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Downmarket celebrates its 30th Anniversary this year ahead of The Blades first gig in 27 years which will be held in the Olympia Theatre on Friday 13th of December, this is sure to be as nostalgic to the fans that were there as it will be mesmerizing to the generation of new fans they have gained since.
The Blades were formed in 1977 at a time where punk ruled Dublin, with bands like The Radiators from Space being among the talk of the Irish music scene. Originally with Paul Cleary on Bass, his brother Lar on Guitar and drummer Pat Larkin completing the lineup.
They released two 7” singles on Energy Records with this lineup ‘Hot For You’ (1980) and ‘Ghost Of A Chance’ (1981) the later of which was performed on The Late Late Show that year.
Around this time they played a 6 week residency with U2 in the Baggott Inn with the bands swapping headline slots every week as both bands attempted to take their careers to the next level.
This lineup was short lived however with Pat and Lar moving on, allowing main songwriter Paul to switch to guitar and recruit Brian Foley and Jack Reilly on Bass and Drums respectively as well as adding a brass section.
The new line up started off where the last one left releasing the singles ‘The Bride Wore White’ and ‘Revelations of Heartbreak’ in 1982. This lead to Paul Cleary being named as the Songwriter of the year ahead of Bono and Van Morrison as well as winning Single of the year for ‘The Bride Wore White’ and topping it off with the Most Promising act award at the Hot Press Awards in 1982.
Reekus Records released their first album ‘The Last Man in Europe’ in January 1985 as well as the singles collection ‘Raytown Revisited’ late the same year. Raytown Revisited is considered essential listening and is included in the book ‘101 Irish Albums to hear before you die’ by Tony Clayton-Lea of the Irish Times.
Soon after the release the band split up as they became disillusioned with the music industry and they played their last gig together in The Boxing Club in Drogheda in January 1986.
Since then Paul Cleary played with The Partisans as well as releasing his Debut Solo Album ‘Crooked Town’ on Reekus Records in 2001 while Pat Larkin played with ‘The Peridots’ and Brian Foley with ‘The Mountain Climbers’.