Friday 28 July 2017

Niall Byrne: The return of the living dead

Niall Byrne

At times, we can all feel like the internet moves at a pace not even Usain Bolt could catch up with. While there's always the latest "must-watch" video or Tumblr blog to check out, it's worth highlighting that the net can also be a valuable resource for collating information on topics, microscenes or time periods almost forgotten. And, on a local level, here's a superb example of such ingenuity.

Dead Elvis was a Irish record label which was active between 1994 and 1999 and put out releases from Wormhole, Rumble, Alan Lambert, The Sewing Room and Jubilee Allstars among others. Eamonn Doyle, Marc Carolan, 'Og' Crudden and Eamonn Crudden ran the label and Eamonn recently began posting songs, memories and multimedia from that time on http://deadelvisarchive.tumblr.com.

The blog is a great resource for reminiscing about the bands playing around Dublin during the 90s but also an insightful history lesson into that period. It all started when Crudden attended the 40th birthday party of a member of one of those bands -- Female Hercules -- earlier this year. "I was prompted to start the blog by the unexpected wave of affection and emotion I felt meeting many of those who contributed in many ways to the quite subcultural scene that Dead Elvis was a part of," Crudden says.

"What has been amazing about the response is the way in which quite a gang of people have started to help me gather material and kind of reconstruct various events of the time. I'm firmly convinced that a lot of the stuff I'm searching out and making available from Dead Elvis bands and their contemporaries is great forgotten treasure."

Even if you are unfamiliar with the music, the blog's posts outline an interesting time which involved running a club night called Crush in Fibber Magees, recording in a basement studio in 147 and running a label without the ease of ubiquitous internet usage. As Crudden says in one of his blog posts accompanying the audio of Rumble's Chips, Dead Elvis was a "phonecalls from coinboxes and post-office operation".

"There's no greater pleasure than gifting music you love to others -- known and unknown," says Crudden. "It's so easy now compared to then."

If you have any Dead Elvis-related stories, releases or photos to share, get in touch with the blog deadelvisarchive.tumblr.com or via Twitter @deadelvis_blog.

Wormhole - Riotman

The Jubilee Allstars - Better Than I Know Myself

The Sewing Room - Tidewater

Rumble - Star Wars

The Floors - No Excuses

Irish Independent

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