Part One: 1977-79

1. Radiators From Space – Enemies (1977, A Side, Dublin)
2. The Boomtown Rats – Born To Burn (1977, B Side, Dublin)
3. East Coast Angels – Punk Rockin’ (1977, A Side, Dublin)
4. Revolver – Silently Screaming (1978, A Side, Dublin)
5. The Vipers – I’ve Got You (1978, A Side, Dublin)
6. The Radiators – Million Dollar Hero (1978, A Side, Dublin)
7. Rudi – Big Time (1978, A Side, Belfast)
8. Victim – Strange Thing By Night (1978, A Side, Belfast)
9. The Undertones – Smarter Than You (1978, B Side, Derry)
10. Stiff Little Fingers – 78 R.P.M. (1978, B Side, Belfast)
11. XDreamists – Right Way Home (1978, A Side, Belfast)
12. The Outcasts – Self Concious Over You (1979, A Side, Belfast)
13. Strange Movements – Dancing In The Ghetto (1979, A Side, Dublin)
14. The Atrix – The Moon Is Puce (1979, A Side, Dublin)
15. Tony Koklin – Cinderella (1979, A Side, Dublin)
16. Sacre Bleu – Broken Promises (1979, A Side, Dublin)
17. Berlin – Over 21 (1979, A Side, Dublin)
18. U2 – Boy Girl (1979, B Side, Dublin)
19. Protex – I Can’t Cope (1979, A Side, Belfast)
20. Starjets – War Stories (1979, A Side, Belfast)
21. Rudi – I Spy (1979, A Side, Belfast)
22. The Static Routines – Rock n Roll Clones (1979, A Side, Dundalk)
23. The Zipps – Friends (1979, A Side, Belfast)
24. The Moondogs – She’s Nineteen (1979, A Side, Derry)
25. Reufrex – One By One (1979, A Side, Belfast)
26. The New Versions – Tango Of Nerves (1979, Compilation, Dublin)
27. The Resistors – Service With A Smile (1979, Compilation, Dublin)
28. Berlin – Stop Stop (1979, Compilation, Dublin)

 

77-89 P1 copy

1977 to 1979

If you were to judge solely on records released by Irish bands in 1977, it might appear that Punk Rock hadn’t had much of an impact on the country. The absence of any real existing rock scene in the South, and the political situation / civil war in the North, undoubtedly, contributed to the delayed reaction.

Dublin band The Radiators From Space released the first Irish punk single in April ’77, and followed it with the equally excellent ‘Enemies’, in September.  Another Dublin band, The Boomtown Rats found immediate international success. ‘Born To Burn’ was the non album b-side of their debut hit. Perhaps, the most curious release from 1977 was ‘Punk Rockin’ from Dublin band East Coast Angels.

Events in London, and elsewhere, did in fact have a motivating effect across the Irish Sea and a host of new bands eventually began to appear. The transition from Punk to New Wave seemed to suit the mood in Dublin and a trio of excellent singles were released by the city’s bands in 1978. ‘Silently Screaming’ by Revolver, ‘I’ve Got You’ by The Vipers, and ‘Million Dollar Hero’ by the newly name shortened and less punky, Radiators.

3in1 78

Classic Dublin singles: 1978

Up North, there was a more faithful though quite distinctive take on Punk, and in 1978 Rudi’s infectious ‘Big Time’ and Victim’s ‘Strange Thing By Night’ were the first two releases on Terry Hooley’s Good Vibrations record label.

The Undertones debut soon followed on the same label, and thanks, in part, to John Peel, famously playing ‘that song’ twice in a row, the band became a regular fixture on the UK Charts. ‘Smarter Than You’ was the single’s non-album b-side. Stiff Little Fingers also benefited from Peel airplay, and were unusual for a Northern Irish band, both, in that they weren’t on Good Vibrations, and that they actually addressed ‘The Troubles’ in their songs. 78 R.P.M. was listed as the a-side of first pressings of the band’s second single, although all subsequent pressings reversed it with the band’s most famous song.

XDreamists, ‘Right Way Home’, the fifth Good Vibrations, release had a more New Wave sound than its predecessors. In 1979, Good Vibrations released ‘Self Concious Over You’ by The Outcasts, which was also the title track of the band’s, and label’s, debut album, released the same year.

The Dublin scene continued to develop and diversify during 1979 with the emergence of several more new bands. Strange Movements ‘Dancing in The Ghetto’, released on Good Vibrations International, had a quirky Post-Punk vibe. The Atrix incorporated, eh.. theatrics to their off-kilter music. ‘The Moon Is Puce’ was the first in a run of classic singles. Tony Koklin’s wonderful ‘Cinderella’ took a Power-pop twist.

Sacre Bleu were more a Rhythm and Blues than New Wave band, but their single ‘Broken Promises’ had all the energy of the New Wave bands. Berlin’s ‘Over 21’ was a teenage anthem in waiting. U2 also released their first three track EP in 1979. ‘Boy Girl’ was the only track on the EP not rerecorded for the band’s debut album ‘Boy’ the following year.

Protex made their debut on Good Vibrations, but had signed to a major label by the release of ‘I Can’t Cope’. A Belfast band with no Good Vibrations connection was Starjets. ‘War Stories’ was performed by the band on BBC’s Top Of The Pops. Despite this prestigious TV appearance, the single stalled at number 51 on the UK Chart.

Also in 1979, Rudi followed up ‘Big Time’ with the ‘I Spy’ EP, and Dundalk band, The Static Routines also benefitted from Terry Hooley’s patronage, releasing ‘Rock’N’Roll Clones’ on his Good Vibrations International offshoot.

Belfast band The Zipps released their only single ‘Friends’ on English label, Rip Off Records.

Two further 1979 releases on Good Vibrations were ‘She’s Nineteen’ by The Moondogs, who went on to have their own afternoon TV show, and ‘One By One’ by Belfast band Ruefrex.

 

‘Tango Of Nerves’ by The New Versions, ‘Service With A Smile’ by The Resistors and ‘Stop, Stop’ by Berlin, all appeared on the 1979 up-and-coming Dublin artists sampler album, ‘Just For Kicks’.

 

VA JFK

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9 thoughts on “Part One: 1977-79

  1. Very nicely done , I still have 90 % of these on vinyl bought at the time , some of them with notes from the bands as I live in Limerick and used to have to send cash in the mail and they d write back with my single copy , I am still at it , last year received the Trouble pilgrims single by more or less the same method except I paid online , I must go away and get a real hobby like Golf 😜

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi

    Well u did ask – any specific Q s let me know

    The Banditz they were from Cork 1980 single on Faetain , same label as the Spies single
    On scoff records , the Rhythm Kings , Square Meal , the Sharks , Rondo Rondo ( some missing dates check irish rock.org discography , Eamonn is never wrong 😀

    The Billy Roach band from Wexford 2 singles

    Big Self from Belfast all releaess singles plus album on Reekus ( great band )

    The Zen Alligators – think its 5 singles on different labels have them all signed by Johnny Fean one of life’s true gents

    The BT s also called the Brown Thomas band – 1 single

    Tokyo Olympics 1981 out of D C Nien

    The Moondogs from Derry – they had their own ITV show – album only ever released in Germany

    The Bogey Boys , Stepaside and Deke O Brien , albums plus singles during the period and of course Brush Shiels – great fun live during those years and he d play anywhere

    Shock Treatment , Static Routines and the Mighty Shamrocks all on Good Vibes and an album from the Nerves from Newry

    Dogmatic Element from Bangor – check the year

    The Sweat from the North on Double Dee records , singles plus album

    The Soul Survivors from Dublin and the Fuze from Galway both on Mulligan

    Along with the Hot Press single from 79

    Blaze X from Tuam ( rare single ) , the seeds for the Sawdoctors

    Time Machine on Rip off records from the North ( bordering on a show band but morphed into a rock band from the embryonic irish College circuit )

    Katmandu great band from Belfast but only the one single

    The Xdreamysts again from the wee North on Polydor , couple of singles plus album released only in Holland

    The Defenders , Xmas single – heat magazine benifit

    Have all these in perfect nick but no idea how to digitize !

    Lots more from 82 onwards and then into cassettes and now back to vinyl

    When are u planing to do the other years ?

    Best rgds

    John

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow that’s some list, though as you say, I did ask. Many don’t qualify as Punk/New Wave/Post Punk, though.
      Tokyo Olympics will appear on 82-84.
      Don’t suppose you have Nairobi by Neuro, or Triad by The Atrix? Want to include both, but only have low quality versions.

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  3. Hi

    having been around during the period – i d be interested in your opinion as to what does not qualify for punk / new wave / post punk , believe me the lines were quite blurred as they say “tis all well to be wise in hindsight ”

    pretty sure i have the NEURO single and TRIAD also – will have a look soonest , might be wend have a few gigs to go to over next nights and of course the day job

    i also have a lot more singles / releases of the bands that u already have on the 1st two compilations in case u are missing

    will then have to find a way to digitize

    might have a buddy here in LIMERICK to help on that one

    Liked by 1 person

    1. These things are always subjective, and the only real qualification for inclusion was my own personal preference.
      You should seriously consider compiling a broader companion set from what sounds like a fantastic record collection. If you need any advice on digitizing your vinyl, just ask.

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  4. Just got a chance to check have Triad by the Atrix with the picture sleeve and Nairobi by Neuro in plain sleeve

    Also have D C Nien Red Tapes cassette still playing perfect after close on is it 36 years along with a nice letter from Paul McGuiness , the guitarist which he wrote back when I sent off for both that and the single – getting a little concerned that too many more plays might drag the spool – it seems to be quite rare and also have the insert that it came with which folded out into a poster – it’s a shame they never got to do a full album as they were a really great band and Mr Rossi from the Quo did not do a great job on the production of the Tokyo Olympics album to my personal opinion

    Ps
    u are of course correct its your blog and your 100 % choice what u choose to include , waiting with baited breath for the balance of the 80 s choices
    with best regards

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  5. Some great replies there,have been into the punk,oi and ska thing since the start of music(my opinion)circa 1976-with a coupla exceptions of course beforehand.I have nearly all of the punk and punky stuff including the IT records output from Portadown including Striker,Outcasts,a number of other tiny Ulster labels at the time that brought out new wave and punk stuff,releases by pretty Boy Floyd and The Gems,Blue Steam,The Tinopeners,Stage B etc etc.The follow on band from the Sussed before that Cuban Heels stuff(ERRRRR),they were called the Wussies from Kimmage,released a great punk 7″ which I picked up in a market in Dublin.Compulsion who formed out of Thee Amazing Collossal Men were a great punk band from the ’90’s by the way.I have all their 12″‘s and 7″‘s.They are on utube.The Kidz from Cork released the first punk 7″ down there called “I’ll get caught”.Studio copies only exist so it’s dead rare,as is The Spies 7″,a great punk release from Howth.Lead singer later in Thee Amazing Collossal Men,and Compulsion.Even the infamous Johnny Adair of UVF/drug dealer fame sang in an oi band from Belfast and is utube-able!!!Drunken Jury were a Dublin punk /reggae band fronted by Gipo of The Dubtones I think(check that!!)who released a 7″ in the early ’80’s as did a punk band called Search and Destroy from Dublin.I have both of these.Search and Destroy also released a cassette e.p. which is good too.Ok hope that’s some help.Personally I think we could have done a lot better on the punk,oi and ska front release-wise.Mod bands like The Tabs,Fontaines,Mod L’s and The Commotion were very active and a no of these bands released stuff,The Tabs and The Commotion if am not mistaken.The Banditz from Cork were a punky band too who released a 7″-coupla members were English???-I also have the Caught at The Kampus 10″. from Cork that had Urban Blitz(Melodic punk-great),Nun Attax,Mean Features,and Microdisney.The Malfunctions from Donegal also released a punky popper 7″,they were previously called The Wild Herrings and their output is available under the Dave Fanning sessions link.They were great.Another great oi/streetpunk band from Donegal were Bald Aggression who released a great c60..Both these bands stuff is hard to get though I have them.Ok good luck

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