They Might Be Giants
Thursday 29th September 1994
Columbia Mills

This was the first intelligent band I liked. I listened to them for most of my more important teen years (the ones involving girls) and even joined their "information club". They sent me many fun trinkets from New York, all done by post in those days (yes - pre-internet again).

I missed them when they first played Dublin, having made the difficult choice between buying an album I thought I might like (Flood) or going to see a band I barely knew. My lack of money meant the album was bought (more lasting value?). They eventually came back, and we went to see them play.

The night got off to a good start. We arrived early, caught a peak of Linnell sound checking through the door, and took our place in the queue. A while later we overheard a nearby American gent take delivery of an "electric zither" (delayed in customs?). When the two had stopped talking, we enquired as to whether the zither belonged to Brian Dewan, a friend of TMBG's and the maker of the structure on the "Lincoln" album cover. The man gave a positive response to this question. The follow-on question of "are you Brian Dewan" was posed, and this too received a positive response. We had a nice little chat with Mr. Dewan. He told us he was opening for TMBG. This was a good thing, as we had become familiar with his songs from the "Hello CD of the Month Club" that John Flansburgh had set up.

Inside we got front row, which was pressed up against the low stage. There was a good atmosphere and Brian Dewan made his appearance a while later. He was excellent, and hopefully chuffed that some people in the audience were able to sing along with him.

Eventually he left and we awaited the Johns. They duly appeared and opened with "Don't let's Start", sounding just like it did on their (was it this long ago?) 1986 release. The rest of the gig was excellent, featuring the most sincere audience singing I'd ever see. We knew ALL those words.

The gig finally ended, but not before I'd reached up and grabbed a discarded plectrum from the edge of Linnell's keyboard table. This was a custom "Flood" logo plectrum, with "FLANS" replacing the original title position. I also got some broken guitar strings. During the gig Flansburgh did his trick of presenting his guitar for the audience to play. I'd read about this somewhere, so as soon as he offered I accepted gratefully. Others joined in too.

With the stage clear we (Dr. J and I) disappeared outside to try and head off the duo before they slipped back to New York (or on to England). We were out there a little while before someone told us that they were just walking around inside the venue. Shortly afterwards we ran into Mr. Flansburgh. He chatted with us for just the right amount of time and gave some autographs. We went back inside to where John Linnell was sitting talking to anyone who wandered up. I got an autograph from him too, but don't really recall any chats. He seemed quiet. Brian Dewan was also hanging around, and for a while was on his own. I had, at some point that night, bought his album on CD. He signed it in an immaculate manner.

Eventually it was time to end the night. Dr. J had departed slightly earlier to leave on a trip with his family. I hung around for a while then decided it was time to go, leaving the quays to walk all the way home (five miles or more). I stopped on the way to procure a concert poster from some billboards at Leeson Street Bridge...

(ps - I later found out that Dave Beard also attended this concert, and was only a few persons away from me and Dr. J)
(pps - Dave Beard also played the Flans guitar)

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