We booked this guy several times for POD nights, and through him got a connection to the artists 'A Guy Called Gerald' who we brought over from London to do a live PA gig. Live PA as in full-scale mixing board, tape machine, four live mics for three backing singers and one main vocal, three percussionists, and a group of dancers.
The club was called 'Moist' by me, DJ Spanish Paco, and Ingrid Smyth (Mngr @ Tosca Restaurant, Suffolk St).
Tosca was another of Bono's older brother's flop restaurants. Tosca had an amazing rep though: best chefs in town and a wine list to die for.
We held the first ever drum&bass club nights in Ireland at the DA Club venue first, then at Ri Ra, then POD and the Chocolate Bar.
Made a killing too until MCD stuck their snouts into the project and basically ran us out of town so they could take over.
The nicest thing all of that was the aftermath: Darryl Downey (it was him that sent the MCD heavies to see us) got dragged through the courts for for massive debts to Mario Rosenstock in a court claim. Downey lost everything, which still makes me laugh even today. His sister was married to Denis Desmond and Darryl thought he was high on the hog's back driving around town in his sister's car with the hood down, trying to look like a rock star.
He is in fact, an enormous penis-headed wanker of exceptional levels. I was thrilled when I first read about this.
This album was seriously fresh back then, it still is now. It's a more progressive style of drum&bass to your traditional junglist beats. It has a clean and almost sterile ambience that jungle lacks. While I dig junglist rhythms, there's something about this whole album that I find really easy to play over and again. Plus, it's seriously awesome to dance to.
I guess a sixty-odd year career has to end at some point.
When Bob's time comes the world will be one less poet short, and there's nobody out there who even comes close to standing in his shadow, let alone his boots. His music has been in my life from day one: the old man was a huge fan and he passed it down to us. Sunday mornings in Dublin 10 will always be Dylan mornings., Dad would wake the whole house up when he had the day off and would spin albums right through until the Sunday game started, then the telly was switched off until after dinner that evening. Sunday was family time, and Dylan was our orator.
I've caught him live three times in my life: first at Slane, then at the RDS Simmonscourt (manic gig - he fired his whole band in London the night before and flew into Dublin alone). He was given a rhythm section and a lead player, no rehearsal. Head down, baseball cap under a hoodie, all in black, and the lead guy had to stand up front to the left onstage at the top of every song to get the key and the basic chord structure. It was a tenacious gig: the only words he spoke to the audience were: 'uuuuh, hi' at the beginning, and '...ehhhh, yeah, thanks..' and he was gone again.
I got the tickets for free. My then lady was an Irish fashion model and was close with Marie and both were in the Westbury hotel having lunch after a promo thing we did that morning for some tea/coffee sweetener deal. I came over after lunch and Marie mentioned she met this American guy earlier and they got to talking at the bar and he gave her these two tickets to his gig. I asked who the guy was and she said 'Bobby something-or-other' and handed me the tickets.
Damn, I thought.
Models are always being stereotyped as being a bit dim, though Marie was far from that. She simply wasn't interested in that type of music so how was she to know? We took the tickets and went down to the RDS that evening. Not one of Bob's best nights by a long shot: grumpy, disinterested, extremely reticent to show his face or even acknowledge the audience. But that's just Bob being Bob, Van's the same narky fucker in his own way.
I saw Van this one time (amongst many) at Gröna Lund, the amusement park in Stockholm. Scorching hot day, way up into the thirties. Van's in a foul mood, the guys were playing too loud, so he walked around the stage turning the amps down and hassling the drummer, Dave Early from Belfast (RIP). The tension got so high that at one point Dave burst out laughing at him and Van stared him down. Then the rest of them started giggling too and finally Van relented and smiled a bit. And off he went - killing it. Brilliant show, one his best ever. I had no ticket for that either, but there's a small outdoor coffee shop by the gates of Gröna Lund and their bathroom is out back. Open the door at the end of the hallway and walk straight in to the fair without a ticket. Mad.