Named after a line in The Fall's "Two Steps Back", Cracker Factory formed in Dublin in early 1985 approx. All came from the East Wall area of Dublin except for vocalist Paul Gaffney who was from Finglas. He left before they started gigging and the band had trouble finding a suitable vocalist for some time. Vocals were handled by Johnny Moran who was first to admit he wasn't the greatest singer in the world . . . This lineup had a punky type sound similar to the Fall in places when they recorded the first 2-song demo. Most gigs were at The Underground in Dublin.
The band's sound developed with the addition of Dave O'Reilly, whose trumpet lent it a really good edge. There was also a trombone player and a female backing vocalist named Kate ??? for a few shows. O'Reilly left to join Crime of Passion / Icon Trial. Finally during 1986 a proper frontman was found named Lynch (vocals/guitar/harmonica) who was from the North. Paul Harper was replaced by Declan Mulligan on bass. This lineup was a solid live band, sounding a bit like a poppier version of The Smiths and The Cure with some REM influence, standard fare for Dublin in the mid 1980s. They did quite a few gigs and recorded a good demo which received some record company interest, but nothing materialised.
Lynch left the band in 1987, heading back up North, and was replaced by a guy named Dave Radford who was an excellent guitar player and a good vocalist. Radford had played steel guitar for the Cotton Mill Boys (gasp!) and the legendary (cough) Roly Daniels. Unsurprisingly the bands sound had changed quite a bit by this stage, leaning in a country rock direction reminiscent of the Eagles. They wrote a lot of new material, recorded 3 songs, and even changed their name to Keeper of the Fire, but never gigged and, fed up with the new sound, Johnny Moran left the band, which split shortly afterwards.
The original lineup was Johnny Moran (guitar/vocals), Paul Gaffney (vocals/guitar), Paul Harper (bass) and Anto Moran (ex Proles) (drums). ??? Lynch (vocals) replaced Paul Gaffney, who later played with Tony St. James and the Dry Season. Declan Mulligan (bass) replaced Paul Harper circa 1986. Dave ??? (vocals/guitar) replaced ??? Lynch in 1987.
Declan Mulligan later played with Inside Cairo, The Lesser Gods, The Candyshop and Dry Season. Anto Moran later in The Promise
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