Guilty Achievements were a post punk band from Belfast.
The other bands were still going strong and the first rehearsal try-out was just a bit of a laugh. An experiment. But within 24 hours, the new band had acquired a name, a manager, a logo, posters and was playing their first gig (using the other bands' equipment, of course). Tut tut.
The line-up had seemed unlikely. Guitarists Vance and Maguire were in the successful, touring Lovers of Today while 15 year old wunderkind bassist Jimi had only recently got himself a full-size bass. When the youngster naively suggested the idea of a new band with himself in the mix there was laughter and embarassed silence, initially, but, persisting, Maguire eventually set up a 'one night stand' try-out with himself and Vance. Things gelled so powerfully that they found themselves on fire.
The feeling and excitement was of a consuming, secret affair but tinged with real fear about how their existing bands were going to react. Worse, the reaction of witnesses was such that keeping the whole thing secret became a non-starter. Within a week, the Guilties were front cover of legendary Belfast fanzine Cabaret. A week after that, even the News pages of Hot Press, the national music paper, were announcing their formation. Some secret.
With three writers in the band the Guilties were prolific and original material flowed but although well-gigged, they never recorded any of their songs in any studio.
Live, they were also fond of throwing in cover versions (including their punk-funk version of Diana Ross' 'I'm Still Waiting'), a deeply unfashionable practice since the dawn of punk. With so many songs fighting for space, their set was constantly morphing and often accelerated to Ramones-like pace just to fit everything in. All of which made for a live sensation that built and kept an entourage of fans and allies (as well as a Guilties tribute band).
From Belfast to Portrush, Dublin to Donegal and the Irish Surfing Championships at Rossknowlagh (which guitarist Vance ultimately won), every move was in a convoy of fans and musicians and vehicles. People were booking holidays around Guilties' tour dates. It was, of course, with all the sun, sea, surf and sex, the perfect recipe for the making of a pure legend. Ask anyone who rode their brief wave- every gig in was pure gold and the aura around the band even now is one of pure magick.