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16 October 2014
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Punk Rock's Glory Days

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Greater Belfast

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Alastair - July '08
I remember going to the Anarchy Centre in Belfast. My friend's mum used to take three of us. We were the youngest people in there by a mile. There was me, Nicky and Justin: 10 year old punks. We saw Crass, Stalag 17 and too many other bands to remember... Looking back I'm amazed we were even allowed in. Times sure have changed.

Tony McGartland - July'08
I struck up a relationship with many of the punk bands as I wasa fanzine writer and contributor to Hot Press magazine. One thing I will always remember was the night The Undertones played Omagh's Knock-na-Moe hotel. I was interviewing the band in a room adjoining the kitchen. The band were helping themselves to frozen chips and frozen chickens and filling their baggage with them. When a reporter from the Sunday World walked in everyone stood still with fear as they thought they were rumbled. When she introduced herself Micky Bradley replied... 'Thank god, I thought you were the great chicken detective!"

CA Murphy - July '08
Ah! Those were the days... bunking off school and taking the bus up to Belfast (from Newry) to hang out in the Good Vibrations shop.
Like Celine (Hi there!) mentioned above, many of the NI punk bands played Cloughough Youth Club and I was lucky enough to see the Undertones, Outcast, Rudi and Stiff Little Fingers before getting enough A levels to 'escape' to an English Poly in 1981.
Also, a little known fact is that U2 played a gig at Newry Town Hall in February 1980 - lots of the local 'punks' turned up to see this 'punk' band from Dublin... sadly a few wore pyjamas, a la Boomtown Rats!

Sean (Sconnolly) Connolly, ex-Belfast now London - July '08
I remember my first visit to the Pound, circa 1979. Can't remember who the first band were but suddenly everything went dark. For two 14 year old lads from West Belfast in a dodgy club by the docks this was scary stuff until the bass drum and a siren sounded. The whole crowd starting chanting SS RUC and RUDI erupted into the song of the same name.

The rest of that night made an impression which will stay with me forever. Big Time, Yummy Yummy Yummy, Time to Be Proud, Shaking all Over and the rest came and went in a blurr of sweat, pogoing, kicking out and stale beer/cider/glue. 11.00 found us running for the last black taxi home singing the songs, with ear drums bursting and wanting more. Over the months and years we kept going back, and to the Harp, the Ulster Hall, and even once to that Undertones gig in Newry.

RUDI were the greatest NI band never to make it, and that was a shame because they were brilliant. They were part of a scene that brought people together and re-introduced night life into central Belfast at a very dark time in our recent past. It was Rudi, the Outcasts, Starjets, Protex etc who got people from all over coming into town, and laid the foundations for the vibrant Belfast night life to follow in later years.

But thanks for the memories guys. I may have swapped the bikers jacket and tartan for a suit, but I still have my (regregretfully respectable) spiky hair, and will always wear my DM shoes to Board meetings in honour of those times.

Gus - July '08
Control Zone - formerly of Monkstown Estate, have reformed, and will soon be gigging. Hello to Togsy - I actually work with "Mad Harry" from White Noise - tried to get him to join in, but no success so far. Brian from Rudi has indeed started another punk band - Shame Academy - with Greg Cowan from the Outcasts, and Petesy Burns from Stalag 17. I'v e seen them a few times now, and they're fantastic - playing lal the old stuff from the Harp Bar.
Check us out on

Anthony - Mar '08
Wow I'm 17 and new to punk rock. I like The Ramones,Left Over Crack, Sex Pistols.
The thing I believe is that its not about the messy hair or the amount of chains you wear! Not even the beer or girls! Its about the music!
If people would believe in that more they would understand. We can be a little weird with our words in our songs but all genders of music can be inappropriate. I just know I wont be the one to let punk rock die out it will be you befor me…

Togsy - Dec '07
The best days of my life were my Punk days especially at the Harp bar, what brilliant nights we had watching the big name local bands like Rudi and The Outcasts and what a night it was when we played our first gig there, we were absolutly crapping ourselves, but it was a cracking night, I still get a buzz thinking about it.
We used to open occasionally for another great local outfit the Xproducers, Their drummer done alright for himself (Johnny Hero from local radio fame) Hello John! What great days, cant really be nearly 30 years ago can it!!
By the way we were White Noise, Rochey, Harry, Nidge, Baker and Togsy(Me).
Maybe someday the local Original Punks will all meet up for a Gig as i hear some members of Rudi and the Outcasts have formed a Group. Maybe its just a rumour but ya never know!!

Karan Topping - Mar '07

Roland Link - Feb '06
Hi, I was wondering if anyone would be willing to share their memories of the punk rock nights and the Pound, The Harp, Trident etc. I'm interested in the bands that played these venues and how the whole scene was sparked and grew. Thanks.

Brian L - Jan '06
I followed the single best punk band in Belfast (Rudi) from their inception. As a loyal fan to this day i still have memories whilst listening to "I-Spy" and "Big Time" two of RUDI's biggest hits, Where as SLF were all about changing their style of music in favour of mainstream success, RUDI were about music, and damn good music at that.

Spooks - May '05
does anyone remember the anarchy centre?

Tina - March '05
Did Fergal Sharkey ever record the WaterBoys "You saw the Whole of the Moon'?

Ron (Nov '04)
does anyone remember rathcoole1984, CONFLICT, uproar, etc.?

your place and mine contributor:
I remember the Undertones being supported by the Moondogs in St Pat's Hall, Limavady sometime at the beginning of their career. I was about nine and the three next to me in age in our family of nine were allowed to go and I was left very disgruntled at home. It's taken me over 20 years but I at last got the opportunity to see them at the Bray summer festival this year minus Fergal Sharkey of course - and guess what - I had to work and couldn't make it - destined not to see them!

That sounds very much like the same tour that I saw The Undertones on. The Moondogs supported them when they played a few dates across Norn Iron in 1980. I was lucky enough to catch them at Clublands in Cookstown. Anyone remember the TV series the Moondogs had, The Moondog Matinee?. How the hell did they manage to blag that?!!?!?.

Loopy Lou:
The moondogs are playing in Belfast 24th October 2003 at the Guinness Spot.

Good God, they all must be at least 80 years old by now.

stratman 13:
My first punk gig was when I was 14 in the Harp Bar (Sid rest it's soul) where I went to see Rudi with mates from my housing estate. I remember my feet sticking to the floor as I walked to the bar for a..... um lemonade.

I thought Rudi were awesome - loud, unpretentious and not afraid to stick to digits up to authority. I have many good memories of the Harp and the Pound where I'm sure many remember Dave Vanians head splitting exploits on the rafters as the Doomed played. A lot of my memories are shaded and grey around that time but one person I remember more than anyone was yer man Guinney, Who will ever forget him or a certain young lady called barabara or Declan Wells who was one of my best mates.

Great days. Long Live the Harp!

wow im 17 i am new to punk rock i like the ramones,left over crack, sex pistol. the thing i believe is that its not about the messy hair or the amount of chains you ware! Not even the beer or girls! Its about the music if people would believe in that more they would understand. We can be a little weird with our word’s in our song’s but all genders of music can be inappropriate. I just know I wont be the one to let punk rock die out it will be you befor me…

The above responses were posted to the original "your place and mine" website and have been brought to these pages by the Editors.

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