Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Tulips: rockin' at Barnstormers in Dublin, 1993

The Tulips in Dublin 1993. (Photos by Cat and Andy)

By Andy and Cat

Who are The Tulips and where have they gone?

We were in Dublin, a couple beers in on a Saturday night and we craved some more live tuneage.

It was May 15, 1993 and we had already spent the day bouncing around the Temple Bar area, met some people from the night before at the Rock Garden (indie pop band In Motion played) and then we watched the FA Cup final pitting Arsenal versus Sheffield Wednesday in a pub. (The match finished 1-1 and there was to be a replay five days later, which we attended at Wembley Stadium in London. Arsenal won that one, 2-1, in OT.)

So, on to The Tulips and the gritty biker bar where they played that night: Barnstormers.

We can't remember how we found out about the place, probably just from walking nonstop around the city and luckily spotting a venue that suited us. We passed by one bar along the way that sported a huge Thin Lizzy banner on the front and was to host a tribute band that night. We vowed to return later, but the action inside Barnstormers gripped us and we never made it back that way.

Funny thing first was strolling past a dude with dreadlocks on the street on the way to the bar -- and then he ended up sitting next to us at the bar later. His name was Steve-O, a DJ from London, and we chatted for a while about music. Cool guy.

Steve-O joined us in the Barnstormers gig room -- a dark, cavernish place -- and we settled in for The Tulips, Eerie and Into Paradise.

Eerie opened with their Siouxsie-style tunes and Into Paradise displayed their indie rock in the headline spot and covered Neil Young's "Like a Hurricane."

However, it was The Tulips in the middle slot that really took us by storm.

We recall some of their offerings being along the lines of 999 and a bit of the more rockin' DOA fare. In short, The Tulips ripped it up and their singer spouted lyrics like, "I have to get lost to find you" and "Show me a substance and I'll show you abuse." (Update: We've since heard from a friend of a friend that the band had a new wave edge, as well. It was probably a mixture of styles, and we definitely dug them whilst in our beery haze.)

We never interacted with The Tulips guys. We figured we'd chat after the gig and get the lowdown on them, but they vanished -- never to be seen by us again.

About 10 years ago, we tried to track them down on the web, but nobody in the Dublin area we emailed with seemed to know who The Tulips were. A mystery band, for sure, but what a great one!

Barnstormers is long gone, as well, but at least we experienced a first-rate night in good old Dublin town.


P.S. The night before, we checked out Bliss and The Sewing Room at The Attic. Both bands were great, with Bliss rolling in a poppy vein and The Sewing Room serving up haunting, jangly tunes. We met The Sewing Room guitarist's girlfriend, who told us about the Rock Garden and even asked us to stay with them. We already had a room, but what a nice gesture.

No comments:

Post a Comment