Thursday, March 02, 2006

Slashhooks and Daffodils

Rocking the night, with Slashhooks and DaffodilsThere ought to be a law. An Spailpín notes that Ticketmaster are currently selling tickets for a Guns'n'Roses concert at the RDS this summer, despite the fact that only one actual member of Guns'n'Roses will be present. I mean, if you went into a bar and called a pint of stout and were only given one fifth of a pint, three and a spit fluid ounces, well, you'd say you were being done, wouldn't you? Eddie Hobbs, Joe Duffy, the whole damned lot of them would be on about it.

Guns'n'Roses imploded a long time ago, and should be left in their crypt. The nearest thing to them, as regards loud heavy metal music, is Velvet Revolver, famously featuring the ex-Guns'n'Roses guitar player, Slash, but that still doesn't mean that going to see Velvet Revolver is the same as seeing Guns'n'Roses in their pomp. If you were one of the thousands that were at them in Slane, good for you, enjoy the memories. If you were one of the parents who let their teenaged daughters off to see Guns'n'Roses at Slane, FOR GOD'S SAKE MAN, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?!

An Spailpín was in a band once, you know. It was in London, before any of this Celtic Tiger malarkey, when Paddy was still working for Robert McAlpine and John Laing, and damn glad of the start. I'd noticed though, that even though the Irish were staying in very traditional Irish communities, they were listening to more and more modern music. So while they were still waltzing to come-all-ye's in the Galteemore, they'd be listening to Guns'n'Roses and Metallica on their walkmans on the Tube in. And I began to wonder - maybe there's something in this? Maybe there's something to be made by going one further than the Pogues ever dared, and fusing Rock'n'Roll, the most powerful force that Music has ever known, with the most powerful force that any of us had ever seen in our young lives - the JCB man himself, Seamus Moore.

We formed a band, and called ourselves Slashhooks and Daffodils. We got a gig warming up the crowd before Seamus himself would come on at the Crown or what-ever Mick bar it was, and we did that by singing about stuff that they all knew about from home, with an industrial strength boogie-woogie backing, of course. My God, the memories! The fists in the air rocking to our song about dipping the sheep back home on the land, Mr Bluestone. The shouts of recognition about being just an urchin living under the streets in rural Leinster, Portlaoise City. The impossible daring of our song about correct grooming for the hirsutely bottomed gentleman, Welcome to the Jangle - subtle as brick I know, but we're talking a crowd that paid a pony sterling to come in and hear Seamus Moore roaring about the Big Bamboo, so internal rhymes and Cole Porter stuff would have gone right over their heads.

The best song we had was one about an actor in the Richard Harris/Peter O'Toole mould, who used to like slumming it with the Paddies working construction when he wasn't playing in The Importance of Being Earnest or Lady Windemere's Fan down in the West End. How the crowd used to roar when we'd sing our tribute song for him, Pete Wilde O'Brien.

We got picked up too. An A&R man came to see Seamus one night - Jasper came to have a laugh at the thick Pats, but he wasn't doing to much laughing when two chippies from Ferbane, Co Offaly, told him they were going to bury him alive under the foundation of a new labour exchange at Cricklewood Broadway if he didn't sign Slashhooks and Daffodils to a recording deal right away. He signed, and we went to the studio to make our debut record. Because of our success among the Irish that were building up and tearing England down, we were going to call the record Appetite for Construction. God, were would have been big. Never happened of course, but that's another story.

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