The Abominable Snow Patrol Man
According to one preacher from Northern Ireland, I’m taking part in “an abominable and blasphemous enterprise”. The comment comes from the Rev Ivan Foster from the Free Presbyterians and the cause of his wrath is a dedicated music centre for Belfast called Oh Yeah.
He feels that we’re promoting "filthy 'music' in which the name of the Lord Jesus is desecrated and intermingled with obscenities". And he condemns the Stormont Minister Edwin Poots for taking an interest in the project. Apparently this makes him unfit for office in his own church.
The story broke in the Belfast Telegraph yesterday. You can read it here. In response there was an editorial in the same paper, defending the idea of a music centre in the city and supposing that the vast majority of people in Northern Ireland are also supportive of popular music, performed well. The editorial is here.
Back in 1993, Ballymena Council banned the arrival of the Electric Light Orchestra, citing the three D’s – drunkenness, drugs and debauchery. Part of me would have banned the act on the grounds that they’re a dreary pastiche of The Beatles with offensive haircuts and beards, but that’s hardly the point. There is great music and bad, just as there are genuinely spiritual preachers and some despicable examples. It is unwise to make a generalisation.
I feel that bands such as Snow Patrol and Ash have made a positive impact on our culture and have been worthy ambassadors abroad. They have shown a side of Northern Ireland that is tolerant and forward-looking, that isn’t obsessed with the past and is not literal or dogmatic. It has taken a long time for our political leaders to approximate this position.
Also, as I wrote on this blog on August 8, I feel that many of the musicians from here actually have a spiritual charge in their music, certainly Foy Vance, Duke Special and Iain Archer. They may not fit into the Rev Ivan Foster’s idea of permissible music, but many others would beg to differ.
Anyone got a DVD of Footloose? I’m inexplicably in the mood for it.
Stu Bailie presents The Late show on Radio Ulster, every Friday from 10pm until midnight. See his playlist here.