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Before Microdisney there was Micro-Disney (note the hyphen) and before that Constant Reminders. All three are covered here.

My thanks to John Byrne for his enormous help with this page and in particular to Dave Galvin for his careful documentation of the band's activities.


Constant Reminders

From: Cork
Active: 1980
Style:
Lineup:

Bio:

Cathal Coughlan and Sean O'Hagan met at a party on New Year's Eve 1979. They formed a trio with Mick Lynch called Constant Reminders and within a few weeks had added Jack Walsh and Dave Galvin. Live reviews of the time pin them as a less serious pre-occupation than the subsequent Micro-Disney evolution of the band. Perhaps that's down to Mick Lynch's involvement - the future Stump frontman always possessed an almost vaudevillian humour compared to Cathal's more acerbic world view. Constant Reminders existed as a gigging unit for about a season of the year. An early highlight of their set was "The Underpants Song". A live recording may exist - the concert organised by Rock City in association with Circa Records at City Hall on Sunday 16th of October was reputedly recorded. If anyone has a tape, please get in touch. The historical legacy may however be almost whittled down to the list below..... The two frontmen/two egos format, with Cathal and Mick each singing their own songs, was not built to last. Mick Lynch fired or left to join the Mean Features. Other sources claim this happened after the DC Nien support gig on June 21st.


Constant Reminders Timeline

March 1980
• 1st - UCC College Bar, Cork - with Nun Attax & Toxic Agents.
• 10th - Chandras Night Club, Cork - with Nun Attax.
• 13th - UCC Open Air, Cork - with Clamy Domonas, Toxic Agents, Sheffield Steel & Noel Redding Band.
• 16th - City Hall, Cork - with Hot Guitars, The Kidz, Small Change, Orpheus, Nun Attax

April 1980
• 16th - Sir Henry's, Cork - with Urban Blitz.
• 20th - Sir Henry's, Cork. Two gigs (5pm & 8pm).
• Mick Lynch leaves and joins Mean Features.

May 1980
• 29th - St Francis Hall, Cork - with Nun Attax, Urban Blitz, Mean Features & Waisters.

June 1980
• 21st - Arcadia, Cork - with DC Nien & The Departure.
• Jack Walsh leaves.

July 1980
• Giordai O'Laoghaire (guitar) joins from Nun Attax.
• Chris McCarthy (bass) joins from Waisters.
• Rob McKahy (drums) briefly a member.


Micro-Disney

From: Cork
Active: August 1980-mid 1982
Lineup:

Bio:

The musical style of the original quintet known as 'Micro-Disney' was a completely separate territory compared to the group that recorded in the UK for Rough Trade & Virgin. Pigeon-holing would be a difficult gambit - the sole recording that was released from the early bands tenure could easily mislead - "National Anthem" which appeared on the Kaught At The Kampus 12" was a bit of avant rambling which was decidedly different from the predominant direction of the band - which might be called punk-funk. During this period Sean O'Hagan was a lightning fast funk rhythm guitarist - and perhaps the dominant voice in the Micro-Disney sound. Giordai O'Laoghaire was readily becoming Irelands most individual 'out' guitarist - he wound his way around Sean's attack with an almost psychedelic coloratura that could not be called lead guitar. The rhythm section did not add to the funk at all - but kept things oddly earthbound. Cathal Coughlan's declamations had not yet matured into the crooning style evident on the Kabuki Records. Some labelled them as Irelands version of The Pop Group. It would be unfair to designate them as thus derivative - more judicious to align them to such post punk fusions, in much the same way that early U2 paralleled trends in new wave rock.


Early 1982? LR: Coughlan, O'Hagan, Walsh, Galvin.
[Photo by Ciaran O'Tuama, used without permission]

Giordai O'Laoghaire left in January 1982 and next turned up in Soon; Dave Galvin left in March of the same year. The remainder of Chris McCarthy's affiliation with the group after this time may be something he carried to his grave - he died in an accidental fall in 2004. Presumably his involvement after March '82 was shortlived - the news section of the May 1982 issue of Devoid Media magazine described them as a duo, managed by Dave Clifford of Vox magazine, about to sign to a UK label. The first Microdisney duo release was issued by Kabuki Records in September.

Micro-Disney Timeline

August 1980
• 30 - Arcadia, Lower Glanmire Road, Cork - with Mean Features, Urban Blitz, Nun Attax & Open Hearts.
Immortalized on the Kaught At The Kampus EP -- see 'Recordings' below.

September 1980
• 27 - Magnet Bar, Dublin - with Nun Attax & Human Dance Faction.
A "Back To The Roots" gig.
October 1980
• 3 - Arcadia, Cork - with 4 Be 2's.
• 16 - Grand Cinema, Dublin - with Siouxsie And The Banshees.
• 17 - Arcadia, Cork - with The Fall & Chant! Chant! Chant! (see review from Vox #4)

November 1980
• 1 - Magnet Bar, Dublin - with The Atrix & Broken Doll.
• 22 - Arcadia, Cork - with U2.
• 29 - TV Club, Dublin - with U2.

January 1981
• 10 - Magnet Bar, Dublin - with The Flaamacks & Broken Doll.
• 17 - Arcadia, Cork - with The Beat & The Specials.
• 24 - UCC Granary Theatre, Cork - with Radio 4, Mean Features, The Flaamacks & Nun Attax.
• 25 - Riverside Studio, Cork - first demo tape recorded -- see 'Recordings' below.

February 1981
• 7 - Arcadia, Cork - with Mean Features, The Flaamacks & Nun Attax.
• 14 - Magnet Bar, Dublin - with Guilty Achievements.
• 25 - Leisureland Complex, Galway - with The Undertones.
• 28 - Magnet Bar, Dublin - with Mean Features & Alphabet Music.


March 1981
• 14 - Magnet Bar, Dublin - with The Soulmates & Broken Doll.
• 31 - RTE Studios, Dublin - Dave Fanning session recorded -- see 'Recordings' below.

April 1981
• 29 - Gatsby's Nightclub, Cork - with The Flaamacks, Belson & Prague Over Here.

May 1981
• 1 - Windmill Lane Studios, Dublin - unreleased single recorded -- see 'Recordings' below.
• 15 - The Gaff, Limerick.
• 16 - The Gaff, Limerick.
• 22 - Trinity College (open air), Dublin
• 30 - Arcadia, Cork - with Sabre, Belson & Prague Over Here.

June 1981
• 9 - Project Arts Centre, Dublin - with John Cooper Clarke (Hot Press Year Gigs).

July 1981
• 11 - The Joinery Arms, Southampton - with The Flaamacks.
• 31 - Gatsby's Nightclub, Cork.

September 1981
• 5 - Magnet Bar, Dublin - with Ju Ju Gooks, It's A Tight & Geneva Touch.
• 12 - Magnet Bar, Dublin - with the peridots.

October 1981
• 18 - Alto Studios - second demo tape recorded -- see 'Recordings' below.

November 1981
• 5 - UCC College Bar, Cork.

December 1981
• 19 - Magnet Bar, Dublin - with Chant! Chant! Chant!. This was a Benefit Gig for ... ?

January 1982
• 15 - Abbey Inn, Tralee.
• Giordai O'Laoghaire leaves.

March 1982
• Dave Galvin leaves.

Recordings

Date: Aug 30 - 1980
Location: Arcadia, Lower Glanmire Road, Cork
Tracks: National Anthem (incomplete - the tape ran out half way through the recording)
Notes: This live track was released on the Kaught At The Kampus EP



Date: Jan 25 - 1981
Location: Riverside Studio, Lower Glanmire Road, Cork.
Tracks: Mr Fun / New Catholic / Lets Get Married.
Notes: First demo.

Date: Mar 31 - 1981
Location: RTE Studios, Donnybrook, Dublin.
Tracks: Lets Get Married / Victory / Leper / Kackhand / Mitchelstown.
Notes: Dave Fanning Show Session.

Date: May 1 - 1981
Location: Windmill Lane Studios, Dublin.
Tracks: Twelve Novembres / Victory
Notes: Proposed single for Reekus Records
Both tracks are now available on the Reekus 30th Anniversary double-CD set.

Date: Oct 18 - 1981
Location: Alto Studios, Milltown.
Tracks: Kackhand / Leper / You First / Buntus Cainte.
Notes: Second demo.



The Microdisney duo in 1982 pictured in Vox#11

Microdisney

From: Cork/London
Active: mid 1982-1988
Lineup:

Microdisney's career is well documented on the net so I will summarize here. The band's two singles on Kabuki led to an invitation to record a Peel session in 1983. They decided to move to London. Ricky Dineen went along on that first trip. In London they recruited Jon Fell (bass) and Tom Fenner (drums) and became a gigging band. They recorded a number of Peel Sessions, signed to Rough Trade, and appeared on The Tube (Channel 4). They later added keyboard players Nick Montgomery and James Compton. After two acclaimed LPs on Rough Trade, they signed to Virgin Records in 1986 and released two more albums. However, Virgin dropped them in May 1988, barely 2 months after the release of "39 Minutes", due to decreasing faith in the bands commercial viability and Virgin USA rejecting the LP. They announced their break up in August 1988.

For more details, check out the excellent fan site at bubbyworld (see links below) where you'll also find downloads of live performances of unrecorded songs: "King of Free Speech" is a real highlight. Cathal Coughlan also has his own website.

Other net resources such as Trouser Press and All Music Guide provide capsule histories of the band and it's releases.

Currently available on youtube is John Fleming & Mark Stewarts short 1987 film about Irish immigrants in London titled Guests Of Another Nation, which includes interview footage with Cathal Coughlan and features Microdisney's "Town To Town" in the soundtrack. Look for it here.

After Microdisney, Cathal Coughlan formed Fatima Mansions while Sean O'Hagan formed the High Llamas.



Discography

• Early 1982 recording sessions.
These recordings made at a converted gym in Dublin were engineered by Dave Freeley.
Here is Dave Clifford's review of the new duo's recordings in 1982, taken from Vox #11:




• Hello Rascals / Helicopter of the Holy Ghost
7" - Kabuki Records - KAMD2 - September 1982 - PS


• November 1982 recording session.
Recorded in a different Dublin studio, with added violinist and female vocalist




• Pink Skinned Man / Fiction Land
7" - Kabuki Records - KAMD4 - May 1983 - PS

Notes: The single was recently compiled (A and B side) on an Australian CD called "The Post Punk Singles Vol.7: Guitar Pop" issued by Progressive Line (PL553) in 2006.



• June 1983 recording session.
Recordings made at an 8 track studio somewhere in rural Cork for the soundtrack of an anti-drugs video which was never completed.


• 1st Peel Session
Recorded 03.08.1983
Lineup: Cathal Coughlan (keyboards & vocals), Sean O'Hagan (guitar/bass)


• 2nd Peel Session
Recorded 14.01.1984
Lineup: Cathal Coughlan (keyboards & vocals), Sean O'Hagan (guitar/bass), John Watt (bass), Tom Fenner (drums)


• 3rd Peel Session
Recorded 14.04.1984
Lineup: Cathal Coughlan (keyboards & vocals), Sean O'Hagan (guitar/bass), Jonathan Fell (bass), Tom Fenner (drums)


• Everybody Is Fantastic
LP - Rough Trade Records - ROUGH 75 - UK - May 1984 - inner sleeve
LP - Rough Trade Records - 25RTL-22 - Japan - 1984 - obi+insert
CD - Rev-ola Records - CREV040CD - 1996? - bonus track
Entered the UK indie album charts on 23.6.84 for an 6 week run peaking at #10


• Dolly / This Liberal Love
7" - Rough Trade Records - RT 135 - UK - June 1984 - PS
• Dolly / This Liberal Love // Everybody Is Dead / Dear Rosemary ¹
12" - Rough Trade Records - RTT 135 - UK - June 1984 - PS
¹ non-LP track included on Rev-ola CD reissue of Everybody Is Fantastic


• various artists - Another Spark
K7 - Another Spark - 001 - UK - 1984 - magazine & cassette in ziplock bag


• We Hate You South African Bastards
LP - Rough Trade Records - RTM 155 - October 1984 - 8 tracks
• Love Your Enemies 82-84
CD - Revola - CREVO42CD - 1996 - expanded 11 track edition includes "In The World" EP
Entered the UK indie album charts on 24.11.84 for an 7 week run peaking at #12

Notes: The original cover artwork by Jon Langford got them into some trouble and reputedly some copies were sold in paperbags. Can anyone confirm this?



• 4th Peel Session
Recorded 02.10.1984
Lineup: Cathal Coughlan (keyboards & vocals), Sean O'Hagan (guitar/bass), Jonathan Fell (bass), Tom Fenner (drums)
Nick Montgomery (keyboards on "Genius")



• In The World EP
12" - Rough Trade Records - RTT 175 - March 1985 - PS
entered the UK indie charts on 6.4.85 for an 7 week run peaking at #8


• Birthday Girl / Harmony Time
7" - Rough Trade Records - RT 185 - October 1985 - PS
• Birthday Girl // Harmony Time / Money For The Trams
12" - Rough Trade Records - RTT 185 - October 1985 - PS
entered the UK indie charts on 12.10.85 for an 6 week run peaking at #18


• The Clock Comes Down The Stairs
LP - Rough Trade Records - ROUGH 85 - November 1985 - inner sleeve
LP - Rough Trade Records - 25RTL3013 - Japan - 1985 - obi
LP - Big Time Records - 10012-1 - USA - 1985
CD - Rev-ola Records - CREV041CD - 1996
entered the UK indie album charts on 9.11.85 for an 20 week run peaking at #1


• 5th Peel Session
Recorded 03.12.1985
Lineup: Cathal Coughlan (keyboards & vocals), Sean O'Hagan (guitar/bass), James Compton (keyboards), Jonathan Fell (bass), Tom Fenner (drums)


• various artists - various artists - Good Morning Mr. Presley
LP - Grunt Grunt A Go Go Records GGAGG ONE - UK - 1985


• 6th Peel Session
Recorded 27.07.1986
Lineup: Cathal Coughlan (keyboards & vocals), Sean O'Hagan (guitar/bass), Jonathan Fell (bass), Tom Fenner (drums)


• Town To Town / Little Town in Ireland
7"+K7 - Virgin Records - VS 927 - 1987 - PS, with free 3 track live cassette
Live tracks recorded at Boston Arms 10 November 1986
• Town To Town / Little Town in Ireland // Begging Bowl / Horse Overboard / Loftholdingswood
2x7" - Virgin Records - VSD 927 - January 1987 - PS foc
the second disc consists of tracks from the 3rd, 4th and 5th Peel Sessions
• Town To Town / Little Town in Ireland // Bullwhip Road(live) / Genius(live)
12" - Virgin Records - VS 927-12 - January 1987
Live tracks recorded at Boston Arms 10 November 1986


• Crooked Mile
LP - Virgin Records - V 2415 - January 1987 - inner sleeve
CD - Virgin Records - CDV 2415 - January 1987 - inner sleeve


• Singer's Hampstead Home / She Only Gave In To Her Anger
7" - Virgin Records - VS 1014 - October 1987 - PS
• Singer's Hampstead Home // Brother Olaf / She Only Gave In To Her Anger
12" - Virgin Records - VST 1014 - October 1987 - different PS • Singer's Hampstead Home / Brother Olaf / She Only Gave In To Her Anger / Half A Day
K7 - Virgin Records - VSTC 1014 - October 1987 - PS


• Gale Force Wind / I Can't Say No
7" - Virgin Records - VS 1044 - February 1988
• Gale Force Wind / I Can't Say No // No, I Can't Say / Can't I Say No
12" - Virgin Records - VST 1044 - February 1988
• Gale Force Wind / I Can't Say No / Town To Town / No, I Can't Say
CDS - Virgin Records - VSCD 1044 - February 1988
• Gale Force Wind / I Can't Say No / Irish National Anthem / Say 'No, I Can't'
K7 - Virgin Records - VSCS 1044 - February 1988


• 39 Minutes
LP - Virgin Records - V2505 - April 1988 - inner sleeve
CD - Virgin Records - (CD)V2505 - April 1988


• dropped by Virgin Records in May 1988, barely 2 months after the release of "39 Minutes"


• split August 1988


• Peel Sessions
LP - Strange Fruit SFRLP 105 - 1989 - 12 track LP
CD - Strange Fruit SFRCD 105 - 1989 - 14 track CD


• Big Sleeping House
CD - Virgin Vault - CDOVD452 - 1995
subtitled "best of", a bit of a stretch given it omits all pre-Virgin recordings


• Daunt Square To Elsewhere: Anthology 1982-88
2xCD - Castle Music - CMEDD1568 - 2007



Help!

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.




See Also: Fatima Mansions

External Links: excellent Microdisney fan site, cathalcoughlan.com



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