Book review on Morrissey and Marr in Hot Press


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I saw this review yesterday in Hot Press

Irish Blood English Heart: Secoznd Gereration Irish Muscicians in England
By Sean Campbell published by Cork University Press

Cambridge lecturer Campbell previously co-wrote Beautiful Day, an analysis of Irish rock music over the past 40 years. In Irish Blood English Heart, he examines the impact made on English music by Kevin Rowland, Shane MacGowan and Morrissey. All have credited their Irish backgrounds with influencing their music. Along with exploring the mordant wit and powerfully expressive lyrics that characterise the work of the three artists. Campbell also reveals some truly gobsmacking stories, including that Morrissey's anti-Thatcherite politics compelled An Phoblacht to publish a mid-80s editorial praising The Smiths, thus forging a highly improbable link between republicanism and early alternative rock. So perhaps we can expect Gerry Adams to look to the Comsat Angels or Psychadelic Furs to provide Sinn Fein campaign anthem


Needed response.

Needed or Un-needed, here's another review of Sean Campbell's book, Irish Blood, English Heart, from the Irish Independent newspaper today:

...Campbell -- himself an Englishman of Irish parentage -- suggests that musicians like Rowland were fired by a sense of duality. And, he argues, their creativity was heightened by a feeling of not being fully Irish or English -- but rather a state of limbo in between.

And, all too frequently, when second-generation Irish musicians returned to the 'homeland' they were treated with suspicion, and not welcomed as warmly as they might have imagined.

Shane MacGowan and The Pogues -- initially pilloried in Britain as stereotypical Irish drunks -- were seen as 'plastic Paddies' when they toured Ireland in the mid-1980s. In some quarters, MacGowan, with his pronounced London accent and salty use of language, was regarded as an 'anti-Irish racist' -- a thought that seems utterly preposterous with the benefit of hindsight.

Yet, at the same time, Morrissey was being accused of being anti-British. The singer made some inflammatory comments around the time of the IRA's bomb strike on the Tory conference in Brighton. Praising the terrorists for being "accurate in selecting their targets", he expressed his "sorrow" that Margaret Thatcher had "escaped unscathed".

Morrissey and songwriting partner Johnny Marr (born John Maher) rarely played on their Irish provenance, yet their hatred of Thatcher and veiled support for the IRA helped earn them the dubious honour of being praised by Republican newspaper An Phoblacht, a forum not usually known for its interest in rock music...
irish marr morrissey smiths
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