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Ethnicity and cultural criticism: evocations and elisions of Irishness in the British music press
journal contributionposted on 2023-07-26, 12:35 authored by Sean Campbell
The Irish diaspora have played an important role in the history of popular music, particularly in Britain, where Irish-descended musicians have been crucial, from Lonnie Donegan – via The Beatles, John Lydon and The Smiths - to Oasis. Despite the vast amount of scholarly and journalistic attention that has been expended on these musicians, most accounts have overlooked their Irish provenance, with the majority of commentators focusing on the musicians' English nationality at the expense of their Irish ethnicity. Despite this critical elision, the British music press has been historically preoccupied with notions of Irishness. This article will explore the particular ways in which Irishness has been evoked in the British music press, whilst addressing the conspicuous absence of an Irish dimension in accounts of second-generation Irish musicians. The article is thus divided into two key sections, 'Manifestations of Irishness', and 'The Critical Reception of Second-Generation Irish Musicians'. In the first section, I will consider the ways in which Irishness has been foregrounded in music journalism, before focusing, in the second section, on the reception of second-generation Irish musicians, such as John Lydon, The Smiths and Oasis.
Publication titleCeltic Cultural Studies
PublisherCeltic Cultural Studies