Hallowe’en Performances! A Letter To Mina.

PaperDolls present A Letter to Mina 2012

Dates: 26th October – 28th October
Tickets: €16.00
Show time: 8.30pm
Duration: 60 Minutes.

PaperDolls meet Bram Stoker in a Victorian inspired exploration of the female and the monstrous. Featuring performance and writing by Alabaster DePlume, an original score by the darlings of Dublin’s alternative music scene Estel, and a diverse display of talent and skill from Dublin’s rogue cabaret and subterranean theatre culture, PaperDolls performance company are creating a Gothic theatrical playground of ideas and physicality, for three nights only in the ever malleable D-Light Studios.

An engrossing visual feast, this site specific performance incorporates new writing, original music, aerial, circus skills, suspension and theatrics. A Letter to Mina is an immersive and site specific performative adventure which oscillates between beauty and disgust.


From the 30th of March until the 2nd of April ESTEL will tour Ireland with our good friends Fuzz Orchestra in tow.

Check these guys out if you get the chance.

We’re talking heavy rock / psych three piece that will engage you and then leave your head swimming.

We’ve had the pleasure of touring with these guys in Italy and I can only say that it’ll be more than worth the price at the door.


The venue is empty for Estel, and for the longest time it appears as though they’re doomed to play in front of no-one, criminally underestimated as they long have been. Luckily, the Quad fills out in short order halfway through their set, dark, hypnotic noise, tempered with eerie keys and jazzy undertones. Their set is epic for a support slot, and those in attendance are swept away in it by the end. Not much banter, just darkened rock ‘n’ roll from the gatekeepers of Dublin’s underground in advance of their upcoming odds ‘n’ sods collection’s release this month through Quarter Inch.

Fuzz Orchestra, resplendent in suits and boots, hit the stage, guitars, vinyls, transistors and all, and proceed to lay down sludgy, groovy riffs with their distinctly Italian flavour, pockmarked with sound art, samples and musique concrete. Laying destruction upon the venue, the band cycle like Tasmanian devils through music from both their albums, flinging vinyl into the crowd and generally looking like men coming unglued. Fucking quality.




ESTEL gigs by year. 2001.

4th February- 90 day men [u.s.]/ Waver. Frazer’s [Dublin].

This was Ashley’s last gig and Jamie’s first gig with the band. Waver were a solid ‘alternative’ group around Dublin at the time. The 90 day men were a great band and really nice guys to boot.

3rd May- Wormholes/ Large Mound. Temple. [Dublin].

The wormholes hadn’t played a gig in ages, possibly years when we asked them to do this one. They were one of the bigger Irish bands to be signed in the aftermath of the post Nirvana ‘alternative’ boom. Legends abound concerning them spending their advance on drugs and second hand gear. Regardless, this was a great gig and they played really well. They did wreck my head a bit though, when the drummer pushed the kit over before they finished. Cheeky fucker. Sound lads though. Large Mound are another in a long line of amazing and tenacious irish rock bands. Great stuff. If I remember correctly, half of Sarah’s keyboard died during this gig and Grainne’s guitar, not to be upstaged also gave up the ghost.

14th May- Brood [Germany]/ Future Kings Of Spain. Frazer’s [Dublin].

I’m drawing a blank on this one. The Future Kings Of Spain used to do a live cover of ESTEL’s ‘one deep breath’. They featured Karl Hussy who had played in  Bambi. They went on to be a very big band for a while before they ceased operating.

19th July- Somedaysbetter [u.k.]/ Jeff Martin. Temple Bar Music Centre. [Dublin].

This was the first gig of our first Irish tour.  Jeff Martin is a regarded songsmith and member of Halfset. I think that this may have been his first real gig? I may be, and probably am wrong.  Someday’s Better were an emo band from Belfast that we decided to tour with based on my friendship with the awesome-o Hornby. Hornby would later helm Selah, We Are Knives and more recently, The Continuous Battle Of Order. This guy has always been a great supporter of the ESTEL cause.

As for the gig. I remember that all of the bands played well. We had a problem in that the venue had given out literally hundreds of free passes, resulting in people turning up, then taking a pass instead of paying. To add to the stress, we got thrown out of the dressing room by a wanker bouncer. He started on Jamie for no real reason. Myself and Hornby stepped in between them by the time it had progressed to the lobby area near the bar. They owed us around two hundred pounds and wouldn’t pay up. This was our last time to play this room.

20th July- Somedaysbetter [u.k.]. Batty’s. [Roscommon].

This was in a small room to a decent crowd. I mainly remember destroying the drum kit at the end of the set.

21st July- Somedaysbetter [u.k.]./ Calzino Fiasco. Boat house. [Limerick].

I remember that Calzino Fiasco played first and the venue was full of their younger, metaller type mates. Once they finished around half of the audience split. We had a good gig. Much fun was had at the expense of the Somedaysbetter lads being described on the posters as ‘sounding like Foo Fighters’.

22nd July- Somedaysbetter [u.k.] / Cub Scout Disco. O’Malley’s [Galway].

This is probably one of my favourite gigs with this line up. We played really late and at the end of the set, Grainne pulled me out of the kit, knocking stuff everywhere. I lay at the feet of the crowd as they poured pints on me and cheered on the carnage. It was a good time.

16th August- Somedays better/ Robin G. Sheils. The menagerie. [Belfast- u.k.].

We fucking sucked at this gig. Inter- band nonsense resulted in an argument between two members, resulting in one of the worst gigs I have ever been a part of. That’s saying something. Honestly- we sucked ASS. We’ve always had a weird relationship with Belfast and I think that the reason we continue [ed] to book gigs there is that the people who dig us up there are great people that make it worth the nonsense.

13th September- Damian Frost/ Baseball Fury. Whelan’s. [Dublin].

This was [I think], the release for Damian Frost’s album. They were formed by Hag who had drummed in the Null Set before they came apart in an explosion of bad buzz. The other band that came from this break up was the Dudley Corporation, featuring, well, Dudley. The Baseball Fury were a short lived band featuring Bullets [Andy Fogarty] who later went on to play with Boys of Summer, Toymonger and tons more, Damo from crust heros Easpa Measa and Steven Doyle from Knife at a Gunfight and Neckweed. I remember a silly little spat involving a guitar being knocked over and a great gig.

26th September- Adrian Crowley/ A Lazarus soul and other bands. Shelter [Dublin].

this was the release of a compilation on the Vitaminic label. I really enjoyed the gig. Nena Hynes sat off stage shouting about loving us! Adrian was, of course, excellent as usual.

23rd September- ESTEL DJ’s. Lazybird club, the international. [Dublin].

This was our first of two appearances in this great club. These guys had a real thing for underground music lacking with today’s genre defined clubs and promoters. You’ll notice that I spelled ‘Lazybird’ as ‘Ladybird’ on the posters. Scarlet for me.

22nd October.- Art of fighting [Australia]./ Dudley Corporation. Whelan’s. [Dublin].

Don’t remember the gig too well. Around this time we were playing a lot of decent gigs. This  period was probably the high point for this line up. We’d add other people over the next few years but they couldn’t cover up the fact that the core four of us were finished as a unit. The Art of fighting guys were really nice and I remember having a really long chat with one of them.

23rd November- Tracer AMC [u.k.]. Isaac Butt. [Dublin].

This was a really good gig. We pulled a good crowd and played well. That’s it.

1st December- Bilge Pump [u.k.]/ Nathan Daniels [u.k.].  Bristol [u.k.].

Our first English tour. This was originally conceived and booked as a much longer tour. The observant amongst you will notice the space between the dates.  The rest of the gigs fell through while we were there. I remember that we got a ferry and loaded our gear into a shopping trolly to get it on the boat. We had a great time playing arcade games on the way over. It’s a misconception that we all got along terribly. We didn’t. It’s just that there was always a weird thing going on between one member, and at separate times, everyone else. Grainne was one of my best friends right up to her leaving the band and I still feel bad about her exit from the group.

Before the gig we visited the Clifton Suspension bridge and took funny photos of Jamie and the Samaritans posters. Also, Ivan Pawle, our sometime collaborator turned up to travel with us! Ivan later played [plays] with- The Boys of Summer and Sea Dog amongst others.

Anyhow. The gig. Bilge pump were as amazing as ever. These guys are a MUST SEE band if you ever get the chance. Nathan Daniels was a quirky singer songwriter type and the audience loved him. We played a really good gig. The only hitch was when Grainne blew out our rental guitar cab early in the set. D’oh. It was soon fixed though.

The next day we bummed around the town and used a real camera obscura. Great stuff indeed.

3 December.- Capo D’astro [u.k]/ Lux Lisbon [u.k.]. Leeds. [u.k.].

Lux Lisbon was an all grrrl band formed by the ever lovely Cath O’Connor. They were rough around the edges but great. Capo D’astro were another fantastic band that probably only lasted for three gigs. I enjoyed this gig and the audience dug us. After we finished playing, a lad in a grey duffel coat came over to me to shower me with praise. I was wearing Brothel creepers at the time and he informed me that he was also. I noticed that one of them was covered in gaffa tape. When I enquired as to why, he informed me that one of them was lace up and the other was a buckle and that this disguised the fact that they were odd. Genius. He also informed us that he had a band called- ‘Satan, himself’. His goal was to get a guy to introduce them before each gig by saying ‘ now please welcome satan, himself!’ Genius times two.

5 December- Cat on Form [u.k]/ The Anti [ u.k.]. The Free Butt. Brighton. [u.k.].

I can remember that this was one of those gigs were the promoter forgot to do, you know, the promoting thing. We played to around fifteen people. Cat on Form were decent enough in a Fugazi-ish way. The Anti were a pack of terrible little snot nosed pricks. Honestly. I’m not being mean here, i’m giving them some slack. We played well to the paying punters. The next night it  would turn out that the pedals and leads had ‘gone missing’ from our back line. After contacting the promoter, who worked in the pub, he said that he couldn’t find them. After weeks and weeks, he ‘found’ them in ‘a corner’ of the venue. Anywho-

6th December.- Owls [u.s.]/ The Wow [u.k.]. Old Vic. Nottingham [u.k.]

The promoters for this were cool. The Wow were a great band of ex [spy vs spy] guys. The audience ignored them throughout their entire set. We played with borrowed pedals, leads etc and we were good at best. This didn’t bother the audience who were busy buying Owls merch whilst us pesky non- American bands played. The Owls were decent at that pre emo thing. Their claim to fame was being ex Cap’n Jazz guys. I remember they were all pretty cool but the singer rubbed me up the wrong way. This is not  however, to say that he is a douche for I was probably being my usual cranky self.

All of this is Bushie’s opinion and does not represent the opinion’s of blah, blah, blah….

ESTEL gigs by year. 2000.

30th January- Kabinboy [uk]/ Split Red [uk]/ Tarka. Frazier’s[Dublin]

This was a biggish gig for it’s day and it was the first gig for the ‘kids’ collective. The Kabinboy and Split Red were both bands almost made up entirely of Northern Irish folks and Tarka were the band of Tom Doherty, later of Risc records and many other groups. We had tons of problems with the keyboards during this gig and we eventually stopped playing after around twenty five minutes of ‘sound issues’.

27th February- Ritchie Egan./ Dudley corporation. Frazer’s. [Dublin].

This was the release of our first seven inch. I believe that this was Ritchie’s first real solo gig. This was before he became ‘JAPE’. The Dudley Corporation were awesome as usual and never fail to be anything less than a band of perfect gents making perfect odd indie. We pulled a decent crowd at this one and the seven inch got some good reviews.

7th March- Joan of Arse/ Omelette. Whelan’s. [Dublin].

This is one of my favourite gigs with the original line up. By this gig, Joan of Arse had changed line- up into a more ‘band’ type set up. Omelette was the project of my then boss, Ian. It was a really fun night and we had played well.

4th May- Bambi. Doyle’s. [Dublin].

Another great gig. This one was set up by Jamie Farrell and Willie stewart for a club they did. I remember we went down well and we played to a pretty full room.

???- Snow Patrol. Temple bar music centre. [Dublin].

This was an interesting mis- match of styles. At the time Snow Patrol were close to going global but for now they had to make do playing with ESTEL. I remember playing in front of a fairly hefty crowd and that we played and went down well. As for Snow Patrol, the singer was a really nice guy and their manager was a tosser. He got upset with me when I said that I wasn’t going to the witness festival.. [I should note that he had a girl under his arm and abottle of Jack Daniels in the other.] Eventually the singer told him to fuck off and that I didn’t have to like the music they played or go to witness.  Like I said, a nice guy.

???- Catalyser club. Rob Dredge plus more. Eamonn Doran’s. [Dublin].

This was set up by a guy called Oly [I think]. We got this gig through Steven Shannon who I knew from college and had just recorded our first album. [His first professional gig as a producer?]. I remeber this gig as the only time we performed with a good friend of our’s, Rob Dredge. Rob was killed soon after this in an accident. This weighed heavily on those of us who had known him.

???-Ninetynine [Australia]/ Dudley corporation. Doyle’s’ [Dublin].

This gig was played without Grainne and with Michael Sheil substituing for her. Grainne was off in the States at the time. Ninetynine are one of my favourite underground bands ever. Laura and Cameron were/are the constant members. We ‘clicked’ with these guys really well and we were to play with them again over the next few years. Always a pleasure.

October 30th. Peter Maybury- Hard Sleeper. Whelan’s. [Dublin].

This gig marked the release of our first album, ‘Angelpie I think I ate your face’. It was promoted by Folkrum records. A label that wanted to sign us but disolved before it happened. It was part of ‘a month of Mondays’. I don’t remember an awful lot about this. We sold some records and I don’t remember anything terrible happening. We got a good crowd.

November 30th. Cane 141. Temple bar music centre. [Dublin].

This was a fairly unremarkable gig. Small crowd in a big venue.

By this point we were already growing tired of being a ‘cool’ band. Getting asked to open for indie bands that we didn’t respect ‘on the way up!’. The next year was to show a more determined effort to get stuff rolling in a direction we liked. It would take us a few more years and line-ups to get it right but we were on the right track.


All of this is Bushie’s opinion and does not represent the opinion’s of blah, blah, blah….

ESTEL gigs by year. 1999.

Feb/March- Four gigs in Eamonn Doran’s [Dublin].

These were ‘cutting our teeth’ type gigs. I don’t remember much about these other than technical disasters

and other onstage japery.

30th May- with Month of Birthdays [u.k.]/ Capstan [u.k.] and Joan of arse. Fusion bar [Dublin].

This was a hope collective gig. I think that they were nearing their end at this point. The touring bands    hailed from Leeds in the u.k. and I seem to remember liking both of them. The Joan of arse line up was the two man version with Lee and Ross. They were great as usual. I remember that a lot of people made mildly sexist comments about the girls in the band like ‘Wow, for a band full of girls you’re really good’ etc.

?? August- Warzone festival with many other bands. Belfast [u.k]

A weird one. We turned up at this gig, all excited about the prospect of playing to a big crowd of underground music fans. Before we’d even set our gear up a gang of young ‘punk’ girls had began chanting nonsense at us regarding us not being ‘punk’ enough. Retards abound. We played and went down well enough with the non- spiky element of the crowd. The best moment of the day was when a twat in an exploited outfit told Grainne that she needed ‘a hard cock up her ass’, she looked him up and down and said ‘Call yourself a punk?’ He didn’t know what to say and looked teary eyed.

6th November- Milgram [France]/ Redneck manifesto. Isaac Butt. [Dublin]

This was a fairly uneventful gig. I enjoyed all of the other bands and had fun. This is the only time we ever played with TRM. We also hand distributed the first run of our debut cassette at this one.

That was the end of our first year of gigging and I feel that it served us well.


All of this is Bushie’s opinion and does not represent the opinion’s of blah, blah, blah….