Friday Thread: Hey (Father) Joe, where you going? St Pats Knock, 1976.

Right, many of you won’t make much of this. But if you are anywhere near fifty, you’ll certainly remember the music (taken from the Pound Club, behind Roddy’s and opposite the bus station in Oxford Street, I think. It turns out to be “The Pieces of Eight” in Anne Street) and that unforgettable mid 70s look.

For reference the loop section for the chorus features former President of the College, Father Joe Conway, a supremely gentle civilised man who faced his daily dose of adversity with some equanimity.

Parts two and three are here and here. Kudos to the unnamed hero who put this record of 1970s teenage madness together. It may have to do in place of a re-union, because there seems to be way too few of us online to make it happen.

I think I recognise a few faces. But mostly I can’t believe it is so long ago already. Enjoy!

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

  • feismother

    Thanks, Mick.

    As a member of another (all girls) Class of 1976 I really enjoyed that. Brought back memories and made me feel very old all at the same time. Where did the last 35 years go?

  • Tweedybird

    Mick, that’s a blast from the past, I have fond memories of the Pound Club at Oxford st bus station. A few of us would have taken the bus from Bandbridge every saturday to the Pound Club,all long hair and jeans.Oh memories….

  • Mick Fealty

    Do you remember that ejit with the long hair that used to swing from the rafters?

  • pippakin

    Am I the only one to look back on those days and remember the absolutely crucial importance of dead straight hair. It took hours to achieve and God forbid if it rained.

  • lamhdearg

    i am a little too young, but was it not a punk venue (revisited punk) in the early 80s.

  • Mick Fealty

    It was. There was some tension when the punks moved in, but Saturday afternoons between 76 and 78 belonged to Jim Armstrong and his bands.

  • Mick Fealty

    Another favourite from The Pound (to get in) Club…

  • nightrider

    Jim Armstrong’s band was called ‘Light’ , and their signature tune was ‘Harland the Wolf’ It was called the Pound because that was the cost of entry.
    Most bands played to the audience and covers of Freebird and Smoke on the Water were the order of the day.
    Later it was punk bands like Stalag 17 (from Andytown) and even Offensive Weapon (Shankill) – lead singer one Johnny Adair- before it closed and became part of Musgrave Street barracks.
    Roddy’s bar was a rat infested hole and the pool table had a prominent bloodstain where Adair beat up one of his ‘colleagues’ . The owners son (Chris?) went on to own the Rotterdam and the Menagerie.
    The Pound is mentioned in SLF song ‘Alternative Ulster’
    Armsrong’s singer was Jim Gilchrist who was murdered in Derry a while back.
    So it Goes…

  • nightrider
  • lamhdearg

    jonny, must have been a young thug, 198?.

  • USA

    Watched all 3 video clips. One of the teachers shown was Murnoch the French teacher. He used to rise at 5 in the morning and deliver the papers to newsagent shops in Belfast in time for opening, then come up and teach the boys.
    Don’t remember any of the boys faces as it was not my year / form. Most of the videos were shot down by the Gaelic pitch and the old changing rooms. Looks like they had just started building the “new” gym. One clip shows the boys in the old language lab. Had forgotten about that.
    Ecoute et repetez
    Walked those halls for many years.
    It was all a lifetime ago.

  • Mick Fealty

    We called that the ‘new’ sports hall. When they started it it would have been the largest in any school in NI. But if you notice there’s no sign of any scaffolding or other signs of building activities.

    That’s because no contractor could be found for seven years after a grenade attack on the previous company’s minibus. I THINK there were three fatalities.

  • Mick Fealty


    Those are great pics. Me and my mate used to go up on the bus on a Saturday afternoon, but only if it was raining. We had a Saturday window cleaning business, so necessarily we had less money if we werent working.

    So the strict budget was: bus fare; a pound to get in; and a pound for four cokes.

  • Skeg oneill


    I remember the long haired dancing guy well with his arms and legs going like a demented goose stepping trooper. He was sometimes joined by an memorable girl…both were spectacular.

    I was well past school age in 1976 but saturday afternoons to hear “Spike” featuring Jim Armstrong and Kenny McDowell were great fun.
    It was fantastic to know that in the heart of grim old Belfast that we had a band that was world class. Spike were the best band I have ever seen. We would go back again in the evening to see “Reunion” again featuring the two lads.

    For those that are interested here is a link to more detail.

  • Independent Ulster

    What a bar Roddys next door was, anybody got any inside pics?

  • nightrider

    No inside pics but it wasn’t Cafe Vaudeville. You were lucky to get a clean glass.

  • Mick Fealty

    By god, I can nearly remember the set now.

  • Independent Ulster


    Good pic thanks.

    Lucky to get a clean glass maybe, but great Irish stew(also for a pound) Van whining away in the background, ever busy pool table, racing on the telly, the odd fight(never over politics) and visting army foot patrols getting drink spilled over them as they struggled to get through the crowd,sheer luxury – that Cafe Vaud can only dream of.

  • nightrider

    Pretty sure ‘Light’ always finished up on Saturday afternoon with a rock ‘anthem’ by Skynnrd or Deep Purple. But recall isn’t the clearest.
    Kenny McDowell seemed to be in every band of the era, Clouds, Sk’boo, Ghost of….

  • Mick Fealty


  • Just watched the first video. I had left by 1976 but recognised three teachers Danny McCall – the hip one who liked the Stones – who I think is still involved in education, The Murn (French and Latin?), and Fr. Foy.

    I anc claim to be *the* edjit who swung from the rafters at the Pound, but I was one of them.

    Now, pass me my Ovaltine, nurse I think I need to lie down now.

  • firbolg

    The long haired dancing guy was called Ray – don’t know his second name. Light relaesed an album and included a song about him called ‘The Dancer’.
    Light did a great set – Gloria, Blowin free, All along the watch tower,….


    I am the first person in the first video. Now 53 years young and still a big Argent fan! I know who put all these 3 videos together and I can tell you it was indeed a labour of love. I know at least 4 people in these videos who would welcome a reunion on the back of this. Anyone have any suggestions as to how we can move a reunion forward? Note: Doesn’t have to be exclusively the Class of 1976.


    By the way, for the record ….the gig in Video 3 took place in “The Pieces of Eight” in Anne Street, Belfast, and NOT in the Pound.

  • Mick Fealty


    I think Paschal (who did Latin and Greek) was one too…


    Was the woman who occasionally turned up with ‘Ray’, a bit of a Sally James lookalikey? I vaguely remember a black waste-coat.