Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

The gigs we remember so well

A new book in aid of the Irish Red Cross gets the views of Ireland’s music community on their favourite gigs

Tue, Jan 10, 2017, 10:13


Sometime in 2015, an email arrived from Dublin DIY scene veteran (and the man who first brought Jeff Buckley to Dublin) Michael Murphy. Hope Promotions’ Niall McGuirk and himself were putting together a publication featuring loads of people talking about their favourite gigs and the cash from the book would go to help Syrian refugees. I said yes, penned a couple of hundred words, sent it off to Michael and promptly forgot all about it.

Obviously, I wasn’t the only one who got that email as the book is now finished and In Concert: Favourite Gigs of Ireland’s Music Community will be published later this month. To quote Niall, what we have here is “part of a ‘secret history’ of the Irish music scene…a compilation of over one hundred of the best of those gig memories. It includes recollections of gigs that were legendary and influential (Fleetwood Mac, the Clash, Leonard Cohen, the Smiths), as well as gigs that were quickly forgotten. From immaculately presented stadium gigs to ramshackle events in sketchy halls; from showbands to punk, death metal and dance it documents some of the inspiring, brilliant and bizarre events witnessed by Ireland’s music community far and wide.”

There are contributions from a gallery of rogues and rascals, including heads like Ted Carroll who founded Chiswick Records, Smiley Bolger, Pete Holidai, Cáit O’Riordan, John McKenna, Ciaran McLaughlin, Paul Charles, Mick Heaney, Tony Clayton-Lea, Des O’Byrne, Aidan Walsh and dozens more. You’ll find a full list of contributors here along with the gig that they’ve chosen. I picked The Gloaming in Dublin’s National Concert Hall in January 2014 for a number of reasons and you’ll have to buy the book to find out why.

It’s €15 including post and packaging and can be bought here and all proceeds go the Irish Red Cross’ Syria Appeal.