It’s often said that recessions ignite music scenes. (Certainly in the last while, we’ve seen the proliferation of underground Dance events in Dublin.)
Music does seem to have that extra edge when it’s written and performed beneath the dark background of economic and political crises. It seems that from the explosion of punk in the summer of 1976 to the birth of the acid house movement in 1988, all decent Irish (and British) music was characterised by bands, imagery and lyrics that told the (often depressing) story of what was going around them – unemployment, inner city riots, boredom and that consistent feeling of ‘no future’. The Blades’ ‘Downmarket’ immediately springs to mind, as does The Specials’ ‘Ghosttown’, The Pogues, UB40, Dexys Midnight Runners, two-tone, reggae, punk, Oi! The list is endless.
What I’ve found interesting recently is that it seems recessions often reignite music scenes as well. People become more nostalgic, they look back to the ‘good old days’.
In Dublin, in the last eighteen months we’ve seen major reunions of both the 1980s Mods (who I’ve written about before) and the 1980s skinheads whose HQ was ‘The Fox and Pheasant’. Now, it’s the rockabillies and teddy boys turn.
McGrattans (off Baggot St.) sees a reunion on August 27 2011 for teds, bikers and rockabilly fans who frequented the legendary Magnet on Pearse Street. For background, see my feature on Stompin’ George and The Magnet.
No doubt it’s going to be a great night.
The Magnet 31 years ago…