MICRODISNEY PRESS

'EVERYBODY IS, WELL, UM, RELATIVELY OK' by Paul Mathur NME 1984


If James Joyce had been in a pop group, he would have been in Microdisney. That is, if he'd come over from Cork to spend his time drunkenly throwing himself off tables in Hampstead and scouring London's markets for the most sickening shirts available.
Such was the path staggered along by Sean and Cathal, the nucleus of Microdisney, as they left behind some silly excesses in Ireland in favour of more carefully considered ones here.
In between antics on tables and sampling the world's many and varied alcohols, they took time to record three John Peel sessions, a handful of shamelessly good singles and a fine, if much ignored, LP on Rough Trade.
With a new mini-LP in the pipeline, another session coming up, and a return to live action, it seemed time for me to set off Willesden way in search of the heart of the business.
Let's whizz back to the Cork days, when the group first took shape. Sean: 'We were a five-piece then and saw ourselves like The Pop Group. We were terribly into playing funk riffs as fast as we possibly could and telling everyone we were not a punk rock group. We were of course'.
Sean was busy with quality control work at the locomotive factory, and Cathal was researching in West Ireland for a projected book entitled Sex Among the Subnormally Intelligent. It all had to bring forth something.
The results, 'Helicopter of the Holy Ghost' and 'Pink Skinned Man', interested John Peel, and as a result of a session for him they pitched camp in swinging London, becoming familiar faces in Cricklewood's rough Irish pubs.
Here they got mixed up in fruitless record deals, and came to further despise the home of New Wave Rock. Sporadic live performances nevertheless promised much. Some saw the spirit of Syd- Barrett, not Vicious.
Sean:'Those were strange affairs. Our troubles during that time meant that we underwent the rather unnatural process of becoming naive. Meanwhile, live we were just getting odder and odder. They loved it at the Rock Garden'.
Rough Trade put out the brill 'Everybody is Fantastic' LP, and 'Dolly', the purest of pop ditties. But still no one appeared to give two hoots about Microdisney.
All that is set to change. Sick of being nice to everyone, Sean and Cathal, devotees of Brian Wilson and 'the psychedelic side of country music', have prepared their assault on the world.
The forthcoming LP presents their early Irish singles, some demos and three instrumental pieces from the soundtrack for a commercial drugs education video that never reached completion.
The Powers That Be decided Microdisney's drug-music contributions would, more likely than not, encourage drug taking, and the project was cancelled.
The group don't want any more misunderstandings. They have been prepared to compromise on the title of the LP. The original title, 'We Hate You South African Bastards', has been changed to 'We Hate You White South African Bastards'! Peter Powell airplay is not anticipated.
Cathal: 'We felt we had to dedicate something to lovely Zola Budd, Springbok Speedball and British Citizen, to wish her all the best at the lynching luncheon back at Daddy's Kraal in Bloemfontein. It's our hands across the sea gesture.'
A recent live performance suggests that a lot of people will soon care considerably about Microdisney. Songs such as '464', a cross between The Birthday Party and Love, and the roistering cover of the 'Who'll Stop the Rain?', even though performed sober, still show a refreshing originality.
But will the good life spoil you, Cathal?
'Well, I may be an alcoholic by the time I'm 30 but at least I'll be a far more interesting person than George Michael.'


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