It makes you want to spit!
An Alternative ULSTER
1977 - 1982 (2003)
by Sean O'Neill and Guy Trelford
Reekus books
It's been seven years in the making and was it worth the wait? You bet it
was! After approaching a number of publishers over the years and
receiving a general lack of enthusia
sm, Elvera Butler and the good
people at Reekus stepped in and provided the resources and know how to
make Sean and Guy's dream a reality. This is the chance for anyone who
has read the stuff I've been writing about over the years, on various punk
sites and in various zines. And to those who think I'm sycophantic when it
comes to the N.I punk scene of the late 70's/early 80's, which is nonsense
anyway. It's a chance to see if I was talking crap or not! You might think
that I theorise, glamorise, romanticise it all through my rose tinted
sunglasses as it was all so long ago,
(never! - Don't Care) which to a very
small extent may be true. Well here it is the truth, the whole truth and
nothing but the truth, in print and in your hands straight from the horses
mouth so to speak. Including the movers and shakers, the punks
So judge me! Was I telling porkies or being honest? Because 'It Makes You
Want To Spit!' has arrived and it's a real heavyweight contender for one
of the best punk books ever! It's everything
the other heavyweight of this
genre (Colgrave and Sullivan's coffee table 'Punk' book of a few years back) isn't! That
(book) apparently was
supposed to be the definitive last word on the subject, which strived and failed in mine and
many others opinion, because of the authors fixation with London, elitism and being fashionable. Their publishers
obviously didn't know the real deal was over the horizon, else they wouldn't have made such stupid claims. Everyone
has a story concerning their time as punks, and not just the chosen few. I'm sure after the punk public read this,
there will be more books of this type in the future. This is a real punk book, written by real punks for real punks or
anyone else who wants to take a trip back and experience the punk glory years. This book is designed to be read,
not displayed as the latest trendy statement.
Back in the 70's N. Ireland was a down, dark and miserable place. Look at the photo's the punks with an average age
of 15 to 18. They stood out a mile from all the other grey people. The subculture thrived in this environment. There
probably has never been a more creative time than this for young people, who were inspired by punk to show their
individuality through their dress sense, regardless of the risk involved to your health and the music they listened to.
The after shocks still continue to this day. The whole punk lifestyle was embraced even though it was a dangerous
I'm sure this was the story in your town also, and who wouldn't be delighted to have a history book like this charting
the rise of punk rock through the eyes of the people that were actually involved in it. As well as contributions from
members of some of the big punk bands that put aside their fears and doubts and  actually bothered to play here at
the time, unlike punks own bleeding heart Jimmy Pursey who with Sham 69 was singing about 'Ulster Boy' without
ever coming anywhere near the place! So you get genuine memories of their visits from amongst others, the likes of
Paul Gray (Eddie + The Hot Rods), Rat Scabies (Damned), JJ Burnel (Stranglers). Plus the late Joe Strummer
(Clash), who sent his piece shortly before his death last December. This is possibly one of the last pieces he wrote
There were no Svengali figures here lurking in the shadows directing everything. The kids were doing it for
themselves. So don't say
"what about Terri Hooley?", the scene was already up and running before he arrived, as he
freely admits. The Authors Sean O'Neill and Guy Trelford have really grafted hard for seven years on this book, and
there's blood, sweat, disappointment and joy on every page. The amount of info and memorabilia they have
gathered on everything relating to N.I punk, from the well known bands etc., down to the most obscure characters is
staggering! I know there were times as with any labour of love that it was all getting a bit much. Plenty of times when
the boys felt like packing it in, but thankfully for all of us they persevered. Thanks lads for bringing back the
memories and I'm glad you achieved your personal vision of what punk was all about. I loved the original fat zine
version of this from around five years ago, which was produced under a very limited budget. I championed it at every
opportunity but the step forward to this large tome is absolutely massive, so much so there is no comparison with the
first edition. This book will make a lot of old punks very happy, as well as directing others to delve deeper into the N.I
punk story or go beyond SLF and the Undertones. There was so much more that never got a look in until now. Along
with all the hoopla surrounding the book, there is also a sense of sadness, as the book publication and the launch
gig seem to put a big full stop on N.I Punk. Maybe there's really nowhere left to go after this, because it doesn't get
any bigger or better than this book!
But what a ride it was for anyone who was there at the time. Every aspect is covered here in detail. Punk was like a
religion to the kids, and no-one even realised how special the scene here was. There are worse ways the N.I punk
story could have ended. It could have easily just faded away through time and been forgotten but 'Spit!' will ensure it
lives forever. The book costs a hefty £20  but you have to expect to pay for a quality publication like this. It comes
with an eye melting electric pink card cover, and almost 300 packed  pages! It's no flimsy throwaway paperback
believe me, and it's nearly Christmas so you can use those unwanted book tokens you know your gonna get to buy
it, and it's the perfect Christmas present. So get it on your wish list and let the kids see what mummy and daddy got
up to once upon a time. 'It Makes You Want To Spit!' is essential reading for everyone who loves real music with a
"fuck you!" attitude and an exciting tale to tell!  

(*****) £20.00
Joe Donnelly Belfast.  7/11/ 03
It Makes You Wanna Spit!
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