So here I was, despatched to the leafless tenements of G12. A wee world of it's own with it's own wee culture and with The Belle Sister as dj in residence for this week. Raised in the leafy countryside of Clady in Northern Ireland, a village so small it makes Killearn look like a Metropolis, The Belle Sister offered a unique insight into her musical upbringing and probably explains why she and the good DeeJock have collaborated in so many projects over the past few years.
The very earliest of years
The Beatles 'Twist n Shout' and my older sisters and brothers dancing to the
creaking sound emanating from a record player must be the earliest muscial
memory. Closely followed by Telstar (The Tornados?) - my brother Dermot was
obsessed by this track.
First record I bought was I'm a Believer - The
Monkees. I just loved the Monkees and used to cycle miles to buy chewing gum
from different shops so I could collect Monkee cards.
The coolest cat in the village years
Like many people with elder brothers or sisters The Belle Sister managed to miss out on some of the 70's dubious excuses for music - the Osmonds, Partridge Family and the Carpenters. Good taste prevents us from including any sugar sweet songs here.
First album Led
Zepplin 3 - think I was probably seduced by the funky sleeve. Still have it!
Probably not Led Zeps finest but 'Thats the way still hits the spot.
luck would have it with 5 older brothers and sisters there was a fair amount of
music floating around the house - some dubious. Highlights for me in the 60's
The early 70s saw a growth of Irish Rock music. One band that rose to international prominence was the hard rocking Thin Lizzy, led by Phil Lynott. Another Irish band, Horslips, broke new ground by mixing hard rock with traditional Irish music to create a new genre - Celtic rock. They challenged the idea that an Irish band had to leave the country to be successful. They became the first major rock band to stay based in Ireland instead of moving abroad to chase success. Their highly original music was very successful in Ireland but never achieved much international success. The early 1970s paved the way for another band that would remain based in Ireland but would go on to dominate the music world - U2. U2 began their musical career in 1976 and went on to become internationally known. Rolling Stone claims this band to be “the biggest band in the world.” And of course there was the classic band The Undertones
Middle of the Road Rocker or Punk?
And then Bruce Springsteen came on the scene for me in about 1976 -
saw him live in Wembley in 1985 and then again in Hampden in 2010. Dire Straits
were big for me too from 78 - Sultans of Swing, Tom Waits, Jackson Brown, Queen
and of course Van the Man still - only man who ever played Belfast - and every
local band seemed to cover him. Much of my student days at Queens were spent
standing on chairs singing along to GLORIA.
Despite frequenting the Marquee during the summer of 77 in
London, I didnt quite 'get' punk, thinking it was for the Art School pseuds -
apart from of course The Clash and London Calling. But looking back now I would
have to admit to a retrospective appreciation.
Obviously this was an era when music took a back seat for The Belle Sister. Probaly started a book group, a taste for wine and late lunches. Even when she moved to God's country in 1986 she couldn't hear the wonders that were eminating from the airwaves.
Ed. had the batteries ran out during the interview? The story is pretty paltry at this stage. Or was it the start of the family years. 3 daughters who would become the scourge, sorry apple, of the Belle's Sister's life.