Good Vibrations is an energetic biopic of the charismatic Pied Piper of punk Terri Hooley.
70’s Belfast was not a pretty place, but under the rubble of a crumbling war-torn city, Terri was on a one man mission to drown out the sounds of warring chaos with some very loud music.
Terri’s unbridled love of rock, reggae and punk led him to open a record shop in a time and place that seemed as hopeless as flogging hot sauce in hell. In a finger up to the surrounding anarchic streets, he called the store ‘Good Vibrations’.
Business might not have boomed for glass-eyed Teri but his religious relationship with music meant he was in a sanctuary where he could put responsibility on hold as he ignored the piling bills and social unrest.
As well as flogging a few vinyls, Terri stumbled into launching a record label plugging local bands (The Outcasts and Undertones Teenage Kicks) who soon became local legends after some sucking up to the likes of John Peel.
Directors Lisa Barron D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn have done a fine job of shooting scenes of pogoing punks at a mosh-pits, making what usually looks like musical kung-fu into a harmonious bashful ballet.
The few existential moments of Hooley’s life are captured so poignantly it’s like watching your first-born ride a bike for the first time and realising they can do a wheelie. You feel genuinely chuffed for his wins and frustration at the fails.
With tight attention to detail on the set and with heroic performances, from Richard Dormer as Terri and Jodie Whittaker as his weary wife, this is a genuine snapshot of a bloodied, but optimistic Belfast shot in dusty, nostalgia-evoking tones.
Terri Hooley himself admitted to have seen the film 15 times and ‘cried his eyes out’ with every sitting. He claims that everything you see in the movie actually happened, if a little downplayed for the 15 certificate.
Heart warming and spine tingling, Good Vibrations is deserves to be a hit. In the same way Terri championed the undiscovered greats, here’s hoping this movie provides a bigger stage for the directors and main cast.
Out now on VOD / DVD
Directors: Lisa Barron D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn