The story begins in Cork, Southern Ireland at the start of 1982. I'll leave Cathal to tell you the story- he was there and I wasn't. Click HERE for a piece taken from the sleeve notes of 'We Hate You South African Bastards', you can also click an external link for a quite detailed biography of the early years and beyond.

My own history of Microdisney began in 1983 with the playing of 'Pink Skinned Man' on John Peel. Thatcher had just won a second term on the back of one of the most despicable actions of her reign. The victory in the Falklands War turned the following year's election and condemned us to 23 years of Thatcherism- and counting. I lost my faith in the English race and started listening to Crass; but Microdisney were always my political soundtrack for the eighties. 20 years on and even after the 'Hand of God', World Cup Defeats and, as I write, a crocked Beckham mown down by yet another 'Argie Bastard', the Falklands remains an appalling event to me.

'Pink Skinned Man' had little to do with any of this. Angst ridden (in not quite a teenage way) it had all the classic qualities of a great pop song. The song fitted the Creation and Postcard scene of guitar bands making melodies again after the Punk era, writing about personal politics, love and not getting any. Most of the Indie Pop bands around this time were all doing clever clever quirky lyrics and nostalgic ditties. Pleasant enough but unchallenging. Sean's atmospheric, crafted music and Cathal's uniquely Irish vocals ran rings round the strum, strum, strum bands of the time. Even so it was a while before I would fully see the depth to their music.
In Beggars Banquet I was delighted to find both 'Pink Skinned Man' and the first single 'Helicopter Of The Holy Ghost'. The thrill of discovering a new band and a record I never knew existed was still with me as I listened to the fabulous Helicopter of the Holy Ghost. A Peel session followed and a deal with Rough Trade brought their first LP ironically entitled (was it ever otherwise) 'Everybody Is Fantastic'.
'Everybody Is Fantastic' is still in my top 5 LP's of all-time. While I would hate to trade the more obvious, specific messages of the later songs, the early minimal production and a sound heavily influenced by their Irish origins produced a timeless feel that leaves this period as my favourite. Poetic, social commentary hidden beneath the surface marked them out as special and with an edge that many, to the detriment of the human race, would 'miss' to this day.

The day of full enlightenment for me came as late as April 1984. Without a 'working band' gigs had been virtually non existent and a key element of Microdisney's psyche was about to be unleashed on an unsuspecting public. Supporting Talk Talk (and other bands brown-nosing for fame) Microdisney produced a wonderfully shambolic performance at the Lyceum in the Strand. A pissed and pissed off Cathal Coughlan spitting gentle vitriol at a disinterested audience and giving them the 'unprofessional' show they so richly deserved ('Dolly' live MP3). Sean tuned his guitars for ages between songs and several false starts ensued. Here was a band that wasn't going to sell their souls just to make friends. All the undercurrents in their studio work were coming to the surface and songs that had seemed introspective and descriptive suddenly came alive with Cathal's sardonic humour. An anger and frustration that even the punk bands couldn't capture. I was born again...

Between the summer of 1983 and summer of 1984, I had seen one LP, 3 singles (including 'Dolly' taken from the LP), and 3 Peel sessions. Microdisney seemed to be happening and the future looked rosy, but behind the scenes Microdisney had been suffering their own winter of discontent in London with anyone and everyone connected with the 'music biz'. The style was about to change...