Nine Out Of Ten Cats were a Dublin/Dun Laoghaire band active for several years during the 1980s. They relocated to London within a couple of years of forming, returning to Ireland regularly for gigs. They appears to have gone through several changes in style judging by the differing reports in the (fanzine) press from the early and mid-80s. Either that or journalists could not make up their minds what they sounded like. They're described variously as "mutant disco R&B", a kind of Killing Joke/Bauhaus hybrid, and New Romantic Pop/Rock.
The original band started in 1980 in Mick O'Dwyers father's pub, The Oval in D'Olier Street. Mark Armstrong describes the original band as a Reggae/Funk project, influenced by James Brown and Deep Dub. Mick Rowan joined on percussion. Maurice Boland became their manager. Nine Out Of Ten Cats supported many visiting Reggae acts that came to Dublin in the early 80s including Matumbi and Prince Far I. Even so the band had trouble avoiding the New Romantic tag in the press, probably as a result of their image. The built a good fan base in Dalkey but started getting banned for bad behaviour, reputedly not showing up for gigs, etc. The band's antics also landed them in Hot Press' bad books, which certainly can't have helped (Hot Press didn't review their demo tape, for example). Maurice Boland dropped them after an onstage brawl at the Project Arts centre where they were supporting The Blades. Mick O'Dwyer poured a pint into Paul Cleary's Vox value amp. Bassist Martin Armstrong left soon after. The band moved to London.
They headlined the Dun Laoughaire Pier gig in 1983 supported by Pat O'Donnell & Steve Belton Cuba Dares, The Visitors, Auto Da Fe, Outdoor Minors, Blue Russia and opening act Kuda Jive.
The following description of a gig at Club '84 in Dundalk in 1984 comes from Jump issue #1:
Sounds pretty fab to me!
However their EP, which came out circa 1985-86, sounds nothing like the Reggae/Funk influenced project of the early years nor the Killing Joke/Bauhaus amalgam alluded to in the above description of the Dundalk gig. Instead it's new wave inflected pop, with sax courtesy of Anthony Thistlewaite. It was issued twice, in two entirely different cover designs, on their own Purrrfect label, the second time with the help of Lambs To The Slaughter Records, the inhouse label of the Slaughterhouse Recording Studio, where the EP was recorded.
Nine Out Of Ten Cats recorded many other demos, all unreleased as far as I know: "Sound of Music", "Club Crazy", "Voice In Rain", "Dirty Dublin", etc.
Eoin McCarthy also fronted The Alter Boys, Rockabilly-country outfit who played a lot of semi-acoustic gigs around the Dalkey and Dun Laoghaire area during 1984-85. The rest of the band came from local outfits Outdoor Minors (Peter Rayel on bass, Nevil Thornton on drums) and Thunderbirds Are Go (guitarist Johnny Ferguson).
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