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Good Vibrations 15 rating

In 1970s Belfast Terri Hooley and his Good Vibrations record store become spawning ground for the city's fledgeling punk scene.

Biopic 2013 103 mins

Director: Lisa Barros D'Sa and Glenn Leyburn



Begrudgingly accepting the title of Ulster’s Godfather of Punk, Terri Hooley was responsible for discovering The Undertones and, through his Good Vibrations record shop and label, along with the gigs he promoted, he enabled alternative music to be heard and to flourish in Belfast during the darkest days of Northern Ireland’s Troubles. His self-promoted legend is a wild mix of naivety, a refusal to compromise and a deep love for rock’n’roll, and it is vividly bought to the screen in this biopic from filmmakers Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn.

Good Vibrations evokes 1970s Belfast avoiding clichés and angst, and its fine cast, led by Richard Dormer as Hooley, is wonderfully committed. In celebrating the music of the time, the film dares to make the unfashionable case that pop music matters, that it can change lives, that it can be transcendent. It celebrates Hooley as truly heroic for making that same case all his life.