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'Belfast Calling' out to all fans of punk music

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It's been credited as the catalyst for the Northern Ireland punk movement.

On October 20 1977 the late Joe Strummer brought The Clash to Belfast at a time when the city was a no-go area at night.

But at the eleventh hour the concert was cancelled by the city fathers, sparking a mini riot in Bedford Street.

Punk had arrived in Northern Ireland.

Thirty years on and punk godfather Terri Hooley is organising a Belfast Calling gig to mark the events of that night and to pay homage to the concert that never was.

The Good Vibrations Club will host a pogo-dancing party in the Attic Bar in Lavery's, featuring local indie band Velma with a headline set by Doghouse, who feature former members of punk rockers The Defects in their line-up. Terri and Tardis will provide the DJ sets.

According to Terri, the date of the cancelled Clash gig was significant for Belfast as it sparked the punk movement in the city.

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"The Clash were one of the most important bands of that time and were due to play their first gig in Belfast that night," he recalled.

"A band of their stature to play Belfast was unthinkable at the time. And this was going to be a night to remember.

"Unfortunately our city fathers, frightened by the tabloid frenzy regarding the emerging punk movement in England, pulled the gig at the last minute.

"A mini riot ensued at the front of the Ulster Hall with the police. This was the night that kickstarted the Northern Ireland punk revolution."

Terri said he was approached by several people keen to see a gig organised to mark the gig that never happened. "It was the last thing on my mind really, but after I was asked to do it, I went to William Maxwell of Immortal Records and put it to him.

"The gig will mark 30 years of punk here and will just be a good night out for anyone who wants to come along."

Tickets can be obtained from Phoenix Records priced £5 or £7 at the door.


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