Belfast Telegraph

Troubles and Terri Hooley made me want to work in music, says Holmes

Belfast music producer David Holmes
Belfast music producer David Holmes

By David O'Dornan

Belfast music producer David Holmes has revealed he has the Troubles, his family and record shop owner Terri Hooley to thank for his career.

The 50-year-old DJ and composer told journalist and critic Mark Kermode about his influences for his podcast series, Kermode on Film.

Holmes said: "I am the youngest of 10 children, so I inherited so much. When I was just seven years of age, I was listening to the Sex Pistols and Gene Vincent and I had this wealth of music in my bedroom.

"I had a sister who went to art college and lived in London. She arrived in London in 1969 and went to Brian Jones' wake. She saw the Pistols at the 100 Club and every Christmas she would bring home an extra suitcase full of records and clothes, so we had this amazing education of just incredible culture.

"Also, growing up in Belfast in the '70s, most of the time we weren't allowed out, so the only thing we had was our imagination, three channels and a s*** record player that sounded amazing."

Holmes explained he was a punk in his teens, wearing PVC trousers his sister made him and hand-me-down T-shirts from his brothers - until he was caught smoking after school.

He said: "One day we went down smoker's entry. This old woman used to come out and tell us off and we all mooned. But I was the one that got stitched up and the cops came to the door complaining I had mooned at this old woman and my dad took all my punk clothes off me."

Holmes remembered how he would "double ding" his bus ticket for extra journeys into Belfast city centre to look for records, joking that "if you looked after your bus ticket, it would last you for about a year".

He added: "I used to go on this journey and go through all the great record stores in Belfast, starting with Dougie Knight's and Heroes and Villains, which was psych and indie and really weird music.

"But then the real loudmouth of the show was Terri Hooley, who is the centre-piece of Good Vibrations and the record store. One day I just walked in there and he gave me this box of records that were just insanely great, old American first pressings and this incredible music."

Holmes produced Noel Gallagher's last solo album, as well as the score for hit TV show Killing Eve and a slew of films.

As well as Hollywood movies like Ocean's Eleven, he has composed soundtracks for Northern Irish-themed works like Good Vibrations, and recently completed the score for Normal People, a film with Liam Neeson.

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