Dublin police were forced to halt an impromptu gig by Black Francis because he had no permits to stage an outdoor show and far too many people turned up to what was intended to be a low-key, intimate performance.
The last-minute set in a bandstand on St Stephen’s Green had hardly got started before uniformed officers stopped it in a bid to disperse the huge crowd.
Fans thought Francis had been arrested when they saw him being taken away in a police car, but it turned out that the Gardai was only giving him a lift to Vicar Street, where he was due to play an evening show in front of a 1,500-capacity crowd.
News of the February 9 show and the way it ended soon filtered back to the U.K., where London’s Westminster City Council put a stop to his plans for a similar show on February 13, which was scheduled to be outside Waxy O’ Connors Bar in Rupert Street.
As Francis didn’t have a permit allowing him to perform a street gig anywhere within the council’s jurisdiction, the London show was moved indoors to The Social in Little Portland Street.
Going ahead with the original outdoor show may have led to him being arrested and missing his scheduled show at Koko in the evening.