learning our instruments and aren’t perfect ourselves so we didn’t follow through on his advice…. until a few months later but that’s another story.

This gig in Doran’s wasn’t too long after our Dead Keds Halloween gig (see previous blog post) for which we experimented with different ways of spiking our hair.

One of the techniques was to use a bar of soap and rub it up through the hair. I can’t recall where we got that tip from, maybe local music head / barber Dom Wilton, but I remember being told punks used soap to spike their hair in the 70s.

Anyway, by this stage soap became mine and Boey’s preferred method of spiking our hair – Imperial Leather soap to be precise! So it’s show time in Eamonn Dorans and it was a particularly packed night with a few different bands playing.

We took to the stage, hair spiked as usual, and started into our 40-minute set and I remember the heat on stage was intense as we gave the show our all.

A few songs into the gig I noticed Boey pulling some pretty weird faces and expressions as he tore through his lead guitar parts and yelled his backing vocals into the mic with real intensity.

Ya see we always had a bit of a laugh a Boey’s facial expressions as he played guitar – the higher the notes the more he winced. No matter how hard he tried he just could not stop himself from contorting his face during solos. We always joked saying it looked like he was sucking on lemons. However, on this particular night Boey looked like he was sucking on not just one lemon but on a whole lemon tree!

I tried not to laugh as the show continued until a few songs later I felt something stinging the eyes outta my head. There were beads of sweet streaming down my face only these beads were laced with stinging soap from my hair, which was now melting in the heat.

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Imperial Leather – great for washing your hands with. Just don’t put it in your hair.

Squinting I struggled to keep my eyes open and tried to retain my cool composure whilst feeling my way around the guitar and the stage. Through my sudded eyes I looked across at Boey and could now see he was in real pain trying to wipe his soapy brow between guitar licks.

Our eyes were bloodshot to the point of being freaky and they stung like shit. That coupled with a head of melted spikes beginning to sud up made us quite a sight indeed. In hindsight we could be credited with hosting Ireland’s first foam party. From that day on the term ‘a clean guitar player’ took on a whole new meaning for us I tell ya

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