"“A real down to earth punk gem...”"

Good Vibrations is the biopic of Terri Hooley (Richard Dormer), a record shop owner and Belfast’s number one punk fan - and the man you can thank for bringing the punk rock classic Teenage Kicks by The Undertones to the world. Terri was actually a small cog in the machine that made Teenage Kicks the anthem it’s remembered as, but as Good Vibrations shows, Terri was the driving force behind something much, much bigger.

Defying the ‘Troubles’ that was consuming Northern Ireland at the time, Terri opens up a record shop, the eponymous Good Vibrations. With nothing but his vast country, folk and rock record collection to sell and his genuinely infectious enthusiasm, the people of Belfast largely ignore Terri as a mere eccentric. It’s not until an amazingly obnoxious snot nosed punk comes into his record shop and informs him his shop is incomplete without punk and gives him a flyer for a local gig. Like most of the way through the film, historical tidbits are mentioned, and as they approach the pub, Terri’s long suffering friend mutters “You know this is where they stored bodies on Bloody Sunday”. Like most of the film, Terri brushes off anything to do with Irish’s burdening civil war.

We witness Terri’s first punk experience and its magical, if you’ve ever been to a concert and left your friends to be closer to the band, you’ll feel a surge of endorphins as you witness Terri bounce around the small crowd with a look of pure bliss. Also if you’ve ever had a drink (or two...) at a concert you’ll also recognize coming home to babble about it inanely to your other half, as Terri does to his wife Ruth, excellently played by Jodie Whittaker. As Good Vibrations morphs from a record store to a record label, Ruth gets pregnant and we find ourselves been pulled along by Terri’s boundless energy. Like most things too much of something is overwhelming, as the punk movement becomes more engrained into Terri’s life and Ruth and her newborn baby falls by the wayside, we feel like maybe all this is going to turn sour.

Good Vibrations is an excellent picture of a moment in time, like 24 Hour Party People it represents a period that was - and is - important to everyone because it defined peoples lives and changed peoples lives for the better. During the 70’s Northern Ireland looked more like a war zone then a country, and instead we see such a place through the eyes of a man who bears an infectious enthusiasm and laissez-faire attitude towards his friends are religious allegiances. “I never thought to ask” he quips when a solider finds out that the kids in a punk band are both Protestant and Catholic – and this is exactly what makes Good Vibrations a real down to earth punk gem.

Although Terri’s wife Ruth takes a back seat to the whole affair and sometimes Richard Dormer’s thick Irish accent is hard to understand, you won’t finish this film without a beaming smile on your face.