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Kaught At The Kampus

February 1, 2023

Reekus Records RKCD 148 (also available on limited edition black and blue vinyl)

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This release is a labour of love from Elvera Butler, who with her husband Andy ran The Downtown Kampus in Cork from  1977-1981. Formerly The Arcadia Ballroom on Cork’s Lower Road, the Kampus was the music venue of University College Cork. Over four years the Kampus showcased  many major English bands such as The Cure, The Specials, UB40, The Beat, the Albertos, John Otway, XTC and The Only Ones (twice). What made the Kampus special was the support it gave to Irish bands, big and small. U2 and Rory Gallagher both played there but so did Nun Attax, Mean Features, Micro Disney and Urban Blitz. These last four bands featured on an EP, recorded live at the Kampus on August 30th 1980 with the express purpose of getting these bands more exposure – sort of a live demo tape. 

Micro Disney disliked the choice of ‘National Anthem’ but it was the only song they played that night which had recorded properly: Reekus redress the balance by adding to this CD re-release four additional Micro Disney songs, specially recorded at Dublin’s Windmill Studios in 1981. The other less well-known bands are equally worthy of your attention, especially the legendary Nun Attax. Three of the bands went on to have careers in the UK. Mick Lynch, the vocalist with Mean Features, went on to form Stump, Nun Attax were signed to a couple of labels including Creation and Micro Disney signed to Rough Trade and then Virgin, before Sean and Cathal parted to form The High Llamas and Fatima Mansions respectively. 

Accompanying the CD is a 16 page fanzine packed with evocative pictures and fascinating stories from musicians and fans reminiscing about the four ‘golden years’ that the Kampus brought to the Cork music scene. An exemplary document of a fascinating time.


From → Music

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