Well that was uplifting – Banter

Last evening I went to Banter, a music-related discussion event and the theme was DIY gigs.

Niall McGuirk spoke about the Hope Collective and how it came about from the punk scene in the 80s. Fascinating stuff. Oh and check out his Vegan Cookbook/Touring Diary.

Dylan Haskins is the youngfella that runs Hide Away house gigs and the record label and now has directed a film about DIY culture called Roll Up Your Sleeves. Well done to Willie Walsh and everyone in Project Arts for encouraging Dylan too on this.


This is the trailer for it:

Loved the honesty from Niall and Dylan and Jim Carroll was a great host. The whole event was super positive and everyone that ever wanted to do something and couldn’t motivate themselves to do it should chat to Niall and Dylan. Dylan talking about doing a tour of Ireland with five bands using Bus Eireann buses while a van with the gear of all the bands following the buses, loved it.

Niall and Dylan did something that marks them out – they did stuff when they were told they could not or society made it impossible to do. They just routed around the obstacles. When Dylan couldn’t get a space for all-ages gigs, he hosted them in his gaff. Niall routed around MCD and venue owners and organised a Fugazi concert. By thinking differently and being driven they got what they wanted and all because they had a passion and love for music.


The DVD was for sale after the gig and I got one or two to send to people who are thinking of starting their own businesses as this DVD should be watched by more than those who are involved in the DIY music scene. Every business school should have a copy of this, there are lessons to be learned. Another bit of it I loved was the way that they busked for petrol money to bring them back from the gig and how they worked as a group to promote themselves before and after the gig too. The band makes and sells their own merchandise. I got the sense that people did things for the love of it but knew how to use their creativity to further fund their creativity. Jim Carroll has a good piece on Dylan here.

I also bought two DVDs to give away here on the aul blog to whoever wants one. First come first served with the condition you watch it with at least one other person. Overall, one of the best events I’ve been at in a long time which has added a spring to my step. Well done to Bodytonic et al for putting it together. There are some amazing non-corporate things happening in music and arts in Ireland right now. I think a good future is on the way for those not worrying only about drawing down grants. Interesting times, interesting times.

9 Responses to “Well that was uplifting – Banter”

  1. roosta says:

    Sounds fascinating!

    I’ll take one…but on the condition I send you something back.

  2. Darragh says:

    I’d love to have seen that – must keep an eye out for the next one.

    I know a few people who’d be interested in that DVD and would have no problem having them around to have a look. However, if there’s more deserving folk (and no doubt there are) send it on to them. I’ll just borrow yours 😛

  3. roosta says:

    Actually, aye, id rather someone got it who reallllyyyyy wanted it. Or more importantly could arrange for more people to see it.

    Or if you (or the people who made it didn’t mind) it could be passed on..to spread the word?

  4. Michael says:

    I’d love a DVD if there’s one spare. I couldn’t make it yesterday but I heard Dylan being interviewed by Dave Fanning not too long ago.

    If you would like to support some Irish music get down to Temple Bar next Friday for the DEAF fundraiser.
    More details here: http://deafireland.com/2009/

  5. Jim Carroll says:

    Great to see u on Saturday night, Damien – and thanks for the spot-on, bang-on write-up


  6. UnaRocks says:

    Damien, you should check out Dylan’s debate event in Meeting House Square on Wednesday asking the question ‘Is This City Fit For Purpose?’


  7. Ian Healy says:

    Cheers, Damien!