Blood and Thunder : Inside an Ulster Protestant Band

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-09-01
  • Publisher: Mercier Press

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There are 584 marching bands in Northern Ireland, yet their existence and activities are unreported apart from news of flashpoint tensions and riots. This book will reveal the inside story of the most dynamic Irish cultural phenomenon of the early 21st Century. It will argue that, in many respects, the 'Blood and Thunder' bands fulfil a role similar to the GAA by espousing Irish culture, passing on traditional skills and instilling local pride in young participants who compete against each other over a season that extends from March to October. Woven around the extended diary of an outside observer with an 'insider's viewpoint' during the 2009 Blood and Thunder band season, the book will focus on prize-winning Castlederg Young Loyalist Flute Band which boasts that it has been 'marching along the border' since 1977. The book will also examine the cultural, historical, social and political nature of Blood and Thunder bands. It includes interviews with current and former band members including founding CYLFB bandmaster and recent Ulster Unionist Party front bench Assembly spokesman on security, Derek Hussey.

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