The First Irish Gay Song

The Radiators photographed in the Dublin docklands in 1989. L-R Pete Holidai, Mark Megaray, Philip Chevron and Jimmy Crashe.

The Radiators photographed in the Dublin docklands in 1989. L-R Pete Holidai, Mark Megaray, Philip Chevron and Jimmy Crashe.

“Under Clery’s Clock” was Ireland’s first openly gay-themed song. It was written by Philip Chevron, the lead singer and guitarist with Ireland’s greatest unsung punk band, The Radiators from Space.

I loved their album “Ghostown”, but only got to see them play once before they broke up in 1981 and Philip moved to London, later joining the Pogues. They reformed briefly in the late ‘80’s to play an Aids benefit in Dublin (I was there) and to record the song. Steve Averill* (a.k.a Steve Rapid - the band’s original singer, and the first person ever to hire me as a photographer) was designing the single cover and we found a crumbling warehouse down the docks for a location. Though I’d worked with many bands by then, I was particularly thrilled to be shooting the Radiators.

Cover shot for the re-issue of “Ghostown”. You can see the rain in the background.

“Under Clery’s Clock”, described as “an exquisitely haunting lament about two teenage boys who arrange a rendezvous under the Dublin landmark of the title” was a coming out for Philip as well. Sadly he died in 2013, but I think part of his spirit will be back on the Dublin streets later today as the biggest ever Pride march passes Clery’s clock on O’Connell Street.

*Steve is currently posting a great series of pictures and stories of the early Dublin rock scene on his Instagram.

KWOO

Kwoo photographed in Dublin, May 2019, using  this filter.

Kwoo photographed in Dublin, May 2019, using this filter.

Last time I was back in Dublin I did some portraits of my neighbour Kwoo. She’s a poet, animator, performer, resident DJ for The Demented Goddess and all-round interesting person. You can follow her on Twitter here, and hear her mixes here.

Caoimhe photographed in Dublin, May 2019

Caoimhe photographed in Dublin, May 2019

Low!

 “You look like the kind of people who probably bump into each other a lot...maybe at the same library” - Alan Sparhawk of Low, nailing the audience demographic at last night‘s gig in Rouen.

Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker

I’ve loved Low’s melancholy songs, distorted guitars and eerie harmonies for some time, so it was a real treat to get to see them live. 

Steve Garrington

Steve Garrington

They didn’t disappoint, with this being a highlight of the evening.

Never too loud

Never too loud

XFCH9030.jpg
Teeth solo!

Teeth solo!

Here’s my favourite song from their new album, a classic, and a great cover

Goodnight Normandy!

Trans / Punk

I shot some portraits recently of Irish transgender people for Michele-Ann Kelly’s Transition, Family and Me project. When Sarah R Phillips and I started talking about music it turned out we’d both been to many of the seminal punk gigs in Dublin. I asked if she’d seen the legendary Slaughter & The Dogs play in Belfield, and she told me not only was she there, she still goes to see them every chance she gets. Respect.

What's Wrong With Dreaming?

River City People promo video for 'What's Wrong with Dreaming?'

I barely had a clue what I was doing. Talking to Jarlath recently reminded me of this promo, my very first outing as a lighting cameraman. It came out alright, though- I think wobbly cam was a thing back then. I connected with Siobhan again years later, and we got to hang out in Nashville when I was there to shoot a portrait for the So Far book.

Saw a great comment on the Youtube video, which I just had to respond to…

Behind the scenes with the Gloaming

After shooting the Gloaming ahead of their show in the beautiful Théâtre de l'Athéné, I stayed on to get some informal portraits during the rehearsal.

The Gloaming, Théâtre de l'Athéné, Paris.

The Gloaming, Théâtre de l'Athéné, Paris.

Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh.

Iarla Ó Lionáird.

Iarla Ó Lionáird.

Thomas Bartlett, aka Doveman.

Thomas Bartlett, aka Doveman.

Caoimhín’s socks.

Caoimhín’s socks.