After years in the shadow of Dundalk’s vibrant music scene (The Corrs), Drawda has emerged with her own distinctive sound – Sham Rock.
With roots in the glam jazz scene of the early 1970s that emerged as a backlash against the show bands, word is that Sham Rock has the potential to do for Drawda what grunge did for Seattle or what Joe Dolan did for Mullingar.
For a time in the 1970s, Drawda was a hohspoh for up-and-coming bands. Tin Lizzy played there and Bowie first introduced his alter ego Ziggy StaaBaa (later refined and polished into Ziggy Stardust) to a bemused audience waiting for Big Tom and his Hucklebucks over at the Abbey Ballroom. Drawda served as a musical drainage basin for the surrounding area. If an astro or cosmonaut was to look down at Drawda on a Sahurdee night, theyda seen busloads of music fans flowing into Drawda from as far afield as Carrickmacross, Dundalk and when regional tensions were low, Navan.
But all that stopped with the emergence of local crooner Johnny Logan. His Eurovision successes drew youngsters away from music. Soon pubs would only play Now That’s What I Call Eurovision 1980, 1987 and 1992. All other music was burned and barred except for Carberry’s pub where traditional music was allowed to continue in an underground capacity.
In 1996 Louth County Council enforced the countywide playing of The Corrs at all public and private occasions. The decree was only lifted after Ireland ratified the United Nations Convention against Torture on 11 April 2002. But by then, untold damage had been done. Drawda has since been shown to be a dry-run for the musical torture inflicted on inmates in Guantanamo Bay.
The Faa Side decided to check out the scene to see what all the fuss was about by buying tickets online with Bitcoin to a secret outdoor gig in Mell car park last weekend. The bill was full of local acts – Porn Hostipal, Tell the Troot Sham!, Spicebag, Marty & The Toilets, J.I.S.M. Biscuit, Harriet & The Snow Flakes as well as Collon’s finest rapper, Tattoofaced Leon.
Each of the acts kem on to mildly enthusiastic applause (not clapping is now cool). The acts mostly slouched behind portable laptops in non-labelled, non-gender specific clothing and plugged in their Beats cans. The crowd then had to guess who their influences were by their movements. If you worked out who was listening to what, someone writ on your arm inviting you to the real gig which was somewhere else, somewhere cooler. Needless to say, The Faa Side didn’t get an invite.
Sham Rock may become massive, but at the moment it looks like just that, a sham.