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New Exhibition at Galway City Museum

New Exhibition at Galway City Museum



The title of this exhibition is inspired by The Jam album of the same name. This title reflects the societal and musical changes happening in Ireland during this period. Lyrics such as ‘Septic Isle, Suffer in the Screaming sea ‘by The Boomtown Rats in their 1981 hit ‘Banana Republic’ echoes the anger felt by the youth in a conservative Irish society. There was an increasingly visible feminist movement and Irish people had begun to question the political and religious establishment.

These posters represent a moment in time before Irish bands such as U2 emerged on to the international music scene. Changing musical tastes sounded the decline of the Irish showband scene, as discos and bars replaced dancehalls and ballrooms. The late 1970’s also witnessed the birth of Hot Press magazine and a growth in pirate radio stations.

At this time, despite its peripheral location and small size (around 40,000 in 1981) Galway hosted the cream of Irish and international musical acts. This selection of eye-catching posters, each one an artwork in its own right, show the breath of talent that preformed in the town between 1977 and 1982.

This collection of posters are from Galway City Museum’s collection with a few additions on loan from Charlie Byrne.