I wonder if I know him? Squint. What would he have looked like 20 or 25 years ago? Squint. He’s grey! He’s bald! He’s not changed a bit! And it was invariably “He”. The first thing I was reminded of at the makes You Want to Spit book launch was how totally male dominated the Northern Ireland punk scene was in the 1970’s.Seamus O'Neill (Bankrobbers) with
Ivan Martin (Downtown DJ)Brian Young (Rudi & Shame Academy)
is in the middle.
Can you name the other two?
A Defect here, a Tear Jerker there. Once an Outcast, always an Outcast. Greg and Bucky were as they were (the Cliff Richards of Punk …. no scratch that). One Protex, 5 Ruefrex, a smattering of the rest. Kyle from Caroline Music, John T Davis the film maker, Stephen from No Fun, Gavin from Alternative Ulster (the original). There were drummers who had found gainful employment; BBC exec Mike Edgar once of Cruella, Owen McFadden of Protex – radio producer, and (Dr.) Paul Burgess once of Ruefrex and now the University of Cork. There was the brothers Young Barry (Idiots) and Brian (Rudi).Still belting it out.
Alan Clarke (Ruefrex)Who's having a bad hair day?
Seamus O'Neill (Bankrobbers) with Greg Cowan (Outcasts and Shame Academy)
The Empire on a warm to hot November night and the crowd was out to celebrate the launch of 'Makes You Want to Spit', a comprehensive work of passion, it catalogues analyses and remembers the people, the events, the places, the labels, the hair, the clothes, the badges of an era that screamed into the darkness of fear in 1970’s Belfast and spat in its face. The bands and the fans that retook the night, defied terror are remembered and celebrated in easily the best book that has ever been written about and by the people who were there, who made it happen, who were the legend that was – and to some extent still is, Northern Ireland Punk.
'Makes You Want to Spit' makes you want to feel very impressed.