The underground history of UK dance music

I’ve watching another history of dance music in the UK and the same frustrations are rising up. Every single one tells the same story – interesting stuff was happening in the US – in particular DJ Frankie Knuckles in the Warehouse Club in Chicago in 1979 where House Music was born, and then it appeared in the UK – nearly a decade later.

In 1987, four DJs (Paul Oakenfold, Danny Rampling, Johnny Walker and Nicky Holloway) went to Ibiza and brought their holiday home – in particular with Rampling’s legendary Shoom club.

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Reinterpreting the Milesians in Irish pre-history

Irish pre-history is a pain. Because Celtic culture was non-literary, it wasn’t until the arrival of Christianity that Irish myths and legendary history were written down.

As a result, a lot of the myths were Christianised. St Patrick crops up a bit, meeting legendary figures like Oisín.

One myth that has really suffered is that of the Milesians, the last group to “invade” Ireland and establish Irish culture according to the Lebor Gabála (Book of Conquests). It’s loaded with medieval history and links to Spain, Egypt, the Holy Land and has been discounted as being entirely created by monks.

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19th century Irish history – help needed

I’ve been researching my family for a few years with a view to writing their story. My mother’s family were the Bolands – major figures in the Irish revolutionary movements pre-independence and government ministers in the decades afterwards.

I’m trying to go back over four generations. The more recent generations – Kevin Boland and his father Gerald and uncles Harry and Ned and aunt Kathleen – are fairly straightforward. Much has been written about their lives, including by themselves. And there’s no shortage of information about 1916.

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Last “whites” of the East End

So, after a great NUJ meeting with a brilliantly ethnic diverse turn-out, I turn on the TV and the BBC is showing “Last Whites of the East End“. Despite being fully aware it would annoy me, I watched it. I’ve been trying to think of something to blog about, so here’s another blog about history.

According to the programme, “white British” people are leaving the East London and it’s the end of the “good old East End”. This needs serious unpicking.

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EU migrants to Britain and Irish people

There are some very careful phrased statements being made at the moment about EU migration into the UK. The wording is important, because there is a key difference between EU migrants and EU nationals working in the UK.

This difference is the Irish. While Ireland is in the EU and Irish people can correctly be described as EU nationals, in UK law, people born in Ireland are not EU migrants.

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Slaveholders in Ireland

After yesterday’s popular blog about Irish slavery, I wanted to write a short one about another issue with Liam Hogan’s work.

Another thread of his work is researching Irish slaveholders. Where he’s traced information those who left Ireland and “became white” and bought into the slave owning population, that’s all well and good.

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Irish slavery – fact or myth?

There has been a stupid debate going on for over a year now about whether Irish slaves existed or not. Irish historian Liam Hogan has made a name for himself condemning those who talk about the Irish history of slavery.

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