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When U2 played with the Scheme – Dandelion Market – Sept 1979

post punk scheme u2 dundalk

The Scheme, Castletown Graveyard, Dundalk, 1979

The Scheme, featuring 3 ex members of NRG, were a post punk band from Dundalk.

We had outgrown the punk scene and now performed 100% original material.  The Banshees and Joy Division were just some of the influences.  I was also into Wire and Adam & the Ants (loved the Dirk Wears White Sox album) and Chic. One of our songs was called “Disconnected” which had a disco beat and bass and, despite never been recorded, made it into the top 50 of Dublin  songs in dublin fanzine, Imprint.  (click here for scanned page of top 50… check out no. 49!)

The Scheme played more gigs in Dublin (McGonagles, Baggot Inn, UCD) than in Dundalk, supporting the likes of the Blades, DC Nien, the Attrix, the Addix (featuring KirstyMcColl) and U2. Philip ‘Turkey’ Mullen, later of Some Kind of Wonderful, helped with managerial duties and scored some of these gigs for us.
We played 3 gigs in Dublin’s Dandelion Market in 1979, one of which had us opening for U2 on 15th September 1979. U2 were riding high, and set  to release their first single, the place was packed that Saturday afternoon.  The 2 things I remember most about U2 from this occasion, was

1. The record sleeve for their forthcoming single the Three Ep, was just back from the printers and delivered to them during their sound check. They were genuinely excited about this.
2. When they finished sound checking, Bono, shouted, “Scheme, your turn”. Which was  a cue for us to do get up and do our check. At least he acknowledged us. And we got a sound check. More than can be said for a lot of the other groups we supported.
The gig was great. Big crowd, who were up for it. They were mad into U2, though. You could see they were going to make it.

John Fisher, main instigator and organiser of the Dandelion gigs, has listed a nice article about the Dandelion & the gigs in 1979 on his web site.  Gig is also listed on U2Tours.com

The Scheme opening for DC NIEN at McGonagles, Dublin 1979



scheme dublin dundalk baggot inn 1980 dc nein

**update 20/5/2013

u2-dandelion-mkt-dublin-sep-1979

U2 Dandelion-Mkt-Sep-1979: Photo: Pat Kirk

Pat Kirk from Dundalk was with the Scheme at the gig in the Dandelion and took this pic of U2 on stage that day. Pat also took the pictures below of the Scheme at rehearsals. Many thanks to Pat for submitting these.

Pat along with Philip “Turkey” Mullen from Some Kind of Wonderful (more above) would later run the Boddis gigs in the Magnet bar, Pearse St, Dublin 2. Indeed the same Philip Mullen appears on the left in the photo below jamming with Brian Vernon and Dec Rodgers during a Scheme rehearsal.
phil-turkey-mullen - brian vernon- dec rodgers
brian-vernon-scheme-1979 doug-bass-or-smithwicks

16 replies »

  1. sorry folks mollo here again.badly needing old photos of these bands to include with other info in my book am researching info on-called “THEY DIDNT CONFORM-PUNK ROCK SKA AND OI IN IRELANDS TOWNS ! 1976-1986.please confirm if interested.have just started researching it.

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  2. Mr. Dougie u dun it again.

    while reading through ur killer article about the Scheme i came across the U2Tours.com website which lists all U2 gigs ever. and I found a mention of a gig in the JCR in Trinity on 1/2/79. I had a vague memory of attending a U2 gig in Trinity around that time but I was beginning to think it was all a figroll of my imagination. Until now – and I can see it in B&W that this gig did actually exist.

    And so, 32 years later, here’s my review of this gig.

    U2, JCR 1/2/79
    I was one of the 30 or so people who turned up to see this U2 gig at the Junior Common Room in Trinity College one lunchtime in February.

    Admission, if I remember rightly, was 30p.

    I’d heard about this band but never seen them before so I was thrilled to get to attend this gig in person and see what all the fuss was about.

    I had been a bogman up from the country (Drawda) but now i was joining the sophisticated scions of Dublin pop culture. The Hot Press honchos and other arbiters of taste for us poor gobshites.

    The JCR, as it was affectionately known, was a haunt of pool players, pinball machine afficionados and table football gurus. (Anything to keep u out of a lecture). But all this leisure equipment was moved to the side for the appearance of the fab four.

    The gig is shrouded in the mist of time. Bono was leppin around like a eejit. Adam Clayton had a perm on his peroxide bonce. More than that is hard to recall.

    And for the (many) years since and in many countries of the world I’ve told my U2 story to anyone who would listen.

    I saw U2 for 30p at lunchtime in the JCR.

    And they were shite!

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  3. I was there too. We stood at the back because we were ‘posing’ and didn’t want to be associated with U2 (never a fan). But I remember this little short guy who was running and jumping into the crowd and at one point it looked like he had a penknife in his hand. He was quickly picked up by about 10 of us a quickly disposed of through a window.

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