The fusion of Paranoid Visions with Steve Ignorant of their heroes Crass has the Dubliners fired up.
Paranoid Visions were punks almost before the concept even existing in Ireland. Breaking through in the early 80s, their early gigs were chaotic in nature; often descending into riots at stage front, with the band spat, demonised and in many cases banned from appearing in venues.
“We ended up playing ‘Battle of the Bands’ gigs just for somewhere to play,” guitarist Peter Jones recalls. “We’d be on between these acoustic guitar acts, and there’d be 80 punks there waiting for us to come on stage. All hell would break loose for the four songs we got to play, and then all our fans, who would be most of the audience, would just leave. Usually we’d come second, as they had to admit we’d had a lot of impact, but didn’t want to give the prize to us after we’d unleashed that kind of chaos.”
“I vividly remember a complaint going in at one of those competitions saying that we only rehearsed once a week, and shouldn’t be allowed to win. The man who said that is still involved in the Dublin music scene. He was right about the rehearsing to be honest.”
There’s plenty of water under the bridge since those days: Paranoid Visions broke up for a decade, reformed, went through an extended campaign of Bono-criticism (including the release of punk parody ‘I Will Wallow’), courted controversy by promoting an album with an image of Brian Cowen’s head aligned in gun sites, and wrote an entire album slamming what they saw as a parochial, Catholic church-led rot in the country.
They are, in short, not afraid to go hard against the political status quo in true punk fashion, with vocalist Declan Dachau famed for both the bluntness of his vocals, and harsh quips in which he espouses staunchly anti-nationalist, inclusive principles.