Reekus

There is a photograph accompanying the introduction of 'It Makes You Want to Spit' of Belfast City centre on a Saturday night back in the 1970s. It's 10.10pm and the street is brightly lit, but the only people walking on it are two policemen. It's an image that you'll return to as you continue reading and your admiration grows for what came out of this time of few venues, even less gigs and where the concept of 'making your own fun' took on an urgency all its own. And so began the punk bands, fanzines and record labels remembered and re-appraised in a book which deserves its place alongside such music scene greats as 'Banned in DC', 'American Hardcore: A Tribal History' and 'The Dance of Days'.

Originally released as an 84-page fanzine (since bootlegged and auctioned online), 'It Makes You Want to Spit' now features more interviews and recollections of the players and punters, discographies and photos of every size band. If The Undertones and Stiff Little Fingers were the international success stories, then it's in the trials and tribulations of the small outfits that the sense of community shines through. Whether the scene gave people careers, confidence or in the case of Sean O'Neill and Guy Trelford, the determination to see this project through to the finish, you'll walk away from it feeling a few pounds lighter in cynicism and a few heavier in hope.

Harry Guerin