Scenes & Localities
Room G.11, Armstrong Building
Grainne Milner-McLoone (Newcastle University)
‘Punk/Noise and Aggression in Northern Ireland’
The Punk phenomenon of the 1970s hit Northern Ireland in a unique way, introducing a wave of aggression that helped to release the tensions of the sectarian conflict, ‘the troubles’, at that time. The punk scene prompted many home formed bands to write and play music addressing the violence and created a non-sectarian common ground amongst teenagers, as a rebellion against the sectarian beliefs of their immediate predecessors. Punk in NI also instigated a rejection of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (police) in both the nationalist/republican/Catholic and the loyalist/unionist/Protestant communities, bringing the younger generation together.
Examining the anti-establishment ideologies so prominent during the troubles, this paper will look at punk and aggression in Northern Ireland today. Following the instability caused by Brexit and its impact on the many new and upcoming punk bands in Ireland, this paper will specifically explore the music of punk/noise bands Woodburning Savages and Touts from Derry. Derry city is on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and so, post-Brexit, could also be on the border between the UK and EU. The anxieties caused by this are expressed through a number of tracks from both bands. The idea of ‘anyone can do it’ is explored through aggression felt by young people, and how this can be transferred into music, drawing parallels between punk bands of the ‘70s, such as Stiff Little Fingers and the Undertones, and Irish punk music today.
Stewart Smith (Music Journalist & Independent Scholar)
‘Beyond The Valley of Ultrahits: Some Observations of the Glasgow Underground’
Karina Barbosa (Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN), Brazil)
‘“I Am Proud To Be How I Am”: Gender and Sexuality Statements in Brazilian Punk Feminist Music Scene’
For decades and more specifically ever since the rise of the Riot Grrrl movement in Olympia, Washington in the 1990’s, the punk scene has provided an important stage to amplify women’s voices. This paper uses the concept of music scenes by William Straw (1991) to elucidate how Brazilian feminist punk scene has been a relevant environment for gender and sexuality expression. It encloses the concepts of local, translocal and virtual scenes by Bennett and Peterson (2004) in order to introduce a retrospective of post-colonial studies referring to the act of producing music with political activist content in a developing country such as Brazil, in contrast to the so called Western world. At this point, it includes Georgina Born and David Hesmondhalgh (2000) writings on the matter of postcolonialism in music studies. Following this discussion, it leads to the history of feminist movements that favour the protagonism of women in music – from the Riot Grrrl example in the United States, until the feminist music scenes in Sao Paulo. It explores the idea that different music scenes around the world develop similar statements despite of local differences, using the concept of lebenswelt (SCHÜTZ and LUCKMANN, 1974). In the end, it features an interview with Sapataria, a hardcore/punk band based in São Paulo composed only by women who are openly lesbians. Their example is used to exemplify attitudes of contravention that exist in the feminist punk music scene under the government of the openly misogynistic and homophobic president Bolsonaro.