North Dublin (Glasnevin) band who formed in the late 1960s as Dead Centre but changed their name to the Purple Pussycat on the advice of manager Peter Selwood and influential DJ Pat Egan. The band played pop and soul and were a very popular live band. They were led by Eamonn Gibney and Gerry O'Donovan who would continue to work together in various projects over many years.
There were a number of lineup changes during the bands short lifetime. Peter Carr joined to replace Shay Murphy on drums. Eamonn Gibney left to front The Arrows circa 1968-69. Peter Carr left around the same time and was replaced by Jimmy O'Brien. The resultant lineup is the one that appeared on the 'Paddy Is Dead' compilation LP.
The band was invited by Pye Records to contribute two tracks to the 'Paddy Is Dead And The Kids Know It' sampler of Irish bands released on the Golden Guinea imprint in 1969. Neither track is particularly memorable though 'You've Made Me So Very Happy' is easily the better of the two.
After the Pye sessions, Peter Carr returned (from Some People?) for a spell, and Paul Duffy joined on keyboards around this time. Purple Pussycat split in 1970 when Gerry O'Donovan formed Alyce, reuniting with Eamonn Gibney who'd lost the frontman role in The Arrows to Dickie Rock. Peter Carr joined Alyce during the bands first few months in the summer of 1970 Dave Murphy#1 left to join a showband.
Meanwhile, Paul Matthews and Jimmy O'Brien assembled a new lineup of Purple Pussycat with Sammy ? on sax and Dave Murphy#2 AKA 'Black' Dave Murphy on vocals and trombone. I'm unsure how long this lineup lasted. Other members who passed through the ranks include Maurice Walsh (ex Bye Laws drummer/singer), Tommy Moore (guitar) and Scott Mulvey (organ). Dave Murphy#1 joined the Pacific showband and was later in The Memories); he eventially emigrated to Canada. Dave Murphy#2 After Alyce, Gibney & Donovan formed the Gibney & Donovan Band and The Allies. Shay Murphy joined The Gentry.
In 1973 there was almost a Purple Pussycat reunion with Gibney, Donovan, Dave Murphy#1 (recently returned from Canada) and Shay Murphy, who came together with Brian Harris to back Gibney in a new band, but it was decided the name was a bit dated sounding. Then Gibney became involved in the Skid Row reformation and the band found itself looking for a direction. They split.
Dave Murphy#2 went solo and played the folk circuit (playing guitar) alongside people like Barry Moore and Rita Connolly, playing Dylan, Donovan and Leonard Cohen covers. Murphy is probably the "second best-known black Irish musician after Phil Lynott." He'd played in the Artane Boys Band (trombone) and sat in with various showbands at various times. The Purple Pussycat was his main band. He describes their sound as progressive soul, influenced by Blood, Sweat & Tears. He is still active in the Dublin music scene.
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