Ruefrex and the Angry Young Prods
In 2012 a film about Northern Ireland in the late 1970s and early 1980s was released. Named after a shop once owned by the self-appointed Svengali of Ulster punk, Good Vibrations stepped away from the blood and guts of previous depictions of the Troubles and presented audiences with a conspectus of Northern Ireland’s rough-edged music scene which burgeoned as Ulsterisation and prison protests gripped the province. 
The bands that sprung up in that era are well known: Stiff Little Fingers, The Outcasts, Rudi and The Undertones from Derry. 
Notable by their absence in Good Vibrations were Ruefrex, a band that formed in the upper Ardoyne and Deerpark Road districts of North Belfast when Paul Burgess and Tom Coulter brought together a mutual admiration of Wire, The Fall and The Adverts to provide an earthy, angry and dare I say staunch style of music that sounded so North-Belfast-in-the-late-1970s it just felt essential as part of the larger punk ‘scene’. Roofwrecks supported SLF at the famous Trident in Bangor, but their background and the fermenting soil which influenced Burgess as a songwriter was Glenbryn … the peace line … corrugated walls and a love of drumming which was solidified during a stint as side-drummer in the Pride of Ardoyne.
Paul has been quite outspoken about the stick that Ruefrex got during the era that 'Good Vibrations' was set. He interestingly explodes the myth of the Harp Bar as being some kind of cross-community mecca for the youth of the day. He has mentioned the band being subject to sectarian abuse and even threatened by a shadowy figure wielding a gun; all due to the fact that the band were from the Greater Shankill area. 
Of course, the fact that they were totally anti-sectarian mattered little to some of these bigots. 
Again, it also seemed to boil down to the fact that they didn't fit into the punk scene - they didn't dress like punks (so much for individualism of punk!) and were accused of being 'spider-men'.
Unlike some other bands of the era Ruefrex didn't shy away from singing about the contemporary situation, with the ‘Wild Colonial Boy’ in particular an excoriating critique of the Irish-American sponsors of terrorism in Northern Ireland.
There was a cultural doggedness about Ruefrex; with songs such as ‘The Fightin’ 36th’ they appealed to the youth of the Shankill who attended gigs at the Tyndale Community Centre as much as those aficionados who had come to follow them in the more mainstream arenas of Northern Irish punk. 
In the liner notes to the band's 2005 Cherry Red 'Best Of' entitled 'Capital Letters' Paul stated:
We evoked the wrath of both communities, although it was probably more politically incorrect and damaging to be portrayed as the 'Prod' band as opposed, say, to That Petrol Emotion as the "oppressed" RC one. You'll still find - in regard to arts and cultural undertakings - that the Ulster Protestant community must overcome these initial prejudicial comparisons with the perceived cultural oppression of South Africa, Israel and the like. You can only sing with credibility about your own experience and culture. Or, of course, reject it and adopt some bogus stance.
The ability of Burgess and Ruefrex to tap into the psyche of Belfast’s Protestant working-class was one of their strengths and anyone who is interested in the contemporary history of Belfast's Protestant working-class and loyalist community needs to recognise the importance of Ruefrex in describing and shaping that history. Songs such as ‘The Fightin’ 36th’ and ‘Days of Heaven’ describe vividly the experiences of young men generations apart but from the same Shankill community:

Days of Heaven
A burned out pub, a playground for the bored,
a Cyclops skylight offers sanctuary.
A boy peeps through the corrugated iron,
from his safety of his world within a world.
Far away from sirens in his shell,
days of heaven, nights of hell.
Little fortresses of common love,
footballs burst on glass-topped backyard walls.
'Johnny 7', 'Hunts' and 'Hide 'n Go'
"Best prices paid for copper and for lead."
But with darkness the stones and rubble fell,
days of heaven, nights of hell.
A generation built from red-bricked streets
all proud, and hard, and honourable men.
One same purpose, that of right and wrong,
family and jobs their main concern.
Another side the newsmen seldom tell,
days of heaven, nights of hell.

The Fightin' 36th
A silence fallswith front line dawn,
and Private Samuel Dodds
needs God to lean upon.
The sun shines down,
the gas clouds clear,
the Woodvale cricket club
are keeping quiet their fear.
The shells pour down,
the whistles blow,
the Cloughmills L.O.L.
have nowhere left to go.
Through hell fire's rage,
with bayonets fixed,
the cry was "no surrender"
from the fightin' 36th.
When you read about punk in Northern Ireland, Johnny Adair’s horrendous racist and sectarian band Offensive Weapon are offered up sensationally as the only voice in that genre that the Protestant working class and loyalist community had. These disgusting skinheads are alluded to in ‘Good Vibrations’ whereas Ruefrex are written out completely. 
There were many who didn't get Ruefrex, notably Elvis Costello who called the band "Orange bastards".
Make your own mind up about who was keeping the spirit of 'punk' alive in the face of intolerance...
It is imperative that Ruefrex are pushed to the fore of the historical record. Young loyalists should take succour from their antecedents in this case. 
A health service on its knees. The growth of neoliberalism. 
Music is power. Anger is an energy. Where are all the ‘angry young Prods’ with guitars who will sing their experiences?
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