Friday, 11 September 2015

Dalymount Park, 1979

On a hot summer's day in July 1979 a car-load of teenagers hit the road from the Liberties and drove about 4 hours south to Dalymount Park, just outside Dublin.  The reason was music.  The headline group that day was Status Quo and they were backed by Judas Priest (heavy), Rockpile (not heavy at all) and our very own band from up the road, The Undertones (decidedly light).  It was an open-air concert and while thankfully it stayed dry we were a little farther from the stage than was usual - that's my way of excusing the fact that the photographs aren't the best.

Let's kick off with the Undertones - a Derry band that used to play at our local venue a lot.

Feargal Sharkey of the Undertones

John O'Neill - another Undertone

The Undertones always played a great set - tremendous energy.  A bit like a local version of The Ramones, I used to think.   I think I might have had 2 cameras with me that day, as I found some B&W pics as well.

Feargal Sharkey and Mickey Bradley

Aw just look at the lads there, so young...Mickey Bradley, on the old Rickenbacker bass, now works for a local BBC radio station and there isn't much he doesn't know about music.  Feargal Sharkey had a solo career for a while after he split from the band and then did much to promote the UK live music industry - he was head of UK Music until 2011.

And don't panic - there's more of The Undertones to come in the future (Ed: Oh I wasn't panicking, rest assured).

Moving up the order of play, Rockpile was much more classic rock-and-roll and Dave Edmunds was an accomplished guitarist.  Here he is with a beautiful-looking instrument (hair blowin' in the wind and all). 

Dave Edmunds in 1979

By now, the light was beginning to fade, so a lot of the snaps from now on are quite blurry - me shutter speeds must have been too low, or maybe I was shaking with excitement.  Here's Judas Priest - a snap worthy of inclusion just for the 'Flying-V' Gibson and the all-leather gear as worn by Rob Halford.  Grammy award-winners, they are, in case you didn't know...

Judas Priest

And lastly we have the main attraction - Status Quo.  

The Quo were great live, but I think I was a little jaded by the time they came on.  Being 16, I had no idea you had to pace yourself at these sorts of gigs. I think it's safe to assume that I slept well that night, wherever I was - can't remember the details now of course.

Hope you enjoyed this little departure from the norm on the Friday 'retro' slot, or Bandfriday, as Mr Roy Karlsvik puts it.  You might like to check out his blog, which is rather good.


  1. Very good Bandfriday post Michael. Good story behind and all. Keep them coming, and don't panic if there's a blurry one or two in between.

    1. Bit late replying here Roy but better late than never, eh?! we all know (!) blurry is good! So...(embarrassed cough) thanks for stoppin' by nearly 2 years ago and taking the time to comment :)

  2. Great concert. Two friends and myself travelled up from portlaoise. We were only sixteen.never away from home and in to the big city great experience and I will always remember it. Ray. Frog.teddy. .

  3. Great concert. Two friends and myself travelled up from portlaoise. We were only sixteen.never away from home and in to the big city great experience and I will always remember it. Ray. Frog.teddy. .

    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting Ray. I'd just turned 16 a couple of weeks previously myself. I remember going down there (from North Antrim coast) in a mate's car (almost didn't make it) and the day itself of course. Don't remember coming back home at all - most likely exhausted, it was a long day, but as you say, a memorable one!

  4. I remember that concert well, I had just finished secondary school exams (Leaving Cert.). The Undertones were the stand- out set of the event. Went with friend and as we considered ourselves 'too cool' for Status Quo & 'heavy metal ' �� we left as soon as Judas Priest came on stage. Now I regret not staying to see the legendary 'Quo'

    1. Dermot it's hard to believe that's nearly 40 years ago - yikes! I must admit to being a bit of a metal fan (at that age, anyway :) so I enjoyed Judas Priest. The Quo were brilliant I have to say - it was still light when they came on but by the time they finished it was dark and with the smoke on stage and serious number of lights they had it was very good show. First and only time I saw them and although I was never a huge fan of the Quo I'm glad I was there. It was a great day out - weather was perfect. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.