GOOD VIBRATIONS a film by LISA BARROS D'SA and GLENN LEYBURN

 |   |  2 min read

The Outcasts: Just Another Teenage Rebel
GOOD VIBRATIONS a film by LISA BARROS D'SA and GLENN LEYBURN

Those of us lucky enough not to have lived in Northern Ireland during the period the Irish euphemistically refer to as “The Troubles” could never know what that must have been like.

Sectarian division and violence, roadblocks and checkpoints, assassinations and bombings, intimidation and factionalism . . .

As John Lennon put it, “if you had the luck of the Irish, you'd be sorry and wish you were dead”.

It must have been horrific and even today – when an uneasy peace sometimes exists – you can see the depth of this deeply divided country on the walls of Belfast where mural to martyrs, iconography which keeps live centuries old divisions and slogans speak to upcoming generations.

IMG_1458It just takes a further downturn in the economy and the lodges will be filled with the young and angry, and the marching will become even more violent and confrontational.

Northern Ireland is a beautiful country blighted by history, and those Troubles of recent times still resonate even of the old voices of Ian Paisley and the like are now fading.

But the recent trial of Gerry Adams reminds us how raw and recent the wounds are.

These facts need not worry you in the film Good Vibrations set during the volatile and terrifying late Seventies because they are largely off-screen if referred to much at all.

This is not the story of those times but rather a bio-pic of a singular – and often drunk it seems – individual named Terri Hooley who chose to open a record shop God Vibrations (and later a label of the same name) in Belfast and try to bring the goodtime music he loves (folk-rock, hippie stuff, the Stones) to people mostly running for cover.

ire1As played by Richard Dormer (Games of Thrones), Hooley is part inspiration, part lunatic and a man for whom music holds a redemptive power.

Unfortunately for him – as his business slides into insolvency – it isn't the music he loves which has the power, but the emerging punk movement which he encounters and finally succumbs to. Bands with names like Rudi and the Outcasts – whom he records – are speaking to the kids more than his old-fashioned music.

ire3Good Vibrations follows Hooley's path to punk, him recording the Outcasts and the Undertones' Teenage Kicks ( a song he sold for a song to Sire so he could record more Outcasts), the personal price he pays and . . .

Yes, there is a feel good ending to a film about an alternative Ulster which mostly too neatly sidesteps the violent context of its setting.

But the music is strong (the soundtrack reviewed here is quite some mishmash as you might expect) and it does shine a large light on a small beacon during very dark days.

Good Vibrations opens in selected cinemas around New Zealand on Thursday June 12

[[youtube:http://curiousdistribution.com/coming-soon/good-vibrations.aspx]]

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Film articles index

THE BEATLES ANTHOLOGY ON DVD (2003): And the songs remain the same?

THE BEATLES ANTHOLOGY ON DVD (2003): And the songs remain the same?

For a record company it was the cross-marketing opportunity of a lifetime. Well, maybe a lunchtime. But it seemed an uncanny coincidence that Neil Innes -- aka Ron Nasty of the Beatles-parody... > Read more

BIG PACIFIC, PRIME TV SERIES, and a book by REBECCA TANSLEY

BIG PACIFIC, PRIME TV SERIES, and a book by REBECCA TANSLEY

There are maps which show us our world in different ways; the size of countries relative to population or poverty; the planet at night so we can see where people huddle under lights and so on.... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

WRONG ABOUT JAPAN by PETER CAREY

WRONG ABOUT JAPAN by PETER CAREY

The Japanese phenomena of manga (comics) and anime (animated films) have long commanded Westerners‘ attention: they are often violent and sexual graphic, some explore arcane myth, others are... > Read more

GUEST WRITER OWEN WOOD looks at when genius gets the blues

GUEST WRITER OWEN WOOD looks at when genius gets the blues

The flawed and ultimately doomed genius Truman Capote once wrote, "When God hands you a gift, he also hands you a whip; and the whip is intended solely for self-flagellation". When we... > Read more