Actively Seeking A Female Punk Story of Northern Ireland

Actively Seeking A Female Punk Story of Northern Ireland

A call-out to the punkettes from the Oh Yeah Music Centre.

The Oh Yeah Music Centre are actively looking to tell the female side of the Northern Ireland punk story which will be launched at the upcoming Women’s Work Festival.

We are looking for clothing, memorabilia, photographs, posters, badges and great stories. A selection will be used to create a special exhibition at the Oh Yeah Music Centre and will be used to complement the award-winning Northern Ireland Music Exhibition at the centre – the only permanent exhibition for popular music in NI.

This call-out takes place around the 40th anniversary of the big moments in the local punk story: the release of ‘Suspect Device’ by Stiff Little Fingers (March 1978), the first punk gig at the Harp Bar on Hill Street (Victim and The Androids, April 21 1978) and the first single release on the Good Vibrations label (‘Big Time’ by Rudi, April 1978). Much of this has been well documented and has featured in the wonderful Good Vibrations film. However the role of female fans and musicians needs to be researched in depth. We want an alternative, alternative story.

So we are looking to hear from the participants. The trailblazers who attended nights at the Viking and the Trident in Bangor. The participants at the Glenmachan Hotel and the Harp Bar in Belfast. To those who found their teenage kicks at the Casbah in Derry and who created an anarcho-punk haven at Giro’s on Donegal Street Place, Belfast in the early 80s.

Our understanding of the London punk scene has recently been revised by the autobiography of Slits guitarist Viv Albertine and will be furthered by an upcoming film documentary on Poly Styrene (Marianne Joan Elliott-Said) from X Ray Spex. This is the time to do justice to these stories and we want to celebrate the courage and creativity of the visionaries who looked to create a new society in Northern Ireland during turbulent and often oppressive times.

Charlotte Dryden of Oh Yeah said, “The story of Belfast punk is well documented and has inspired countless bands and music lovers around the world. The NI Music Exhibition has successfully celebrated and honored the bands and the scene, but admittedly very few females have featured. It has been an ambition of ours for a while to dig deeper into the story by seeking out the women from this particular era of punk. We have no idea how many stories will come to us, but we know they are out there. This is a very exciting project for us and we can’t wait to see what comes from this call out.”

Exhibition runs 5th – 10th June 2018 as part of Women’s Work Festival.

We are accepting memorabilia, photos etc until 11th May.

For more info contact

Photo courtesy of Peter McGuinness.

Music Potential Showcase

Those with Music Potential come together for a special evening at Oh Yeah this April

| Rebekah Fitch | Jonny McArdle | P.O.C | Chris Walton | Conor Maley |

| John Martin Tierney | JackO | Shauna McArdle

 The participants of Music Potential Belfast, a project facilitated by The Oh Yeah Music Centre on behalf of London based Capital XTRA Radio is set to showcase the results of their work on Tuesday 17th April.

Music Potential is one of the largest talent searches and intense music training schemes to come out of the UK on such a wide scale with young people from London, Glasgow, Cardiff, Birmingham and Belfast taking part.

The music programme supports young people aged 18-25 improve crucial skills necessary in both developing talent and enhancing employability prospects. In February this year 60 young people took part in an intense round of workshops and training in music production, writing, performance and events management known as the MPX programme. They worked alongside some of the best in the industry, including Leah McFall, Callum Stewart and Iain Archer.The programme helped sharpen young performer’s skills and increase confidence in areas that include of song writing, music and radio production and event management.

Now is their time to shine and for some it will the first time they have graced the stage to experience the buzz of live performance. Singer-songwriter Shauna McArdle will be performing a track written in collaboration with 18-year-old rapper Jack O’Connell. Neither artist has performed in public before. Shauna credits the ‘Music Potential’ programme with getting her back into music after taking a break due to personal issues:

“Having written and sung privately for a long time, I had lost my confidence and couldn’t face the prospect of performing. However, this programme has really given me the confidence to sing in front of other people again and to just get out there and show people what I have got!”

Other artists like Rebekah Fitch and Conor Maley are seasoned pros at this stage. Both have been steadily making a name for themselves on the music scene in Belfast and see this as another step on the ladder to success. Conor Maley, originally from Co. Donegal, signed up to the programme to get more experience of the industry and to hone his talent further:

“Already on the programme, I have created strong networks and made great connections, so much so that I have already been offered slots on bills I wouldn’t have been considered before. It’s been a great next step for me and I can’t wait until the showcase to debut some of the tracks recorded with Start Together Studios”.

Doors 7pm – encouraging people to come along and support!