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A splash of colour in the grim monochrome Ireland of the 1970s

Author: Donnacha Kavanagh from New Zealand
9 February 2006

Oh boy, who would have thought it? Quarter of a century after the band split up, the Horslips is finally told in their own words. For anyone who grew up in Ireland in the 1970s, these guys were rock 'n' roll. Fusing rock sensibilities to traditional Irish tunes, they made the old music accessible to a generation that yearned for American rock and made people realise that Irish music didn't have to be diddly-eye jiggery-pokery and ceilidh bands. The documentary contextualises the band's progress through an Ireland changing from the dark, conformist days of the 50s and 60s into a more open, challenging nation. Well filmed,it is hilariously funny in places and even the presence of Bono doing his usual grave "most important band/man/brand of chewing gum" schtick doesn't detract. And the best bit is the second disc featuring 20-odd live performances of some of their best tracks including Furniture, the immortal Dearg Doom and their homage to Get Back, King of the Fairies played alfresco atop a Dublin building. Highly recommended for music lovers or those who lived through those days.

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