The Zips, Dublin – live review

The Zips
Dublin, Fibber Magees
7 July 2012

Scottish ’77 favourites The Zips, with Setting off Sirens / The Lee Harveys /Jobseekers/ I AM A Carcrash at Fibber Magees in Dublin.

Tonight’s show at Fibber Magee’s is a rescheduled event from an earlier planned Gypsy Rose gig. The Zips were due to play here in Dublin last September when disaster struck; sticks man Jimi had a heart attack during their sound check.

For luck, the venue was in close proximity to the St. James hospital, home to Ireland’s Heart and Vascular Institute. If it was going to happen, he was probably in the best place for it. Jimi’s doing well now, and thankfully the band didn’t delay before returning. The band has been thirsty for it, and the Dublin audience eager to hear them.

When the guys from FOAD put on a gig, they don’t do things by halves. Playing with the Zips tonight are four local bands, I am a Car Crash, Jobseekeers, the Lee Harveys, and Setting Off Sirens. That’s five great bands for just €8.

I catch the last few numbers from I Am A Car Crash, they sound great, and I curse not getting here earlier. Jobseekers are up next, I’ve seen the band plenty of times before, they are always good, but tonight they are fully on fire, unbelievably tight, and astoundingly animated. Their energy is totally infectious. Lead singer Colin Kelly in a show of solidarity, respect, and genuine affection for the music of all the other acts stays down the front all night, and later joins the Lee Harveys on stage for a number.

Bitzy from the Lee Harveys is suffering from a bout of food poisoning, not that you’d suspect there was anything wrong with him from their performance. They play classic 1977 style punk rock, and have gathered a sizeable fan base in their short life time. “Here Come the Cops”, “Killing Season”, and a blistering tribute to Johnny Thunders all get an airing.

Bitzy gets woozy at the end, and speaking with him after, it’s admirable he played at all. They are currently recording an album, and I, like many, can’t wait to hear the finished product. It will be released on FOAD, making them label mates to Setting Off Sirens, whose debut was also released on the Paranoid Vision owned label back in 2010.

The band are excellent tonight too, and treat the crowd to a couple of new numbers, including the brilliantly titled “the kicking you knew you deserved”. It will no doubt make their sophomore release, which they are currently working on. Frontman Kevin Mchugh has so much stamina, and there is real power in the band’s performance. He flies around the stage with such enthusiasm, singing from the floor, and swinging from the rafters, the kind of act no one wants to follow.

Not a problem for the headliners, The Zips explode on to the stage with “30 Years of Punk Rock” from their debut album “Guitars4Hire”, released 27 years since after their debut single. The title track gets a blast a little later in the set too. Staying in the spirit of the night, the band are incredibly tight, and manage to squeeze around 20 numbers in.

Songs from way back like “Over and Over” and “Don’t Be Pushed Around” fit seamlessly alongside new numbers like “Secret Life of Teenage Punk Rocker”, “19 Forvevva”, “Zips FM”, and lead singer Jonzip McNeil’s open letter to fashionista Henry Holland, “Hooray Henry”. The Glasgow punk legends are embraced by the crowd, everyone is dancing and singing along, and it’s a fantastic finish to what has been a wicked night’s entertainment. The Zips will be back in town at Christmas, I can’t wait.

The energy and positive atmosphere in Fibbers Magees last night was incredible, five tremendous bands that played vital, vivacious punk rock that had the audience leaving feeling positively elated. There are a whole host of FOAD gigs coming up in the next couple of weeks, Monica and the Explosion, Loaded 44, and Paranoid Visions have a single launch on  July 20, all nights feature several bands on the line up, do yourself a favour, and don’t miss any of them.

All words by Ray Burke.

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  1. Hey Ray, thanks for the review. All 5 bands played a blinder, especially Jobseekers. SOS recorded the set from the desk so depending on how they come out we may release some or all of them in the future.
    Thanks again,
    Kev SOS

  2. Ray, crackin’ round-up of the night’s events. you got it bang-on when you talked about the positive vibes in Fibber Magees, even though, for a punk event, that sounds a bit hippie-ish! such a great bill, put together by Peter from Paranoid Visions. a punk- themed, but varied cross-section of local bands.The Zips only regret is that we couldn’t hang around longer, after our set – we came off stage at 2.20am and after a mad scramble for a taxi, 3 of the guys were on the overnight bus back to Glasgow at 3.00am!
    all in all, it was more of a party atmosphere, and great to see so many of the other Paranoid Vision members turning out to cheer the bands on (and dance the night away). you have such a supportive and inclusive scene in Dublin, in which, you, Ray, play no small part – we’ll be back whenever we can!
    take care,

  3. […] with the idea of forming a band. Kevin McHugh the lead vocalist in Fermanagh punk rock stalwarts Setting off Sirens, Matty James, troubadour and sometime Filthy Angel, real life brother and the other half of Filthy […]

  4. […] with the idea of forming a band. Kevin McHugh the lead vocalist in Fermanagh punk rock stalwarts Setting off Sirens, Matty James, troubadour and sometime Filthy Angel, real life brother and the other half of Filthy […]


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