“Ingrid Bergman” by The Dixons – Contributed by Colin Ahearn

This song ‘Ingrid Bergman’ is a flashback to the days when I was starting my carreer as a sound man. It was back in the days when U2 had made it and all eyes where on Ireland to produce another ‘hit’ band.

It was with The Dixons that I learnt so much about touring, the late nights and the parties. These bunch of lads were fun to hang with.

The Dixons sort of drifted together sometime in 1987, from the flotsam of Dublin wannabees, the Fallen Angels and Those Handsome Devils, via experimentation with country rock in the form of Hank Halfhead and the Rambling Turkeys and the blue eyed Rn!B of Fevertrain.

A number of high profile support slots garnered positive critical noises through 1988, earning the band the dubious accolade of “best support act in town#.

The following spring saw the various band members leave all the other bands they were in and go full time.

Soon, the record companies began to sniff around. Despite flirtations with U2¹ Mother Records during 1989 which culminated in the band¹s debut 7in ³I Have Fun² coming out on the label in the early summer of that year, the group¹s management failed to reach agreement with the company on a longer term deal.

ÒI Have FunÓ received moderately heavy rotation over the summer, while the band toured the country with the underrated Real Wild West and An Emotional Fish in a coach with a cargo hold full of beer.

The Dixons first gigs back in Dublin that summer in the Baggot were sell-outs, with hundreds of the dedicated and the curious turned away. 1989 was dubbed as the summer of love in the UK with the rave scene taking off, but for some Irish tabloid hacks it was the summer of fun.

Without a record deal, the band recorded a second 7in that autumn. This time, they put it out on their own label, Purple Records. Despite the absence of a plugger for the disc, it received a respectable amount of airplay and charted, peaking at No. 8.

The logical next step was to record a long player but without industry backing this would prove difficult. The low-fi classic Garagefolk-The Sunbed Sessions was recorded over a couple of months in Paul Thomas¹s sometimes miraculous Recording Company.

The seven-track mini-album charted at No.25 for a couple of weeks in the winter of 1990 and was the most financially successful release for the band insofar as it made its money back.

February of 1991 saw Purple records third release and the Dixons last. On twelve-inch vinyl, I¹d Love To featured crunching guitars and a nod or two in the directions of the Spencer Davis Group and Jimi Hendrix.

The band¹s music finally began to find its natural shape that summer, drenched in jangling guitars and sweet harmony vocals, a sort of post-West Coast racket with Byrds influences creeping into a sound already heavily seasoned with essences of Rubber Soul and a pinch of Pet Sounds.

‘Ingrid Bergman’ was released in November 1989 by Purple Records.

Niall Toner – vocal, guitar
Alan Montgomery – bass, piano, vocal
Ed McGinley – guitar, vocal
Joey Pleass – drums, vocal



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