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Category:    Home > Reviews > Rockumentary > Out Of Ireland (Rockumentary)

Out Of Ireland (Music Documentary)


Picture: B-     Sound: C+     Extras: D     Documentary: B



Producer/director David Hefferman delivers a stunning documentary on the rise of modern Pop and Rock music in Out Of Ireland, released in 2000.  The subtitle is “from a whisper to a scream” and another fitting term might be “from imitation to assimilation” as the programs begins with conformist Rock imitators something like Pat Boone in some odd way, to all the great artists that followed.


After the imitators, bands like Them (with Van Morrison) and Taste started to forge an identity for a new wave of Irish music like nothing since the traditional music the country became associated with.  Van Morrison went on to one of the most remarkable solo careers, as did Rory Gallagher and then came the breakout success of Thin Lizzy.  That was enough of a foundation with other bands you are less likely to have heard of and a new generation of Irish talent suddenly arrived.  Gilbert O’Sullivan had a huge international hit with Alone Again (Naturally), both The Blades and Paul Cleary gave it a shot, then Bob Geldof’s Boomtown Rats picked up, then Punk arrived and Ireland had their contenders like The Radiators.  Out of New Wave came U2, The Pogues, and Shane McGowan, then Gay Woods, The Cranberries, Clannad, Moving Hearts, Paul Brady, Sinead O’Connor, Chris De Burgh, Mike Scott & The Waterboys, The Coors and Ash afterwards.  The only problem is that some of the very talented bands that decided to reinserted traditional Irish music in their work brought on enough of a rollback that even Ireland landed up with “boy band” syndrome, the kind of assimilation none of us need.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 x 1 image varies throughout as all documentaries do, but the footage mix is better than usual in this case and more watchable than usual as a result.  Newer footage is shot on tape, while older film footage and TV video is inserted throughout, along with some good stills.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo has many cases of monophonic spurts and there is not much Pro Logic action here, but this sounds good just the same.  Fortunately, it is loaded with all the classic, key songs without which this particular program would not be possible.  There are no extras here, but the show runs 158 minutes and it is constantly impressive and thorough throughout.  Out Of Ireland is one of the best music documentaries on the market and a must-see for all serious music fans.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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