Posts Tagged ‘An Phoblacht’

I love follow ups.

My sincere thanks to Stephie who commented on this recent piece regarding the launch of a new work on The Smiths at the Workman’s Club recently. In that book, the excellently titled ‘Why Pamper Life’s Complexities?’, Sean Campbell wrote of a feature on the band that appeared in An Phoblacht in 1984. Stephie dug it out of the AP/RN archive and sent it along.

Our emails are on the About Us page, it’s always great to find something ‘attached’ to a mail in your inbox. If it should be up here, send it on in.

Sean Campbell left a comment on the recent piece noting that:

The full account of this fascinating episode, involving The Smiths’ tour of Ireland in 1984, is included in my book, ‘Irish Blood, English Heart’, which will be published this month by Cork University Press.

I look forward to it.

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On Monday night I popped along to the launch of ‘Why Pamper Life’s Complexities?’, a book of essays on The Smiths edited by Seam Campbell and Colin Coulter. The launch took place in the lovely Workman’s Club on a cold Monday in January. A warm fire and that view over the Liffey really makes the upstairs of the Workman’s a great little venue.

I’d just finished the book recently and thought it a very interesting look at a band we so often forget had second generation Irish blood in their veins. I’ve seen Morrissey here in Dublin before, but of course am more likely to see Jim Corr in the Dáil than ever catch The Smiths here.

The book examines issues like class, regional identity (Who did put the ‘M’ in Manchester?) , sexuality, the lyrics of the band, the emigrant experience and more besides.

We’ve a fascination with left-wing publications here at Come Here To Me, from obscure student produced pamphlets of the late 60s and 70s to the more common names, political weeklies like The United Irishman, An Phoblacht and the like. Imagine my surprise then when reading ‘Why Pamper Life’s Complexities’ to find this piece in Sean Campbell’s excellent chapter ‘Ambivalence, Unease and The Smiths’, relating to Morrissey’s infamous comments in light of the Brighton bombing which almost killed Margaret Thatcher. His comments were made on the eve of a visit to the north by the band.

The bands anxiousness about the trip increased when they were handed a copy of the Irish Republican newspaper An Phoblacht by an IRA-affiliated individual in Manchester. The paper, whose pages were usually taken up with ‘war news’, praised Morrissey for his Brighton bomb comments (which it reprinted in full) and laid stress on The Smith’s Irish provenance: ‘with names like that who could doubt their antecedents?’ The news-sheet-not known for its interest in rock- also praised The Smith’s anti-establishment ethos and concern for the ‘dispossessed’, before offering a ringing endorsement: The Smiths, proclaimed An Phoblacht, were ‘very good indeed’.


Well done to Sean and Colin on producing such an excellent work, Smiths fanatics (there are no ‘fans’) can pick a copy up over on Amazon.

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