Island Records were one of the labels to respond positively. It would take six months of negotiations before they finally signed them. And as Dolores adds: “Before my final year in school was over we had a deal for six albums!”
That’s when the real work began.
A series of tours took them on the road across the UK and away from home for the first time. The band played support to a number of different breaking acts including “Top” and “Moose”. The tables were then reversed for one night only when they played as the main act. And the support was “The Verve”.
“At first doing those small clubs was great, it was a laugh,” says Mike. “You start out and it’s great. After a while some of the places are real dives where you have to walk off the stage and walk through the crowd to get to the dressing room, getting patted on the back and the words “that was a great show”. Then there were rats in the dressing room, like the one in Washington on our first trip to the U.S. – there was one up on the pipe above our heads.
“Then there was Hull, in England,” Mike remembers. “This guy used to get us curries.”. The rest of the band ignites into laughter at the memory.
“It was the promoter actually..” says Dolores.
“And the curries were the colour of mud..” Mike continues.
“The promoter converted his house into a venue..” Dolores adds.
“And he had a dog,” Mike laughs. “And everyone used to feed the dog these curries and he was the size of a big seal, he was so fuckin’ huge. We went back some time later and the dog wasn’t there any more. I’d say he’d popped off.”
“Overdosed on curry..” Fergal laughs.
“Then I remember we slept in somebody’s house and there was like a million Melody Makers and NME’s in the bedroom and they were all yellow..” Says Dolores.
Fergal winces: “There was a smell of moss. We were trying to find some place to sleep in-between the papers. And I remember the hairy curries left lying around the place from the other bands who played weeks before us.”
“So,” Mike concludes, “when you get to play the bigger places it’s a whole lot better. For a start there’s better quality curries.”
“Yeah, we knew we were coming up in the world.” Noel laughs.
In October, the band put out their own four-track release called, “Uncertain”. Yet even though the record company knew they had buckets of talent, the tape went virtually unnoticed by music fans.