Heres what happened when I went to see The Vandals in 2002.


On Friday 6th December me and three pals (Jar, Adeline and Paula) all bounced into my Micra and hit the road to Dublin to see The Vandals.

I have been in Dublin many times before for gigs, both watching bands and playing gigs, but I never actually walked around Dublin or shopped in any of its record shops or drank in any of its fine bars. So we all decided to leave nice and early at 9am. So we packed the car with quilts and pillows and bottles of cider and vodka and beer. Paula and Adeline then decided that 10am was a good time to crack open the vodka and proceeded to drink a quarter bottle each in the car on the way down. Jar was able to exercise a bit more caution and only had a litre of beer.

The drive down is uneventful of course as soon as we arrive in Dublin we stop at a red light and some stupid moron drives into the back of my car. Its only a wee bump so I give the stupid cunt the fingers (as does Paula) and we drive off. We arrived in Dublin at about 12.30 parked the car and go for a wee look around. We didn’t have to meet our friend Jess who was letting us spend the night in her flat until 4.30 so we had a few hours to kill. Adeline and Paula seem a bit drunk. Dublin has some cool record shops and I was damn chuffed to find a copy of the SOCIAL DISTORTION album ’Mommy’s little monster’ so I bought it. Next we headed for lunch at Eamon Dorans which was damn fine. Although the alcohol seems to be affecting everyone except me cos I am driving and I really want a drink but cant. After that we went to Meros record shop but upon arriving there I discover that I ve left my copy of Mommy’s little monster behind so I run back to get it. And low and behold it isn’t there. BASTARD! I’ve been after that album for years and as soon as I get it I lose it!!!!

Some Dublin spides hear our Northern accents and then call us some nice sectarian names. Friendly! Not wanting to get emptied we ignore the scumbags. We then go to meet our host for the evening and head back to the car so we can leave it at her flat. Before that though we go to an off-licence so Paula and Adaline can buy some more beer but the staff are not taking any of our ID’s Student cards and driving licence’s are all rejected, the only thing they will take is a passport or Irish Driving licence. Jess tells us that the pub near her flat is not quite as strict and does carry-outs so we decide to go there instead. Driving across Dublin at 5pm is not easy we get lost a few times thanks to one way system lack of road signs and unclear road markings but eventually we make it and once their we ditch the car in the apartment blocks car park and at last I can crack open my bottle of Strongbow. Hurrah! The gig starts at half seven so we have a drink and enjoy some specially prepared SCREECHING WEASEL tapes before heading out to The Ambassador theatre. I went to see Bad Religion here a few months ago and it’s a cool theatre.

At the theatre they check ID’s and tickets, plus take Paula’s deoderant off her, which is bad for people like me who will deal with her odour next morning. I heard there was two support bands, Audio Karate and Tsunami Bomb. But we arrive at 7.50 and only get to see one band and I don’t know which one it was, but I do know this, whoever it was sucked. I have now found out that it was Audio Karate. Anyway, they where substandard Ataris pop punk. Deadly boring. I have no idea how this band got to support The Vandals because there is 1’000’000 other bands doing this sort of thing better. They did not have a single memorable song or catchy hook. They should be still in California playing in a bar to 15 people, not touring Europe with The Vandals. Sorry if that’s a bit harsh.

On come The Vandals! I know a few people who went to see The Vandals on their last trip to Dublin and most of them told me they sucked, they didn’t look like they where having fun, didn’t seem interested and generally weren’t very good. But on this night I thought that The Vandals where in fact rather good. I had a lot of fun and was rather pleased to see The Vandals. Sure they didn’t play my favourite song which is ‘ China Town’ – but so what? After the gig we leave and search for a nice bar to drink in and have some fun in, eventually we do and we stay there until about 2am. When we decide to head back to Jess’s flat. On the way home we encounter more unfriendly spides who throw coins at us. Those damn Euros are pathetic weapons, a 2p coin is much more painful and heavier than a 10 Euro coin.

We ditch the spides and arrive back at Jess’s flat which is in Windmill Lane, apparently U2 used to practice round here and the street are covered with murals and graffiti dedicated to the band. We walk into the car park and oh great, my fucking cars been clamped! So I do what any normal person would do and kick the clamp. It hurts. At least no one is going to steal the car now. In the flat I phone the clamping company about getting the boot removed and they tell me it will cost 90 Euros, so I ask what that is in proper money. But they are unable to tell me. Next morning I wake up with a killer hangover (after falling asleep under a kitchen table) and get my car unclamped, Mr Credit Card foots the unclamping bill and I start the horrible journey home. When you think about it getting clamped in Dublin aint that bad. Sure it was more expensive than the overnight fee in the Multi story but his way my car was totally safe and parked right outside. I will not be driving to Dublin to see LESS THAN JAKE in May (I did drive in the end). I will taking the train. Oh, and I got Mommys Little Monster from HMV in Belfast. Dammit. I have also discovered recently that Tsunami Bomb are fucking amazing and I missed them because I was drinking cider with some bastards.