Rebel yell: how the Irish dominated British rock music

From The Beatles to The Pogues, Oasis and The Smiths, musicians of Irish descent played a key role in UK scene, writes Johnny Rogan.

British pop music has been celebrated around the world for decades and rightly so.  Rather less attention has been paid to an almost invisible strain of Irishness manifested in the work and characters of several of its leading proponents. A number of these icons, particularly those born of  postwar Irish parentage, shared certain characteristics. They were often angry, awkward, polemic personalities whose music or lyrics challenged and subverted. Ironically, many  were considered English to the core, but scratch deeper and a different picture emerges. Tracing their stories takes you spiralling through four decades from Merseybeat through psychedelia, punk, Britpop and beyond.

Lennon & McCartney

Back in the early ’60s, Liverpool was the centre of the pop universe. Many of the city’s beat groups boasted members of Irish descent, including the biggest of them all: The Beatles […]

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