Hideaway House, Deansgrange
Last Thursday on the indie hour, we had the pleasure of being joined by some representatives of the DIY community in Dublin.
It was my absolute pleasure to get Barry Armed Ambitions / Organised Ideas, Sinead Seomra Spraoi All Ages, Dylan Hideaway House and Niall McGuirk from Hope together around a table to discuss their ideas about what DIY is.
They spoke about their own individual reasons for being involved in DIY and what they felt was important about providing alternative spaces for people of all ages to be creative outside of a pub/venue. We played a lot of good music, international and Irish, and they stressed the fact that the act of doing things for yourself and independently, isn’t actually that difficult. It’s possible to do – to release your own record, to write a book, to put on gigs, whatever – all four of the people on the show were proof of that.
I went to see the DIY documentary, Roll Up Your Sleeves, directed by Dylan Hideaway, on Saturday after the show. It was an inspiring film, and one which sums up the DIY community that I would associate with bands like Heathers and Adebisi Shank.
One major issue that has really stuck with me since talking to the four on the show last week and the screening of the film on Saturday was the lack of community space for people in Dublin. Dylan’s film, which highlights Hideaway House in Deansgrange, also shows examples of social centres around Europe, which allow people to create without the pressure to consume. There’s a serious lack of space like this in Dublin and, as far as I’m aware, the rest of Ireland. I know there are people campaigning and trying to create spaces like this for teenagers as well as adults.
Giving people – especially teenagers, in my opinion – the opportunity to own a space where they can express themselves is so essential to personal development. With all the empty buildings around Dublin, it’s hard to understand why these spaces are not being used to provide facilities cheaply for people who would benefit so much from them. Oh wait, because someone somewhere probably wants to turn those empty building into apartments. Silly me, that makes so much more sense.
On the programme, we made it clear that DIY doesn’t just mean punk music, which I think is a common misconception. We talked about promoters like !Kaboogie and labels like D1 who are putting on gigs and releasing records as well, and the musical diversity that is actually represented under the umbrella term of DIY. It’s so encouraging and exciting to see the amount of different people doing these things and how much more varied it makes our lives – different gigs, different music, less limitations. It’s great!
I really believe that one of the best things about living in Ireland at the moment is the opportunities that we can create for ourselves. Ian McKaye from Fugazi is interviewed in Dylan’s film and he says something which I think sums up what so many people are doing in Ireland and in other parts of the world. To paraphrase, he said of himself that in being DIY, he wasn’t trying to destroy anything that came before. It wasn’t about being anti-establishment or anti-capitalist, it was just about creating an alternative that he liked. I think a lot of people can relate to that.
Adebisi Shank joined us in the second half to talk about their album This Is The Album of a Band Called Adebisi Shank which The Shank are releasing this Friday the 26th of September in The Boom Boom Room. Joining them on Friday night for 10 euro only are Kidd Blunt and Realistic Train. And The Boom Boom Room has a new home by the way. The Shank are one of my favourite all time Irish bands and definitely up in my top 3 of favourite live bands. They’re ‘mazing. We listened to four or five tracks from the album on the show, and they proved their DIYness by quoting Home Improvement as their favourite TV show. Inspiring stuff indeed.
Without further ado, here is the mp3 of the DIY special. Prepare to be inspired. I want to see a visible increase of fanzines around town!