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The Golden Horde

From: Dublin

Active: 1982-1994


Lineup (ca 1982): Lineup (ca 1985): Lineup (ca 1989):


Dublin's leading garage/trash punk band. Mr.Smedley's site is no more but there's an excellent site here which has everything you need to know and more. Meanwhile, here is a brief summary of their illustrious career:

The embryonic Golden Horde first saw light in 1982 when Simon Carmody (vocals), Bernie Furlong (vocals) and Des O'Byrne (ex The Letters, guitar) appeared on stage in Dublin, but the first lineup proper included backing singers Adrienne Foley and Caroline Kelly, Donal Murray of (ex The Letters) on bass, and either Peter O'Kennedy or Simon Walker on drums. All were part of the same Dublin social scene that grew out of the punk explosion. Simon and Caroline first met in 1978 or 1979. Caroline, Bernie & Des shared a flat together.

The early band did it's best to avoid the pub residency path followed by so many at the time and instead tried to turn each gig into an event, bringing bands over form the UK to headline (like The Fall, the fabulous Prisoners, and many more) or staging events like alternative fashion shows. These events were promoted under the name Illuminati Enterprises International, inspired by Robert Anton Wilson's Illuminati trilogy. The band met Wilson when he first visited Ireland on holiday. He later collaborated with them on their first LP. The Horde played legendary gigs during the 1982-84 period including the Hirschfield Centre, the TCD Ball, Mc Gonagles, and the Project Arts centre. Their live set was all covers, including songs like 'The Letter', 'Let's Stick Together', 'La Bamba', and a host of others. Covers would remain a feature of the Horde's live set throughout their career. Eventually they began to write original material. The first song that band wrote was probably 'I Was A Communist For The FBI', written by Simon and Des. Des also came up with 'Vampire Bat' around the same time. 'I Was A Communist For The FBI' was one of the first songs the band demoed, along with a song that had been given to them by Paul Cleary of The Blades 'Tears Don't Leave Tracks', because Paul reckoned it was more suited to a female voice. Bernie sang the main melody, Caroline the harmonies, and Simon the chorus. This song was never again recorded by the band and this recording has never been released. Paul Bonner of The Epidemix was playing sax with the band around this time (he left for NYC in 1983). Caroline left shortly after this recording session in 1982, following a falling out with Simon Carmody, and moved to London.

The Golden Horde became associated with the emerging garage/trash scene of the early 80s, in particular with the Milkshakes, who released the Horde's first LP on their own Media Burn label in the UK, and the Stringrays with whom the Horde collaborated under the name Duane Ripley in 1986. An earlier collaboration with celebrated author, scientist and conspiracy theorist Robert Anton Wilson yielded several tracks on their debut LP "The Chocolate Biscuit Conspiracy" in 1985. One track "Young and Happy" became the theme song for Euro Surf 1985 and was released as a tie-in single.

The band recorded it's first RTE Radio Session for Dave Fanning's Show in 1985 (or early 1986?). This session included their cover of the Flamin' Groovies classic "Teenage Head" as well as "Gatecrashing Your Mind." They also recorded at least one session for the BBC including otherwise unreleased tracks "It Is I" and "Positively Nowhere Today!" (if anyone has tapes of the Horde's radio sessions, please get in touch).

John Connor replaced Donal Murray on bass ca 1985-86; second guitarist Sam Steiger joined ca 1987, eventually taking over much of the lead guitar work; Bernie Furlong ca 1986-87 left to pursue other activities. The band's profile in Europe continued to grow during 1986-88, culminating in an appearance at the Eurorock '88 festival in Groningen, Holland on November 3rd where they went down a storm. There are few releases from this period (the band reputedly turned down several offers from record labels which required they made some changes to help widen their appeal), but there were recordings: an unreleased 3rd studio album produced by Paul Thomas dating from 1987-88; unreleased recordings produced by Denny Cordell (Straight Ahead Productions, Shelter Records, Moody Blues, Procol Harum, Joe Cocker, the Move, the man who signed the Cranberries to Island Records). And there were side projects: the Last Bandits collaborations in 1986 and 1988 with Johnny Fean, Nikki Sudden and various Waterboys; sessions with Mick Blood of the Lime Spiders (who co-wrote "Solar System" and "Repetition"); Simon Carmody's collaboration with Gavin Friday in 1987; and recordings with Aidan Walsh.

The Horde finally signed with a major label in 1989, signing to U2's Mother Records which had a distribution deal with Island Records. A second Fanning Session for RTE provided early versions of the songs that would appear on Mother: "I Reject You", "100 Boys " and "Rorschach". The self-titled third LP, produced by Andy Shernoff of the Dictators, finally came out on Mother in 1991. The band featured prominently in a special editon of MTV's "120 Minutes" recorded in Dublin around this time. Besides airing their videos and being interviewed by presenter Paul 'Love & Pride' King, the show included Simon Carmody miming to "I Never Came Down" on the street outside Comet Records. Later the band recorded a session for BBC Northern Ireland which included more unreleased goodies, including covers of two Blue Oyster Cult tracks "Black Blade" and "E.T.I." Demos for the next album were recorded but Mother's inability to push the band futher led to an amiciable split and despite talks with other interested parties it was not to be and the band finally split in 1994.

Tim McGrath played drums as some point. Was Bernard Walsh (The Sinners, Ghostdance, Stars of Heaven) in an early lineup?

Des O'Byrne also played in his brother's band Napalm Sunday. Peter O'Kennedy was later in Nine Wassies From Bainne and is also a sculptor.


• Dig That Crazy Grave EP
7" - Hotwire / Crashed Records - WAY OUT 1 - 1984 - PS

Recorded in April 1984 except "The Curse" recorded September 1984. Produced by Eamon Carr.

• Chocolate Biscuit Conspiracy
LP - Hotwire Records - HWLP 8502 - IRL - 1985
K7 - Hotwire Records - CSHW 8502 - IRL - 1985 - with 2 bonus tracks
LP - ID Records - NOSE7 - UK - 1985 - differetn cover artwork
Produced by Eamon Carr.

Co-credited to Robert Anton Wilson, who supplied both vocals and lyrics. The UK edition entered the UK indie charts on 12 April 1986 and spent 4 weeks in the charts, peaking at the highly appropriate number 23.

The Hotwire cassette edition has two bonus tracks; "Fiona" is on the B-side of the Young And Happy EP, but "We Know What's Good For You!" is an exclusive track. It's taken from R.A.Wilson's Wilhelm Reich In Hell.

The UK edition was released on ID Records. Like many UK indies in the mid-80s, ID releases were pressed in France, so this edition is sometimes listed as a French release.

• Young and Happy EP
7" - Hotwire Records - HWS 855 - IRL - 1985

• various artists - Weird Weird World of Guru Weirdbrain
LP - Hotwire Records - HWLP8505 - IRL - 1985
See Compilations section for full track listing.

• various artists - Street Carnival Rock EP
7" - RTE Radio 2/Hot Press/Mystery Records - MRS 004 - IRL - 1986 - no PS
See Compilations section for full track listing.

This cover of the famous Flamin' Groovies track was originally recorded for Dave Fanning's Rock Show in 1985. Another track from the same session "Wild Love Experience" appears on the Moonstruck cassette. Does the MRS catalogue number refer to Moonstruck???

• In Reality
LP - Media Burn Records - MB6 - UK - February 1986
K7 - Media Burn Records - ??? - UK - 1986 - with bonus track "Adrienne"

Mini-album with three new tracks recorded in October 1985 with Eamon Carr producig on side one and three remixes from the debut Dig That Crazy Grave EP on side two.

• various artists - Meltdown on Media Burn
LP - Media Burn Records - MB8 - UK - 1986 - insert

The band is also featured on the insert.

• various artists - Moonstruck Christmas Cassette
K7 - Moonstruck Records - MS 005 - IRL - November 1986
See Compilations section for full track listing.

• various artists - A Fistful of Pussies (Blood on the Cats Vol.4)
LP - Anagram Records - GRAM 36 - UK - 1987
• various artists - A Fistful of Pussies A Few Pussies More
CD - Anagram Records - CDM GRAM 36 - UK - 1993 - 20 tracks

Taken from the "In Reality" mini album.

• various artists - Graveyard Stomp
LP - Anagram Records - GRAM 39 - UK - 1988

Taken from the "In Reality" mini album.

• 100 Boys / I Reject You
7" - Mother Records - MUM16 - IRL - 1989 - PS
• 100 Boys / I Reject You! / Solar System
12" - Mother Records - 12MUM16 - IRL - 1989 - PS

• I Never Came Down / Let It Be
7" - Mother Records - MUM 22 - IRL - February 1990
• I Never Came Down / Green Light / Let Me Be / I'd Much Rather be with the Boys
12" - Mother Records - 12MUM22 - February 1990 - PS

• The Golden Horde
LP - Mother Records - MUMLP 919 - 1991 - inner
CD - Mother Records - MUMCD 919 - 1991
Produced by Andy Shernoff of the Dictators.

• Endless Weekend / Coo-Ca-Choo
7" - Mother Records - MUM 31 - 1991 - PS
K7 - Mother Records - MUM 31 - 1991 - PS

• Friends in Time / Stop Thinking / Tinsel on the Phone / Rendezvous with Destiny
7" - Mother Records - MUM33 - 1991 - PS
10" - Mother Records - MUM33 - 1991 - PS

• Hell / Secrets, Ripples, Moments
7" - Mother Records - MUM36 - 1992 - PS
• Hell / Womanizer / Secrets, Ripples, Moments / Bop Bop
10" - Mother Records - MUM36 - 1992 - PS

• various artists - Breaking Sound Barriers Vol.2
CD - PPI Records - BSBCD-2 - 1992
See Compilations section for full track listing.

• various artists - HMV Unplugged: The Acoustic Sessions
CD - HMV Records - HMVCD002 - IRL - 1993
See Compilations section for full track listing.

Acoustic live recording made in the HMV shop in Grafton Street in Dublin.

Radio Sessions

This section is far from complete. If anyone can help, please get in touch. Thanks to Nigel Ince for his help with this list.

• 1st Dave Fanning Session (RTE)
Recorded xx.xx.1985

• 1st BBC session
Recorded xx.xx.1986

• 1st Janice Long Show Session (BBC)
Recorded at Maida Vale Studio 28.5.86, broadcast 9.6.86

• 2nd Dave Fanning Session (RTE)
Recorded xx.xx.1989

• 2nd Janice Long Show Session (BBC)
Recorded Maida Vale Studio 24.5.87, broadcast 9.6.87

• Swedish Radio Live Concert
Broadcast 29.1.89

A recording from the Groningen Festival (Eurorock Festival?) 1988. This was most likely broadcast on dutch radio aswell (probably VPRO)

• BBC Northern Ireland Session
Recorded xx.x.1992

• Johnny Walker Show Session (BBC Radio 1)
Live in the studio acoustic session broadcast 10.10.92

• RTE session
Recorded xx.xx.xxxx

Duane Ripley & His Go-Go Set

A collaboration between the Golden Horde and The Stingrays.


• Revenge of the 50 Foot Killer Go-Go Girls (from Outer Space) / The Day The Fish Came Out Dancing
7" - Barbarella Records - BAD1 - January 1986 - PS


We need your help to correct and/or complete this entry. If you can provide more information about this band, have scans, photos or any other memorabilia we can use, or spare copies of any releases, then please get in touch.

See Also: Simon Carmody, The Last Bandits, The Saints and Scholars, Aidan Walsh.

External Links: www.thegoldenhorde.org

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