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From a Whisper to a Scream - The Living History of Irish Rock

From a Whisper to a Scream - The Living History of Irish Rock

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  • Color
  • Black & White


The history of rock & roll in Ireland is presented in suitably lively fashion in a series produced by RTÉ, Ireland's national television network. In these first three installments from the series (each an hour long), the story advances from the 1950s to the early 1980s, with archival footage providing a glimpse of what all the excitement was about. The first stirrings of rock music in Ireland took the form of "show bands," hugely popular ensembles that gave many young musicians their start. Fascinating clips of concert film chronicle the development of two artists who helped define rock in Ireland: blues guitarist Rory Gallagher and Phil Lynott, a black Dubliner who formed the hard-rocking band Thin Lizzy. The seldom-interviewed Van Morrison reminisces a bit about his own formative years and influences, Bob Geldof talks about his career in the Boomtown Rats, and Bono, the Edge, and others comment on U2's earliest stirrings. Folk bands like Planxty are seen briefly in clips, as are primal Celtic rockers Horslips and punk pioneers the Virgin Prunes. The bits of concert footage, especially scenes of guitar hero Gallagher blazing away, would alone make these programs worth watching, but interviews with Irish music writers and intelligent observers such as film director Jim Sheridan (My Left Foot) make the programs informative as well as extremely entertaining. -- Robert J. McNamara
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