A recent trip to Belfast has reminded me of this fantastic short(ish) film about Belfast’s legendary A Centre, produced by Dave Hyndman, which deserves the widest circulation and audience possible.
The A Centre or the Lost Tribe of Long Lane
November 1981: the A Centre was established as an alternative cultural space in Belfast city centre and ran on Saturday afternoons. Organised by the Belfast Anarchist Collective the centre soon became a magnet for young people and punks in particular. On loan from Belfast’s gay community, the Carpenter Club in Long Lane was transformed into a den of delight and subversion by exhibitions of numerous agitprop posters of the day. This was an experiment in mixed media: banned or controversial films, new wave music and punk bands, performance poets and artists, alternative books and comics, and a wholefood cafe being the weekly staple diet. The ever watchful RUC were continually perplexed at such a mixed gathering. This film is a record of just one of those Saturdays. Music featured from many of those bands who played at the Centre includes Stalag 17, The Defects, Xdreamists, Rudi, Spider, Rufrex, Dogmatic Element, The Outcasts, Just Destiny, Ten Past Seven.
Film produced by Dave Hyndman
You can find out more about punk in Northern Ireland from Spit Records including the publication on the definitive guide to Punk in Northern Ireland. Browse through over 100 photos from the A Centre on the Spit Records A Centre page.