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‘Irish Lads’ and English Rock: Musical Masculinities in the 1990s

  • Sean Campbell
Chapter
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Abstract

Musicians of Irish descent have played a long-standing role in the history of British popular music, through figures such as John Lydon, Elvis Costello (Declan McManus), Kevin Rowland, Boy George (George O’Dowd), Shane MacGowan, Morrissey, Johnny Marr, and Noel and Liam Gallagher (of Oasis). Many of these musicians have been at the forefront of Britain’s most significant popular-musical epochs, thus John Lydon and punk in the 1970s, The Smiths and ‘indie’ in the mid-1980s, and Oasis and ‘Britpop’ in the 1990s.1

Keywords

Popular Music Football Association Daily Telegraph Public Persona Gender Politics 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    Sean Campbell, ‘Popular music-making among the Irish diaspora in England’, in Harry White and Barra Boydell (eds), The Encyclopedia of Music in Ireland (Dublin: UCD Press, 2013).Google Scholar
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  4. 7.
    Dave Rimmer, New Romantic: the Look (London: Omnibus Press, 2003), 124–5.Google Scholar
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    See Sean Campbell, ‘“Race of Angels”: the critical reception of second-generation Irish musicians’, Irish Studies Review 6 (2) (1998), 165–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    See Peter Byrne, Football Association of Ireland — 75 Years (Dublin: Sportsworld, 1996).Google Scholar
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    Cited in Paul Rowan, The Team That Jack Built (Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1995), 57.Google Scholar
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    Donald Akenson, The Irish Diaspora: a Primer (Toronto: P. D. Meany, 1996), 6.Google Scholar
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    For an account of masculinity in ‘indie’ rock, see Matthew Bannister, White Boys, White Noise: Masculinities and 1980s Indie Guitar Rock (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006).Google Scholar
  19. 31.
    Paul Gallagher and Terry Christian, Brothers: From Childhood to Oasis — The Real Story (London: Virgin, 1996), 67–8, emphases added.Google Scholar
  20. 35.
    Quoted in Eugene Masterson, The Word on the Street: the Unsanctioned Story of Oasis (Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1996), 56.Google Scholar
  21. 37.
    See, for example, Philip Ullah, ‘Second-generation Irish youth: identity and ethnicity’, New Community, 12 (Summer 1985), 317–19;Google Scholar
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    Simon Frith and Angela McRobbie, ‘Rock and sexuality’, Screen Education, 29 (Winter 1978–9), 3–19.Google Scholar
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    Steve Sutherland, ‘See! Hear! Now!’, NME, 20 September 1997, 40.Google Scholar
  28. 50.
    For an account of Celticism, see Martin Stokes and Philip V. Bohlman (eds), Celtic Modern: Music at the Global Fringe (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2003).Google Scholar
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    Terence Brown, Ireland’s Literature: Selected Essays (Dublin: Lilliput Press, 1988), 7.Google Scholar
  30. 53.
    See, for example, Matthew Wright and Richard Wallace, ‘Liam’s mad for it!’, Daily Mirror, 28 August 1996, 2–3;Google Scholar
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  32. 55.
    The fact that Best was a Northern Irish Protestant might have distinguished him, in certain respects, from Manchester’s Irish Catholic inhabitants. However, his public persona seems to have resonated with certain stereotypes of the Irish in England more often associated with Irish Catholics. Significantly, Best himself was not averse to expressing Celticist ideas with regard to the Irish diaspora in England: ‘whether you’re Irish by parentage, by birth, or just have a bit of our blood in the family then it’s odds on you’ll be all the more interesting and entertaining because of it’ (George Best, George Best’s Soccer Annual No. 5 (London: Pelham Books, 1972), 86).Google Scholar
  33. 56.
    See Gerry Smyth, Noisy Island: a Short History of Irish Popular Music (Cork: Cork University Press, 2005), 75;Google Scholar
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  35. 57.
    For a reflection on this point, see Sean Campbell, ‘Beyond ‘Plastic Paddy’: a re-examination of the second-generation Irish in England’, Immigrants and Minorities 18 (2,3) (1999), 266–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 60.
    Jeremy Gilbert, ‘White light/white heat: jouissance beyond gender in the Velvet Underground’ in Andrew Blake (ed.) Living Through Pop (London: Routledge, 1999), 45.Google Scholar

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© Sean Campbell 2014

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  • Sean Campbell

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