History of Belfast punk now online…

I’VE just stumbled upon this online radio documentary Beyond the Wire about punk in Belfast from 1975-83, which seems to have appeared within the last week. Radio Ulster’s Stuart Bailie and my occasional drinking partner Terri Hooley are interviewed, as well as band members from the time. You can hear the programme here (give it a minute). Rudi and Ruefrex were before my time, but some of you older punks may feel a nostalgic twinge as you listen to stories from the Harp and elsewhere. When punk died, Giro’s carried the DIY tradition forward right through to the acid techno scene a few years ago, though I’m not sure who carries the flame now.

  • The Raven

    Gonzo, will you be going to the Buzzcocks?

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Good documentary but suprised no mention of the Pound club/Roddy’s bar.

  • Pigeon Toes

    Ah Giros and a misspent youth…


    The Detonators supported The Buzzcocks in 1978.

    Howard Ingram of Detonators and Tearjerkers infamy has been involved in a recent controversy, but unsurprisingly few have been interested in his version of events…


  • Scaramoosh

    For many of us that were there, the defining Punk concert(s) was when Crass played the Anarchy Centre
    in September 1982; supported by the likes of the Poison Girls; Dirt; Defects; Stalag 17 etc …These two gigs had it all; magic mushrooms on toast; the RUC landrovers parked in a long line outside, whilst a posse of RUC dog handlers harassed the Punks as they waited to get in; an invasion by Nazi skinheads. This marked the end of Punk in Belfast, five years after it had raised its ugly head.

    Some rare footage of Crass live;

  • granni trixie

    I have heard people say that punk kept them out of trouble at a certain stage of the troubles. (working class, offered an alternative identity etc etc).
    I have a Rufrex record – and some Bank Robbers (andn pristine ‘pretend’ advert of Queen Liz image five pound note). Are they worth anything …anybody got any websites which could help me make a fortune?

  • same old, same old

    Funny how Punk is fondly and wrongly remembered as local kids in an anti-music, Belfast scene and, in turn, against our squalid sectarianism of the late 70’s.(copywright ‘Hen’ McDonald and the Hickory Dicks)
    Yet look at Slugger’s old Punks on here reminiscing about the glory days- Gonzo, The Raven etc.-some of the most reactionary loyalist old codgers that you could ever have the misfortune to meet.

    Alternative Ulster, my arse….

  • Brian MacAodh

    i wondder how moany people got beaten to a pulp at these concerts

  • The Raven

    Did someone just call me reactionary, loyalist, and an old (in my mid thirties) codger…???

    I don’t know which bit to take most umbrage at..

  • Pigeon Toes

    “some of the most reactionary loyalist old codgers that you could ever have the misfortune to meet.”

    Um, there you go making those assumptions again.
    Indeed in the late 70’s I was at primary school and blissfully unaware of the “squalid sectarianism”.

  • Paul McMahon

    Ahh, the Anarchy Centre in Long Lane fantastic place in it’s short life.

    The AC video is still in existence with a VERY young PMcM getting interviewed. Hope that the kids never get to see it 😉

    Crass gig was a great weekend indeed Scaramoosh and yes it did have everything. Remember a certain Samuel ‘Skelly’ McCrory being among those Nazi skins that you mention.

    “copywright ‘Hen’ McDonald and the Hickory Dicks”

    Remember Henry coming up An St to the fountain with a face covered in blood. We thought that he’d got a kicking and asked what happened. Henry replied that he’d did it himself because “He thought it would look outrageous” 🙂

  • Remember the Bangor Barmy Army, drawn together by a shared love of dire music and cheap glue…..

  • PMcM

    “dire music and cheap glue…”

    Absolute heaven!!

  • Seimi

    ‘The AC video is still in existence with a VERY young PMcM getting interviewed. Hope that the kids never get to see it ;-)’

    I have GOT to see that Paul 🙂

  • Brit

    As someone just a bit too young for Punk I have to say that I dont think its a surprise that it is only ex-Punks (in the broadest sense) who get nostalgic over that tuneless, talentless (Nazi signia using) shite.

    Whilst future generations are constantly re-discovering Jazz-Funk, Motown, Soul, 60s Rock, Sca, Disco and late 80s/early 90s House very few re-discover punk.

    To me a good youth cult involves dressing well and quality music rather than spitting at people dressed like tramps who couldnt sing.

  • Driftwood

    Sorry to hear Guiney passed away recently. Doyen of the Lavery’s punk guild. And in the classic film of that era, Shellshock Rock.

    Most of the crusties moved from punk backwards to Hawkwind. There were the ‘carry out’ clubs, jules and the delta, as well as a couple in Bangor.

    Always good fun getting stopped by the UDR who ‘confiscated’ your carry-out.

  • Seimi

    Guiney was a gent alright.

    Labour Club on a Friday night was good craic too. Saw Stalag 17 etc manys a time in there. And I remember an outdoor gig in Andytown – back of a lorry in Tullymore – featuring Asylum etc.

  • Jim Burger

    Labour culb till 86…punk nights as they happened .Couple of gigs a month stalag.,toxic waste …..dirt,,disorder,wrethced + more then it was giros.. real punks kept goin in various forms crustys thrashers hard cores new age and so on.(By the way Friday nights were metal nights in the labour club).Some punks disapeard in the early 80s (posers and bands who I wont name) went to england for fame and record contracts) and are now back playing the in the likes of the black box)oh isnt that nostalgic.Where the fuck where they from 82 till now.