A Call Out to Punkettes in Northern Ireland

A Call-Out to Punkettes from the Oh Yeah Music Centre

The Oh Yeah Music Centre are actively looking to tell the female side of the Northern Ireland punk story which will be launched at the upcoming Women’s Work Festival.

We are looking for clothing, memorabilia, photographs, posters, badges and great stories. A selection will be used to create a special exhibition at the Oh Yeah Music Centre and will be used to complement the award-winning Northern Ireland Music Exhibition at the centre – the only permanent exhibition for popular music in NI.

This call-out takes place around the 40th anniversary of the big moments in the local punk story: the release of ‘Suspect Device’ by Stiff Little Fingers (March 1978), the first punk gig at the Harp Bar on Hill Street (Victim and The Androids, April 21 1978) and the first single release on the Good Vibrations label (‘Big Time’ by Rudi, April 1978). Much of this has been well documented and has featured in the wonderful Good Vibrations film. However the role of female fans and musicians needs to be researched in depth. We want an alternative, alternative story.

So we are looking to hear from the participants. The trailblazers who attended nights at the Viking and the Trident in Bangor. The participants at the Glenmachan Hotel and the Harp Bar in Belfast. To those who found their teenage kicks at the Casbah in Derry and who created an anarcho-punk haven at Giro’s on Donegal Street Place, Belfast in the early 80s.

Our understanding of the London punk scene has recently been revised by the autobiography of Slits guitarist Viv Albertine and will be furthered by an upcoming film documentary on Poly Styrene (Marianne Joan Elliott-Said) from X Ray Spex. This is the time to do justice to these stories and we want to celebrate the courage and creativity of the visionaries who looked to create a new society in Northern Ireland during turbulent and often oppressive times.

Charlotte Dryden of Oh Yeah said, “The story of Belfast punk is well documented and has inspired countless bands and music lovers around the world. The NI Music Exhibition has successfully celebrated and honored the bands and the scene, but admittedly very few females have featured. It has been an ambition of ours for a while to dig deeper into the story by seeking out the women from this particular era of punk. We have no idea how many stories will come to us, but we know they are out there. This is a very exciting project for us and we can’t wait to see what comes from this call out.”

Exhibition runs 5th – 10th June 2018 as part of Women’s Work Festival.

They are accepting memorabilia, photos etc until 11th May. For more info contact charlotte@ohyeahbelfast.com.  Photo courtesy of Peter McGuinness.