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Photo © by George Curran

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Comments

By: gunter habets 3 months ago

The time of the recording presented here is September 17, 1990, Guy’s birthday, which makes this the first one out of Guy’s three “birthday shows” (although no mention of it can be heard on the tape), the other ones in Fitchburg, Massachusetts in 1993 and in Bremen, Germany in 1999.

The place of the recording is McGonagles in Dublin, Ireland, a venue the band played three times early on but would not return to after this show in 1990. In an interesting article from September 2, 2018, titled “McGonagles, Dublin: An icon of a gloriously shabby golden age”, author NickCD chronicles quite a bit of the McGonagles history.

According to the author, the venue “[...] held a special place in the hearts of Dublin music fans since the 1950’s. Originally named The Crystal Ballroom, throughout the ‘50’s and early ‘60’s the venue played host to the Jazz and Swing Orchestras and Showbands of the day. These bands provided the musical backdrop for a whole generation of young Dubliners who would show up week-in, week-out to dance to the latest hits.”

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By: gunter habets 3 months ago

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After hosting Johnny Cash in 1963, Thin Lizzy around 1970, the revered place “went on to play a central part in Dublin’s music scene” in the course of the next couple of decades, not only doing regular all ages shows on Saturday afternoons or Heavy Metal nights on Fridays, but overall “hosting bands and club nights that spanned the musical spectrum.” Furthermore, the location turned out to be “a particularly important venue for U2” as well, and “Ozzy Osbourne’s rehearsal gigs ahead of his world tour in 1991″ or “the indie fraternity Sonic Youth’s blistering show the same year” are still well-cherished memories by those who were fortunate enough to attend.

However, due to Ireland - “the run-down European backwater” - catching an economic windfall since the mid-nineties, “[t]he writing was on the wall for McGonagles. What chance could a worn out music venue situated a mere 30 second walk from Grafton Street, one of the most expensive retail rent locations in the world, ever have had against the shiny new future promised by the developers plans? Closure and demolition followed and McGonagles was no more.” And so it goes...

The beginning of the tape appears to catch Guy telling the audience they got “spared” this year, alluding to the band being on time for the gig coming off a show in Belfast, Northern Ireland on the previous night, instead of being hours late having missed the ferry from the mainland like on their first visit on November 29, 1988.

The recording documents a set of just 12 live songs, which is short even by 1990 standards. Interestingly though, no less than 8 of these are taken off of Repeater, with 3 off of the 7 Songs debut EP and just 1 song off of the Margin Walker EP.

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By: gunter habets 3 months ago

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While a slow rendering of Blueprint, still true to the studio version on the Repeater album, eases the listener into the set, it quickly becomes clear that the band found itself in front of a lively, boisterous Dublin crowd of some 800 patrons.

The result is the kind of performance where Ian and Guy really lay into it, at times getting frustrated because of stage-diving or because of some people blocking the view of others (“first off, get the fuck down, you, you, you, you... get the fuck down... we got a responsibility to all the people in the back here, why don’t you let them take a look at the show”) yet always feeding off of whatever comes their way and taking it in stride.

A case in point is a particularly snappy and engaging rendering of Bulldog Front (Guy not only references “Beautiful Child” by the Blow Monkeys but throws in some obscenities as well), as is the unexpected drawn-out bridge during Bad Mouth or a tumultuous rendering of Suggestion where the band have a woman come up on stage to join in on vocals.

So in spite of this being a brief set, in spite of the guitars sounding rather distant or indistinct and the low end frequencies a bit murky, and in spite of a couple of seconds of Reprovisional missing because of the tape being flipped, it’s definitely cool to be able to enjoy this recording, and to be able to listen close and to listen carefully - in the words of NickCD mentioned above - to “hear the voices of the ghosts of gigs past roaring their joyous songs.”

And a happy birthday to you, Guy!

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Fugazi Live Series FLS0259 Fugazi Dublin, Ireland 9/17/1990

If you had a different price in mind for this download Click Here.
Show Date:
 1990-09-17
Venue:
 McGonagles
Attendance:
 800
Played with:
 Rhythmites, Therapy?
Recorded by
 Joey Picuri
Mastered by
 Warren Russell-Smith
Original Source:
 Cassette
Sound Quality:
 Poor Good Very Good Excellent
Play Sample Track
1. Intro
2. Blueprint
3. Greed
4. Brendan #1
5. Interlude 1
6. Sieve-Fisted Find
7. Interlude 2
8. Merchandise
9. Bulldog Front
10. Bad Mouth
11. Interlude 3
12. Margin Walker
13. Suggestion
14. Interlude 4
15. Two Beats Off
16. Repeater
17. Reprovisional
18. Outro

Please Note: Available recordings have been mastered to correct for volume shifts, drop outs, etc. but some sonic anomalies will still exist, especially early in the set when the mix is being settled. The band has rated each show for sound quality and set the general price of a download at $5 per show. If you have a different price in mind feel free to utilize the alternative pricing option.