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The Blades – In Dublin Magazine, 1980 + 1981

blades apr 1980 in dublin
bladesshanemarch81

view previous blades article from 1979
The Blades are back for 2 shows in the Olympia, Dublin 2, on Friday 13th (sold out) & Saturday 14th December.
Here are 2 articles scanned from In Dublin. The top one by Ferdia McAnna is from April, 1980 and the bottom one from March, 1981 is by Shane McElhatton.

Click on the image to the left to read another Blades article from a previous post from Black & White Magazine 1979.

4 replies »

  1. I made the pilgrimage to the Magnet on Pearse St. to see the Blades round 1981. The stuff of legend (according to the Hot Press know-alls). We put them on in Drogheda a couple of times and they were fantastic. Especially when they got the brass section. I don’t reckon it was the lack of ‘industry’ connections that was the reason that they never got the success they deserved – I think it was just bad luck. I often think of the Blades when I think of bands with talent who didn’t get success. It’s a shame when there are so many crap acts who do succeed.
    And what a shit review from Ferdia Mac Anna. How could he fault the Blades live shows? they were a great live band. Possibly the fact that he got Paul Cleary’s name wrong proved that he didn’t know what he was talking about.

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  2. Enda I also went to the Magnet gigs and the Blades were great. It could be sour grapes on Ferdia MacAnna’s part as he was the front man for Rocky DeValera and the Gravediggers. Saw them a couple of times and they came across as a pub rock band playing r&b standards. Alright but nothing to write home about. No doubt his comment about the ‘functional’ musicanship of the Blades reflected the hostility old school Dublin pub musicians felt towards bands emerging from the Punk Rock scene.

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    • Yup…or some snobbery from Ferdia’s RTE / theatre / Dublin 4 background?? it just seemed a very amateurish review with no indepth research behind it. I saw Ferdia do a lunchtime gig in the Edmund Burke Theatre in TCD round 1980. They were a fun band but very much along the lines of the R&B ‘Dr. Feelgood’ vibe which also included the early Boomtown Rats approach.

      Funny that discussion about good live bands. I just checked the article that I wrote about music in Drogheda and the one line that I wrote about Rocky De Valera related to a gig the Rhythm Kings did in the White Horse circa 1983. At one point the power went down and the band just carried on acapella. I often remembered that incident as the years went by and performances became more dependent on the technology. the idea that a band could entertain just with their energy showed a skill in entertaining that I guess Ferdia had acquired. I’ll never forget the Prodigy at Glastonbury one time who, when the power went down, simply walked off the stage.

      I admired his book ‘Bald Head’ in which he talked about surviving cancer. Funnily enough i got his book ‘The Rocky Years’ in a bargain bookshop here in Sydney a couple of years ago. I never finished it. Thumbing through it now I realise Ive got to give Ferdia cred for the song ‘John Wayne’ and the immortal line ‘Truly this man was the Son of Gaawwwd’

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