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NME & the Belfield Punk Festival, UCD, Dublin, June 1977

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This month, 35 years ago, Patrick Coultry, from Cabra, Dublin was stabbed and killed at Ireland’s first ‘Punk Rock Festival’ held at UCD, Belfield, Dublin.

I wasn’t at the gig but I do remember the sensationalist coverage from the NME in the subsequent weeks. I’ve scanned in related pages from NME, July 2nd and 9th.

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The Thrills (News) section – NME- July 2nd

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NME Cover July 9th 1977

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NME – July 9 – Page 11 – click to enlarge

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From Letters Page, NME, July 9th with Charles Shaar Murray

Apart from the Radiators from Space, the other groups appearing on the night were the Undertones, The Vipers, The Gamblers and Revolver.

More details of this night can be found on the Hidden History of UCD website.
Check out the Vipers and the other groups mentioned above at Irishrock.org
For archive Irish audio check out The Fanning Sessions blog.
Also really worth checking out is a recent excellent interview with Radiator Phil Chevron over at the Come Here To Me blog.
New album from 2012 from the Radiators. see their website 

Related Posts on brandnewretro:
Skank Mooks Punk Festival, Dublin 1978
The Clash at Trinity College, 1977
All posts in the Punk & Post Punk/Indie category

12 replies »

  1. was in contact with ya before on the book am trying to put together “we DidNT COnfORm” on the punk,ska and oi scene in irelands smaller cities and towns.your extract on that terrible incident was great,i actually have that very NME having purchased it in probably the last vintage magazine and newspaper,paraphenalia shop left in london(technology rules yeah????)in SOHO about 9 or 10 years ago.Gigs were restored to Belfield but violence also returned and i remember a nasty incident involving punks and skinheads from finglas outside the belfield canteen before a gig and the special branch using their non negotiating skills in trying to recttfy the situation.were SIDE FX playing that night,cant remember.i also remember another early gig by DC NIEN at the students union office,DC NIEN attracted a fair skinhead following early on,must confess couldnt see the connection with a lot of their tunes but anyway there was a bit of argy bargy at that too-but obviously nothing as serious as your own highlighted incident.At a gig by THE DEPRESSIONS(bristol punk band,later called the D.P.’s)in preston a lad was stabbed to death too,so it wasn’t just an irish thing.I also remember aggro at the stanglers gig in the state in phibsboro,,at the liberty hall punk gig involvung girl punk band THE BOY SCOUTZ who supported some big punk band,and at was it SLF in the mansion house?????Bands like THE OUTCASTS,CRISIS,and BAD MANNERS had the correct attitude with aggro merchants,get into the middle of them,give them a good going over,and turf them out.always worked.,

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  2. Wouldn’t it in be fitting, since it’s the anniversary and all that, to have some sort of memorial/gathering/gig/tribute/whatever… maybe the bands who were involved could arrange something!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes I remember the gig in Belfield. My brother had just started studying there. a tragedy for the young bloke and also for the backlash against the Radiators who are one of the most undervalued bands in Irish cultural history. Phil Chevron is a visionary character.
    I was in TCD from 78 to 82 and there was lots of fights at the punk gigs. Particularly from a bunch of guys called the ‘Black Catholics’. my memory from the time were that they were a bunch of poseurs from Dublin 4. any one that goes to the trouble of calling themselves a name is not a real prole gang in my eyes. There was even a fight at the film screening of John T Davis’ movie ‘Shellshock Rock’. (ok there was a band playing afterwards).

    one of the worst fights I saw was at the Specials and the Beat at the Stardust on Jan 14 1981. one month later the Stardust burnt down.

    keep the memories coming Dougie!
    enda

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  4. I remember the Olympic Ballrooom off Camden Street as a pretty scary place when some big time bands from England were playing there – always had an atmosphere of incipient violence and always packed in way too many people – I believe it’s now an office block or something.

    Nastiest atmosphere I’ve ever encountered, however, was at an open-air gig – the Boomtown Rats at Leixlip Castle in 1980 – elements of the crowd looked like overspill from the sewers of Dublin and some of them were actively involved in invading the stage and climbing the lighting rig – the various shenanigans to do with that gig (originally scheduled for “The Pope’s Tent” at Leopardstown Racecourse) would make for an interesting feature all these years later.

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  5. Although Punk was a hugely creative movement which changed many peoples lives for the better it did have a downside. It seemed to give license to a lot of essentially, well off, middle class people to act like hooligans. Take for example the Boomtown Rats. One of the first gigs I ever went to was Eddie and the Hot Rods in Morans Hotel. Halfway through the gig a few pint glasses were hurled at the stage with accompanying swearing. I looked around and there was this chap in pyjamas and a couple of others wearing shades doing the dastardly deed. They looked dead hard but I doubt if they would have lasted five minutes on the football terraces of the time.

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    • dont get me started on the Boomtown Rats. “Sir’ Bob Geldof was down here in Sydney about 6 months ago giving a motivational talk to the peak organisation of real estate agents. Fucking real estate agents.

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  6. Funny thing the memory Doojeen.The Leixlip gig was not pleasant but I can’t help thinking that Geldof was playing from the songbook of Malcolm McLaren in as far as ‘whipping up a moral panic’ was concerned. On a brighter note, my best memory from the Olympic was the Specials blowing Dr. Feelgood off the stage around 1980. Although I did go to a rave there around 1992 and heard the MC utter those immortal words “Make some racket!”

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  7. Geldof was always about making money. When the rock business failed him he got into the Charidee business. Africa helped to make millions for himself. He did an interview with an English paper a couple of weeks ago and when challenged that he didn’t pay any tax he got highly offended. He said, and this is no lie ,’the people I employ pay tax so I don’t see why I have to’. Classic!! What is it about Oirish rock musicians and their aversion to paying tax?

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  8. I was at that Belfield gig – I was 16, and on my own. No one really realised how serious the fight that broke out during the Undertones set had been until the cops took everyone’s names on the way out. My mother wasn’t best pleased when I got a follow up visit from the Gardai the week after……. until then, she had only been dimly aware that all these gigs I was going to were ‘punk rock’.
    It was, I think, only the second time the ‘tones had played in Dublin, and it was to be a long time again before they returned. The set that night was nearly all covers as I remember, including a version of ‘Gloria’ where the chorus went ‘G-L-O -I-R-A’ – somewhat at odds with their later, more low key politics.
    @Enda Murray – I was in TCD at the same time as you – the Black Catholics were definitely not D4 types though: i still know a couple of them, both from D7 and Bohs stalwarts. Fights were a constant risk at gigs then – as much to do with security being pretty haphazard or non-existent as anything else. Gigs in Trinity were stewarded by students who, understandably didn’t last long when confronted by any real physical threat.

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  9. geldof went on about not being punk and that the rats only wanted to get to top of the charts,make lots of money,and meet girls.used to hate him.then i thought maybe that was actually being more punk than the norm at the time-going against what was cool just to piss folk off..many books and punk forums forget the rats but i can tell you whatever about his attitude they were a punk band first few years.all you have to do is listen to lookin after no 1,mary of the fourth form,eva braun,shes so 20th century etc etc.sad the gamblers or revolvers histories havent been put down.I believe old recordings of the sussed and vipers have recently been unearthed and the dussed are to release vinyl and tour next year issit????

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