Punk Rock and Teenage kicks in troubled times

In 1977 Punk Rock was shaking up the world of music while an angry & defiant youth culture was born . But while the Sex Pistols predicted “Anarchy in the U.K.” they did so from the comfort of Carnaby Street in London , while for some the chaos others only sang about was very real. In the North of Ireland there was a war raging , and daily life involved heavily armed troops on the streets , riots , bombings, shootings in a failed sectarian state. How did Punk Rock adapt to this environment ? Could these exciting new bands address the political and social realities , could they help bring about change or was singing about ‘average’ teenage life a political stance in itself ?

Join us for this evening of chat , music and debate as we look back at the development of Punk Rock (and afterwards New Wave) in Ulster , with special guests who were there , part of the scene and involved with some of the most influential bands of those historic years.


Terri Hooley . Founder of the Good Vibrations record shop and label , responsible for legendary bands such as The Undertones , The Outcasts and Rudi.

Henry Cluney , guitarist with Stiff Little Fingers (1977 -1983 and 1987-1993).

Sheena Bleakney , part of the Warzone Collective, formed during the early 1980’s in Belfast , influenced by the anarcho-punk ethos of UK bands like Crass .This soon became a focal point for ‘alternative culture’ in the City , with a Cafe/drop in centre , practice space and gig venue.

Sean O’Neill , a punk since his childhood days he is the founder of SPIT records and co-author of the book “It makes you want to spit!”.

Geraldine Quigley is the author of ” Music Love Drugs War” (Penguin Books 2019). Her debut novel , a coming-of-age drama set in Derry in 1981 , tells the story of a group of teenagers who are enjoying life , with the soundtrack provided by the music in their local club . But these are troubled times , and the threat of war & violence is never far away .

Peter Jones , guitarist with Paranoid Visions (since 1981) , with decades experience of gig promoting and director of FOAD record label .

Roisin Dwyer , commissioning editor Hot Press magazine, contributor to Radio Nova’s Rock Report and general music, movies, books and culture commentator.

Could it get any better ? Yes !

Evening will include live songs and a very special DJ set from the ‘Belfast Godfather of Punk’ – Terry Hooley .

Punk Rock and Teenage kicks in troubled times is being brought to you by Hope Collective as part of the MayFest Festival in Liberty Hall. Tickets available here

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