Last Friday and Saturday found me at the “Modfest” in the Village, Wexford Street. The bands playing were The Purple Hearts, Secret Affair, The Lambrettas, and From The Jam (which featured one member – Bruce Foxton – of the original three-piece punk/mod pioneers, The Jam).
I was mad into The Jam in my younger days, and liked a quite few songs from the other bands mentioned, who were all involved in the mod revival of the Eighties which, in turn, came out of punk.
I had the lot. The parka, the suit, the Fred Perrys and, of course, the scooter – a Vespa PX (Jimmy's one - of Quadrophenia fame, left - is a Lambretta).
I even had a piece of masonry thrown at me once, which bounced harmlessly off my helmet. But on the plus side, dismissing such brickbats set me up nicely for doing the blog in later years.
Anyhow, the Friday and Saturday gigs were all very enjoyable, and I woke up on Sunday morning with my ears ringing and the radio announcing that a PSNI officer, Ronan Kerr, had just been murdered by “dissident republicans”, most probably because he was a Catholic.
The lumpen logic that informs the slow learners of the Real IRA and their like, means that they deliberately target Catholics joining NI's new police force in order to discourage balance between members of the two communities within it. Then in a few years' time, they can claim it is a sectarian force. Then they can kill and maim some more in pursuit of their "united, 32-county, Ireland'. You know? 26+6=32 and all that. Einstein it isn't.
The ironic thing is their actions, informed by their deep cultural exclusivism, makes their ideal of a united Ireland even ever less likely. Do they think the unionist community is just going to up sticks and leave them the place, even after all these centuries?
Funny. Last weekend at the event I attended there was a large turn-out of mods and ex-mods, old and (I was surprised by this) young. There were people from all over the place, there was a party of Italians, for goodness sake.
There were those of us - like me - from Dublin, along with enthusiasts from Galway, Limerick, Cork and any number of places in between*. There was a big group from England, and a very large contingent from The North / Northern Ireland, whatever you prefer to call it. Many of them, I suspect from my experience back in the Eighties, from a "Protestant" background. And we all had a great night.
I suppose the 32 County Sovereignty Committee - political wing of the Real IRA - would have called it "cultural imperialism".
Pity those boys and girls - or at least the ones pulling the strings - didn't get involved in the mod scene instead, back in the day.
We might all have benefited.
* Maybe even Kerry, BH.
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