It Does Matter! Monroe’s on Friday 13th…
Well, a right couple of Secret Squirrels Jason Walsh and I would make. We’re supposed to be meeting up in the Imperial Hotel in order for me to get the low-down on the one-off reunion of the ‘seminal’ (always wanted to use that word) nineties band Doesn’t Matter. They’re playing Monroe’s, Galway on Friday the 13th and are very kindly donating the proceeds to Hand in Hand.
I’m really looking forward to meeting him as a quick trawl through the internet convinces me that we share a similar sense of humour. I mean, did you know that one of their original lead singers was Victoria Beckham? I kid ye not; I’ve seen the proof and it doesn’t look in the slightest bit photoshopped.
Also, I’m rather chuffed at meeting someone called Jason who chooses Friday the 13th for a 21st Anniversary Reunion Show. Now, if only his second name was Voorhees and he walked in swinging a bloody great machete I would think that I had died and gone to nerd heaven.
As I’ve indicated, however, James Bond has nothing to fear from the pair of us. I’m sitting at a table right at the door. I’ve got two notebooks and a writing implement in front of me as well as two flyers advertising Doesn’t Matter Live in Monroe’s. Short of wearing a fedora with a press card sticking out of it, a Hand in Hand T-shirt, carrying a rolled-up newspaper, a rose in my lapel and whispering to anyone who passes: “The Russian bear is rampant in the woods” I couldn’t be more conspicuous.
And I have memorized Jason’s face, the face that long-time fans would recognize from the piercing, slightly unnerving stare and the manic grin. And we still manage to miss each other. Ah well, doesn’t matter; at least I get to talk to him on the blower.
The group formed in Galway in 1993, the same year that they won the original Battle of the Bands in the Cellar Bar. They began to gig regularly following that, hitting such places as The Oasis and The Warwick, building up a solid country-wide following, getting loads of airplay and releasing EPs and singles of original material. Having lived in Dublin for twenty years I feel that little trickle of a nostalgic tear as I remember places they played there such as Bad Bob’s and the legendry Whelan’s. Ah, memories. And just to have you salivating in anticipation they include amongst their influences such bands as INXS, The Police and Aztec Camera; so nothing wrong with their taste, I think that you’d agree.
Jason tells me:
“It was actually Eamon [Ambrose] who came across Hand in Hand by simply searching the internet. It was important to us that whatever charity we picked were local and didn’t have access to the kind of big funding that certain other charities seem to have.
“We liked the fact that Hand in Hand wasn’t massive and that there didn’t seem to be the usual story with administration costs filtering out what people were donating. And you just didn’t seem to have any major source of funding; so overall the band were pleased to choose you.”
So here we are, 15 years on from when they all played together last and ready to get down and dirty in Monroe’s. As the old ‘House of Frankenstein’ poster proclaimed: ALL THE MONSTERS TOGETHER AGAIN FOR THE FIRST TIME! They say that they have been practicing their rock squats so you’ll just have to be there on the evening to check if the buns of steel of yesteryear are still in evidence! I know that you are as curious as Jennifer, Dee and—yes– even I am to find out.
Oh yeah, and to listen to some pretty great music for the giveaway ticket price of €10.
OK: time for something else I’ve always wanted to write– BE THERE OR BE SQUARE!
Yes! A career in rock journalism clearly awaits me! I’m in the groove! I’m having a Zen moment! I’m rocking on down to Monroe’s to catch…DOESN’T MATTER!
And they are, in no particular order so that no one gets jealous:
Shea McNelis. Lead vocals/guitar
Jason Walsh Drums/vocals
John Colohan Guitar/vocals
Eamon Ambrose Keyboards
Gareth Collins Bass/vocals