ACIS Logo The Troubles, with music: Ulster punk and British independents

As the Northern Ireland ‘Troubles’ passed eight years and over 2,000 deaths, punk music allowed catholic and protestant youths to transcend the communal, political and sectarian conflict. Following on American and British groups (such as The Clash, the Ramones and the Sex Pistols), Ulster bands made their mark on Northern Irish society and the British music scene. Rudi, Ruefrex, Stiff Little Fingers and The Undertones were just four of hundreds who worked alongside Terri Hooley and his Good Vibrations label, to create a vibrant provincial scene, which influenced independent music and its distribution throughout the British Isles  (Fundamental Books)

So let me say at the outset how impressed I was at the level of detail/scholarship that want into the book. It’s strikingly comprehensive. Understandably given the prominent role SLF and Good Vibrations enjoyed during the period, there is a surfeit of content on them. But Jordan offers insights into their tenure that are balanced and don’t blanch from some hard truths. The scope and breadth of the undertaking is mightily impressive, even including acts I had only rarely heard of. Ruefrex content accurately represents our place in the wider mosaic. More than that though, you feel Jordan genuinely engaged with/understood the raison d’etre of the bands here  (Thomas Paul Burgess: Ruefrex/ University College Cork)

Published on: September 6, 2021