"Showbands, huh! Not cool. Bob Geldof and Sinead O'Connor said so." My view is this - don't knock them if you weren't there. Admittedly, there were some bad showbands as there were bad beat-groups and bad céili bands, but most of them were good and some were brilliant. Instead of taking notice of some loudmouths who probably wouldn't have got a job in a decent showband anyway, listen to what people like Van Morrison, Robert Ballagh and the late Henry McCullough had to say about the era. Showbands were of their time. Musicians just wanted to play music and that's what they did. They did some originals but mostly their arrangements of chart hits of the day - what are known today as 'covers'. For some, another derogatory term but remember some of the biggest stars in music such as Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and Diana Ross didn't write their hit songs.

We've been away for a few years and now we're back with fewer distractions and more content. Our aim is to have every showband, beat-group and céili band who played gigs in Ireland in the two decades between 1955 and 1975 featured. Why 1975? Well, by then, Country 'n' Irish had almost completely taken over the dancing scene and real showbands (with brass sections) and real beat-groups were taking a back seat. Céili bands also felt the pinch and the venues just didn't want them anymore.

With 657 showbands, 231 beat-groups and 45 céili bands already here, all with their own page, we've not done too bad so far, BUT . . . if you know of a band or group which isn't here yet but should be, please send us a sharp image (a scan is best), the names of the musicians and the instruments they played and a brief paragraph about the band, they will be allocated a new page all to themselves! You will notice that some pages have more photos and information than others - the reason for that is that updating and maintaining the archive is time-consuming but three or four pages are being updated every day. In the next few weeks, new sections will be added. Enjoy browsing through the archive and watch out for our new series, THE IRISH BANDS ARCHIVE SCRAPBOOK which will be starting (weekly) in Ireland's Own magazine very soon.

email: irishbandsarchive AT gmail.com
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