The Vipers

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This article is about the Irish new wave group. For the 1950s skiffle group featuring Wally Whyton, see Vipers Skiffle Group.

The Vipers were an Irish new wave group of the late 1970s. An incendiary live act fronted by Paul Boyle and virtuoso guitarist George Sweeney, they built up a loyal following in their home country and toured with the likes of The Clash and The Jam.

A well received debut single "I've Got You"/"No Such Thing" (Mulligan LUNS 718) hit the streets in late 1978. This was heard and liked by the BBC's John Peel who invited the band across the Irish Sea to do a session for his famous radio program, the Peel Sessions. A permanent move to London led to extensive UK tours with the Boomtown Rats and Thin Lizzy as well as regular gigs on the circuit including the Marquee, Music Machine and Fulham Greyhound. A further single "Take Me" was released in early 1980. Although press was always positive a failure to secure long term record company support led to the band splitting up in London in late 1980.

The best known and most enduring line up was Boyle (lead vocals /gtr) Sweeney (lead guitar) Dolan Foley (bass) and Dave Moloney (drums). Hastings legend Bernie Smirnoff (ex Hollywood Killers) took over the drum stool from Moloney in late 1979. After the Vipers, Boyle ultimately switched to acting whilst his erstwhile colleagues stuck with music, Foley going on to Dublin legends the Blades, Moloney to the Cajun Kings and Sweeney the Fat Lady Sings.Bernie Smirnoff went on to play for my eyes my eyes and now plays for Kingbathmat.

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