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Light A Big Fire

From: Dublin

Active: 1982-89

Style: Rock



The early lineup included 2nd vocalist Owen Conroy who appears on the Hip City Boogaloo tracks and the Gunpowders LP. He left the band in 1985. The official reason given for his leaving was the usual musical differences but in fact he was asked to leave the band. He says "The band had a potential deal with IRS records in the USA but the company told the bands management that they couldn't market a band with two lead vocalists." Some members of the music press suggested more sinister reasons. Conroy was asked if he would switch to backing vocalist to remain part of the band but he refused and so he left.

Original drummer Ray Rowland plays on the Hip City Boogaloo tracks. He was replaced by Hughie Gallagher, who was the band's drummer up until his sudden death at the end of 1985. Something Happens drummer Eamonn Ryan played with the band for a short period until Mark A.Sheppard (drums), born in London of Irish-German parentage, then became the new drummer in May 1986 and appears on the 2nd LP. He'd previously played with The Barracudas and Robyn Hitchcock.

Pete Holidai of The Radiators joined the band in 1986, adding breadth to their sound; he also appears on the 2nd LP. Work began on a third LP in 1987-88. Producer Tony Platt mentions engineering & co-producing this on his website.

Setlist from Whites Hotel Wexford in 1988 (or possibly 1987).
[thanks to Joe Busher]

Lead singer Thomas McLaughlin left shortly after the recording of the 3rd LP had finished in May 1988, allegedly after an argument about his level of commitment to the band in light of strenuous touring commitments being considered for a tour of the USA. This left the band with the task of finding a new frontman and the dilemma of whether to re-recorded the vocals, but Siren/Virgin were unwilling to invest any more in recording. This situation dragged on for a few months. Gregory Grey (ex Perfect Crime) was considered but in the end the job went to Ken Duffy (ex The Experiment), who joined in August 1988. Unfortunately LABF's A&R man at Siren Ross Stapleton left the label, adding uncertainty to LABF's future. Holidai and Sheppard both left in Feburary 1989, sounding the death knell for the band sometime after a short-lived name change to The Believers with an ex roadie on drums. The 3rd LP never came out.

The original lineup is shown above. The second LP lineup was Thomas McLaughlin (vocals), Pete Dench (guitar), Pete Holidai (guitar, joined 1986), Neville Seventeen (keyboards, who joined early 1986 from G Squad and who'd also played with Nine Out Of Ten Cats), Pat Diskin (bass) and Mark Sheppard (drums). Mark Sheppard later formed School of Fish and is now a TV actor. Thomas McLaughlin is now better known as a writer and dramatist. Pete Holidai is back with the reformed Radiators. Ken Duffy formed Nijinsky with his brother Vincent on bass, Tosh Flood on guitar, and Joey Stamp on drums; they later became Saville (1995-2001?).

See also Videos page.


• various artists - Hip City Boogaloo
LP - Hotwire Records - HWLP001 - IRL - March 1984
See Compilations section for full track listing.

• Gunpowders
LP - Hotwire Records - HWLP8501 - IRL - January 1985
K7 - Hotwire Records - CSHW8501 - IRL - January 1985 - 2 bonus tracks
LP - Statik Records - STAB 4 - France - 1985
LP - Statik/Discos Victoria - ??? - Spain - 1986

• C.I.A. / Danny
7" - Hotwire Records - HWS 854 - 1985 - PS

Notes: PS incorrectly says HWS 853, some corrected with sticker

• C.I.A. / I See People
7" - Statik/Discos Victoria - 10.994 - Spain - 1986 - PS, possibly promo only?

• I See People / 2 Moons
7" - Hotwire Records - HWS 856 - 1985

• You Can Love A Woman
7" - Hotwire Records - HWS 857 - 1985 - one-sided

• Greenboys / The Boom-Boom Room
7" - Hotwire Records - HWS 859 - April 1986
Entered the Irish charts on 15 May 1986 for 2 weeks, peaking at #18.

• Charlene / Hunger
7" - Hotwire Records - HWS 860 - IRL - 26 August 1986 - in stickered Siren PS
7" - Siren Records - 25 - UK - 1986 - PS
• Charlene // Hunger / Shape I'm In
12" - Siren Records - 25 12 - UK - 1986 - PS

• Mr.Twilight / Lovers
7" - Hotwire Records - HWS 861 - IRL - 11/1986 - in stickered Siren PS
7" - Siren Records - 28 - UK - 1986 - PS
• Mr.Twilight(extended remix) / Lovers / +1
12" - Siren Records - 28-12 - UK - 1986 - PS

Notes: A video was shot for Mr.Twilight, directed by John Davis of Shellshock Rock fame.

• Surveillance
LP - Hotwire Records - HWLP 8506 - 1986 - inner sleeve
LP - Siren Records - LP6 - UK/Australia - 1987 - inner sleeve
Dated 1986 but actual release date may have been February 1987.

Notes: Pete Holidai appears on some tracks

• I See People / ?
7" - Siren Records - SRN45 - UK - 1987
• I See People + 3 live tracks
2x7" - Siren Records - SRND45 - UK - 1987 - foc
• I See People // Jonny On All Fours (live) / Mr. Twilight (live)
12" - Siren Records - SRN45-12 - UK - 1987

• various artists - National Washday Single
7" - WASH 1 - May 1987 - PS
Members of LABF appeared with others as The Music Bizz on this single.


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: The Experiment, The Radiators

External Links: Unofficial Website

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