- 03 Dec 19
Stranger Things Have Happened
The parkas were out, the hair was neat, and the shoes were polished as one of the greatest Irish bands of them all, The Blades, were inducted into the Irish Rock N' Roll Museum's Hall Of Fame over the weekend. The mods congregated in force as the "boys" from Ringsend were joined by members of the Pit Stop Krew Scooter Club at the Temple Bar event.
Never one to miss out on a shocking pun or a good plug, Blades main man - and one of the finest songwriters this island has ever produced - Paul Cleary told The Irish Sun's Ken Sweeney that "if someone would have told me all those years ago that we would go on make it into the Irish Rock museum, I would have said: Not a Ghost Of A Chance. It's a truly humbling thing to stand alongside some of the great legends of music, but we're not just a museum piece, The Blades are still going strong, we're very much looking forward to our gig in The Academy on December 14th." Ah yes, The Blades annual celebration, always worth getting into the finery for. Bass man Brian Foley, who was obviously also delighted with the honour, added "We may be in a museum now but we aren't too fossilised to rock."
The Blades have donated some precious memorabilia and posters to the museum as well as Jake Reilly's snare drum - "that went every corner of this country in the early years, battered, beaten and bruised from Ballybunion to Ballyshannon" - and Paul's 60's Telecaster which saw service on a lot of Blades recordings, giving it a kind of spear of destiny status in terms of Irish song writing. One of the posters dates back to the first photo session the band did when Paul's late brother Larry was in the band and the same photo was used on their third single, 'The Bride Wore White'.
All these items were handed over to the museum's Jesse Heffernan, whose Ma once starred in a Blades video, and whose Da worked on RTE's Anything Goes (way) back in the day which is where some of us of a certain vintage (i.e. me) first saw the band play. Ah, the auld mystical circle of life. If, for some unknown reason, The Blades are new to you then you are swiftly directed to the link below, leading to both 1985's The Last Man In Europe album and, even better again, Raytown Revisited, which gathers together some of the finest seven inchs known to man, woman, or child, including, quite possibly, the greatest Irish Single of all time that doesn't have someone shouting "OLA!" on it, 'Downmarket'. They're only the band U2 could have been. Wherever George Byrne is, having a pint, I'd bet he's cracking a smile.
The Blades play The Academy, Dublin on Saturday, December 14th.