The Blades have announced a Christmas show at The Academy on Saturday 17th December. Tickets €30 incl. booking fee are on sale on Thursday 11th August at 9am from Ticketmaster outlets and online at

The Blades were formed in the punk era of 1977, in the south Dublin neighbourhood of Ringsend. With Paul Cleary on bass, his older brother Lar on guitar and Pat Larkin on drums, they made their name with a series of raucous gigs at the nearby Magnet bar. A short-lived singles deal with the Energy label followed before Larkin and then Lar departed, allowing Cleary to switch to guitar, bring in drummer Jake Reilly and bassist Brian Foley and add a brass section. It was this line-up that produced “Downmarket,” which captured 1980s era Dublin in all its gloomy, fatalistic solidarity.

Undoubtedly the best band to come out of Dublin after the Radiators From Space. The original trio featured brothers Paul and Lar Cleary on bass and guitar respectively, and drummer Pat Larkin. They played mod/powerpop songs, all written by Paul Cleary and all infused with power chords and poppy hooks. They released three brilliant singles but the planned LP for Energy Records never came to pass and, disillusioned, Lar and Pat left the band. As a result, many songs in the original trio’s set were never released (“Stood Up Again”, “Still Holding Hand”, “Lets Go Down To The Dance”, “So”, “Change Your Mind”).

A new lineup formed in 1982 with Brian Foley on bass and Jake Reilly on drums. This band pursued a more soul-charged sound often augmented by a horn section, The Blue Brass. Signed to Elektra circa 1983, the band began recording their debut LP (with Sandy Pearlman producing), but again ran into label troubles when Elektra chose not to release it. “The Last Man In Europe” finally came out on Reekus Records in 1985. The band split not long after. Reekus issued a second LP in 1985 called “Raytown Revisited”, a singles compilation.

Raytown Revisited is featured in the book 101 Irish Records You Must hear before You Die written by Tony Clayton-Lea of The Irish Times.

Last year marked the 30th anniverary of The Blades hit Downmarket.