Iron Fist in Velvet Glove – The Story of Microdisney

I’ve mentioned this on the socials recently but I wanted to highlight it here also.

It’s a radio documentary made by a good friend of mine Paul McDermott – you’ll find him around here under Songs To Learn and Sing – about the Cork band Microdisney.

I say Cork band – and there’s no doubt they are from here – but plenty of their many many fans probably don’t think of them in that way.

What they certainly are is an intriguing, important, sometimes infuriating pop group and Paul’s painstaking piece of work is the definitive document of their life and times.

It features in depth interviews with Cathal Coughlan and Sean O’Hagan (as well as dozens of others) whose insights add a huge amount to understanding the band’s music.

By the way this is Paul’s third documentary that deals with the Cork post punk scene of the early 1980s that centred around the Arcadia venue. Check his documentaries about Nun Attax/Five Go Down To The Sea? and Stump – they are very much companion pieces to Iron Fist. Both of those also have an accompanying oral history presenting the interview footage chronologically in text form with fliers, ticket stubs and other memorabilia for added texture. Together all three works form a deep and wide composite picture of a generation of Irish musicians finding a way to exist. They are also the story of Ireland in the 1980s in many ways – recession, unemployment, emigration, Thatcher’s Britain, squats, poverty, survival against the odds. I couldn’t recommend them highly enough for anyone with any interest in what we call independent music.


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