mp3hugger blog

Luggage - Show Me Around

In the mid nineties a small pocket of bands from Dublin hinted that something wonderful could be on the horizon. The Jubilee Allstars, In Motion, Bawl, the Sewing Room and Sunbear were all fashioning alchemy from base instruments. Luggage weren't entirely in the same league but still produced a couple of terrific EP's over a short time. The 'Comical Life' EP was one such, four strong tunes with 'Show Me Around' being the obvious highlight. Think Tindersticks as the gloom is about to lift and you'll be ballpark. 'Show Me Around' exhibits lazy, shambolic chords thrown together like forgotten CD's in a bargain bin float by as Barry O'Mahony's laconic utterances transform the vocal slouch into an art form. Just perfect for those mid-term mornings when getting up isn't really a runner.



The (new) Vinyl Villain


I couldn’t resist your call for people to act as advocates for their favourite (commercial) flops. There are so very many of these that I almost gave up trying to sift through them until I thought of the following track:


“Show me around the streets you made your name in”

For a brief moment it seemed that Luggage might escape the gravitation field projected by the commercial failure of the Dublin rock scene of the mid nineties. A John Peel session, half page interview in the Irish Times, the stirrings of something. And we fans and members of other Dublin bands knew that they had the songs and the class to make it.

Singer Barry O'Mahony had been a performance poet and had a knack for twisting simple phrases into new shapes. Guitarist Joe Fahey had been in an early incarnation of MBV and peeled off chords like Mark Bolan in slow motion. Bass player Rachel Tighe had been in Backwards Into Paradise, another Dublin band with a cultish reputation. Drummer Cathal O’Reilly held it all together. They were a band, and continued to play for many years after this, with at least one albums recorded but never released. However they did release two E.P.’s, on 7" vinyl and CD.

I have to admit to having an involvement here. For a while I was the manager of Luggage and it inspired me to form a band myself. I remember seeing them for the first time, going along with the expectation of being disappointed but being blown away. Had I been uninvolved I would have been a fan anyway. And if they were to make it, they certainly required a more competent manager than I was and I had moved on by the time this came out.

When I first heard this song I thought it would be their hit. When I heard the recording I was even more sure. There was even a video.

But what do I know? The general public ignored it and it disappeared. However, it remains a regular on my turntable, iPod, laptop and CD player.

I have played it to many people. It is the lead track on a four track EP called Comical Life on the Blunt / Independent Records labels. Enough have shared my enthusiasm for me to feel justified in considering it a lost, cult classic.

“Show me around the nightclubs you collapsed in”

Seamus Duggan