Winner of the Hot Press Music Book of the Year (2011) and The Sunday Times Music Book of the Year (2011)
Second-generation Irish musicians have played a vital role in the history of popular music in England.
This book explores the role of Irish ethnicity in the lives and work of these musicians, focusing on three high-profile projects: Kevin Rowland and Dexys Midnight Runners, Shane MacGowan and The Pogues, and Morrissey/Marr and The Smiths. The book locates these musicians in a hyphenated ‘Irish-Englishness’ marked by ‘in-between-ness’ and explores the different ways that they engaged with this in-betweenness through their creative work and their engagements with audiences, the media and the music industry.
The book draws on extensive archival research of print and audio-visual media as well as original interviews with the key figures, including Shane MacGowan, Johnny Marr, Kevin Rowland and Cáit O’Riordan. Combining its assiduous research with fresh critical insights, the book offers new analyses of the musicians, as well as previously undocumented accounts of their lives and work. The book highlights the diversity and complexity of second-generation Irish identities and experience and details the diverse ways in which this generation has shaped popular music in England. Accessible and original, ‘Irish Blood, English Heart’ will be of interest to students and scholars in the fields of popular music, media/cultural studies, and ethnic/migration studies. It will also appeal to a wider audience of those interested in the musicians with whom it deals.
Sean Campbell is Senior Lecturer in the Department of English and Media at Anglia Ruskin in Cambridge, England, and is the co-author of Beautiful Day: 40 Years of Irish Rock (Cork University Press, 2005).