Named after the north Dublin city district (Dublin 9) which spawned them and in tribute to their German Musik influence (a mispelled 'nein'), DC Nien were unusual by 1977 standards, incorporating sax & synths and an unorthodox approach to songwriting, mixing elements of Hawkwind and Roxy Music in a sound which anticipated of post-punk, and were reputedly an awesome live band by 1978-79. By 1981 they had changed beyond recognition and become new pop new romantics Tokyo Olympics.
DC Nien were one of the big Dublin bands of their time, rivalling U2 and The Atrix in popularity. Guitarist Paul McGuinness had been a roadie for the Radiators From Space at their first gig in November 1976, by which time he'd already formed DC Nien and was full of confidence about the band. DC Nien supported Ian Gillan at UCD in 1978 (with Sonny Condell on the bill); toured Ireland as support to XTC in 1979; opened for AC/DC the same year; they were mentioned regularly in the UK music press' coverage of the Dublin music scene and were one of the main bands covered in Dave McCullough's "Coming Up For Eire" piece in Sounds magazine in September 1979; and they played the Dark Space (1979) and Sense of Ireland (1980) festivals; does anyone recall an outdoor performance in Mountjoy Square during the summer of 1980?; they also launched their own Nienteeneightease label in 1980.
DC Nien made their vinyl debut in December 1979 on the Just For Kicks compilation LP and
self-released their excellent single a couple of months later in February 1980. All three
tracks ("Reptile", "Nightclub" and "Things Japanese") are highly recommended. This
was followed by a cassette only release "The Red Tapes" containing live and demo
recordings. Despite uneven sound, it is also excellent and well worth tracking down
[if anyone has a copy for sale, please get in touch!]. All this material is
ripe for CD reissue Paul! It was well received at the time and expectations were high.
But the expected breakthrough didn't happen. Punk became post-punk, new wave, new pop, new romantic... and DC Nien, with the addition of a couple of ex Fast Skirts (Joey Cashman on saxophone and John 'Sarge' O'Hara replacing Brendan Gannon on keyboards) became Tokyo Olympics, sometime around Christmas 1980.
Early member Paul Duffy was later in The Xn-trix.
The recordings were made by October 1979 but the singlers release was delayed until 1980 due to "technical difficulties". The actual release date may be slightly later than show, March or April.
Recorded at Windmill Lane Studios. Produced by Tony O'Meara and Donal Lunny with assistance from Ross Fitzsimons.
Excellent cover design by Rapid Exteriors AKA Steve Rapid. Approx 1500 copies sold.
1. Black Jet
2. Modern Disgrace
6. Things Japanese
7. Man In The Grey Suit
8. Pictures of You
9. Keeping Up With The Joneses
10. More Stories
1-2 recorded 26 June 1978 at Cuckoo's Nest Studio, engineered by Philip Begley.
3-4 recorded 12 February 1979 at Keystone Studio, engineered by John Burke.
5-6 recorded 9 February 1980 at Windmill Lane, engineered at Paul Thomas.
7-8 recorded in May 1980 at Porcupine, engineered by Jim Breen.
9 recorded 22 March 1980 live at RTE studios.
10 recorded 20 October 1980 at Windmill Lane, engineered by R.Kennedy.
Track 9 was broadcast during an episode of Ireland's Eye on RTE 2 in October 1980. Track 10 was planned as a B-side for a single which never came to pass.
From the sleeve notes...
Compilation tape released shortly after the Nightclub single, featuring recordings spanning
the bands career. Over 500 copies were sold by April 1981 and it remained available at
least during the lifetime of Tokyo Olympics. When the original 500 sold out, copies on
branded blanks were made available.
As far as I know the tape never came with a normal ("j-card") cover. Initial copies
came with an envelope containing a folded giant black & white two-sided poster
containing song titles, credits, lyrics, photos, band info, etc, etc.
I'm looking for a copy of this tape, preferably an
original, and preferably with the poster; if you have one please get in touch
We need your help to correct and/or complete this entry. If you can provide more information about this band, have scans, photos or any other memorabilia we can use, or spare copies of any releases, then please get in touch.