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This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening To … Paranoid Visions June 11, 2011

Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....

I’ve a few Paranoid Visions records and tapes at home, I dug them out recently and was pleasantly surprised. Having been formed in 1981 , they are probably the most well known Irish Punk band.

It was 1986 or 87 before I saw them first at a mad gig in JJ Smyths and then  I bought their “Schizophrenia” LP which was on their own FOAD label (The Babysnakes were another band on that label and I’ll try and do a TWIMBLT in a while as I’d have to upload stuff to Youtube myself). “Schizophrenia” contained two of my favourite songs “The Other Half Lives” and “New Townism” as well as some other gems. Over the years they recorded some fine songs covering various issues. “Strange Girl” about Anne Lovett is particularly direct, “Strobelights and Torture” about the Stardust is pretty good too.

Their “Yob EP” was a decent pisstake of U2 between the cover which was a pisstake of U2s ‘Boy’ cover and had tunes such as “I Will Wallow” and the classic “U2 Clone” . Their single “Autonomy” was excellent as was the “FOAD To You Fascist American Contra Scum” Nicaragua Benefit single.
Yet for all the quality they released they got little or no coverage, especially considering that at the time you’d put a few chords together and all of a sudden you would be labeled “the next U2”. (They are reported to have been offered deals by Major labels but declined).  They did produce the odd bit of awful stuff too.
They broke up in 1992, reformed in 1996 and despite many personnel changes and periods of inactivity they are still on the go. The last two choices “Strobelights and Torture” and “Missing in Action” are from their most recent incarnation.
A number of Best Ofs “After the Faction” , “Outside In. The Vinyl Years 1986-1989” and last years “Black Operations In The Red Mist” have been released and are well worth a listen.
The Other Half Lives

New Townism

Ignore It

Strange Girl

Strobelight and Torture

Missing in Action


1. WorldbyStorm - June 11, 2011

New Townism is a sort of classic. Nice one IELB.


2. Dr.Nightdub - June 11, 2011

“The Other Half Lives” – that bass line brings me back to a time when them and the Golden Horde seemed to be joined at the hip. Probably the best song to come out of Dublin since the Radiators.


3. EWI - June 11, 2011

Well, so far his weekend my notable listening has been:

A phone call from a young South-East Asian lady working for the “IT department of PC Doctor”, who has informed me that because I have “registered my computer” with them, they are calling me in connection with “70,000 people in your area” who have “a virus on your computers that damages your hard drive every time you connect to the Internet”.

Sure, right. Utter cnuts.


EWI - June 11, 2011
4. hXci - June 11, 2011

We (Sounds of Resistance) are putting on TV Smith from The Adverts plus support from Paranoid Visions and Liz is Evil – Drop in! DUBLIN BLOGS UNITE. 🙂


EamonnCork - June 11, 2011

Sounds like a decent gig. Maybe TV could sing, “I’m looking through Eamon Gilmore’s eyes.”


hXci - June 12, 2011

I was thinking the exact same thing…!


5. hXci - June 11, 2011

Sorry, should probably have said next Saturday in O’Byrne’s on the junction of Capel Street and bolton Street.


6. EamonnCork - June 11, 2011

I WIll Wallow is a bit of a masterpiece, particularly the pisstake of the spoken intro to Sunday Bloody Sunday, “it’s not a song about anything really but we’ll sing it just the same.”
I remember seeing members of Paranoid Visions around the streets in the late eighties during my brief sojourn in third level education. My favourite memory is meeting a guy I knew who was selling a fanzine promoting the Raggle Taggle movement of dreaded memory on Grafton Street and seeing him take to his heels at the approach of Deko who had apparently objected forcibly to the dissemination of such material earlier in the day.
The drive of The Other Half Lives is still pretty impressive.
Anyone remember The Pleasure Cell, the two bands always reminded me of each other for some reason


sonofstan - June 11, 2011

The Pleasure Cell…..

Vague memory stirrings but nothing definite coming up… do you remember Not Our World?

I’ve been seeing Deko about again recently after a gap of a few years – I’ve a feeling he will be pounding the streets of Dublin long after the rest of us are with Lenihan and Fitzgerald in the grave.


Dr.Nightdub - June 12, 2011

Ah, The Pleasure Cell…Noel, Dermot and Willard – I was their roadie for a while in the mid-80s. For a while, it seemed that residencies in the Underground used to rotate between them, Something Happens and the Stars of Heaven. Jeff the owner described them as “angry young bollocks” but he loved them really.

They released one single called “New Age” then decamped to London where they went through some sort of glam rock epiphany and kinda disappeared up themselves, though this wasn’t bad:


7. EamonnCork - June 11, 2011

By the way, nobody who slagged off the NWOBHM should think they’ve got away with it. The Lord of Darkness will be in touch soon so I wouldn’t be walking under any church steeples in a lightning storm any time soon.


8. sonofstan - June 12, 2011

Slight hijack, but people need to take a look at David lacey’s excellent, in depth interview with Ricky Dineen of Nun Attax/5GDTTS over on Dublin Opinion – fantastic look at the Cork scene at the turn of the ’80s



Crocodile - June 12, 2011

Fascinating. Thanks for the link, SofS.


9. JOEKERMAN - June 13, 2011

There are some diehards out there who will only accept that there are four real Ramones- Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee and Tommy. They’ve got a point, but I’ve gotta include Marky, for years of service if nothing else.

I mention this, cos for me the original Paranoid Visions line up is the REAL one, short lived and now ancient it may be. Along with the Golden Horde they were a big part of my youth, and I have very fond memories of those early gigs.

Line up was, of course Deko on vocals, and fellow perennial P.A on guitar. Skinny was on bass, and backup vocals were provided by Aisling and Brayo. Colm was on drums, and Greg Ryan was off at the side on his silly little keyboard thing (possibly a Killing Joke aspiration?).

This was a short lived line up. That second generation of Dublin Punks lost a fair few of its number to London, and Brayo, Skinny and Greg all became “Wood Green exports” in the mid 80’s.Colm also departed ways early on, but more on that later.

Politics wise, the band were very much of the Anarcho-punk genre. Members were present on many of the political demos at the time, including marching against Ronnie Reagan, the Dunnes store strike and there would have been some support for the animal rights movement. They would have played their fair share of benefits too.
Greg and Colm were probably the most politically aware, and were both part of the fledgling Workers Solidarity Movement in Dublin.

And where are they now? Last I heard Colm was working as an engineer for an evil multinational, possibly living in South America. That was 18 years ago though, and was possibly not even true! Greg is still in London and is politically active. Brayo is back in Ireland, as was Skinny who very sadly passed away in 2009. Aisling is in Cork. P.A. is still strumming away, and sure isn’t Deko Irelands Punk royalty, don’t you know.

Back in those days I could drink, leap around and roar myself hoarse with the best of them but those days are over. Tee total , with a bad back and heart pills it’s all just a dewy eyed memory , so like SOS above I do have great admiration for Deko still flying the flag for “Youth gone wild” at his age.

As I said, they were part of my teenage years and great days they were too, when Punk was going to change the world, one pogo at a time. Still, for all my great recollections, my most enduring memory is a gig that was a disaster. It was in Trinity somewhere, a room not a hall and was a benefit of some sort I’m sure. Colm was a sort of odd-one-out in the band, with his maths geek look, “ordinary” clothes (ie.non punk) and his college aspirations (ugh). He was also the boyfriend of the only woman in the band so you know how that goes. An early Paranoid Visions song had an anti abortion message, with a subtle chorus refrain of “you killed your baby, killed your baby, killed your baby”. This was soon changed to an anti police brutality song, with the refrain “Brutality, brutality, brutality”. During the gig, as Aisling sang the new version, Deko drowned her out with the old anti abortion one, infuriating Colm who stood up from the drums and stormed out. Not quite the break up of the Beatles, I know but damn I can still picture everyone’s expression and the fury ready to erupt from the pissed off drummer. And more importantly, how were we going to change the world if our bands fought amongst themselves? Actually, in this age of super injunctions one has got to watch what they say but I will cautiously add that I suspect this deliberate provocation was love triangle kinda thing, and not a political confrontation at all.

Anyhow, for anyone who would like to hear some of the older stuff you can check it out here:


Also has some Not Our World material, other great old music, some not so great music and fanzines that are well worth a look.


Chet Carter - June 13, 2011

I never went to a PV gig nor listened to any of their music as I tuned out of Punk from 1979. But I have always admired them and Deko is a Dublin legend. RTE if it was a proper radio station would have done a documentary on them as the anti – U2.

Now that we are reminiscing about those early Dublin punk days. Did anyone go to the Radiators from Space gigs in Morans Hotel? They had this great support band called the Fabulous fabrics whose bass player played with one string. How Punk is that?


sonofstan - June 13, 2011

@ Joekerman –

thanks for that – if nothing else, because I’d been racking my brain all weekend trying to remember PA’s moniker – I used to know him slightly and he wasn’t as scary as the rest of them. (an idea which never came to fruition, but could have been excellent, was a poppier band he wanted to put together with Bernie form the Horde).

@ Chet.

I remember the Fabrics alright: all that mob of early Rads fans were way ahead of the posse. If they’d managed to make a record, they’d be venerated alongside the Mekons and the Prefects and Raincoats and such like. Song I remember was ‘Spiderman’


10. JOEKERMAN - July 15, 2011

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