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Dogmatic Element formed in 1980 and the original line up consisted of Alison Gordon (guitar, backing vocals) Brendan Monaghan (vocals) Davy Lynas (drums) and Graham Stannage (bass guitar).

Alison Gordon “We used to practice in the basement of a loyalist pub in Newtownards on Saturday afternoons and in a Chapel hall on Sunday afternoons!” The band made their live debut at the 'Project Bangor' gig in July 1981, playing to a full house in their own hometown. From there they went on to build themselves a reputation second to none in the N. Ireland music scene of the early 1980's, both for their energetic live performances and power of their music. Colin Bateman (the novelist) managed the band for a time. It was he who set up the 'Cattle Company' Record label and subsequently released both the band's 7" singles. After the label folded Brendan the vocalist used the name for his next band. Alison Gordon again “My mum only found out I'd joined the band (aged 16) when she saw a photograph and write up by Colin Bateman in the County Down Spectator. One quote of the week in the Spectator, courtesy of Master Bateman, recorded me at a gig saying: "The next song is for all the boys from Glengormley, and especially Flem, only he's from Bangor. I can also remember doing a radio interview in my school uniform”. 

Dogmatic Element gigged extensively on the local circuit in venues such as the Abercorn and Winkers in Belfast; the Sportsman, Furey's, the Helmsman and BJs in Bangor. As well as their own headlining gigs there were several support slots of note with - Rudi at the Pound, The Outcasts at the Free Rock Carnival, Whiteabbey on 6th August 1983 and Poison Girls at the @ Centre, Belfast. Dogmatic Element released 2 singles in their relatively short career, both on their own Cattle Company record label, as well as several cassette ep's. Alison Gordon “we recorded our first couple of demo tapes in Bangor Drama Club - the guys from Ampec recorded them for us. I made a backdrop for the band in school - I was doing art A level so the teachers thought it was part of my portfolio. It was painted with black gloss paint on an old bed sheet. It was an androgynous figure kneeling down, known affectionately as 'the man with no dong'. It became the image used on the front cover of our first single - Just Friends. The band photo on the back was taken up at Scrabo Tower with a gale blowing”. The band also recorded a couple of Downtown Radio sessions and also appeared on television when they performed the songs 'Getting There' and 'White Sin' live on BBC N. Ireland's youth programme Channel One in 1984.

Alison Gordon “We made it to the final of the NI Battle of the Bands in September 1982, but I had been offered a place at Canterbury University. I missed freshers week to stay and do the gig and promised the band that if we won the competition I'd stay with the band. We didn't win - I left for Canterbury the next day. The biggest thrill while in the band was hearing John Peel play our single on his show. Other memorable moments include playing at the Baggot Inn in Dublin. It seemed like a long way in those days and being asked for my autograph - once - in Woolworths”
There were several lineup changes after Alison left and by the time of their second single in 1984, Dogmatic Element had been reduced to a trio, consisting of Monaghan, Stannage and Brendan O'Mahony. However, the band did draft in a brass section and various session musicians when the need arose.

The band finally split in 1985 after a long residency at The Kiln in Larne. Brendan Monaghan was moving in a different musical direction and the band felt that they had gone as far as they could. Monaghan played with successful alternative country band the Cattle Company and since their split enjoys a successful solo career.

 

 

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