Good Vibrations

DRAMA; 1hr 43min

STARRING: Richard Dormer, Jodie Whittaker

Music man: Dormer (left)

Torn apart by the Catholic–Protestant Troubles, 1970s Belfast is explosive. Music nut Terri Hooley (Dormer) remains neutral, itself something of a provocation. Undeterred by his lack of funds and the powder-keg setting, Terri boldly sets up a record shop in the middle of it all. Good Vibrations opens its rocking and bluesy doors to general indifference: unknown to Terri, the zeitgeist switch has flipped to punk rock. When he does catch on, it’s life changing. “These kids! They don’t give a shit !” he rhapsodises to his accommodating wife, Ruth (Whittaker). “Everybody has to hear them!”


Punk takes Terri, body and soul. He gets a wing-and-prayer record label going for emerging bands the Outcasts and the Undertones, of which he is wrangler and cheer squad. Funds are always tight and acceptance is uphill, which would be a damned sight harder to take if it weren’t for the gutsy thrum of the anarchic numbers and Dormer’s leprechaunian vigour. Directors Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glen Leyburn don’t soft pedal their subject’s homespun bonhomie — Terri’s boozy tunnel vision can cost him dearly. But the lows are no match for the highs.