Cathal: 'That was going to be the title of the album at first, but we
did envisage problems... we were just trying to put words into people's
mouths, because in that particular period of time it seemed to be the
unspoken thing on the lips of most of the people we were dealing with.'
These are difficult times for Microdisney. With a new single, 'Gale Force
Wind', and their fourth studio LP, 'Thirty-Nine Minutes' in the offing,
they continue to illicit a range of hyperbolic reactions as wide as any
other current act.
Sean: 'There is a certain absurdity in the whole thing, but that's because
to most people music is a side leisure industry. To 80 per cent of people
in the country, Microdisney appearing on the same stage as Rick Astley
is OK- we're just another pop group. The surprise element just gets less
obvious as time goes on.'
All the more so, because the LP features some of Microdisney's finest
moments to date, and 'Gale Force Wind' has just the right blend of Michael
Fish-like irreverence and swaggering punch to earn them a place in the
Top 20. That incongruity again, especially since the lyric delves
into the deepest recesses of Thatcherite poverty.
Cathal: 'The thing that unites the rich with the poor is GREED- and if
the poor let themselves become the instruments of their own destruction...
'I'm in the position now, where I'm being forced to chip in with some
other people to buy a flat because it's cheaper than paying rent. Year
by year I've seen my rent escalate, and it's now 50 per cent of my fucking
income! By doing that I'm becoming part of the thing that's grinding me
down. Could be worse- I could be giving money to the Contras or someone!'
You've been quoted before as being very dismissive of England as an under-educated,
Philistine country. Why do you think this is?
'There's such a lack of values here that have nothing to do with pounds,
shillings and pence- in Ireland you do have all this loathsome superstitious
bullshit that the Catholic church has nurtured but at the same time people
do have a certain appreciation of things that don't have anything to do
with direct gain for themselves.
'Call it spiritual if you like. You can see it reflected in their music
taste- all the younger people are into things like the Doors who failed
to have any consequence here years ago. That's what's played in discos
in the town where I come from.
'But you do have these bastards there who are trying to create the same
atmosphere as you have over here- you get these stockbrokers appearing
on TV talking about share-ownership at a time when you have vast unemployment
in the rest of the country. It's even more of a nonsense than in England.
'And they're talking about privatising the buses as well- I mean, nobody
would get two bob for the Irish bus service. It's practically non-existent
What also doesn't help is when your major musical exports are bible-bashers
or crude stereotypes. Your thoughts on the Pogues?
Cathal: 'They have their good points I suppose... but they have pandered,
in a way I find loathsome, to the worst ideas people have about the Irish.
Not many of them are even of Irish descent.'
Sean: 'The best thing you can say about them is that they're a cabaret
act. But I do think what they have done has been as insulting as a bunch
of white arseholes in Ladbroke Grove growing their hair into dreadlocks
and singing about Jah.'
For six years now, Microdisney have continued to shock, surprise, irritate
and confuse. Axes are still being ground and outstanding melodies are
still being used to embrace them. Microdisney are one of our best.